The Instigator
needledak
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
merciless
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Resolved: North Korea poses a more serious threat to U.S national security than Iran

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
merciless
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,440 times Debate No: 17116
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

needledak

Con

This is a public forum debate. The opponent is required to follow public forum rules. First round is 1st constructive speech, 2nd round is crossfire, 3rd is 2nd constructive (rebuttal), 4th is crossfire, and 5th is final focus/summary speech.

Contention 1: Iran funds, encourages and supports the proliferation of terrorism.

Sub-point A: Iran openly supports and funds Hezbollah, a major terrorist organization.

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said in 2006 that "Iran has been... [a] central banker for terrorism in important regions like Lebanon through Hezbollah." The U.S. Department of Defense estimates Iran's monetary support for the extremist group at $100 to $200 million annually.

Impact: Hezbollah prevents the establishment of peace and stability in the Middle East.

Hezbollah was capable of driving back the Israeli army from South Lebanon in 2000. Now, Israel warns of the Hezbollah threat not to its own borders, but to the stability of the entire region - and thus any hope of creating peace. Iran, through Hezbollah, is committed to preventing Middle East peace, a goal of the US.

Sub-point B: Iran pays the Taliban for its anti-US operations in Afghanistan, and supplies the group with weapons.

MSNBC reported on a Sunday Times investigation which found that Iran pays the Taliban $1,000 for the death of each US soldier and $6,000 for the destruction of a US military vehicle. The Taliban's treasurer described it as a "marriage of convenience." Not to mention that Tehran supplies the Taliban with weapons. More than 10 tons were intercepted along the desert border between Iran and Afghanistan in 2009, implicating a huge amount that was not intercepted. Iran supplies the Taliban with monetary incentive and the tools to carry out the campaign against US interests and thus national security in Afghanistan.

Sub-point C: Iran is the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism.

According to the US State Department Iran is "the most active state sponsor of terror in the world." In addition to Hezbollah and the Taliban, Iran also funds Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other liberation movements in the region. Unlike other countries, Iran is actively involved in all aspects of the functioning of these groups. It provides more than weapons to these groups. In fact, as already described, both the Taliban and Hezbollah note the importance of Iran's monetary support. Iran is also considered a safe haven for terrorist groups. While it offers these groups training as well as local endorsement and recruits, it also allows a base from where terrorist organizations can plan attacks. Since the State Department acknowledges Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism, Iran is a clear threat to national security.

Contention 2: Iran promotes and benefits from global instability

Sub-Point A: Political and Social Instability in the Middle East

Recently, opposition movements have spread throughout the Middle East - threatening the political and social stability of these regions. Iran was the first country in the middle east to have these protests and other opposition leaders have cited Iran's "Green Movement" as a source of inspiration. Iran has backed other movements - most notably in Bahrain, which is a key US ally. According to the Wall Street Journal: "Bahrain gave its sternest warning yet to Iran to keep out of its affairs, saying an escalation in the two countries' dispute over Bahrain's recent crackdown on political unrest could lead to war." Clearly, a war in the Middle East is not what the US wants, due to the economic, political, and social repercussions involved.

Sub-Point B: Global Economic Instability

By endorsing these movements, Iran not only spreads political instability in the Middle East - but economic instability worldwide. According to Eliezer Weinstein of Yale University, "When protests occur people become uneasy of their investments in the region. In specific regards to the Middle East - oil prices rise." According to USA Today, "The Iran protests are among the latest uprisings that have churned through North Africa and the Middle East, a crucial region that's responsible for most of the world's crude exports. Analysts say it's impossible to say how long it will take for uprisings to play out, but energy markets will be on edge." Specifically, oil has gone up 35% in the last three months as a result of the protests. It has been estimated that this will added $520 billion dollars to the US trade deficit. In addition, for every dollar increase in oil, it is estimated that the stock market losses hundreds of points. Some economists have even predicted a return to recession, as more of the consumer's money are going to paying for oil and gasoline that is going offshore instead of spending on other goods and services.
merciless

Pro

Contentions:
1. North Korea will have longer-ranged ballistic missiles than Iran
2. North Korea is more aggressive than Iran
3. North Korea has more types of WMD's than Iran

Contention 1: North Korea will have longer-ranged ballistic missiles than Iran

BBC News quotes that "North Korea will have nuclear ICBM's (missiles that can reach the other side of the world) in 5-10 years" while FARS News Agency states that Iran only has "short and mid-range missiles". Iran poses a threat only to countries that are in the same region such as Israel, but not countries far away from it such as the US. North Korea, on the other hand, will be able to strike the other side of the world with nuclear warheads in 5 years, making it a threat to the US and all other nations. North Korea has the means and the animosity to attack the US; Iran only has the animosity. This makes North Korea a much greater threat than Iran.

