The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

President Obama's plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United States' best interest.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,490 times Debate No: 10734
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)




Thank you for the oppertunity to debate--

Resolved: President Obama's plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United States' best interest.
We offer the following clarifications to the resolution:
1)We define best interest as a regard for one's benefit from the Princeton Dictionary. Therefore, the burden on the Affirmative is that Obama's plan for increasing troops is benefiting the United States in some way.
2)Obama's plan includes the following logistics according to Bennis Phyllis from the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.
•30,000 troops will be sent to Afghanistan and in July of 2011, the U.S. will begin to transfer our forces out of Afghanistan
•The U.S. will combat corruption in the Afghan government
•The U.S. goals are to deny Al Qaeda a safe haven, reverse the Taliban's momentum, and strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces.
•Work with the Pakistanian government
There are 4 reasons why Obama's plan for increasing troops is a benefit to the United States.
Point 1 (Obama's plan solves): President Obama's plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan solves the conflict in three ways. According to Michael O' Hanlon Senior fellow at the Brookings institution, President Obama's troop increase trains Afghan Forces, Neutralizes Taliban Sanctuaries, and supervises unofficial armed groups. Obama's plan partners with Afghan and NATO units, creating a "sister-unit" to build up Afghan security forces to be larger and more effective. Afghan security forces will reach 240,000 soldiers and 160,000 police. Obama's plan then seeks to use these forces to neutralize Taliban safe havens. NATO forces will establish joint stations with Afghans to consolidate areas of security and control. Furthermore, Obama's plan includes an integration of militia armies that are rapidly spreading in areas of conflict. According to the New York Times, "American and Afghan officials have begun helping a number of anti-Taliban militias that have independently taken up arms against insurgents in several parts of Afghanistan, prompting hopes of a large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban. The emergence of the militias, which took some leaders in Kabul by surprise … there are hundreds of Afghans who are acting on their own against the Taliban, officials say…" Clearly, the consolidation of security forces along with inclusion of afghan militia armies are a solution to the conflict - thus a benefit to the U.S.
Point 2 (Counterinsurgency): The second main reason why Obama's plan can solve this issue is because he is changing the status quo. Obama's strategy is based on counterinsurgency tactics - the importance of encouraging legitimate and effective indigenous governments and security forces. (RAND Institute). Obama's plan already tackles the encouragement of security forces as shown in Point 1, and it includes a plan to eliminate corruption in the Afghan government. According to the NY Times, "Obama is making tougher demands on the Afghan government to change… pressed him (Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai) on the need to combat the corruption and drug trafficking". Obama is also accomplishing this through withholding aid to create leverage over the Afghan government.
Point 3 (Foreign Policy): The third benefit to the U.S. is to our Foreign Policy – both with our allies and our enemies. Our allies NATO are supporting our effort by supplying 42,000 troops deployed in crucial areas such as the Hindu Kush mountain region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our enemies however, are gaining more and more influence over the region. According to the American Enterprise Institute, Iran has actively increased its influence in Afghanistan over the past several years. "Tehran increasingly attempts to undermine Afghanistan's relationship with the U.S. and fracture Kabul and Washington's joint commitment to stabilizing Afghanistan, lobbying publicly for a withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. " Clearly, to combat an increasing force the U.S. needs to increase its forces as well.
Point 4 (Terrorism): The alternatives to the troop increase are an overall global safety issue. Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute writes with an "Absent stable government and a more capable Afghan National Army, the Taliban will fill the vacuum as they did from 1994 to 2001." Moreover, the Taliban forces will control Pakistan bringing forth even greater implications. Afghanistan has already controlled the Buner district just 60 miles away from Islamabad in April of 2009. Furthermore, with a weak central government the Taliban has potential access to Pakistani Nuclear weapons 100 of them causing an enormous global concern. Clearly, the alternatives to a troop surge are not benefits to the United States.

We have shown Obama's troop increase has the following benefits:
1)The methods to solve the conflict with joint support from NATO, the U.S. and the Afghans, along with a counterinsurgency tactic.
2)Foreign Policy benefits
3)The alternatives of a global security crisis can be solved through a troop increase
For the above mentioned reasons, I urge you to affirm the resolution.


