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Policy Debate - Transportation Infrastructure

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,294 times Debate No: 27221
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Well then, it has been a while since my last debate or even any sort of activity on DDO. Hopefully, all is well.
I have taken it upon myself to start learning Policy debate, and hence we'll be debating the 2012-2013 Policy Topic.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

Substationally - of ample or considerable amount, quantity, size
Transportation - the act of transporting.
Transport - to carry, move, or convey from one place to another.
Infrastructure - the basic, underlying framework or features of a system or organization.

Investment - the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.

1. No profanity or ad hominem
2. No plagiarism (Cards are exempt from this rule)
3. The burden of proof is on the Aff.
4. The debate will be carried out in a policy format (or as close as we can do it)
4.a The Pro must present a plan that solves for the status quo/problem.
4.b The Con is allowed to run any argument they wish, including T's and kritiks if neccessary (although I probably will not).
5. By accepting the debate, you acknowledge the rules.
5.a Any changes or clarifications can be asked in the comments section.


Contention 1: Inherency

_A___US Ports are lacking security now
Douglas Frantz, previously chief investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Managing Director of Kroll"s Business Intelligence Washington office, investigative reporter, 7/15/12, "Port security: U.S. fails to meet deadline for scanning of cargo containers",

The Obama administration has failed to meet a legal deadline for scanning all shipping containers for radioactive material before they reach the United States, a requirement aimed at strengthening maritime security and preventing terrorists from smuggling a nuclear device into any of the nation"s 300 sea and river ports. The Department of Homeland Security was given until this month to ensure that 100 percent of inbound shipping containers are screened at foreign ports. But the department"s secretary, Janet Napolitano, informed Congress in May that she was extending a two-year blanket exemption to foreign ports because the screening is proving too costly and cumbersome. She said it would cost $16 billion to implement scanning measures at the nearly 700 ports worldwide that ship to the United States. Instead, the DHS relies on intelligence-gathering and analysis to identify "high-risk" containers, which are checked before being loaded onto ships. Under this system, fewer than half a percent of the roughly 10 million containers arriving at U.S. ports last year were scanned before departure. The DHS says that those checks turned up narcotics and other contraband but that there have been no public reports of smuggled nuclear material. In response to the 9/11 Commission, Congress passed a law in 2007 specifying that no cargo container may enter the United States before being scanned with imaging equipment and a radiation-detection device. The administration"s failure to meet the deadline has left some members of Congress and outside experts concerned about whether the threat is being taken seriously enough. "I personally do not believe they intend to comply with the law," Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-author of the 2007 law, said in an interview. "This is a real terrorist threat, and it has a solution. We can"t afford to wait until a catastrophic attack." The DHS says monitors scan 99 percent of the containers for radiation after they arrive at U.S. ports. But experts say the monitors at U.S. ports are not sophisticated enough to detect nuclear devices or highly enriched uranium, which emit low levels of radiation. The Government Accountability Office has warned that a nuclear device could be detonated while at a port " containers often sit for days awaiting radiation checks " causing billions of dollars in damage in addition to the loss of life. Estimates of damage caused by a nuclear detonation at a major port range from tens of billions of dollars to $1 trillion. Shipping containers are potentially ideal for smuggling weapons, people and other illicit cargo; ensuring the integrity of the contents is difficult and costly. The standard container is 40 feet long and 8 feet high and holds more than 30 tons of cargo. A large vessel carries 3,000 or more containers from hundreds of different shippers and many ports. And a single container can hold cargo from many customers. Counterterrorism experts have worried about port vulnerability since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the attacks, reportedly told interrogators he had considered sending explosives to the United States hidden inside a shipment of personal computers from Japan.
States, including North and South Carolina, changes in container security measures are of great concern in these communities.

__B__Major security risks are extremely high now at our ports.
Hahn 12 (Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Congressional Documents and Publications, May 9, 2012, "Congresswoman Laura Richardson Asks GAO to Examine Port Security Vulnerabilities"; Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) News Release,

Congresswoman Janice Hahn"s bill, H.R. 4005 "Gauging American Port Security Act" or Gaps Act, today successfully passed by a unanimous vote in the Homeland Security Committee. H.R. 4005 directs the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a comprehensive classified examination of remaining gaps in port Security and prepare a plan to address them. "Pretending a threat doesn"t exist does not make it go away," Rep. Hahn said. "The lesson of 9/11 is to be vigilant and proactive in seeking out and preventing our country"s most pressing threats. More than a decade after 9/11, our ports remain possible points of entry for terrorists and their weapons. Ports are also a key part of our economy. If an attack were ever to occur, it would cause a catastrophic loss of jobs and damage to our economic recovery. This situation requires a legislative solution and I hope that the resulting blueprint will guide Congress in creating effective legislation to help guard our ports." Ships make 50,000 calls a year on U.S. ports, carrying two billion tons of freight and 134 million passengers. Each day our ports move both imports and exports totaling some $3.8 billion worth of goods through all 50 states. Additionally, ports move 99.4 percent of overseas cargo volume by weight and generate $3.95 trillion in international trade. Unfortunately less than 3% of cargo coming into the country is scanned, giving terrorist opportunities to smuggle themselves or their weapons into the United States with little risk of detection. An attack on the Port of Los Angeles complex, for example, would cost billions to the regional economy and put thousands of port employees out of work and cause the demise of hundreds of local businesses.