Contention 2: North Korea is more aggressive than Iran

The recent North Korean Yeonpeong Attack on an island that is disputed between North and South Korea proves that North Korea is much more aggressive than Iran. Iran and Israel have not attacked each other and are starting to have diplomatic talks [1]. North and South Korea, on the other hand, have stopped diplomatic talks and have bombarded disputed territory, killing each others' civilians. Common sense dictates that the more aggressive country is more of a threat, especially under circumstances where military power is about equal. The more aggressive country is more likely to attack other nations, especially those that hinder its aims. Thus North Korea is more likely to attack the US because it's more aggressive and the US hinders its efforts to reunite Korea. The souring relations between North and South Korea also makes a North-South war more likely, forcing US involvement.

Contention 3: North Korea has more types of WMD's than Iran

In addition to nuclear warheads, North Korea also has a bio weapons program that although rudimentary by Western standards, is capable of producing weaponized anthrax, cholera, and plague. With ICBM's to launch the biological warheads, North Korea can infect an entire region of the United States or any other nation with a dangerous pathogen. Iran, on the other hand, has publicly denounced the use of biological and chemical weapons [4]. Remember that when estimating a nation's potential as a threat, one must factor in not only the amount of weapons that a nation has, but also the types of weapons. Some weapons are more destructive than others. Biological weapons threaten not only the nation being attacked, but also bordering nations, and depending on how far the disease spreads, nations in other regions as well. North Korea's possession of biological weapons makes it not only a threat to the US, but also to US allies and the rest of the world.

Sources:
[1] www.huffingtonpost.com/.../iran-and-israel-hold-secr_ws_329720.html
[2] www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/bw/index.html
[3] planet debate
[4] http://www.armscontrol.org...
Debate Round No. 1
needledak

Con

Questions:

For you BBC news quote, can you please give me a specific link to the article that says North Korea will have long ranged ballistic missiles in 5 to 10 years?

As for your first contention, what incentive does North Korea have to attack other countries?

Isn't it true if North Korea will never actually use their nuclear weapons because of mutually assured destruction?

And if North Korea has both the means and animosity to attack the U.S, why haven't they done so?

Also, isn't it true that according to globalsecurity.org, Iran is two years from acquiring nuclear weapons and because of their geographic location, have the capacity to harm more nations than North Korea?

For your second contention, again, why would North Korea want to attack South Korea? What is there for North Korea to gain?

If you look to your second contention, you talk about how North Korea and Iran's military power is equal however, isn't it true that according to Globalfirepower.com, Iran is ranked as a higher military threat than North Korea?

What impact is there to more aggression? If an old man with a carrot really wanted to kill you, but another man with a gun wanted to kill you, wouldn't you agree the man with the gun is the bigger threat?

For your third contention, isn't it true North Korea isn't unique in having biological weapons? Doesn't Iran also have biochemical weapons?

Furthermore, how would North Korea use/transport the weaponized agent?

Also, if North Korea has all these biological weapons, how come they haven't used it yet?

Would you agree that Iran overall supports terrorism more than North Korea?

