The Instigator
BigBird
Pro (for)
Losing
23 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
26 Points

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

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,463 times Debate No: 10852
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (9)

 

BigBird

Pro

My partner and I stand in firm affirmation of the resolution provided today, which states Resolved: President Obama's plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United State's best interest ; for these three main contentions: The Presidents new plan in Afghanistan is very similar to the successful surge by US troops in Iraq in 2007, and will therefore be successful, That the 18 month period over which this operation will occur is necessary and this surge of US troops will be strong enough to help the Afghan Government gain control over their people and terrorist groups and to strengthen the Afghan army.

These three contentions are in support of the interest the United States has in Afghanistan. Which was to initially diminish the power of terrorist groups such as the Al – Qaeda; and recently the public, and political opinion to leave the country. Our contentions are in support that this plan by the Obama administration is the United States best interest through its adherence to these demands.

CONTENTION ONE

On January 10th, 2007 a surge had been developed under the working title "The New Way Forward" and it was announced by Bush during a television speech.[2][3] Bush ordered the deployment of more than 20,000 soldiers into Iraq, five additional brigades, and sent the majority of them into Baghdad. On September 10, 2007, David Petraeus delivered his part of the Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq. He concluded that "the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met." He cited what he called recent consistent declines in security incidents, which he attributed to recent blows dealt against Al-Qaeda in Iraq during the surge. He added that "we have also disrupted Shia militia extremists, capturing the head and numerous other leaders of the Iranian-supported Special Groups, along with a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative supporting Iran's activities in Iraq." As a result the United States continues to successfully withdrawal troops in Iraq; an operation according to cnn.com that should be complete by 2011. This surge in Iraq was clearly effective and very similar to the surge of 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan. The objectives of this new surge into Afghanistan are very similar to the objectives of the Iraq mission; and therefore, if executed as planned this surge as one being in the best interest of the United States.

CONTENTION TWO

According to cnbc.com, President Obama's timeline will add a sense of urgency to the problems at hand, pressuring the Afghan government, the United States military, its allies, and other parties in the region to accomplish these goals as quickly as possible. Afghanistan has wallowed in its infant democracy since 2004 because of a lack of a sense of urgency and importance. A one-year deadline will re-establish the primacy of these goals to the mission in Afghanistan and force definitive action to be taken.
It is telling that President Obama has abandoned his liberal base on the issue of Afghanistan. We already knew he was very smart, but now we know he is also exceptionally brave in making this move in Afghanistan. Unilateral withdrawal from Afghanistan would very likely have led to disaster, and an increase in troop levels more than the 40,000 requested by General McChrystal would have alienated both the Afghan and American people.

CONTENTION THREE

The 30,000 troops is a modest enhancement of operational power in the region and will allow the U.S. forces on the ground to better facilitate a working relationship with Afghanistan's national military. One of the primary goals in the region (see Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon) is the creation of loyal, independent, and effective military establishments. More American troops will catalyze the training and establishment of the Afghan military and police forces, which will ultimately be the only factor in maintaining Afghan security.
These contentions as to why President Obama's plan is in the best interest of the Untied States are supported by The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan who says he's "absolutely supportive" of the 18-month timeline for President Obama's troop surge even if Taliban forces try to wait out the increased U.S. commitment. Gen. Stanley McChrystal told reporters Wednesday that even if the Taliban lay low, the 18-month period allows time to bolster Afghan military and governing capability to make it harder for the militants to return.

For these reasons, supported by those with the most knowledge of the current situation in Iraq, that my partner and I stand in firm affirmation of the resolution provided.

Source(s):

http://www.cbsnews.com...

http://www.bcheights.com...

http://www.foxnews.com...

http://www.cnbc.com...
Danielle

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for beginning this debate, and wish him and his partner good luck.

RE: CONTENTION ONE

Pro's point is essentially that increasing troops in Afghanistan will be met with the same success as increasing troops in Iraq. However while the U.S. has insisted that Iraq is a "safer" place, admittedly the U.S. is unsure of whether or not Iraq can sustain their gains [1]. This is especially true in Afghanistan where presumably it will be even harder to maintain any gains due to corruption and other drawbacks which I will detail in my upcoming arguments.

RE: CONTENTION TWO

Pro writes, "Afghanistan has wallowed in its infant democracy since 2004 because of a lack of a sense of urgency and importance." However that is not indicative of being the whole truth. Pro continues, "A one-year deadline will re-establish the primacy of these goals to the mission in Afghanistan and force definitive action to be taken." My upcoming arguments will illustrate how there are a plethora of reasons why democracy has failed in Afghanistan, and why increasing troops will not solve those problems. None of it has to do with being considered "unimportant" as Pro proclaims.

