The Instigator
YoungWisdom
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
sherlockmethod
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Reagan's Foreign Policy Was Ultimately Bad, Both for Others and the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
sherlockmethod
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,092 times Debate No: 8825
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

YoungWisdom

Pro

Reagan's foreign policy, though debatable in terms of how effective it was in the short run, ultimately caused harm to both the United State's position in the world, and the well being of the world as a whole. And though some of his policies resorted to the good old "speak softly, but carry a big stick" philosophy, others were geared more towards the exact opposite.
sherlockmethod

Con

I thank our new member for offering this debate. Since we have 5 rounds, I will just accept and await my opponent's full argument, as many of the terms in the resolution are vague. My opponent probably wishes to reserve specifics for round 2, which is fine. I will not offer definitions until I see how my opponent defines his position. I await his full argument, and reserve any definition of terms until he provides his full position.
Debate Round No. 1
YoungWisdom

Pro

Well then, let's examine what Reagan did with the Soviet Union. His foreign policy against it was based upon strengthening the U.S. military in order to place the U.S. in a better position to negotiate, thereby motivating the Soviets to concentrate more of their resources on defense. This was good. However, he then assisted the mujahideen in Afghanistan in fighting against both the Soviet invaders AND the pro-soviet government that the country already had in place, doing so by supplying them with weapons. This, too, also helped diminish Soviet resources, but proved costly in the long run.

In addition to that, he made a crucial mistake: when the Soviet Union fell, Reagan should have withdrawn all American troops from all around the world (even if gradually) and brought them home.

Keep in mind that after the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, followed by the fall of the Afghan government in 1992, conflicts between tribal groups within Afghanistan began to take place. Eventually, a movement arose from this conflict that was supported by Pakistan, as well as Al-Qaeda. It came to be known as the Taliban.

Then came the events of 9/11 in 2001. One thing that few people in the United States understand is the reasoning behind the attacks of that day. The reason we were attacked has to do with the fact that the US had military bases in Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 hijackers, being mostly Saudi, viewed this as American Imperialism being imposed on them.

Then, of course, came the war in Afghanistan. And guess who the Taliban got their weapons from? Yep, the American government, primarily under the Reagan Administration. And now they were using these weapons against us.

On other fronts, Reagan also supported oppressive regimes in Latin America based solely on the fact that they were anti-communist.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
sherlockmethod

Con

My space is limited, so I will leave pleasantries aside. Having read my opponent's specific argument, I still maintain the Con position. The wiki my opponent provides as a definition of the Reagan doctrine is a good, albeit rough, assessment of his foreign policy. I will accept the Reagan doctrine as a foreign policy move from detainment to rollback concerning the Soviet Union, and open support for third world countries opposing USSR backed governments through proxy wars.

I must deal with my opponent's most egregious error first. "[W]hen the Soviet Union fell, Reagan should have withdrawn all American troops from all around the world (even if gradually) and brought them home."

I must remind my opponent that the Soviet Union did not fall until 1991. [1]
Ronald Reagan was not President of the United States in 1991. [2]

Now my opponent's second error, he points out one of the main justifications the Saudi terrorists used for attacking the U.S. was the bases located in Saudi Arabia. Although the US operated a small training mission in Saudi Arabia since the 1950's, the troop presence was established in the 1990's during the Gulf War era, also not on Reagan's watch. [3]
"During the Gulf War, Osama bin Laden opposed the US-Saudi alliance because King Fahd invited the United States and its allies to station forces in Saudi Arabia. The presence of American soldiers in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad with the holy cities of Mecca and Medina enraged bin Laden as well as other Arabs." [4],[5].

Bin Laden was angered at the US protective forces in Saudi Arabia and the fact Saudi officials rejected his help. "Arriving with maps and many diagrams, Mr. bin Laden told Prince Sultan that the kingdom could avoid the indignity of allowing an army of American unbelievers to enter the kingdom, to repel Iraq from Kuwait. He could lead the fight himself, he said, at the head of an group of former mujahedeen that he said could number 100,000 men." [6]

I ask my opponent to list the US Military Bases located in Saudi Arabia from 1980-1988.