Wouldn't you also agree that Iran poses a greater economic threat due to their control over the Strait of Hormuz?

http://www.globalfirepower.com...

http://www.globalsecurity.org...
merciless

Pro

Answers to my opponent's questions:
2. North Korea will attack other countries, especially South Korea, if that will help them reunite the Korean peninsula under Communism.
3. The Soviet Union never used its nuclear weapons on the US because of mutually assured destruction, yet the Soviet Union was the greatest threat to the US in history. Even if North Korea doesn't use its nuclear weapons, the threat remains that it will use its nuclear weapons. These nuclear weapons give North Korea leverage when negotiating with South Korea or even the US.
4. Just because a nation has the means and the animosity to attack another nation doesn't mean that it's in that nation's interest to attack. I'll give you this example: presently the US has the means and the animosity to attack Iran, but we haven't yet because if we do we would be seen as an aggressive country, which would undermine our leadership.
5. OK, so Iranian proliferation would spur other nations in the Middle East to develop nuclear weapons. Based on your argument from question 3, wouldn't that bring peace to the region because any war between nations in the Middle East would bring mutually assured destruction.
6. North Korea would get the entire Korean peninsula under Communism (what the North Koreans have been fighting for since the Cold War).
7. First of all, on the home page of globalfirepower.com, it says "It is hardly a super-accurate scientific measurement of military strength", which makes globalfirepower.com an unreliable source. Second, military strength doesn't equal military threat, otherwise we would be obsessing on attacks from Israel, so your military threat point is false. Third, although Iran is 2 places higher on the list, North Korea and Iran are still about equal.
8. Your analogy has two people of the same amount of aggression. If we changed the aggression levels so that the guy with the gun is less aggressive, the person with the carrot would be more of a threat. Everyone would agree that a person intent on killing (the more aggressive person) would be more of a threat than an armed robber, whether the murderer's weapon was a gun, a stick, or a carrot. Likewise, the more aggressive nation is a greater threat.
9. Maybe (there are allegations), but Iran has publicly denounced the use of such weapons and therefore are less likely to use them.
10. I've already told you in my first speech.
11. Yes
12. No, we can just go on the United Arab Emirates side of the strait.

Also, please number your questions to make it easier for me and the voters to read.

Questions for my opponent:
1. How is driving back the Israeli army equivalent to preventing peace in the Middle East?
2. If we weren't in Afghanistan, would Iran's funding of the Taliban affect us at all? Why should we be in Afghanistan?
3. Most terrorist groups target Israel. How are they a threat to our national security?
4. Did the protests happen because Iran promoted them, or because there was already unrest about people in power in the Middle East? It sounds to me like the Iranian people protested against the Iranian president, and the people of other nations did the same thing.

Unused Sources:
http://www.globalsecurity.org...
Debate Round No. 2
needledak

Con

Answers to opponent's questions:

1. The Hezbollah wants to wipe Israel off the face of the planet. In other words, person a wants to kill person b. Because there is conflict, there is no peace.

2. If we weren't in Afghanistan, the Taliban would affect us both directly and indirectly. For example, we would begin to see the Taliban expand in the Middle East, new terrorist organizations form, disruption in the oil market, angry Middle East countries, war, protests and riots. If we lived in our own little world where we were completely isolated from all countries, maybe the expansion of the Taliban wouldn't affect us, however, we are interconnected with the Middle East. Furthermore, if the Taliban can get its hands on nuclear weapons, they can start a nuclear war in the Middle East and potentially bring it to the U.S

3. I can ask you the same question, North Korea targets South Korea, how is North Korea a threat to us? Israel is an ally just like South Korea. If you want us to go by your logic, all your contentions would have no impact.

4. I've already explained this in my second contention sub point A. Look again.

Refutation to my opponent's case:

1. Starting off with his first contention, first of all, my opponent has still failed to show me a source for his BBC new quote. Secondly, my opponent even admitted in the first crossfire that although North Korea won't use its nuclear weapons, the threat still remains. He's basically conceding to the point that North Korea will actually never use their nuclear weapons because of mutually assured destruction. He brings up the fact that North Korea uses its weapons as leverage to milk the U.S for concessions. However this directly contradicts his own case because this gives North Korea another reason to not use its nukes. This is because North Korea is not self-sufficient and heavily relies on aid from countries like the U.S and South Korea. So why would North Korea want to attack the country that is essentially babysitting them? Let's also not forget the fact that according to the Cato Institute, "The North Korean regime, while bizarre and brutally repressive, has never shown signs of suicidal behavior." Attacking the U.S or South Korea would be suicidal and therefore there is no incentive for North Korea to ever launch one of its nuclear weapons. Also, my opponent said in the first crossfire that even if a country has the means and animosity to attack, they won't do it because it's not in their interest. This again clashes with my opponent's case because North Korea MIGHT have the capacity, and intent to attack South Korea, however, as I explained before, this would be suicide. Furthermore, remember North Korea doesn't have the technology to mobilize a nuclear warhead to fit on an ICBM missile, so even if North Korea had long ranged ballistic missiles, they still wouldn't have an operational nuke. But again, until my opponent can give me the link to his BBC quote, this contention instantly falls.

