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Resolved: Failed Nations pose a greater threat to the US than stable nations

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,977 times Debate No: 9958
Debate Rounds (3)
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Resolved: failed states pose a greater threat to the United States than stable nations

First let us define the terms
failed states: a state that is unable to maintain it's territorial sovereignty or that is torn by civil strife and is unable to sufficiently administer it's government without large amounts of foreign aid or intervention
Examples include but are not limited to
most central African countries

nations that are close to but have not yet actually failed include but are not limited to

Stable Nation: one that is stable able to administer their laws and has some form of standing in the international community and maintains it being the most powerful force within its borders
North Korea
United States
United Kingdom

The have so far accumulated one single powerful and compeling point in negation of this however it requires the understand that
"Wars between nations in the 21st century will not be fought on the land air or sea it will be fought in the hard drives and pocketbooks of nations"
Proof of this can be seen in when Russia invaded its neighbor Georgia. Three days before Russia invaded they used a massive cyberattacks to baiscally shut down Georgia they stopped public services air traffic and even credit cards
a further example that future warfare will be economic can be seen during the Yom Kippur War where Isreal received significant U.S. aid in response the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) consisting mainly of Arab states placed an embargo on the United States by consequence the United States quickly pursued peace because the United States ECONOMY was unable to withstand such a blow
The most present and looming danger right now however comes from China they pose little military threat because (depending on who you believe) we consume 1/3 to 90% of their exports and they would be unable to stop their economy from going under when up to 90% of their products just start piling up in warehouses
China has significant capital and the potentinal for even more since they can extort from their people without risking major backlash this would allow them to start buying the American economy piece by piece such as the auto industry which is up for grabs right now or moving on the healthcare industry and once the Chinese control how much everybody gets payed and who has jobs they control everything
I mean at that point there will be nothing to stop them from saying "vote how we want you to and if you don't we will fire you all"
That is my case in a nutshell I mean don't get me wrong significant threats do come from failed nations and terrorist cells however ultimately gains made by these groups cannot be sustained or made permanent by contrast we face a complete loss of American sovereignty if a nation such as China or India decides to move against us economically.
Please respond quickly
Don't be complaining about my grammar or punctuation I know it sucks get over it


Firstly, I would like to state a contradicting definition of a "failed state" or nation than the CON's.

Failed state (as defined by the Failed State Index on
"A state that is failing has several attributes. One of the most common is the loss of physical control of its territory or a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Other attributes of state failure include the erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions, an inability to provide reasonable public services, and the inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community. ...extensive corruption and criminal behavior, inability to collect taxes or otherwise draw on citizen support, large-scale involuntary dislocation of the population, sharp economic decline, group-based inequality, institutionalized persecution or discrimination, severe demographic pressures, brain drain, and environmental decay."

Examples of stable nations: Switzerland, Singapore, United States
Examples of failed nations: Somalia, North Korea, various African countries

Though the CON's definition may seem valid in a politically stable nation, the definition is somewhat illogical in stating that a failed nation is defined by inner social conflicts, meaning that though Israel has a stable government and economy, it is not a stable nation because of the century-long religious conflicts between Jews and Muslims. This is also stating that, since the United States does not have complete control over its citizens and there are still laws broken and rallies against certain set laws, it is not a stable nation. And while Israel and the U.S. are not stable nations, totalitarian, dictator-based countries such as North Korea are stable nations merely because of its tyrannical, oppressive government.

I will now state my reasons as to why I affirm the resolution.

1. The unimportance of diplomatic relations to the leaders of failed nations makes the United States' attempts to change their aggression futile.
While stable nations are not only dependent on other failed nations due to globalization, but also policed by the United Nations, therefore unable to attack other stable nations such as the United States due to tremendous, international repercussions, failed nations have absolutely nothing to lose when attacking the United States. Not only this, but certain failed nations' leaders have no concern about repercussions, neither economically nor politically.