Next, my opponent focuses on Afghanistan to support his position. He claims, with accuracy, the U.S. assisted the mujahideen as part of Reagan's rollback policy. I agree, but support was given long before Reagan became President. The history of US, Soviet and world wide intervention in Afghanistan dates back to the 1950's. [7] at 12-13. Worldwide intervention in Afghanistan predated Reagan, but my opponent wishes to lay the formation of the Taliban at, then, President Reagan's feet. This proposition is an error. Fundamentalist Islamic factions within the country opposed leftist backed leadership long before Reagan ever entered the picture. [7] see, generally, chapter 1; [8] at 5. Please note, the mujahideen were supported by many nations from Saudi Arabia to China. In addition, President Carter started the policy of aiding the Afghani rebels prior to the Reagan Presidency. When the Soviet occupation ended, what did Reagan do? Nothing, Reagan was not President. George H.W. Bush was president. He announced the Soviet retreat as a major victory in the Cold War, and in 1992, the U.S. and the USSR abandoned armament policies in the country. [8]

The anger at the U.S. appears to stem from the US abandonment of Afghanistan prior to the establishment of a central government. "By walking away from Afghanistan as early as it did, the USA faced within a few years dead diplomats, destroyed embassies, bombs in New York and cheap heroin on its streets, as Afghanistan became a sanctuary for international terrorism and the drugs mafia. Afghans today remain deeply bitter about their abandonment by the USA, for whom they fought the Cold War" [7] at 209.
Reagan neither started the aid to Afghanistan, nor withdrew the troops from the area. His policy of continued aid was necessary as abandonment amidst the turmoil in Afghanistan, enacted by his successor, became the focus of a strong national security risk.

I agree the US is now fighting some of the very people the CIA helped train, but the weapons appear to be from recent arms sales, not the Soviet-Afghan war. One of the big concerns was the stinger missiles, of which 300 were unaccounted for in 1993. Milt Bearden, a retired senior C.I.A. official told the Lede, "they are probably just too old to work properly by now. ‘The last ones were delivered in 1988, and its [sic] a pretty complex system — a lot of things can go funky' in 21 years." [9]

I ask my opponent to provide specific examples concerning Latin America as each has unique features and I do not have the space to address all of them.

I generally present a positive argument even when I take the Con position, but my opponent has failed to establish a prima facie case for his position due to several foundational mistakes; therefore, I see no need to do so at this point.

Sources in Comments Section.
Debate Round No. 2
YoungWisdom

Pro

YoungWisdom forfeited this round.
sherlockmethod

Con

My opponent no longer has an active account. No need to continue this one.
Debate Round No. 3
YoungWisdom

Pro

YoungWisdom forfeited this round.
sherlockmethod

Con

See above.
Debate Round No. 4
YoungWisdom

Pro

YoungWisdom forfeited this round.
sherlockmethod

Con

See Above. My opponent left the site.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Defaulted CON due to forfeits.
Posted by sherlockmethod 8 years ago
sherlockmethod
I only vote on my debates if my opponent forfeits. 7 pts Con.
Posted by sherlockmethod 8 years ago
sherlockmethod
Yea, I hate he left. I would love to have seen how he could maintain. The Cold War thing was too funny.
Posted by MrButtons22 8 years ago
MrButtons22
Nicely put, Sherlockmethod. enjoyed the read. You tore him up!
Posted by sherlockmethod 8 years ago
sherlockmethod
I am dissapointed; I presented a good argument. I would love to see how he could defend his position considering he got his history very wrong.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
I bet it was disappointing yet relieving to have your opponent quit the site.
Posted by sherlockmethod 8 years ago
sherlockmethod
I have a few issues with President Reagan, but my opponent does not grasp US History very well. I base my position on fact based analysis, not party lines. Reagan did some great things, I see no reason to blame him for 9/11, etc.
Posted by Xer 8 years ago
Xer
A liberal Democrat defending Reagan!!
*gasp*
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
YoungWisdomsherlockmethodTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by sherlockmethod 8 years ago
sherlockmethod
YoungWisdomsherlockmethodTied
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Total points awarded:07