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Resolved: President Obama's plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United States' best

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,457 times Debate No: 11610
Debate Rounds (3)
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Resolved: President Obama's plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United States' best interest.

My partner and I reject the resolution.

First, I would like to define a few key terms. Obama's plan for increasing troops: This refers to the 30,000 troop surge into Afghanistan. The US's best interests shall be interpreted as in the United State's preamble, where the people are assured domestic tranquility, a promotion of the general welfare, and a secure nation. "Additionally, the US best economic interest not only lies within its own country, but within the welfare of other nations according to the Montevido Conventions."

C1- Economically, the troop surge is unreasonable.
War is expensive, and it's about to get more so as the U.S. government escalates its military efforts in Afghanistan. As of the end of the 2009 fiscal year, $226.7 billion has been spent on the war in Afghanistan, also known as Operation Enduring Freedom (FAS). According to the government run CRS (Congressional Research Service), the total cost at the end of the 2010 fiscal year (Oct 1,2009 – Sept 30, 2010) for OEF will become $299.6 billion (DOD 278.3, Foreign Aid/Diplomatic ops 19.7, Vets Med 1.6). The troop surge will alone take up $41.6B of $73B to be spent. With the economy the way it is, spending $42 billion on an unnecessary troop surge is unreasonable. According to David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the president does not want to build up the debt of already over $12 trillion. Therefore, the funding is likely to come from average American taxpayer resulting in gradual war surtax up to 5% for households. However, during the economic crisis citizens must deal with right now, many cannot afford to pay greater taxes for the military. Furthermore, it would be completely unreasonable for the citizens who do not approve of the increase of troops to pay extra money in something they do not believe in. In the Washington Post Newspaper, Obey issued a statement opposing the troop's buildup and warning that the cost of the military efforts could devour our ability to pay for the actions necessary to rebuild our own economy. We simply cannot afford to shortchange the crucial investments we need in education, job training, healthcare, and energy independence. The biggest threat to our long-term national security is a stunted economy.

C2- Sending troops will not be beneficial.
Subpoint one: The troop surge will push the Afghani citizens to favor the Taliban. Former CIA station chief in Pakistan Howard Hart and Former Afghanistan ambassador and National Security Council official David Miller have stated repeatedly, "With increases in troop levels in Afghanistan, we do not mitigate the opposition, but rather increase opposition and prove to the Afghanis that the Taliban are correct." In summary, the increase of troop levels in Afghanistan, not just now, have pushed more and more Afghanis toward support for the former government, the Taliban and the rise of terrorist attacks. (more in notes). Additionally, various polls by British, American, and German broadcasters have found, that since the earlier 2009 troop surge of 21,000 the opposition towards the United States has grown from 10% before the surge, to 15% (Washington Post 10/13/2009). This shows that simply bringing in more troops will only raise opposition and not get the job done.

Subpoint two: Increase of troops will result in troop shortage.
Washington Independent reported that, "If President Obama orders an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, he will deploying practically every available U.S. Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve in case of an unforeseen emergency and further stressing a force that has seen repeated combat deployments since 2002." This means that our national security would lower when we need it most. It took only one boy to almost successfully cause the Detroit Bombing. Additionally, the US is currently having problems in North Korea and Iran. Why should the United States become even more vulnerable than it is by sending away our troops when we need them most? Furthermore, "The shortage of available combat brigades mean that an escalation between 30,000 and 40,000 troops is "not realistic," said Lawrence Korb, a former senior Pentagon official in the Reagan administration who now studies defense issues for the liberal Center for American Progress. To send practically all available soldiers into one of the two wars would leave the U.S. with "no reserve". Therefore, sending in more troops would not be in the United State's best interest.

Subpoint three: Increasing troops in Afghanistan has raised lack of public support
Over the years, the support for increasing troops split , to where most people do not favor sending more troops. A CNN/opinion research corp. survey released indicated that 39% of Americans favor the war in Afghanistan, whereas 58 percent oppose the mission. (including New York Times, Gallop,) If Obama cannot increase the majority of support for the Afghan conflict he will find it much more difficult to send in more troops with willing soldiers and to ask for more time. One of the main factors why we lost in Vietnam was due to lack of public support. Citizens lost trust when we sent a half million of American troops, only resulting with 58,000 deaths. Nancy Pelosi said in late September of 2009: "I don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in the Congress." This can cause hardships in finding military needs, funding and attitudes towards the government. Also, the United State's best interest includes the citizens' best wishes. If the citizens do not approve of going into Afghanistan, then we are going against out best interests.