This is seem perfectly in the case of Kim Jong Il and North Korea. Though the United States gives millions of dollars to North Korea, the country is so apathetic about international relations as well as its own economic stability, that even with the United States threatening to remove all economic support to North Korea (which would result in massive social and economic failure in North Korea), the country continues to create and test nuclear warheads.
No matter what we do, these countries have such little concern, they really just don't care.

2. The governmental instability of failed nations makes them susceptible to influence by extremist and terroristic groups and leaders.
Due to the weakness of government and desperation of the citizens in failed nations, failed nations become the ideal breeding area of extremist and terroristic groups, such as al Queda terrorists. While stable nations have strong governments to refrain these groups from taking control over its people, as well as the citizens of stable nations being more-than-less content with their current governmental and economic situation, failed nations and its people are not only capable of being manipulated with false promises easily, but these groups are also able to overthrow the government of failed nations.

Historically, this is what happened pre-WWII to Germany. Post-WWI, Germany was put into an enormous economic depression, causing the government to become weak and the citizens to go into immense poverty. Taking advantage of this weakness and desperation, Adolf Hitler was capable of manipulating the citizens into forming a hatred and thirst for revenge against the countries that had put Germany into this pathetic state and causing WWII to commence.
This also happened with the al Queda and Bin Laden. Though Osama bin Laden had been living in Saudi Arabia, the people and government of Saudi Arabia were to strong to be manipulated, so bin Laden had went to Afghanistan in order to provoke the desperate citizens of Afghanistan into forming a hatred against the western world, thus causing the 9/11 attacks.

I will not move on to attack my opponent's case.

The CON had stated that, while failed nations do cause a terroristic and military threat, the major threat with stable nations is its capability of hacking into the U.S.'s electronic systems. However, this is not a situation only capable of being created by stable nations. In May 2009, North Korea, a failed nation, attempted to hack into United States and South Korean military networks. This shows that even failed nations have the ability to hack into military networks. Though this was not a successful attack, this also shows that there is real parallel between the Russia and Georgia situation and a stable nation or failed nation and United States situation, because the United States has much more advanced security than an unstable nation such as Georgia.

The CON also stated that stable nations, such as China and India, have the ability to slowly buy out American corporations, such as the auto company. Firstly, China and India are ranked as "warning" in the Failed States Index of 2009, therefore making them more failed than stable. Secondly, while China's economy is strengthening because of its large export trade, the United States government realizes the weakness of American car companies and has been keeping the companies from getting to the point in which it can be bought out completely by China, as you can see with the Automotive Bail-Out plans from earlier in the year. Though this may be a small speculative threat by stable nations, the key word here is "speculative".

While the CON argues that stable nations are a greater threat due to small speculative threats (one of the two which are threats capable of being given by failed nations as well), the PRO gives you current crises threatening the United States and the security of the American people that are presented solely by unstable nations.
Debate Round No. 1


First off I would like to thank you for responding so qiuckley neurologie

I will begin by changing my definition of failed state in order to simplify and better express it a failed state is one
that is in a state of anarchy or near anarchy or must receive massive foreign intervention to prevent a fall into anarchy
this meets the definition of failed even if a nation has no regard to human rights even if there people are starving in the streets if the government doesn't care in the least about it's people the nation still exists and continues to administer its duties
Now North Korea and Iran would better fall under the category of rouge nations defined as
rogue state: a state that does not respect other states in its international actions
however these countries still exist and their governments prevent a collapse of the legal system of the country although Iran may have been able to have been defined as an almost failed nation during the massive election riots

Now I will begin by refuting the arguments of my opposition, then proceed to expound and strengthen my position more

Refute 1) In believe under my revised defention of failed states that we can see that North Korea is in fact a rouge nation and not a failed nation

Refute 2) First I would like to point out the fact that the Pro mentioned post WW1 Germany as an example of the dangers of failed nations, but there was little or no threat to the United States until Germany became a stable nation under Adolf Hitler. Although the message she is trying to get across seems to be that failed nations can be more easily manipulated into a threat against the United Sates however the nation itself is no threat until it is stable the threat posed there is from terrorist cells and guerrilla warriors this however brings me to a point of fact in my opponnets argument
None of the 9/11 hijackers were from Afghanistan there were 19 of them 15 were from Saudi Arabia 2 from the UAE one from Lebanon and one from Egypt only one of those nations is even partially failed although the then STABLE government of Afghanistan did aid Osama Bin Ladan there were no actual Afghan citizens that participated in the 9/11 hijackings

