The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

Resolved: Development of third world regions is a priority over military stabilization.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/20/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 738 times Debate No: 60701
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




Simple, light-hearted debate. First round acceptance, second round argument, third round rebuttals, fourth round closing. Open acceptance. Thanks in advance!

I am at a novice level of debate, so please consider this when considering acceptance.
Debate Round No. 1


My argument will consist of the archetypal three-legged stool analogy.

A brief road map. I will first outline the need for stabilization of the region, then I will discuss the economics of the issue, completing with a contention on morality of the situation (yes, I know morality is subjective, it is still valid).

development- humanitarian, economic, or any non-military aid
third world region- area defined as an LDC or an area in the first two stages of development
priority- primary action, chronologically first
stabilization- neutralization of threats, securing of assets, establishment of domestic security

Contention A.1
The stabilization of the hypothetical region in question is a indisputable necessity. One can easily look at the Sahel and see that there are major threats there. It would be detrimental to the efforts of development should the area not be secured.

Lesley Anne Warner from the National Defense University said the following: "Our military actions ultimately enhances the United States" ability to ensure its own national security. Finally, from a whole government perspective, the security of African countries can either support or undermine U.S. investment in other sectors such as trade, good governance, health and education. [National Defense University]

Sub a.1 [All are Brookings Institute]
Military aid must come first to rebalance U.S. engagement with African countries so that it is more proactive rather than reactive. The US requires a more holistic approach to African security - one that does not solely lie within the domain of the Department of Defense. Efforts to prevent and mitigate conflict cut across agencies and often address some of the root causes of conflict in Africa.

Sub a.2
Establish multi-year funding authorities for building partner capacity programs. Moving away from episodic engagements with African countries towards sustained security partnerships will require that the authorities that govern security cooperation become more flexible and streamlined. This move should help improve the planning of U.S. military engagement on the continent and work towards facilitating interagency coordination.

Sub a.3
Continue to support regional and sub-regional mechanisms for conflict resolution. Although the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken the lead in responding to the crises in Mali, its efforts have been impeded by limited crisis response planning capabilities, accompanied by the insufficient military readiness of several troop-contributing nations. These deficiencies demonstrate several opportunities for U.S. assistance to regional and sub-regional organizations.

Contention B.2

Many of these regions are hubs of resources. Many Asian and eastern European countries recognize this. I have several points outlining the necessity of American involvement in the sake of competition. The failure to perceive and prepare for China"s moves would be dangerous, unwise and potentially detrimental for the United States in the near future.

Sub b.1
Since 2001 China"s pursuit in the continent has rapidly expanded into the economic arena, focusing on Africa"s rich natural resources to fuel China"s domestic economic growth. [UN Energy Research Commission]

Sub b.2
Under the framework of of "resources for development" Beijing mobilizes its vast state financial resources to invest broadly in infrastructure projects across Africa and extract natural resources in return. [Chinese Premier Press Release]

Sub b.3
In July 2010, China doubled its 2009 commitment to provide $20 billion in financing to Africa to further its strategic blueprint in the next three years. [UN Energy Research Commission]

Contention C.1
It is our responsibility, as civilized people to ensure the safety and survival of fellow man. We have proved time and time again that we have done it and it has worked. Sending in development aid without protection would be counterproductive. If we were to send in a team of volunteer aid workers, they would be open to attack by local feuding tribes. It would be imprudent to send in our citizens without proper protection. In order to get further along in African diplomacy we must go in and protect these countries so that they may begin to flourish themselves and find prosperity on their own terms by their own people.

I would like to, again, thank PRO for accepting and look forward to their argument.


As this is my first debate I will just split my debate into three main points: 1. Historical and current attempts at military stabilisation, 2.The social effects of military stabilisation on the recipient country. 3. What non-military aid has achieved.