RE: CONTENTION THREE

Pro writes that "the 30,000 troop surge is a modest enhancement," however, try telling that to the people being directly affected! Much like what happened with Vietnam, the reality is that bringing more troops to Afghanistan will probably not accomplish much. In the end, it will only cost time, money and human life. Whether or not Afghanistan's military cooperates with the U.S. or falls to Al Qaeda again does not have to do with increasing troops. As my arguments will show, political corruption and popular support among the Afghan people play a very large role in how Afghanistan as a nation will cooperate and respond. Even if it SEEMS as if we're making progress there, that may very well not be the case considering Afghanistan's tendency to resort loyalty to the highest bidder.

Now onto Con's contentions...

ARGUMENT ONE

Obama's plan of increasing troops does not 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 TWO

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? [2] Increasing troops in Afghanistan is not the way to accomplish these goals.

ARGUMENT THREE

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 FOUR

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 FIVE

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." [3]

ARGUMENT SIX

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 [4].

ARGUMENT SEVEN

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? [5]

[1] http://www.cnn.com...
[2] http://www.theglobeandmail.com...
[3] http://www.newsweek.com...
[4] http://www.fcnl.org...
[5] http://www.ocregister.com...
Debate Round No. 1
BigBird

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. I will now proceed by negating your points, and in doing so, reinforcing mine.

To refute your first argument, as published on December 2nd of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the ultimite goal of the Afghanistan surge of 30,000 troops would be to "balance the costs and reduce the risk by building capability within the Afghan military, the unltimate determinant in this equation to ultimately withdrawal all US and NATO forces from Afghanistan as a result of the potential sucess of this surge". To also refute your suggestion, the United States has kept the number of troops in Afghanistan the same for 8 years, and nothing has been accomplished, clearly the surge of 30,000 troops is a change in strategy in Afghanistan, and therefore is in the best interest of the United States as opposed to keeping the number of troops the same, which is a waste of money, lives and time.

To refute your second argument, the primary objective united states is not patroling an afghanistan - pakistan border, it is simply building an Afghan government strong enough to control its borders, and to defend itself from the taliban, which has since been conquered in december of 2001 by the US. I also feel that my accurate comparison of the sucessful surge of Iraq in 2007 as compared by expert analystis at cbs nightly news as "very similar ideals, that began as unpopular, yet as the surge was carried out the public support increased."

To refute your thrid argument, and to suppor the case that the Obama plan is the best avaliable option as reported by Peter Bergen of Washington Monthly "The united states can neither percipitously withdrawl from Afghanistan nor help foster the emergence of a stable Afghan state by doing it on the cheap; the consequence would be the return of the Taliban and Al - Qaeda. Fortunately, the US is not alone, unlike in the sucessful surge of Iraq, there is an international coalition of forty - two countries in Afghanistan supporting NATO efforts. This is NOT something the US is doing on its own.

To refute your fourth argument, you are contradicting yourself, you stated earlier that "Afghanistan has a deep rooted history of warlords, intimidation, bribery and decentralization." If so, how would diplomacy work in the situation? And accoarding to the Washington monthly, reporting on a bbc poll, only 7% of Afghan citizens are in favor of the taliban, while 78% of Afghans are in support of the United States. So clearly, the Afghan citizens are not about to support the taliban, which by the way is under complete control of the US.

To refute your fifth argument, you completely nullified your previous argument by stating that "diplomacy does not always prevail." Bribing? You've got to be kidding! It is the attitude of a higher intelligence and oppressive power that has got the United States into the current hatred they have with the Middle East, the Untied States has too often tried to Dictate these terrorism groups, and by training the Afghan government, the Untied States can break this habit, and allow Afghanistan to gain control of their country, and allow the US to leave the country, which is in their best interest.

I have refuted your 6th argument by refuting your 4th.

Your 7th argument is suggesting the United States drop what they are doing in Afghanistan, immedialty pull out, a plan supported by only 2% of Americans, and start whole new wars against terrorist organizations that we can not defeat, and spend more money and lives on a cause that can be prevented by simply tightening national security, and learning from the christmas day bomber. You continue to press on how it is impossible for the US to "defeat' these terrorist groups, and now youre suggesting that we invade the countries in which the threat is much greater? You have contradicted yourself throughout the entire debate so far.

Thanks again, and I look forward to your response.

Source(s):

http://www.brookings.edu...

http://www.americanprogress.org...

http://www.washingtonmonthy.com...

http://online.wsj.com...

htttp://www.nytimes.com...