2. Look into his second contention where he talks about how North Korea is more aggressive than Iran. However, this point carries no impact because while North Korea may have more intent to attack, they don't have the capacity or an incentive. My opponent talks about how their army is just as big as Irans, however, I've shown you how North Korea's army is inferior and according to yonhap news, "North Korean soldiers are increasingly plagued by malnutrition." Furthermore, recognize that North Korea's weapons technology is primitive and date all the way back to the guns and tanks the soviet union used in the 50s. My opponent tried to undermine the credibility of globalfirepower.com, however, their numbers are estimated not ,"super accurate." Furthermore, in the first crossfire my opponent said that the old man with the carrot who REALLY wanted to kill you would be a bigger threat than the man with the gun who wanted to kill you. This makes no sense at all, obviously the man with the gun would be the bigger threat because he's the only one who can kill you. North Korea may really want to kill us, however, they just don't have the capacity like Iran, nor an incentive to do so.

3. This contention doesn't have an impact either because of mutually assured destruction. As I've explained before, North Korea attacking any U.S ally would be suicide.

Questions to my opponents answers:

7. You say that military strength doesn't equate to military threat, please explain how this makes sense.

8. I said the man with the gun has less of and intent to kill, and could you explain to me how a man with a carrot is more of a threat than the man with the gun?

12. I asked you if Iran poses a larger economic threat, not the alternative route to the Strait of Hormuz. Can you answer the question again?

http://www.cato.org...

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr...
merciless

Pro

Planet debate won't allow me to access the link for BBC news, but here's an alternative source:
http://news.bbc.co.uk...

North Korea has already developed a long-ranged missile system that have "Alaska or Hawaii within its reach and even the continental US if a lighter warhead were used."

Under PF format, you were supposed to save your questions for crossfire. I'll therefore leave them unanswered until Round 4.
----------------
I will first further my own case, and then refute my opponent's case.

1. In the past, the Soviet Union was considered the greatest threat to the US in history. They had ICBM's and nuclear capabilities just like we did. Out of mutually assured destruction, neither side would directly attack the other. However, there remained the threat that the nukes would be used in retaliation. For example, Truman denied Macarthur the right to use atomic weapons on China during the Korean War because Truman knew that the Soviet Union would retaliate and would probably attack Western Europe with nuclear weapons, causing a vicious cycle that would lead to nuclear war between the US and the USSR. Likewise, if North Korea develops nuclear weapons, there will be a threat of mutually assured destruction. The US and North Korea would not attack each other, but both sides could use nuclear weapons as retaliation. This would make US intervention in a North-South Korean war suicidal, and North Korea would easily take over the non-nuclear South. My opponent argues that North Korea would not attack countries that are "babysitting" it. The Yeonpeong attack I mentioned in my first speech disproves this statement.

2. The Yeonpeong attack also proves that North Korea is more aggressive, and aggression is the foundation of threat. Without aggression, one is harmless, no matter what weapon one is carrying. That is why we don't run away from the policeman, but we run away from the maniac with a stick. My opponent argues that "the old man with the carrot who REALLY wanted to kill you" would be less of a threat than "the man with the gun who wanted to kill you". This analogy does not even apply to North Korea and Iran. They both want to eliminate a US ally. They don't want to eliminate the US, but North Korea will attack the US in retaliation if we militarily intervene in favor of South Korea.

3. More types of WMD's means that North Korea can do more damage in retaliation for US support to South Korea. Biological weapons allow them to kill more people while nuclear and chemical weapons cause more property and environmental damage. These WMD's can also be used on South Korea in order to take it over quicker.