1. The first obvious example of failed military stabilisation is Iraq. The disastrous occupation and attempt at military stabilisation by the US government not only led to chaos, destruction of infrastructure , a huge death toll and a collapse in Iraq's economy, it also exacerbated ethno-religious tensions leading to a Sunni insurgency against Iraq's Shia led government which led to the loss of huge swathes of territory in the north of the country. After spending 1.7 trillion on Iraq ( the US achieved less than nothing. Other examples include the disastrous attempt at nation building that was the Vietnam war, US deployment of troops to Lebanon after the Israeli invasion in the early 1980's with American forces becoming entangled in the country's civil war, failing to restore order and leading to the death of over 200 marines in a single bomb attack, the deployment of 25 000 troops to Somalia in the early nineties which led to widespread battles between UN and US forces and local warlords, yet again falling to restore order. These aforementioned interventions show that it is impossible to solve ancient ethnic, religious and tribal conflicts through the use of military force.

2. No matter how vigilant and disciplined an army is, there will always be civilian casualties. It is very easy for public perception of foreign troops to sway from peacekeepers to invaders. The United States and other western powers risk alienating the local populace by using guns and air strikes instead of humanitarian aid, investment and diplomacy to bring about lasting change and peace. Western armies once again marching and fighting on the nation's soil might serve as a reminder of the brutality of colonisation and the subsequent chaos that came when the Westerners abandoned their colonies. The United States risks getting into another "war without fronts" as in Vietnam,Iraq and Afghanistan, with the enemy embedded in the local populace and impossible to distinguish from innocent civilians.

3. Some three million lives are saved directly through USAID immunisation programs every year. Agricultural education program's in countries such as Honduras have improved quality of living and drastically reduce soil erosion and environmental impacts. USAID targeted 15 million dollars worth of technical assistance to improve the energy sectors of developing countries as well as creating a 50 billion dollar private market. US charities provide on the ground essentials such as food, water and medical supplies. If the 1.7 trillion that was spent on the Iraq war had been spent on humanitarian aid and investment there would be a lot less dead American soldiers and Iraqi civilians, and a better quality of life for tens of thousands of people.

To conclude I believe that the US needs to focus less on military solutions and more on making sure Aid goes where it is needed. Military intervention does not work in the vast majority of cases, the real emphasis needs to be put on helping developing governments tackle their problems by providing strategic and economic advice as well as financial aid and investment.
Debate Round No. 2


My rebuttal will consist of the conflict of each contention. I don't have a lot of time or energy right now, so it won't be perfect.

Reb. 1 You are predicating this argument on the assumption that I am arguing the extreme. The stated resolve is that of priority. Not exclusive action. The cited example is a situation of nation building. I am arguing the contrary. I stand that development aid is necessary, but not the primary objective. Security must come first.

Reb. 2 While your point is valid, one must understand that the militarization of aid is a necessary evil if one would want to provide developmental aid (see my definition). The regions in which this would apply would be a very embattled and dangerous area. It would be detrimental to place development supplies and services without protection. I end with a rhetorical question. What good is a school for the needy if it is attacked by militants with no protection?

Reb. 3 Similarly to the second contention. I believe you mistake this debate as Iraq War versus response to Haiti disaster. The definitions, which stand as you provided no alternatives, are imperative to this debate. Developmental aid is a godsend to these people, but we must provide security and protection for these people and their life-saving supplies. What kind of people would be, in the first-world capacity, if we gave them the means of life, only to let them be murdered by armed extremists?


Rebuttal No.1- contention A1: Firstly, as has been proven time and time again throughout history, military stabilisation does not work. Attempts at military stabilisation would only exacerbate violence and terrorism in said region. * I also don't see the relevance of Lesley Ann Warner's views on the results of the US's military actions. Aside from being a particularly vague quote, her comments are a matter of opinion and highly debatable .

Rebuttal No.2-sub A1: Military Aid is very different to military stabilisation. Passage does not necessarily support military stabilisation rather encourages a more comprehensive approach to African security.

Rebuttal No. 3-sub A3: Once again this does not explicitly advocate military stabilisation.