== Introduction ==

My opponent has allotted for just 30 minutes of time to post each debate round. As such, I am going to include 7 arguments for my position in the first round, most of which address and combat all of Pro's R1 contentions. I suspect that since there is only 30 minutes to prepare each argument, that Pro will wind up forfeiting a least 1 of the next 2 rounds of debate. So, if there's anything else I'd like to say in the next round (ie. specic responses to everything Pro says) then I will continue my rebuttal there. I guess we'll see what happens. Good luck, Pro.

== Argument 1 ==

Not increasing troops doesn't necessarily mean pulling out of Afghanistan prematurely. It simply means not ADDING more, thus saving lives and money. I propose that one alternative to the resolution is keeping the number of troops in Afghanistan to accomplish certain goals the same as it is now.

== Argument 2 ==

Increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan cannot bring success in a reasonable time frame. The U.S. must narrow their objectives. As Jeffrey Simpson said, Afghanistan has a deep rooted history of warlords, intimidation, bribery and decentralization. He also notes that in regard to cutting off the insurgents' supplies of money, how does this get done when the sources are in Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf, Pakistan and the poppy fields of the south? How do you patrol a Pakistan-Afghanistan border that is almost completely porous? [1] Increasing troops in Afghanistan is not the way to accomplish these goals.

== Argument 3 ==

One way to achieve success is not to increase our troops, but take a different war strategy - thwarting terrorists with targeted strikes (instead of increasing troops). George Will wrote in a September 1, 2009 editorial, "Americans should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent Special Forces units, concentrating on the porous, 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters." Similar to the ideology behind bombing Hiroshima during WWII, the idea here is to save American lives.

== Argument 4 ==

Another approach is to abandon violence all-together and look toward diplomacy. Ambassador Holbrooke should be engaging with the locals with the goal of achieving cooperation on addressing ongoing conflicts, strengthening civilian rule of law, and promoting economic development. These are all things that would empower Afghans and improve the conditions of their lives. Meanwhile, increasing troops only accomplishes targeting innocent Afghan civilians and tarnishing America's reputation. It also encourages the locals to support the Taliban rather than the U.S. While we may have good intentions, in the end they'd rather be ruled by fundamentalists than be dead.

== Argument 5 ==

As I've said, Afghanistan has a bad history and diplomacy does not always prevail, though greed does. Thus 'buying our enemies' out might be a successful way to actually win the war. "The central problem in Afghanistan is that the Pashtuns, who make up 45 percent of the country and almost 100 percent of the Taliban, do not feel empowered. We need to start talking to them, whether they are nominally Taliban or not. Buying, renting, or bribing Pashtun tribes should become the centerpiece of America's stabilization strategy, as it was Britain's when it ruled Afghanistan... if we make the right deals, it will be ruled by leaders who keep the country inhospitable to Al Qaeda and terrorist groups like it." [2]

== Argument 6 ==

More troops in Afghanistan will certainly be received with concern and anger in the Islamic world. This will make it more difficult for Western and Middle Eastern countries to work together toward mutual objectives, such as peace between Israel and Palestine [3].

== Argument 7 ==

Peter Navarro correctly points out that Afghanistan is now just one of many possible staging areas for al-Qaida. In fact, it is now much easier for al-Qaida's decentralized networks to conduct operations in numerous other places, with Algeria, Somalia, and Yemen emerging as the newest strongholds. Why aren't we invading them? [4]

== Conclusion ==

While Afghanistan poses somewhat of a threat to the US, there are other countries that are far more dangerous the lives and well-being of Americans, i.e. Mexico. The war in Afghanistan has already gone on 50% longer than America's involvement in two other world wars. Throughout history, many countries (like Britain) have tried to 'save' Afghanistan and have failed with military force. The best way to go about "winning" this war is via bribery and/or diplomacy as history suggests. If we DO use force, then increasing troops isn't the answer but narrowing our objectives and targeting hot spots using more technology and less human resources IS. Increasing troops in Afghanistan is only increasing Islamic hostility toward the U.S. and hurting our side (negating our objectives) and costing us far more resources than we can afford. Given the alternatives, increasing troops is NOT in the US's best interest.

Debate Round No. 1


CX_DX_PFunstuff forfeited this round.


== Introduction ==

As suspected, my opponent has forfeited the second round, and given the 30 minutes he has to post a third round, I suspect he will forfeit the last one too. However I wanted to take this time to address any specific arguments that Pro might have made in the previous round so as to ensure I've left nothing unrefuted.