O1. The terrorist groups that Iran supports target Israel, not the US. Iran thus is a threat to Israel, but not to the US. Presently, Iran and Israel are in the middle of peace talks, so the terrorist issue will be resolved eventually. On the other hand, North and South Korea have stopped talks and are preparing for war. This war will include not only North and South Korea but also possibly China and Russia. It's obvious that the US cannot fight this war and maintain its interests in the other wars as well. My opponent argues that Hezbollah prevents peace in the Middle East, but the only evidence that he gives for this is that Hezbollah wants to kill Israel. A lot of nations want to kill each other. India wants to take the Kashmir mountains from Pakistan. North Korea wants to take over South Korea, and vice versa. According to my opponent, there is never peace in the world, since people want to kill each other all the time.

O2. The only way that protest movements in Iran can spread to other nations is if there was already political unrest in those nations. When one nation's people speak out against tyranny, the people of other nations naturally will too. If we should view Iran's Green Movement as a threat, then we should also view the revolutions in Libya and Egypt as threats, since they may inspire the people of Bahrain to revolt.

In conclusion, my opponent is basing his case on threats to US allies that are on their way to being dealt with, while I base my case on future threats on the US and US allies that could compound and cripple the US. Which case is more credible I will leave for the voters to decide.
Debate Round No. 3
needledak

Con

1. The man with the gun and carrot was an analogy, but for you, I'll be a little more specific. So are you saying the man with the gun who wants to kill your ally is less of a threat than an old man with a carrot who really wants to kill your ally? PLEASE just answer the question, don't bring up another analogy

2. You say that military strength doesn't equate to military threat, please explain how this makes any sense.

3. I asked you if Iran poses a larger economic threat, not what the alternative route to the Strait of Hormuz is. Can you answer the question again?

4. For you BBC news quote, it doesn't specifically say that North Korea HAS an operational long ranged ICBM. Can you please give me the quote that says so?

5. Does North Korea have a fully functional nuclear missile that can reach the U.S or South Korea?

6. You stated in your 2nd constructive speech, " neither side would directly attack the other," and " The US and North Korea would not attack each other." If they're never going to attack each other, how can a country retaliate?

7. I want your honest opinion, what do you think would happen if North Korea attacked South Korea with a nuclear missile?

8. Does North Korea heavily rely on concessions from the U.S and South Korea to help support its economy?

9. You bring up the policeman analogy but you stated yourself, in order for something to be a threat it has to have both the means and animosity to attack. So how does this analogy make any sense? The policeman has the means in this case but not the animosity , does he not?

10. Is Iran more militarily powerful than North Korea?

11. You talk about how since the Hezbollah only targets Israel, a U.S ally, Iran is therefore not a threat. But, North Korea only targets South, so going by your logic, isn't North Korea not a threat?

12. Are you aware Iran supports more dangerous terrorist organizations than just the Hezbollah?

13. You stated in your 2nd constructive speech, " my opponent is basing his case on threats to US allies that are on their way to being dealt with, while I base my case on future threats on the US and US allies that could compound and cripple the US."
Just to clarify, North Korea is a threat in the future, right?

14. You also said, " aggression is the foundation of threat," and ," Without aggression, one is harmless, no matter what weapon one is carrying." Ok, so would an handicapped, old, poor, dieing, handcuffed old man with a piece of hair in his hand, who really wanted to kill you be a threat to you? Because going by your logic, it would make perfect sense.

15. You said, " but North Korea will attack the US in retaliation if we militarily intervene in favor of South Korea." You are explicitly stating that the U.S will be the first one to invade North Korea. I have two questions for you. What incentive does the U.S have to intervene in North Korea? And even if the U.S did invade North Korea, how do you think we would attack? Would we make a couple thousand charge through the DMZ?
merciless