Rebuttal No.4-contention B.2 , sub B1 Sub B2 Sub B3: Chinese investments have nothing to do with whether military stabilisation should be a priority,. It seems like you are advocating the use of military stabilisation as a way to secure resources for the US. This as well as being morally questionable, is completely irrelevant to the debate. Also I would like to add that the US already has huge investments in oil, gas and mineral resources around Africa. Competition is not an issue.

Rebuttal No.5-contention C1: once again, the US simply haven't successfully militarily stabilised any nation. It doesn't work. To say that (quote) "We have proved time and time again that we have done it and it has worked" Is completely wrong.
I also have never seen a situation where a country with US troops on the ground has flourished.
Vietnam, Lebanon , Somalia , Iraq, Afghanistan . Disaster after disaster. All attempts at military stabilisation.
By dropping bombs instead of food and supplies you create anti-US sentiment and perpetuate a vicious circle of violence.
The solutions to internal conflict must come from internal sources. Lasting change comes from within a nation and it's government, not from foreign militaries.
Debate Round No. 3


I should have added an extra round to defend, my fault.

In closing,
The judges can see by my three contentions and the attempt to call into question their relevance by PRO that while the PRO would stand had he not have forgotten one thing which I have attempted to make abundantly clear throughout the debate. I have argued the resolution that military stabilization is a priority over developmental aid. This is not a polar issue as PRO has attempted to make it. I argue for neither nation building or war. I have argued that we must stabilize a region and secure it from threat so that we can provide the necessary aid to these people, not that we should provide no aid and only troops.

Taking these factors into consideration, I thank PRO for a healthy debate, and I thank the judges for their consideration.


I would first like to point out that the CON has failed time and time again to argue my most important point, that attempts at military stabilisation don't achieve anything beyond chaos and instability and historically have never achieved anything beyond chaos and instability.
While I have cited numerous historical examples of the disastrous effect that military intervention has on the recipient country, the CON has offered no practical examples to support his position. Although it is tempting to argue that there exists a middle ground solution between humanitarian aid and military intervention, the reality is that there is no such practical solution. Indeed I think it is misleading to suggest that such a solution really exists. In one case we have use of military force, the other we don't. The harsh reality is that there is only so much we can do. Our options are far from limitless. Purely humanitarian and developmental aid is a far more attractive and less messy option than military stabilisation, one that will help build positive, and more equal relationships between nations.

I would like to thank the judges for their time and consideration and the CON for an interesting and engaging debate.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by JoshW 2 years ago
Good debate!
Posted by Leprechaun99 2 years ago
Thanks josh
Posted by JoshW 2 years ago
You're right. The second round is just stating your argument. The third round is rebuttal. In the fourth round, we just sum up our arguments.
Posted by Leprechaun99 2 years ago
-I also use UK spelling- just so you know..
Posted by Leprechaun99 2 years ago
I've never really done a debate before so I'm not sure about etiquette etc. Also I assume I can't rebut the con's arguments in this round?
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 2 years ago
Catch-22. Militant/rebel groups often grow out of poverty and underdevelopment, so development is a good solution. Problem is, once they're already there, they'll prevent development (IS as an example). In that case, military and civil stabilisation has to occur prior to the commencement of development to ensure the protection of new infrastructure, utilities, housing etc.
Posted by JoshW 2 years ago
By development, Pro could argue from a government's point of view, like nation building. Or a privatized point of view like the Red Cross or UNICEF.

The military stabilization would be in terms of a nation using their armed forces to neutralize the threats of their ally in the region and provide security while the ally built themselves.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
lol I can imagine Roy accepting this
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
I tend to agree with you, but
1. Where's the $ for development supposed to come from? &
2. The military can only be used for Warfare/ Offense.
It can't & doesn't, produce stabilization.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument seemed to be that, in light of the general failure of military stabilization to work, development/humanitarian aid should be a higher priority. Con agreed that, if this was an either/or scenario, Pro would win--Con wanted us to agree that stabilization should take precedence, while agreeing that if it was one or the other, Pro's case stood. Arguments to Pro, and as always, happy to clarify this RFD.