Thus my partner Josh and I present the following plan
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its investment in radio frequency identification and related technology for port security

Our plan will be enforced through normal means.

The affirmative team reserves the right to fiat and define all terms. 

__A__An investment in Radio Frequency Identification will allow for improved security and efficiency.
Tsai 12-7-07 (Louis Tsai, Part of the University of California, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, "Container Tracking with RFID and Port Security", WINMEC,

Large-scale implementation of RFID into ports has not occurred yet. It is still in its early stages. Many trials and tests have been conducted at ports throughout the world. Benefits ranging from lower operating cost to higher efficiency of flow of goods have been experienced. RFID is able to provide reliable information at any time and be able to perform security tasks that would otherwise require many people and much time. An investment in RFID can, thus, serve two purposes: as a business accelerator in terms of supply chain efficiency, and as an enabler for improved security12.

B. Technology solves
Lukas, 4/8/2004 (Aaron, "Protection without Protectionism: Reconciling Trade and Homeland Security" Center for Trade Policy Studies CATO Trade Policy Analysis No 27.)

The future of trade security will rely heavily on technology. There will never be enough human inspectors to look into every cargo container, truck, and rail car. Cargo cannot be guarded 24 hours a day. Technology promises to bridge the manpower gap by enabling the continual monitoring and tracking of freight. The use of electronics is already prevalent in commercial shipping. Cameras observe storage and loading areas at factories, ports, and warehouses. Digital identification cards restrict access to sensitive areas and store digital information about employees, including photographs, and increasingly, biometric data. Information about a cargo container"s contents is electronically transmitted to Customs officials before the container is even loaded onto a ship. Ironically, the single most visible element of the trading system"the cargo container" remains stubbornly low-tech and notoriously insecure. Indeed, instructions on how to break into a shipping container in under two minutes are readily available on the Internet.73 Most container seals currently in use are designed to detect intrusion, not stop it. Yet even in that limited role, many container seals are easily defeated.

Advantage 1: terrorism
Al Qaida is targeting maritime transport
Goslin, 2012 (Charles Goslin, Vice President of International Operations for Duos Technologies, Inc. senior advisor to the Regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) in the U.S. Duos Technology Library "Maritime and Port Security White Paper" )

Global trade is dependent mainly on maritime transport. It is estimated that more than 46,000 vessels and 4,000 ports make up the world"s maritime transportation system. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated in 2001 that 5.8 billion tons of goods were traded by sea in 2001; more than 80 percent of the world"s trade. This fact alone makes maritime networks an attractive target of terrorists. Although it has been some time since Osama bin Laden has been seen, it is ominous that in one of his last video appearances in October 2004 he confirmed that his agenda remained primarily economic. While terrorists have in the past targeted land or aviation assets, experts believe that this could soon change to include shipping, port, coastal facilities, and container/container yards are increasingly vulnerable because secondary emphasis has been placed on hardening these assets due to the urgent need to address threats to aviation facilities and transportation. Intelligence officials have identified cargo freighters they believe are controlled by Al Qaida, which could be used by the terrorist network or its affiliates to ferry operatives, explosive components, cash or commodities on the high seas. One example is a well-dressed middle-eastern man discovered by Italian police who had hidden himself in a cargo container destined for the U.S. He was equipped with a bed, toilet, water supply, satellite phone, laptop computer, cameras and maps. He also had security passes to various airports in the U.S.

RFID"s take away the risk of terrorist accessing ports
IBM 2006 (International Business Machines Corporation, written September 28th, 2006,, accessed September 10th, 2012, AL)
In a volatile environment, such as an oil refinery or gas facility, disaster is just a split-second away. Whether natural or manmade, the first priority is always employee safety. An RFID system can offer instant identification and an accurate headcount of evacuated employees. And with the possibility of terrorist attack, tracking people in and around sensitive areas of the facility is critical to protecting people and assets alike. RFID transponders can help guide rescue teams to injured or trapped employees. Control systems can authorize or de-authorize individuals or vehicles for different areas of the plant, with real-time alerts for violation of rules. Tracking systems offer frame-by-frame instant replay of past events for post analysis. In addition to locating people, RFID allows instant identification of high-value equipment and strategic production materials

C. Terrorists very likely and would most likely use container ships to smuggle weapons
Konkel, 2005, (Todd Konkel- professor Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University) "Container Security: Preventing a Nuclear Catastrophe", International Policy Solutions,