In defense of the attack on my argument of cyber warfare I say
Yes North Korea was unsuccessful in crippling American systems it is not considered a very advanced nation however a little while ago when the Air Force went through a regular cleansing of their systems they found hundreds or Chinese and Russian bots inside the system which proves that this is no idle threat and is a clear and present danger to America because in the event of a military struggle China or Russia would be able to completely cripple American infrastructure also the Georgia cyber attacks by Russia now suggests they have technology beyond what we had originally thought
also in order to exemplify how how serious this is I will tell some of the results of a successful complete infiltration of American systems would be like
the entire USAF would be crippled because these planes are heavily reliant on networks and technology
the Army would be reduced to a technological capability similar to that of the soldiers of WW1 since many tanks and other armored carriers would be unable to move
the entire US nuclear arsenal would be at the complete mercy of the attacking party and our defense to such a threat would be crippled

In defense of the economic threat which the opposition seems to be trying to minimalize the risk or impact of such an event I respond that this is not a speculative threat this has been proven in fact back in April I believe it was the United States China and Russia engaged in a purely economic war game in which China did emerge victorious and the US was at the mercy of China this is not speculation this is real
also I would question my opponets statement of
"the United States government realizes the weakness of American car companies and has been keeping the companies from getting to the point in which it can be bought out completely by China, as you can see with the Automotive Bail-Out plans from earlier in the year"
I think what she is proposing is that the automotive bailouts were done to keep the American companies from being bought out this is untrue the bailouts were made to keep them from going to go completely belly up they could still be bought out and the even greater danger is that if China cut down their prices to the point where the American car companies could not compete which would force them out of business thereby establishing Chinese hegemony of the American automotive markets that is an example just of how they could take the Automotive industry they could do the same to most other industries
Finally the Chinese government owns 1/3 of the US foreign National debt they could easily call that in at whatever time they want which because we cannot pay it back would cause the collapse of the dollar and force the United States into a permanent depression greater than that of the Great and the 2008 combined

So in summary the Affirmation side has argued pseudo-facts under highly controversial definitions, with flawed examples and seems to be saying that the main threat from failed nations is their aiding of terrorist cells and extremist groups I contend again that the problem is the victories of these groups cannot be solidified and made permanent (more on that in the final round) I present the serious and permanent threats facing the United States that could easily happen if America makes to many ripples in the pond of international relations
I will be including a bibliography in the final round
also the CON does have a name


I would like to begin by refuting my opponent's case, then move on to rebuild my own.

I will begin by attacking my opponent's defintions.

Firstly, my opponent stated that the definition of a failed state is one in which is in a state of anarchy or is on the verge of falling into anarchy. However, this is a completely faulty definition for multiple reasons. For one, my opponent has no source for this definition. He could basically be making up whatever his heart desires as a biased way to support his own argument. Secondly, this would mean that though every single citizen in a country is dying of starvation and living off of nothing, just because this nation has a totalitarian form of government, it is a stable nation, which is completely illogical. Thirdly, while communism is seen to be the ideal form of government, in fact, true anarchy (order in anarchy) is the absolute ideal form of government. As stated by Henry David Theoreau in Civil Disobedience,

"That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."

With my opponent's definition of a failed nation as a nation in which is in a state of anarchy, any country that is acheiving the true sense of anarchy is a failed nation. Either way, the definition I provided in my opening speech has a source and is the basis in which nations are ranked from failed to stable by the Failed States Index, which is the most reliable source for the categorization of nations from failed to stable.