A stable security situation in Afghanistan is vital to U.S. national security interests because the removal of a terrorist sanctuary will prevent further attacks on the homeland. It is because we agree with the secretary of defense, Robert Gates, that we affirm:

Resolved: President Obama's plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United States' best interest.

because the troop surge will stabilize Afghanistan in four main ways:

1.The troop surge will increase self security through increasing the size of the Afghanistan National Army
2.The troop surge will eliminate the Opium problem that is condemning Afghanistan to an unstable society
3.The troop surge will increase global stability and lead to the decrease in radical Islamic groups worldwide.

Contention One: The troop surge in Afghanistan will allow Afghanistan to secure it's nation without being dependent upon US aid.

According to a recent WashingtonPost poll, 70% of Americans see stabilizing Afghanistan to be one of the United States's best interests. However, in order to stabilize Afghanistan in a way that does not ensure long term commitment by the US, the Afghanistan National Army needs to be able to secure it's nation. The troop surge will do just this. According to a report dated December 5, 2009 from the United States Military Academy, "contrary to popular belief, the 30,000 troops will not conduct aggressive counter insurgency operations. They will be, in the majority, training and monitoring the growth and mentoring of the Afghanistan National Army." Previous similar troop surges saw the ANA recruitment surge 300%. Thus, the recent 30,000 US troop surge, according to the joint chiefs of staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, will increase the ANA membership from 10,000 members to 150,000 members. This increase will allow for US combat troops to return home by July 2011 and will not engage the US in a long term military commitment, analogous to Vietnam, because Afghanistan will have an efficient standing army capable of removing insurgents without US aid.

Contention Two: The troop surge will help to eliminate the Opium trade that is harming Afghanistan stability.

Currently, 90% of the world's Heroin is produced in Afghanistan. The Heroin trade is controlled by the Taliban, and is thus the largest source of revenue for the Taliban, making up 85% of the Taliban's revenue. The troop surge will aid in the elimination of this massive source of profit for the Taliban, and thus provide a critical blow to the Taliban. For example, in February of 2009 Obama issued a troop surge of 12,000 troops with the goal of destroying Opium plantations. The troop surge, according to the June 2009 assessment of Afghanistan released by the Department of Defense, "in a three month time span, 3,000 soldiers decreased Opium production by 20% as well as replacing 20,000 Opium plantations with a form of either corn or wheat." The report goes on to outline the impacts of the troop surge on Opium production. "Every Opium producing province will see decreases in Opium production due to the troop surge with 14 provinces being completely eradicated of Opium production. Overall, the Taliban will see a 50 percent drop in Opium production as a direct result of the troop surge."

Contention Three: The troop surge will increase stability in Afghanistan, leading to an decrease in global Islamic groups.

Sub-point A: Afghanistan Stability and the Taliban

As the Atlanta Based think tank, the Emory Wheel put it "The United States is the glue holding the order in the Middle East." Thus, if you remove the US from the situation Afghanistan becomes controlled by the Taliban and according to the WashingtonPost "Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have the potential to increase their geographic and demographic area hundredfold." This increase in Taliban presence would allow the Taliban to further their influence into nuclear-armed Pakistan, which as the Heritage Foundation says "the Taliban could push themselves into Pakistan, resulting in a probable nuclear war threatening not only the US, but the entire globe." Essentially, the entire country would fall under the Taliban control, creating an entire government with the basis of extreme Islam, posing a much greater threat to the US.

Sub-Point B: Afghanistan and Pakistan

As the US progresses in the war in Afghanistan, terrorists will begin to harbor in Pakistan. Thus, as the Philadelphia Inquirer says "Our presence in Afghanistan is, in part, a holding action while we seek to stabilize Pakistan and persuade its military to focus more on fighting internal jihadis than on archenemy India. Were Afghanistan to revert to Taliban control, the blowback would be felt inside Pakistan, where terrorists would be immeasurably strengthened."

As President Obama stated "the war in Afghanistan is a necessary war. It is essentially the first stepping stone in the rugged path of eliminating Islamic extremist groups that represent the largest long term security threats the US has ever seen."
Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Freeman 6 years ago
No sources???
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Awed 6 years ago
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