This nation faces a potentially greater threat, however, from a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) making its way into the U.S. in one of the thousands of cargo containers that enter this country every day. In June 2004, the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation issued a memo reflecting this view: "Despite the importance of seaport security, perhaps no other mode of transportation is currently more vulnerable to future attacks than our Nation"s Marine Transportation System."1 Although a future attack involving a chemical or biological WMD could have tragic consequences, a nuclear weapon, which could cause hundreds of thousands of deaths in an instant, presents the most concerning threat. In Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, Harvard professor Graham Allison shares a brief but revealing excerpt from a private conversation that took place with former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge in February 2004. When asked what worried him most, Secretary Ridge replied with a single word: "nuclear."2 Later in his book, Allison states that a nuclear weapon used by terrorists in an attack on the United States "is far more likely to arrive in a cargo container than on the tip of a missile."3 The threat of a nuclear attack involving a seaborne container lies at the nexus of two critically important security issues: the availability of nuclear materials and the vulnerability of cargo containers. Although the U.S. government has taken a number of steps in the past few years to secure nuclear materials and improve the security of the 2 country"s ports, the threat of a nuclear weapon entering the United States undetected in a shipping container remains very real. Much additional work, including international standards for container security and expanded international cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear materials, is necessary to prevent a catastrophe that could dwarf the tragedy of 9/11.

And, A port attack collapses global free trade " our internal link outweighs " 3 week timeframe
Flynn 03 (Stephen, Nat"l Sec Studies, "The Fragile state of container security," testimony before the senate, March 20

A year later I joined with former senators Warren Rudman and Gary Hart in preparing our report, "America: Still Unprepared"Still In Danger." We observed that "nineteen men wielding box-cutters forced the United States to do to itself what no adversary could ever accomplish: a successful blockade of the U.S. economy. If a surprise terrorist attack were to happen tomorrow involving the sea, rail, or truck transportation systems that carry millions of tons of trade to the United States each day, the response would likely be the same"a self-imposed global embargo." Based on that analysis, we identified as second of the six critical mandates that deserve the nation"s immediate attention: "Make trade security a global priority; the system for moving goods affordably and reliably around the world is ripe for exploitation and vulnerable to mass disruption by terrorists." This is why the topic of today"s hearing is so important. The stakes are enormous. U.S. prosperity"and much of its power"relies on its ready access to global markets. Both the scale and pace at which goods move between markets has exploded in recent years thanks in no small part to the invention and proliferation of the intermodal container. These ubiquitous boxes"most come in the 40"x8"x8" size"have transformed the transfer of cargo from a truck, train, and ship into the transportation equivalent of connecting Lego blocks. The result has been to increasingly diminish the role of distance for a supplier or a consumer as a constraint in the world marketplace. Ninety percent of the world"s freight now moves in a container. Companies like Wal-Mart and General Motors move up to 30 tons of merchandise or parts across the vast Pacific Ocean from Asia to the West Coast for about $1600. The transatlantic trip runs just over a $1000"which makes the postage stamp seem a bit overpriced. But the system that underpins the incredibly efficient, reliable, and affordable movement of global freight has one glaring shortcoming in the post-9-11 world"it was built without credible safeguards to prevent it from being exploited or targeted by terrorists and criminals. Prior to September 11, 2001, virtually anyone in the world could arrange with an international shipper or carrier to have an empty intermodal container delivered to their home or workplace. They then could load it with tons of material, declare in only the most general terms what the contents were, "seal" it with a 50-cent lead tag, and send it on its way to any city and town in the United States. The job of transportation providers was to move the box as expeditiously as possible. Exercising any care to ensure that the integrity of a container"s contents was not compromised may have been a commercial practice, but it was not a requirement. The responsibility for making sure that goods loaded in a box were legitimate and authorized was shouldered almost exclusively by the importing jurisdiction. But as the volume of containerized cargo grew exponentially, the number of agents assigned to police that cargo stayed flat or even declined among most trading nations. The rule of thumb in the inspection business is that it takes five agents three hours to conduct a thorough physical examination of a single full intermodal container. Last year nearly 20 million containers washed across America"s borders via a ship, train, and truck. Frontline agencies had only enough inspectors and equipment to examine between 1-2 percent of that cargo. Thus, for would-be terrorists, the global intermodal container system that is responsible for moving the overwhelming majority of the world"s freight satisfies the age-old criteria of opportunity and motive. "Opportunity" flows from (1) the almost complete absence of any security oversight in the loading and transporting of a box from its point of origin to its final destination, and (2) the fact that growing volume and velocity at which containers move around the planet create a daunting "needle-in-the-haystack" problem for inspectors. "Motive" is derived from the role that the container now plays in underpinning global supply chains and the likely response by the U.S. government to an attack involving a container. Based on statements by the key officials at U.S. Customs, the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Transportation, should a container be used as a "poor man"s missile," the shipment of all containerized cargo into our ports and across our borders would be halted. As a consequence, a modest investment by a terrorist could yield billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy by shutting down"even temporarily"the system that moves "just-in-time" shipments of parts and goods. Given the current state of container security, it is hard to imagine how a post-event lock-down on container shipments could be either prevented or short-lived. One thing we should have learned from the 9-11 attacks involving passenger airliners, the follow-on anthrax attacks, and even last fall Washington sniper spree is that terrorist incidents pose a special challenge for public officials. In the case of most disasters, the reaction by the general public is almost always to assume the event is an isolated one. Even if the post-mortem provides evidence of a systemic vulnerability, it often takes a good deal of effort to mobilize a public policy response to redress it. But just the opposite happens in the event of a terrorist attack"especially one involving catastrophic consequences. When these attacks take place, the assumption by the general public is almost always to presume a general vulnerability unless there is proof to the contrary. Government officials have to confront head-on this loss of public confidence by marshalling evidence that they have a credible means to manage the risk highlighted by the terrorist incident. In the interim as recent events have shown, people will refuse to fly, open their mail, or even leave their homes. If a terrorist were to use a container as a weapon-delivery devise, the easiest choice would be high-explosives such as those used in the attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Some form of chemical weapon, perhaps even involving hazardous materials, is another likely scenario. A bio-weapon is a less attractive choice for a terrorist because of the challenge of dispersing the agent in a sufficiently concentrated form beyond the area where the explosive devise goes off. A "dirty bomb" is the more likely threat vs. a nuclear weapon, but all these scenarios are conceivable since the choice of a weapon would not be constrained by any security measures currently in place in our seaports or within the intermodal transportation industry. This is why a terrorist attack involving a cargo container could cause such profound economic disruption. An incident triggered by even a conventional weapon going off in a box could result in a substantial loss of life. In the immediate aftermath, the general public will want reassurance that one of the many other thousands of containers arriving on any given day will not pose a similar risk. The President of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other keys officials responsible for the security of the nation would have to stand before a traumatized and likely skeptical American people and outline the measures they have in place to prevent another such attack. In the absence of a convincing security framework to manage the risk of another incident, the public would likely insist that all containerized cargo be stopped until adequate safeguards are in place. Even with the most focused effort, constructing that framework from scratch could take months"even years. Yet, within three weeks, the entire worldwide intermodal transportation industry would effectively be brought to its knees"as would much of the freight movements that make up international trade.