Pro

Answers to my opponent's questions:
1. No, that is not what I'm saying. Your analogy does not apply to the North Korea-Iran situation.
2. By your logic Israel is more of a threat to the US than either Iran or North Korea, because it is stronger than both of them.
3. No, Iran does not pose a larger economic threat.
4. What can be more specific than "[the Taepodong 2] could well be North Korea's first genuine intercontinental ballistic missile"?
5. If they don't right now, they can always make one.
6. By your logic, since the Soviet Union and the US never directly attacked each other, there existed no possibility of one side using nuclear weapons for retaliation.
7. South Korea would declare war on North Korea. The US and possibly NATO would supply at least weapons to South Korea. China and Russia would supply at least weapons to North Korea. This sets up the possibility of another world war, or at least a nuclear war.
8. No, just because North Korea flood rescue money from the US and South Korea doesn't mean that North Korea heavily relies on the US and South Korea for its economy.
9. That's why we don't see a policeman as a threat to our safety.
10. Possibly, but in any case not by much.
11. Israel can handle Iran and Hezbollah by itself. South Korea can't handle a nuclear North Korea by itself and the US would be forced to take action.
12. More dangerous terrorist groups such as what (this is one of my questions)?
13. North Korea is a threat in the very near future.
14. Of course if someone can't come after you, he/she is not a threat. I'm saying that to be a threat one has to at the very least have aggressive intentions.
15. I never said the US would attack North Korea. I said the US would militarily intervene in favor of South Korea (defending South Korea with troops also counts as military intervention). A US attack on North Korea would only hasten the arrival of nuclear war.

Questions for my opponent:
1. answer #12
2. Who has carried out more attacks on US allies: North Korea or Iran? Therefore, who is more aggressive?
3. Which is more dangerous to the US: a country with missiles that can hit the US, or a country with missiles that can hit US allies but not the US?
4. Does mutually assured destruction increase or decrease the degree that a certain nation is a threat?
5. How is North Korea dependant on the US and South Korea in any way?
6. You conceded in your second speech that North Korea has more desire to attack. What other incentive is needed? Also, since North Korea already has ICBM's and will be able to install nuclear warheads on them in 5-10 years, how does North Korea not have the capacity to attack?
7. What makes Iran capable of attacking the US? Its missiles can't reach the US, and its terrorist groups don't care to attack the US.
Debate Round No. 4
needledak

Con

Answer to my opponent's questions:

1. Look at my entire first contention again.
2. North Korea has done a couple attacks. The impact of these attacks are minimal. Iran funds terrorist organizations we are currently fighting two wars against.
3. Ok, first of all, the article says, North Korea COULD have the missile. It never says they HAVE it and there is proof that they do. Secondly, they don't have the technology to mobilize a warhead onto an ICBM missile. I don't want to get into anymore semantics, I mean, I COULD be a fairy princess but that doesn't necessarily mean that I am one.
4. M.A.D is the reason why nations don't attack each other.
5. According to the C.R.S, just from 1995, the U.S has provided in over over 1.3 billion dollars in aid to North Korea. Furthermore, Andrei Lankov of the WSJ writes," Since North Korea's semi-Stalinist economy cannot meet the most basic demands of the population, the regime needs aid from the outside world (the U.S)." If North Korea didn't need aid, their GDP wouldn't less than 1 percent of the U.S GDP, and their entire country wouldn't be impoverished.
6. Again, North Korea doesn't have an operation nuclear missile. Intent doesn't matter because North Korea will never launch its nuke.
7. Iran funds terrorists that attack U.S soldiers. If terrorist groups weren't interested in attacking the U.S we wouldn't see U.S troops dieing in Afghanistan.

Summary Speech/ Final Focus:

First of all, I'd like to point out that this resolution is a STATUS-QUO resolution, so therefore, we must not weigh the threats in the future, but examine the threats that are happening right now in the present. Look to my first contention, my opponents only response to this was that the terrorist groups Iran support ONLY target Israel and then goes on to say that the Hezbollah doesn't prevent middle east peace because they only want to kill Israel, implying that they've never done anything. First, I'd like to point out Israel supports other terrorist groups like the Taliban, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other liberation movements. If they were only targeting Israel, we wouldn't see U.S troops or civilians dieing in the Middle East. Secondly, the Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, not a tree house club, during the Hezbollian-Israeli they killed thousands of Irsaeli troops and to this day, prevent Middle East peace through terrorist acts like homicide and bombings. Look to my second contention, my opponent's only refutation to this was that these movements have no impact. However, he's ignoring the fact that because of these movements , "oil has gone up 35% in the last three months as a result of the protests." At the point, where these movements are adding an extra $520 billion dollars to the U.S trade deficit, causing the stock market to loose thousands of point, and leading economists to forecast a return to a recession, we can see that these movements do have a massive impact. Going back to my opponents case, extend my CATO institute evidence which states, "The North Korean regime, while bizarre and brutally repressive, has never shown signs of suicidal behavior. And attacking the United States would definitely be suicidal. Even attacking a U.S. treaty ally, such as Japan or South Korea, would be extraordinarily risky." In my opponents first contention, he talks about how North Korea has long ranged ICBM missiles. But AGAIN, he has still failed to provide a quote saying that North Korea HAS and operational long ranged ICBM missile. Furthermore, as I've stated previously, even if North Korea had a fully functional nuke, they'll never use the weapons because of M.A.D. But even if you don't buy that, remember that North Korea heavily relies on concessions from the U.S and South Korea, so therefore, there is no incentive for it to kill the country that's essentially babysitting it. In my opponents second contention, he argues North Korea has more intent. However, as I stated before, intent doesn't matter when one doesn't have the capacity, and surely, North Korea doesn't have the capacity to launch a nuclear missile. Look to his final contention where he says North Korea has more WMDs. He talks specifically about biological weapons. However, again, this isn't unique to North Korea and again they'll never use their biochemical weapons because of M.A.D. Don't be fooled by my opponent, he tried to put the argument in my mouth that Iran specifically wanted to attack Israel, and then refuted it, however, NOWHERE in my case, did I specifically state Iran wanted to bombard Israel. North Korea may be a threat in 5 years however, Iran is threat right now in the present and thus, I strongly urge a negative ballot.
merciless

Pro

First, let's look at my opponent's responses to my crossfire questions. For question 1, he admits that the terrorist groups that Iran supports only attack Israel. The Taliban may attack US troops in Afghanistan, but they are an insurgency, not a terrorist group, and they wouldn't be attacking us if we weren't in Afghanistan. For question 2, my opponent concedes that North Korea has attacked South Korea. He says the impact of these attacks are minimal, which means he considers the real possibility of a North-South war to have little impact, even if the US would be forced to be involved. Iran may fund groups we are fighting against, but my opponent fails to consider that we fight these groups out of choice and not necessity. For question 3, my opponent concedes that North Korea could have an ICBM and argues that "could have" doesn't mean "have". Even if the Taepodong 2 isn't an ICBM, it can still hit the US, and therefore is a threat to the US. And if North Korea can fit regular warheads on a long-ranged missile, there is no reason it can't fit a nuclear warhead or a biological warhead on a long-ranged missile. For question 4, my opponent claims that mutually assured destruction is the reason nations don't attack each other. True enough, but the Soviet Union didn't have to attack the US to be a threat. Likewise, if North Korea develops nuclear capabilities, it doesn't have to attack the US to be a threat. For question 5, my opponent claims that the US provided $1.3 billion to North Korea over a span of 15 years. That's just $.1 billion on average per year, and it takes more than $.1 billion to run a country. I would think that North Korea relies more on countries with which it has friendly relationships, such as China and Russia. For question 6, my opponent claims that North Korea is not a threat because it would never launch a nuke. That's the equivalent of arguing that the Soviet Union wasn't a threat because it would never launch a nuke. For question 7, my opponent claims that terrorist groups funded by Iran kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. As stated before, the Taliban is an insurgency, not a terrorist group, and US troops wouldn't be dying in Afghanistan if the US government didn't choose to send them to Afghanistan.
I agree with my opponent that the resolution is a status-quo resolution. Both North Korea and Iran are developing nuclear technologies. Therefore they are both a threat at the present moment. It's just that North Korea is more of a threat because while Iran (not Israel, as my opponent said in his final focus) funds terrorist groups that attack Israel, North Korea has long-ranged missiles capable of hitting the continental US and of being fitted with WMD's. North Korea also attacks South Korea with a lot more vigor and aggression, while Iran just sets scattered terrorist groups on Israel.
My opponent's economic threat contention falls because the protests are more a consequence of political unrest in the Middle East than they are a consequence of anything Iran might have done.
In conclusion, North Korea's aggression, long-ranged missiles and WMD's outweigh Iran's scattered terrorist groups. I urge a PRO ballot.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
I completely agree.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
I think the voting scheme could use some work as well, I would like at least a 10/10 scale.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
Cliff, I see the logic in what you are saying and in the future I might award points like that. If I had structured the point awarding system on this site, I might have done it a bit differently. In my opinion though, PRO took it, but only slightly. While the point system on this site would tend to indicate perhaps a broader victory the explanation of how and why I voted the way I did that I posted in the comments does balance that out (I hope). I will be very curious to see how you vote on this debate. No one judge can ever be absolutely right, which is why I really do want to see how other people weigh in on the matter (especially people who judge sensibly and rationally, as you have). It is always interesting to me to see how and why people vote the way that they do, wether they agree or disagree with my call (perhaps especially if they disagree). Nevertheless, this was a great round and both competitors should feel rather accomplished.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Enjoyable to read and well argued, I have to read this again before voting.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"If I had judged you guys in an actual PFD round I would have scored it 28/27."