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com...

http://www.heritage.org...
Danielle

Con

RE: ARGUMENT ONE

Pro responds, "The ultimite goal of the Afghanistan surge of 30,000 troops would be to balance the costs and reduce the risk by building capability within the Afghan military." However, it would accomplish neither of those things: it would increase the cost, and the military is commanded by the politicians who in turn are commanded by the highest bidder - which I have explained in other contentions. Additionally Pro notes that keeping the troop level the same would be a waste of lives, money and time. On the contrary, LESS lives will be lost (statistically), far less money will be spent, and the time can better be spent looking towards other alternatives which I have mentioned.

RE: ARGUMENT TWO

I pointed out that the U.S. must narrow their objectives in order to meet success in Afghanistan. I also mentioned the fact that Afghanistan has a deep rooted history of warlords, intimidation, bribery and decentralization - meaning that the government will fall to whomever is the highest bidder. The members of the Taliban are hiding out all over the Middle East and not just Afghanistan. Pro has not combated any of this or explained how a troop surge will help or be relevant. It's unrealistic to think that a troop surge will wipe out the entire hidden Taliban, and even more unrealistic to think that they won't just take over as soon as America thinks they have won and left (because the politics and government in the region are so unstable and subject to be bribed, etc.).

RE: ARGUMENT THREE

I said that the U.S. can try an approach such as thwarting terrorists with targeted strikes instead of increasing troops. We should use intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, air strikes and Special Forces to win the war and save time, money and lives. Pro has not responded to this argument at all whatsoever. Pointing out that "the U.S.is not alone" as Pro's third rebuttal consists of is not effective in negating my position on this matter.

RE: ARGUMENT FOUR

Pro seems to think that my proposal of diplomacy is contradictory to anything that I have said. In fact, it is not. I mentioned that 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. Sure the people there may be saying that they don't support the Taliban... Did you expect otherwise? It doesn't mean that the Taliban won't take over or doesn't have power at the top. My point was simply that killing the people in Afghanistan and waging war in their country is no way to gain their support when it harms them more than helps them. Diplomacy would work by helping the people and not seeking just to appease or buy out the politicians.

RE: ARGUMENT FIVE

I said, "If we make the right deals, [Afghanistan] will be ruled by leaders who keep the country inhospitable to Al Qaeda and terrorist groups like it." By bribery, I mean giving the leaders various incentives to NOT fall under Taliban threats or bribery. Your suggestion as described in your fifth rebuttal was literally "to train the Afghan government" which is essentially the same thing I am saying.

RE: ARGUMENT SIX

My 6th argument was that putting more troops in Afghanistan will be met 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. You said you have refuted this in your 4th rebuttal, but you haven't. Your 4th rebuttal is actually completely irrelevant to this point of mine. All you have done there was point out that the people in Afghanistan claim to support the U.S. over the Taliban; however, Afghanistan doesn't represent the Islamic world as a whole - nor does being set on this war help the U.S.'s reputation any overseas for people to concentrate on other important and relevant objectives.

RE: ARGUMENT SEVEN

Okay, I'm not sure if you're understanding my arguments correctly, Pro. For point 7 I wrote, "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."

You said, "Your 7th argument is suggesting the United States drop what they are doing in Afghanistan, immedialty pull out, a plan supported by only 2% of Americans, and start whole new wars against terrorist organizations that we can not defeat."

Uh, WHERE DOES MY 7TH ARGUMENT EVER SAY THAT? Where did I *EVER* suggest immediately pulling out anywhere in this debate, actually? Please show me where I have said that. Now you're just making stuff up. When I said, "Why aren't we invading them?" I in no way was suggesting that we actually invade them, so nowhere was a contradiction made. I was pointing out the hypocrisy in expecting the U.S. to help or solve conflicts in one area but not many. It points out the reality that we have no more of an obligation to be in those other places (and expect to win) as we do with Afghanistan. Please come back with a rebuttal that is not full of manipulated arguments; I don't appreciate when my words are twisted to fit an agenda.

Thanks and good luck!
Debate Round No. 2
BigBird

Pro

BigBird forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Extend my arguments, I suppose...
Debate Round No. 3
BigBird

Pro

BigBird forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Pro for forfeited 2 rounds and didn't respond to any of my R2 arguments. Meanwhile, I refuted all of his contentions. Since he did not respond, I have nothing more to add. Thanks anyway for this opportunity to debate, Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Rockylightning 7 years ago
Rockylightning
Big Bird is goin down
I debated the Lwerd on this topic... I got annihilated
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