____ Economic collapse leads to Global nuclear war

Bearden 2k (Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, ET
Bluntly, we foresee these factors - and others { } not covered - converging to a catastrophic collapse of the world economy in about eight years. As the collapse of the Western economies nears, one may expect catastrophic stress on the 160 developing nations as the developed nations are forced to dramatically curtail orders. International Strategic Threat Aspects History bears out that desperate nations take desperate actions. Prior to the final economic collapse, the stress on nations will have increased the intensity and number of their conflicts, to the point where the arsenals of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) now possessed by some 25 nations, are almost certain to be released. As an example, suppose a starving North Korea launches nuclear weapons upon Japan and South Korea, including U.S. forces there, in a spasmodic suicidal response. Or suppose a desperate China - whose long range nuclear missiles can reach the United States - attacks Taiwan. In addition to immediate responses, the mutual treaties involved in such scenarios will quickly draw other nations into the conflict, escalating it significantly. Strategic nuclear studies have shown for decades that, under such extreme stress conditions, once a few nukes are launched, adversaries and potential adversaries are then compelled to launch on perception of preparations by one's adversary. The real legacy of the MAD concept is his side of the MAD coin that is almost never discussed. Without effective defense, the only chance a nation has to survive at all, is to launch immediate full-bore pre-emptive strikes and try to take out its perceived foes as rapidly and massively as possible. As the studies showed, rapid escalation to full WMD exchange occurs, with a great percent of the WMD arsenals being unleashed . The resulting great Armageddon will destroy civilization as we know it, and perhaps most of the biosphere, at least for many decades.

_____Nuclear war causes the earth to explode

CHALKO 2003 (Dr. Tom J., MSc., Ph.D., Head of Geophysics Research, Scientific E Research P/L, "Can a Neutron Bomb Accelerate Global Volcanic Activity?"

Consequences of using modern nuclear weapons can be far more serious than previously imagined. These consequences relate to the fact that most of the heat generated in the planetary interior is a result of nuclear decay. Over the last few decades, all superpowers have been developing so-called "neutron bombs". These bombs are designed to emit intensive neutron radiation while creating relatively little local mechanical damage. Military are very keen to use neutron bombs in combat, because lethal neutron radiation can peneterate even the largest and deepest bunkers. However, the military seem to ignore the fact that a neutron radiation is capable to reach significant depths in the planetary interior. In the process of passing through the planet and losing its intensity, a neutron beam stimulates nuclei of radioactive isotopes naturally present inside the planet to disintegrate. This disintegration in turn, generates more neutron and other radiation. The entire process causes increased nuclear heat generation in the planetary interior, far greater than the initial energy of the bomb. It typically takes many days or even weeks for this extra heat to conduct/convect to the surface of the planet and cause increased seismic/volcanic activity. Due to this variable delay, nuclear tests are not currently associated with seismic/volcanic activity, simply because it is believed that there is no theoretical basis for such an association. Perhaps you heard that after every major series of nuclear test there is always a period of increased seismic activity in some part of the world. This observable fact CANNOT be explained by direct energy of the explosion. The mechanism of neutron radiation accelerating decay of radioactive isotopes in the planetary interior, however, is a VERY PLAUSIBLE and realistic explanation. The process of accelerating volcanic activity is nuclear in essence. Accelerated decay of unstable radioactive isotopes already present in the planetary interior provides the necessary energy. The TRUE danger of modern nuclear weaponry is that their neutron radiation is capable to induce global overheating of the planetary interior, global volcanic activity and, in extreme circumstances, may even cause the entire planet to explode.
Debate Round No. 1