So vote 4:3 which is decently close.
Posted by Aaronroy 5 years ago
Aaronroy
I remember this debate, it was one of the Public Forum High School debate topics last year
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
I saw it, and you both had good sources. However, Public Forum isn't entirely a source war (though source-quality is important). The reason that your evidence didn't outweigh that posed by your opponent is because Merciless demonstrated that NK didn't act rationally (by the attacks NK had launched against SK). The standard you both agreed upon was a status quo threat (a threat as it exists in the present). However, a different judge may come to an alternative conclusion and that is fine. I commend you both for excellent research and topical understanding. The only advice I would have in the future is to provide more of a framework on both sides. It would be good for you both to explicitly define not only how we are to determine one side is more of a threat than the other and also to justify why that weighing mechanism is to be favored over another. There are a couple of videos on the National Forensics League website (under either resources or the NFLTV section) that I believe can instruct you in pursuit of that end -but that's just a stylistic preference on my part. Either way, again, brilliant debate. It was very close. I will say though that my vote is not absolute, it is possible that (by the virtue that I am human) others might disagree -which is why others should judge this round. Don't take my word for the gospel truth, I am but a humble observer!
Posted by needledak 5 years ago
needledak
dear YYW, look at my Cato institute quote where I explained that though North korea is irrational they're not suicidal.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
Also, I hate this voting standard that debate.org uses. If I had judged you guys in an actual PFD round I would have scored it 28/27.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
Con begins by strategically structuring his case to not address NK until it becomes necessary to do so, occasioning himself to focus entirely on the harms of Iran. The thrust of the con tended to focus on Iranian terrorist sponsorship and how that sponsorship causes global unrest. The thrust of the pro focused primarily on NK's possession of long-range missiles and how they are more likely to use those missiles as well as other WMDs at their disposal -at the expense of the US. Pro noted that though Iran is quite the extensive sponsor of terrorism, the specific organizations favored by Iranian sponsorship tend to be more inclined to target Israel and not the US. Pro's counter to the instability argument made by con I did not find to be as well developed as it could have been though. Con highlighted that though NK has nukes, it would be averse to using them because of NK's dependence on foreign aid. Con also substantiated that NK has neither capacity or incentive to attack US because doing so would have disastrous effects to NK. NK however, as PRO noted has a tendency to act irrationally -as it did in the examples of NK offensive that PRO cited. Since both sides agreed that this is a resolution about current threats, rather than future threats and PRO demonstrated more effectively how NK is more of a threat than Iran. The resolution calls for a weighing standard to determine which side is more of a threat; PRO maintained that NK has means (missiles and bioweapon), though neither side really proved definitively of an intent (of either) to cause direct harm to US. NK would have to be provoked, Iran just sponsors terrorist groups that go after Israel? This was a magnificently close debate though and both sides did an excellent job -the victory however I must afford to PRO because the magnitude of the Iranian threat was not proven to exceed the NK threat while the imminence of the NK threat was more effectively substantiated -and debaters agreed to a status quo debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
needledakmercilessTied
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: I would have liked to see a more structured constructive which fragmented beyond the first. The cross fires also did not have clearly tagged objectives nor did the responses. In the end hinging on a threat Pro was able to shift the treat terror to Israel and maintain that the substantial threat was there taking threat as ability to cause harm. But this was close as Con argued well noting lack of incentive. 4:3 Pro
Vote Placed by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
needledakmercilessTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: See my comment posted in the comments section. Both sides did an excellent job and I enjoyed reading through this debate. I encourage both debaters to keep up the good work and I look foreword to any debates either competitor may pose in the future.