== Re: Point 2 ==

While Point 1 discusses Obama's plan, Point 2 (counterinsurgency) explains why it's relevant and Pro points out that the main goal is to counter corruption in the Afghan government. However this ideal is countered by my Argument 5 in the last round, when I suggested that a feasible option to rule out corruption is to buy out people who can help us achieve our goals. Of course Pro has not refuted this proposed solution. Basically, the officials and leaders at the top are going to be persuaded by dollar signs - not bombs. From there, they can help train and encourage the Afghan police and other soldiers to work on behalf of Afghanistan and not give up hope, i.e. succumb to the terrorists.

== Re: Point 3 ==

Pro says that our foreign policy objectives will be helped with Obama's plan, though I suggest they will actually be hurt. The war is widely considered across the globe as, "A pointless conflict, maintained solely to spare politicians the embarrassment of admitting their blunder in getting us into it" [1]. Also, a poll conducted by BBC indicates that across the globe, there is more opposition to the war than support for the war [2].

== Point 4 ==

Pro says that increasing troops will make the world a safer place, but again I must disagree. So far 2009 has been the bloodiest year in Afghanistan (with the troop surges) taking more lives than any other year [3]. So how can there be an argument that this policy will save lives when in fact it has cost lives? The only argument Pro has put forth is that many American and Afghan lives have been lost thus far; however, that's simply because we're over there in the first place. Pro's plan calls for more lives lost - not less. Pro asserts that by sending more troops, it is more likely that the U.S. will win this war. However, increasing troops has only proven to upset the people in the region even more and even pushed them into supporting the Taliban [3].

== Argument 8 ==

I wanted to add an additional point for my side: cost. So far we have spent over 3.6 billion dollars in Afghanistan [4] while seeing no economic gains or returns. While it's tragic that 3,000 lives were lost on 9/11, an increase in troops only leads to more death - including American death - and we haven't seen any economic incentives to say the least seeing as how this war has only drained our economy.

Pro says that the cost of 9/11 is more than the cost of increasing troops. However, there is no reason to assume that 9/11 or something like it will ever happen again. The reason the 9/11 conspiracy was successful was because "federal, state, and local agencies responsible for basic security fell down on the job, failing to install even minimally adequate security measures in the nation's airports. The national-security apparatus wasn't paying attention "indeed, it ignored or downplayed all sorts of warning signs, not least of all Osama bin Laden's declaration of war against the United States" [5]. In other words, the so-called War on Terror and/or at least increased security and awareness by federal agencies devoted to securing our nation will be just as if not more effective at thwarting another 9/11-like attack as increasing troops in Afghanistan.

== Argument 9 ==

Further, I'll point out that we cannot use the argument that we have a moral obligation to help these people, as we don't see this excuse being used to involve us in conflicts of every third world country.There are other nations that are also experiencing extreme hardships and conflicts, and yet we're not sending troops all over.

Debate Round No. 2


CX_DX_PFunstuff forfeited this round.


== Re-cap / Conclusion ==

As expected, my opponent has forfeited the last 2 rounds and thus did not address any of my 9 presented arguments. However, I have countered all of Pro's points and then some. Also, Pro has not cited any sources whereas I have listed more than 10 reliable ones for the audience. Forfeited rounds and allotting for only 30 minute intervals between rounds is bad conduct. I encourage votes for the Con.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by EHS_Debate 8 years ago
ZKnecht. I'll debate you on this topic. I've already debated this a few times but I need the practice.

As for this debate. I believe PRO was trying to get a Neg Case.
Posted by Rockylightning 8 years ago
ITS LIKE THE ONE I DID With the lwerd! lol!
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
RFD: All points to Con for Pro's 2 forfeited rounds, only allowing 30 minutes to post rounds, not including links for sources, and because Pro couldn't refute Con's arguments or defend his.
Posted by KCtalent2012 8 years ago
This is the january public forum topic correct ?
Posted by ZKnecht 8 years ago
I would very much like to debate this topic with you, but is there any way you can set the time to post a response to more than 30 minutes? I'm busy most of today and won't be able to post any responses. If not, would you allow me to set up my own debate and invite you to it, same sides and everything?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Danielle 8 years ago
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