(Attacking the Aff"s Round 1)

Contention 1: Inherency

a. My opponent said that ports are lacking security now. My answer is that
Risks are decreasing, alternative transportation methods solve, catastrophic impacts are empirically denied
Edward E. Leamer and Christopher Thornberg, professor of statistics at UCLA and senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast, 2006 (UCLA Anderson Forecast, Protecting the Nation"s Seaports: Balancing Security and Costs,
Although the United States is considerably more trade-dependent today than in earlier periods, this potential vulnerability is offset by a number of factors.One is the shift from ship to aircraft for delivery of many high-value, time-sensitive goods, particularly on the export side. Second, countermeasures to a terrorist strike, such as increased inspections of containers, may be more onerous for imports coming from uncertain ports than for exports packaged in the United States. And although a widespread labor action would stop most maritime trade completely, a terrorist strike would only slow trade rather than stop it. When added together, these factors mean that the disruption to the flow of goods as a result of a current terrorist attack could be roughly similar in size to the effect of a major port strike in the 1960s. Therefore, we feel that these historic labor actions correspond closely enough to the kind of port disruption that a terrorist attack might bring to tell us a lot about the probable effect on the national economy of a terrorist attack on the ports. We will show how these labor actions are visible in the import data and export data of the period. In all cases, there was a small increase in import volume before these actions, a drop in volume during the action, and a large surge in import volume after the dispute was settled. Because of the size of that postdisruption volume surge, the overall loss of trade during a labor action was very small and in some cases nonexistent

b.My opponent claims that ships can be used for smuggling; my answer is that his plan, which calls for RFID tech, doesn"t actually solve for the given harm.
Jon D. Haveman and Howard J. Shatz, Public Policy Institute of California, 2006
(Protecting the Nation"s Seaports: Balancing Security and Costs,
There is no way to completely inspect all of the millions of containers entering the United States. They are about as large as a full- size moving van and are often tightly packed. Inspecting each thoroughly would bring commerce to a halt, exactly the kind of reaction that terrorists hope to generate.

Contention II: Solvency

a.Explosives can be divided, making detection impossible
Lt. Morgan James et al, Naval Postgraduate School, 2007 (Port Security Strategy 2012,
The first scenario considers an individual or group with the purpose to cause maximum destruction to the port facility and the in-port ship. One way to achieve this goal is to break up the explosive weapons into various parts carried by different shipments into the port. The insider would coordinate the different shipment of weapons by selecting a shipment that is less likely to be marked for inspection. It is difficult to detect any possible existence of weapons since most components can be mixed with other legitimate items such as electronics, machinery and raw manufacturing materials. Alternatively, the random check conducted can also be exploited. Assembly of the weapons would be done by the insider(s) disguised as workers of the port (e.g. machinery operators, dock workers etc). Detonation of explosives would be coordinated in conjunction with the docking of a ship. The explosives could be installed near the bay and cargo landing areas (near to the fuel tanks of the ship). The attack potentially could generate enough fuel explosives to cause substantial destruction to the port

b. Detection doesn"t solve for direct attacks with ships
Lt. Morgan James et al, Naval Postgraduate School, 2007 (Port Security Strategy 2012,
The first scenario considered small boat attacks on ports. Small boats loaded with explosives can penetrate the waterside of the port and detonate in the port vicinity. This action would cause damage to the ports" systems and equipment and disrupt the normal operations of the port. From the military point of view, a small boat attack would elevate the force protection level of the ship. It would also create psychological effects within the U.S. populace and generate retaliatory outcries. The USS COLE (DDG 67) attack in Yemen in October 2000 and French tanker Limburg"s attack in October 2002 demonstrated the potential major threat from the explosive-laden boats.

Advantage 1 : Terrorism

Al Qaeda no longer capable of large scale attacks
Brian Michael Jenkins, senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation, 2011 (The Long Shadow of 9/11: America"s Response to Terrorism, Ed. Bruce Michael Jenkins and Paul Hodges, p. 4)
There is consensus in this volume that the United States has accomplished a great deal in the past ten years. Al Qaeda"s capacity for centrally directed, large-scale terrorist operations has been greatly reduced, if not eliminated entirely.