Secondly, my opponent once again "pick and choose"s his definitions by categorizing North Korean and Iran as a completely different title of a "rogue state" and though these countries may fit his definition of a rogue state, these nations also fit the definition of a failed nation as I stated in my opening speech. And not only are these nations failed, but they are some of the worst failing countries in the world, with North Korea being #17 in most failed nation and Iran being #35.

I will now move on to attack my opponent's points.

In refutation to my point that their first contention does not solely apply to stable nations, my opponent stated that North Korea was unsuccessful and there are hundreds of Chinese and Russian bots currently in military systems. However, not only are China and Russia not counted as stable nations by the Failed States Index (both are warning/critical), but judging from the fact that the cyber infrastructure of the United States and its military haven't collapsed yet into mass hacking havoc, these Chinese and Russian attacks haven't worked either. My opponent is giving situations in which the United States, a country with ridiculously advanced military and technology resources, isn't capable of combating cyber threats. If these countries, whether stable or failed, are attacking us in cyberspace and haven't succeeded yet, this only proves that these threats are unimportant because the United States is able to combat them so easily.

My opponent also keeps with his speculative situations of China and its possible impact on the economy. However, with globalization, something called "utter mutual annihilation" has come up in world economies. The debt that the United States has to China (which isn't only with China, the United States and many other countries have debts to one another, it's an unquestionable fact of global economy) shows how dependent the United States and China are to one another. If China were to decide on a whim to force the United States to pay back all the money they owe, the United States would lead to a depression, which would also lead China, a country whose economy is dependent on profit from exports to the United States, going through an equal, or worse depression.

I will now move on to attack my opponent's refutations.

As to my opponent's first retutation, just as I stated earlier, his "revised definition"s do not hold any water. These are definitions that he himself have decided on, these are not the same as definitions defined by large research organizations, such as The Fund for Peace, and have an infinitesimal amount of reliability to them. With the mentality my opponent is using by providing with his own definitions made by his own biased opinion, I am basically allowed to say that a "failed nation" is a nation in which the cat to person ratio is less than 1, which makes absolutely no sense, but hey! I think it's right so who cares what anyone else says?

As to my opponent's second refutation, yes, Nazi Germany was a larger military threat once it became a "stable" nation and obtained more military resources. However, the contention states that failed nations are more susceptible to influence by extremist leaders. Pre-WW2/post-WW1 Germany was completely unstable: its economy was failing, its government was nonexistent and its citizens were desperate for a Plan B, which is why Adolf Hitler so easily came into power and manipulated the minds of the Germans into believing that the Western World was the reason as to why Germany was in such a great economic depression, therefore they must gain revenge on the Western World (and somehow Jews). If Germany had been stable at the time, these people wouldn't have been desperate for a crazy extremist leader such as Hitler. He also stated that my Taliban/al Queda/9/11 example was not valid since firstly, Afghanistan is a stable nation in his opinion, and there were no Afghan citizens who took part in the 9/11 hijackings. However, first of all, Afghanistan is the #7 most failed nation according to the Failed States Index of 2009, therefore it is one of the worst failed nations. Though my opponent may argue that in HIS definition, Afghanistan is not a failed nation, again, I must highlight that this is my opponent's OPINION. Second, while the 9/11 hijackers weren't Afghans, Afghanistan (and other failed nations) provide a training and breeding grounds for terrorist groups such as al Queda. The fact that these people weren't native born Afghanis only further proves my point that FAILED nations provide a home for terrorists that stable nations can not. If these terrorists were mostly from Saudi Arabia, then why is the Al Queda based in Afghanistan? Because the extremist beliefs of Al Queda wouldn't be accepted in a stable nation such as Saudi Arabia.

What this debate comes down to is whether you would like to say that stable nations, which are defined by the CON in possibly (if not probably) biased terms, and their small, speculative threats that are threats posed by both failed and stable nations are a larger threat to the United States than the extreme and current military threat failed nations such as Afghanistan and North Korea are presenting to the United States right now.

P.S. "CON" is a title for the con side.
Debate Round No. 2


Strikeeagle84015 forfeited this round.


What do you do when your opponent forfeits? :(
Debate Round No. 3
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