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

Resolved: Failed nations are a greater threat to the U.S. than stable nations.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/1/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,235 times Debate No: 9904
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I'm a new debater, so I'm hoping this will give me some good practice.


Although the U.S. is one of the world's super powers, we are threatened by various countries and nations across the world. The countries that threaten us the most however, are failed nations. We're at war with two of them right now, Afghanistan and Iraq. This brings me to today's topic: Resolved: Failed nations are a greater threat to the United States than stable nations. I'd like to offer the following definitions in order to clarify today's debate. A threat will be defined as an expression of intention to hurt, destroy, punish, etc., as in retaliation or intimidation an indication of imminent danger, harm, evil, etc. the threat of war. A failed nation will be defined as nation that has lost physical control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force, erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions, an inability to provide reasonable public services, and an inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community. A stable nation will be defined as the exact opposite of a failed nation, meaning that a stable nation is firm in character, purpose, or resolution, is steadfast reliable, dependable, not likely to change or be affected adversely, is lasting, and is enduring. With these definitions for clarification, I will begin with my three contentions.

Contention 1 - Nothing to Lose
James Arthur Baldwin once said: "The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose." When you have nothing to lose, what's stopping you from doing whatever you want. There are a lot of things that I want to do, but I know that it will just hurt me in the future and I control myself. I may feel like hurting somebody that's very irritating, but I have self control. Now think larger scale. China may feel like hurting the U.S. because they may find us irritating. But they haven't and they won't because by hurting us, they are hurting themselves. But, if a failed nation felt like hurting the U.S., what do they have to lose? By hurting us, they aren't hurting themselves. Their economy and ours aren't intertwined. They are not bound by treaties with NATO or the U.N. They would just act on impulse without thinking about future repercussions. China would not attack us because they are rational, however, a failed nation, such as Afghanistan or Somalia would because they are irrational, which brings me to my second contention.

Contention 2 - Irrational People
With stable nations, it's possible to come to an agreement and have a civilized discussion over how to deal with a conflict. That's not possible with an irrational person, which is who these failed nations are controlled by. Desperate people do desperate things. These failed nations don't have the necessities that stable nations do like food and water. The citizens of these countries may do whatever somebody says or do dangerous things for what they want or need. These countries are very volatile because of this. Stable nations may have more weapons and a larger military, but they are also more rational. That's why we're not at war with China right now. China and the U.S. can have reasonable talks to keep both countries out of harm's way. North Korea, however, is not like this. They refuse to listen more often than not and couldn't care less what we have to say.
Contention 3 - Can't help all
America seems to always have this constant urge to help whomever they can in the world. We want to establish world peace, we want to help countries, we want to make allies, but the world doesn't work like that. There are currently 60 failed nations according to the failed states index of 2009. How is the U.S. supposed to give aid to all 60 of these failed nations? They can't. And by picking and choosing who to aid and who not to, we are not only making certain countries extremely angry towards us, but while giving aid, we are spreading ourselves too thin. (Possibly the tissue thing) The thinner we spread ourselves, the less help we are actually giving these failed nations and the weaker the U.S. becomes both economically and militarily. If the U.S. however, does not give aid to these countries in need, then the world looks down on the U.S. for being a super power and not aiding those in need. Failed nations may very well cause the downfall of the United States of America.
Failed Nations are obviously more of a danger to the U.S. than stable nations. We're at war with two failed nations at the moment, but not with a stable one. Failed nations have nothing to lose. Their economy is not intertwined with the U.S. and these nations are not bound by treaties. By harming us, they aren't in turn harming themselves. Failed nations have a tendency to act irrationally, or at least their leader does, thus causing the nation as a whole to act irrationally. If the nation is acting irrationally, it is nearly impossible to have a meaningful conversation with them to halt threatening behavior. And lastly, the U.S. can't help every failed nation. Because of this we will either be hated by every failed nation that we don't help, or we will stretch ourselves so thin, that we will literally collapse. For these reasons, I urge you to vote in affirmative of this debate.


To begin I would like to thank my opponent for this popular debate topic.

first I will rebut my opponents arguments.

contention one noting to loose.
all nations have something to loose in a war namely solders lives, leaders life, territory, and power. To say any nation has nothing to loose is patently false.

contention two irrational people
This has nothing to do with dangers from nations because this only individuals causing dangers not a nation as a whole. For a 'nation' to be a threat it needs to be a government sponsored aggression. Otherwise it is just individuals not the nation causing this threat.
contention three can't help all
I fail to see this as an argument at best it just shows that the U.S. Can't help all countries.

now I would like to rebut some specific statements from pro

first the u.s. Is not at war with any nations at this time. We do have military operations within some nations but not against any, for example we are fighting terrorists within the borders of Afghanistan.
second my opponent cites "the failed state index" (which he did not give us the link to) as having 60 failed nations but what he does not realise is that it does not list any failed nations only those at an alert for becoming failed nations.

now to my arguments

The only failed nations are those that no longer exist such a Rome, Austria-Hungary, soviet union, etc,.
my evidence for this is that the failed nation index does not list any failed nations. This would mean that there are no failed nations and something that does not exist can't be threat. If necessary I will have more arguments in my second round.

finally a few questions for my opponent

How can a failed nation make a coordinated attack? And when has this happened?
Debate Round No. 1


PFDebater993 forfeited this round.


extend all arguments
Debate Round No. 2


PFDebater993 forfeited this round.


extend all arguments I win
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Oh, much like our debate just yours is more... simple.

To Tmhustler: Copy your argument on to word, your spelling fails in some places and as for grammer, did you even try? It's worth editing in future; you get judged on your grammer and spelling when the voters vote.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tmhustler 6 years ago
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