The risk of nuclear terrorism is low " it is too expensive for terrorist organizationsJohn Mueller, department of political science at Ohio State University, 2008 (1/1/2008, The Atomic Terrorist, p.
Assessing the financial costs. The discussion so far has neglected to consider the financial costs of the extended operation in all its culminating, or cascading, entirely, but these could easily become monumental. There would be expensive equipment to buy, smuggle, and set up, and people to pay--or pay off. Some operatives might work for free out of utter dedication to The Cause, but the vast conspiracy requires in addition the subversion of a considerable array of criminals and opportunists, each of whom has every incentive to push the price for cooperation as high as possible. Alarmists Zimmerman and Lewis (2006) suggest the entire caper could be pulled off for $10 million. The conspirators would be lucky to buy off three people with such a paltry sum. Moreover, the terrorists would be required to expose their ultimate goals to at least some of the corrupted, and at that point (if not earlier) they would become potential extortion victims. They could not afford to abandon unreliable people who know their goals (though they could attempt to kill them), and such people would now enjoy essentially monopoly powers ever to escalate their price. The cost of the operation in bribes alone could easily become ten times the sum suggested by Zimmerman and Lewis. And even at that, there would be, of course, a considerable riskthat those so purchased would, at an exquisitely opportune moment of their choosing, decide to take the money and run--perhaps to the authorities representing desperate governments with essentially bottomless bankrolls and an overwhelming incentive.

No nuclear terror " terrorists cant acquire, build, or deliver a bomb
Steve Chapman, reporter and editorial writer for Chicago Tribune, 2012 (RealClearPolitics, "The Implausibility of Nuclear Terrorism",
But remember: After Sept. 11, 2001, we all thought more attacks were a certainty. Yet al-Qaida and its ideological kin have proved unable to mount a second strike. Given their inability to do something simple -- say, shoot up a shopping mall or set off a truck bomb -- it's reasonable to ask if they have a chance at something much more ambitious. Far from being plausible, argued Ohio State University professor John Mueller in a recent presentation at the University of Chicago, "the likelihood that a terrorist group will come up with an atomic bomb seems to be vanishingly small." The events required to make that happen comprise a multitude of Herculean tasks. First, a terrorist group has to get a bomb or fissile material, perhaps from Russia's inventory of decommissioned warheads. If that were easy, one would have already gone missing. Besides, those devices are probably no longer a danger, since weapons that are not scrupulously maintained (as those have not been) quickly become what one expert calls "radioactive scrap metal." If terrorists were able to steal a Pakistani bomb, they would still have to defeat the arming codes and other safeguards designed to prevent unauthorized use. As for Iran, no nuclear state has ever given a bomb to an ally -- for reasons even the Iranians can grasp. Stealing some 100 pounds of bomb fuel would require help from rogue individuals inside some government who are prepared to jeopardize their own lives. The terrorists, notes Mueller, would then have to spirit it "hundreds of miles out of the country over unfamiliar terrain, and probably while being pursued by security forces." Then comes the task of building a bomb. It's not something you can gin up with spare parts and power tools in your garage. It requires millions of dollars, a safe haven and advanced equipment -- plus people with specialized skills, lots of time and a willingness to die for the cause. And if al-Qaida could make a prototype, another obstacle would emerge: There is no guarantee it would work, and there is no way to test it. Assuming the jihadists vault over those Himalayas, they would have to deliver the weapon onto American soil. Sure, drug smugglers bring in contraband all the time -- but seeking their help would confront the plotters with possible exposure or extortion. This, like every other step in the entire process, means expanding the circle of people who know what's going on, multiplying the chance someone will blab, back out or screw up.

(My own case)

T - Topicality

A. The Interpretation

a. Investment - the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value. The word implies the expectation of profit or return.

b. Infrastructure - the basic, underlying framework or features of a system or organization.

c. Transportation Infrastructure is the underlying structure that allows for the movement of goods and people.
Trimbath 9 (Dr. Susanne, Senior Research Economist in Capital Market Studies at Milken Institute, Senior Advisor " United States Chamber of Commerce, and Professor of Economics and Accounting " Bellvue University, "Transportation Infrastructure: Paving the Way", e/files/2009TPI_Update_Economics_White_Paper_110712.pdf)
The strategy applied by the US Chamber of Commerce for the infrastructure performance index project presents a model for developing the way forward. A stakeholder-centric approach allows you to measure the right things, communicate to the people in a language they understand and get to ACTION faster. The process, detailed in the Technical Report last summer (US Chamber 2010), is basically this: 1. Clearly define "transportation infrastructure" as the underlying structures that support the delivery of inputs to places of production, goods and services to customers, and customers to marketplaces. The structures are: - Transit - Highways - Airports - Railways - Waterways (Ports) - Intermodal Links

B. Violation

a. Port Security isn"t actually transportation infrastructure
Jon D. Haveman and Howard J. Shatz, Public Policy Institute of California, 2006
(Protecting the Nation"s Seaports: Balancing Security and Costs,
There is no way to completely inspect all of the millions of containers entering the United States. They are about as large as a full- size moving van and are often tightly packed. Inspecting each thoroughly would bring commerce to a halt, exactly the kind of reaction that terrorists hope to generate. Given the difficulties of complete inspection, defense needs to be layered, with checks at multiple stages on a container"s journey. Even if a check at one stage has a low probability of uncovering a problem, multiple checks throughout the supply chain raise that probability a great deal. Such a layered defense can be divided into five areas: (1) intelligence"gaining information about which containers might be risky, (2) information about contents"having shippers notify authorities about the goods they are shipping, (3) procedural uniformity"creating standard procedures regarding packing and moving goods so that anomalies will be seen more easily, (4) limiting access"enforcing greater control over who may come near containers and ports, and (5) technology"the development of new inspection and tracking technologies.

b. Not all sorts of spending equates to investment, only capital expenditure is topical and requires new projects
Becker "8 (Werner, Deutsche Bank Research, et al., "Improving the Quality of Public Finances " The Road Ahead", 2-5,
With regard to the effects of public spending on growth, a distinction is traditionally made between current government consumption expenditure (on, say, the compensation of government employees) and capital expenditure geared to the future (on infrastructural projects such as transport, utility supply and communications systems). Government consumption spending is frequently generalised as unproductive, whereas public capital expenditure is regularly labelled as growth-enhancing investment in the future. When assessing the growth effects of public spending, however, this simplistic approach needs reexamining. There are some kinds of public spending that, while reported as capital expenditure, do not count as productive investment in the economic sense. Empirical surveys show that substantial growth effects can normally be expected only from infrastructure investment. But over the past 25 years this has accounted for a mere quarter to a third of total government investment.13 Ultimately, the simple equation "more public investment equals more growth" has been undermined in Germany by the very broad interpretation of the debt rule in Article 115 of the Basic Law.14 Although the rule stipulates that net new borrowing by the Federal government must not exceed public investment expenditure, in many years the government has departed from this principle " most recently in each of the years from 2002 to 2006 ", taking as its justification the disturbance in macroeconomic equilibrium. Public spending and public debt rose, but in most cases growth remained anaemic. A problem here is the relatively broad definition of public investment.

c.Plan is monitoring transportation infrastructure, not infrastructure itself.
USDOT RITA 2012 (US Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration, March 28 EM05-Transportation Infrastructure Protection
Thisservice package includes the monitoring of transportation infrastructure (e.g., bridges, tunnels and management centers) for potential threats using sensors and surveillance equipment and barrier and safeguard systems to control access, preclude an incident, and mitigate the impact of an incident if it occurs. Threats can result from acts of nature (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes), terrorist attacks or other incidents causing damage to the infrastructure (e.g., stray barge hitting a bridge support). Infrastructure may be monitored with acoustic, environmental threat (such as nuclear, biological, chemical, and explosives), infrastructure condition and integrity, motion and object sensors and video and audio surveillance equipment. Data from such sensors and surveillance equipment may be processed in the field or sent to a center for processing. The data enables operators at the center to detect and verify threats. When a threat is detected, agencies are notified. Detected threats or advisories received from other agencies result in an increased level of system preparedness. In response to threats, barrier and safeguard systems may be activated by Traffic Management Subsystems to deter an incident, control access to an area or mitigate the impact of an incident. Barrier systems include gates, barriers and other automated and remotely controlled systems that manage entry to transportation infrastructure. Safeguard systems include blast shields, exhaust systems and other automated and remotely controlled systems that mitigate impact of an incident.

C. Standards

a. My definitions were given in the first round, and the rules demand that they be in place for this debate. The aff, by accepting the debate, has acknowledged the definitions and their place in this debate.

b. Fairness - Allowing the aff to run any plan including security measures would create an unbearable burden on the neg, because the topic would no longer be limited. Such a debate would eliminate clash and take away from the educational value it has. My definitions limit such a scenario.

D. Voters

a. Fairness - It isn"t fair for the aff to be able to run any case they wish or debate a non-topical case.

b. Education - The educational factor of this debate is lowered if the case is allowed through. By voting against them, you warn them of future consequences.

c. Jurisdiction - Judge isn"t allowed to vote on cases that are outside the parameters of the debate. They can only vote for aff cases that actually affirm the resolution.


Roadmap. Inherency/ Solvency, Advantage 1, T
1st off I'll go over the cost of this system.
Inherency/ Solvency
___a__RFID system costs $12 billion.
RFID Journal 12 (RFID, written March 3rd, 2012,, accessed September 13, 2012, AL)
The cost of middleware varies from vendor to vendor and is usually based on the number of locations where it will be installed, the complexity of the application and many other factors. Forrester Research put the cost of middleware at $183,000 for a $12 billion manufacturer looking to meet the RFID tagging requirements of a major retailer
_b__Funding will come through the TIFIA
Nado 12 (Emmanuel Nado, NADO administer, written August 2nd, 2012,, accessed September 17th, 2012, AL)
On July 27, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the availability of up to $17 billion in Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans for critical infrastructure projects across the country. These funds were made available through the recently passed surface transportation reauthorization bill, MAP-21 (P. L. 112-141), which provided $1.7 billion in capital over two years for the TIFIA credit assistance program. Each dollar of federal funds can provide roughly $10 in TIFIA credit assistance, bringing the total to $17 billion. USDOT encourages states and cities across the country to begin submitting letters of interest for the TIFIA program which will provide direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to major infrastructure projects with the potential to create jobs and spur economic development and growth.
__c__The consequences of delay are catastrophic"terrorists plotting massive devastation

Calvan 12"Boston Globe Writer [Bobby Caina, "US to Miss Target for Tighter Port Security: Cargo Screening Put Off to 2014," Web, 6/12/12, Boston Globe, Proquest, 6/20/12]

Critics say the consequences of delay could be catastrophic. Terrorists have long sought to obtain uranium or plutonium to construct a nuclear bomb, global security analysts say. Government officials, including President Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, have worried that terrorist cells could be plotting further devastation in the United States, perhaps through radioactive explosives called "dirty bombs."
A. Interpertation
My opponet states what investment is and as my cards state this round that I am clearly investing, and for infranstructure.
Transportation infrastructure investment includes public transit, travel programs, road projects, programs that reduce environmental impacts, and disaster resilience projects
Arup, 2/9/9, multidisciplinary organization, independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists, "New Arup paper says "transformational" infrastructure a key to economic turnaround,"
Arup"s choices for transportation infrastructure projects that would meet the transformational criteria include: " Public transit projects that are properly located and have adequately funded operations, that offer convenience, that support urban revitalization, and reduce per-capita carbon emissions. " Projects providing for walking and bicycle use that support compact development and non-polluting travel modes. " Roadway projects that increase "location efficiency", an emerging concept that recognizes the benefits of better connecting people and goods to their destinations. " Sustainable project components and operational practices that reduce adverse impacts to air quality, water quality, and provide ecological value and energy savings. " Corridor efficiencies that convert single-use facilities to multi-use corridors for transporting people, goods, services, utilities and waste. " Disaster resilience projects that would harden our transportation systems against threats of all kinds.

Enhancement is topical
DeLauro 11 (U.S. Representative, Legislation to Create a National Infrastructure Development Bank, H.R. 402, 1-24,

(25) TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT."The term ""transportation infrastructure project"" means any project for the construction, maintenance, or enhancement of highways, roads, bridges, transit and intermodal systems, inland waterways, commercial ports, airports, high speed rail and freight rail systems.
2. Standards- You should refur my definition over his, because mine is from the government vs. his that is from people with Ph.Ds.
3. Fairness- I've given the Neg. plenty of room to play with this, as a matter of fact he even had cards on it, so he knows it's topical. As a matter of fact it's even topical when it comes to the debate coaches.
Voters- This isn't hurting our education, because the Neg. was ready to debate me on this issue. Not only that but the Affirmative team claims RVI (reverse voting issue), it's when the negative team runs and loses T so in result the Aff. automaticly wins and if Topicality is so important then why didn't he bring it up first.

Advantage 1 
1.Radioactive materials going missing now
Goodspeed, March 24, 2012,(Peter Goodspeed, reporter for National Post, "Peter Goodspeed: Ongoing nuclear threat looms over Seoul summit", National Post,
"In the United States, a radioactive source is lost, stolen or missing about once a day," said Charles Ferguson, current president of the Federation of American Scientists. Khammar Mrabit, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency"s Office of Nuclear Security, said he investigates roughly 200 incidents of improperly secured nuclear material each year. "The threat of malicious radiological attack is quite real, quite serious and deserves a vigorous response," Mr. Kelly warned 10 years ago in the aftermath of Sept. 11. "We must face the brutal reality that no technological remedies can provide complete confidence that we are safe," he said. "Determined malicious groups might still find a way to use radiological weapons when their only goal is killing innocent people."

Terrorists want to attack our ports and will continue to in the future
Niyazi Onur Bakir, postdoctoral research associate at University of Southern California Center for Homeland Security, 1-1-2007, "A Brief Analysis of Threats and Vulnerabilities in the Maritime Domain" CREATE Research Archive, //eR
Besides Al-Qaeda, some other organizations are believed to harbor intentions to launch seaborne attacks that target United States and its allies. In Southeast Asia, where piracy is rampant, Jemaah Islamiya (JI), Lashkar Jundullah (LJ), and Kampulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) are among the active terrorist organizations that could potentially direct their attention to maritime terrorism. Elsewhere, as mentioned in the previous section, Al-
Debate Round No. 2


Well, this debate is postponed until next week.


lannan13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


vmpire321 forfeited this round.


Vote tie.
Debate Round No. 4


vmpire321 forfeited this round.


All points extended please keep this a tie, but tell us who you thought would've won in the comments.
Debate Round No. 5
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by lannan13 5 years ago
tie this debate and do a redo?
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
so you won't be back till monday?
Posted by lannan13 5 years ago
I forgot about thanksgivin' break, I won't be able to access a computer, so could we call it a tie and re do the debate after I come back on Monday.
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
alright then, I won't post until tomorrow so hopefully you can get some time on it during monday
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
It's school blocking of websites. I have the same thing at my school for school wifi access. I don't know why they would block google docs, but it's not my school.
Posted by lannan13 5 years ago
I know it's crazy, but it's school rules
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
is it me or does that not make sense?
Posted by lannan13 5 years ago
School says then some #'s says it's blocked and only THS staff can access.
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago

can u access it?
No votes have been placed for this debate.