Resolved: The US Ought to Aid Ukraine Militarily
used to express obligation , advisability , natural expectation , or logical consequence
in a military manner
(also merriam webster)
Pro must prove that the United States of America ought to aid ukraine militarily
Con must prove that the United States should not aid Ukraine militarily
I am debating this over again because my last opponent was not enough of a challenge to satisfy me, I am not imposing restrictions on who debates, but unless you have some background in foreign policy and are at least a somewhat experienced debater, do not accept please.
Definition of Value/Criterion:
Value: Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest.
Value Criterion: Hegemonic stability theory (HST) is a theory of international relations. Rooted in research from the fields of political science, economics, and history, HST indicates that the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the dominant world power, or hegemon.
I suppose I should start with a brief justification of my values and why they are fitting and proper for today's debate, and then go on to show how providing aid to ukraine militarily upholds these values.
Enlightened self-interest states that when one person (or country in this case) acts on the behalf of others, that person is acting in their own interests. In this case, that would be the USA intervening in the current conflict occurring between Russia and Ukraine. While the US would most likely be acting in it's own interests (to undermine Russia's regional hegemony), it would contribute to world peace and stability. This idea can be reinforced by by value criterion, The Hegemonic Stability Theory.
Hegemonic Stability Theory: To begin my justification for this criterion, I will use a quote that I believe nicely sums up the Hegemonic Stability Theory;
"We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. ... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. ... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. ... We should cease to talk about vague and ... unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."
""George F. Kennan, Policy Planning Study 23 (PPS23), Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1948
To condense the quote in to something that would support my argument, I will offer a brief analyzation; Basically, whether the sovereignty of Ukraine is upheld or the russian ethnic minorities in Ukraine's eastern regions are protected or not should be considered a byproduct, the true ends of the united states should be, and would be to maintain its role of world hegemon. I will speak about why this is important in my first contention.
Contention One: The US Providing Militarily Equipment to Ukraine would Impose a Minimal Burden
The United States of America, despite current reductions in their budget and personnel size, has the most well equipped and technologically advanced military in the world, I do not think anyone disputes this, so I need not provide a source. What I will cite though, that the US has billions of dollars of highly sophisticated, unused equipment that it disposes of periodically that could be given to Ukraine. The US has 4.5 billion dollars of unused counter terrorism equipment that was purchased after 9/11 that it never used and now wishes to dispose of. The US has roughly 6 billion dollars of US equipment in Afghanistan that it is simply going to leave there (not even for the Afghan armed forces to use, it will just sit and rot). The US also has over 35 billion dollars of aircraft in a boneyard in arizona that will never be used again, some of those aircraft are brand new, ordered from Italy. The dozen Italian-built C-27J Spartans have been shipped to an Air Force facility in Arizona dubbed "the boneyard." We are ordering five more, which are expected to be immediately sent with the others into mothballs. The Air Force has spent $567 million on 21 of the planes which will join some 4,400 other aircraft and 13 aerospace vehicles at the boneyard "" more than $35 billion of unused airplanes.
With all of this, the US could provide over $40 billion in military aid to Ukraine and it would impose only the burden of transporting it there. As you can see, the US clearly could significantly increase Ukraine's military capability for very little to no cost.
It is Unlikely Russia would Invade if the US Sent Armed Personnel to Ukraine:
Section Six of the North Atlantic Treaty:
For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:
on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.
Under section five of the treaty, if Russia attacked US forces on Ukrainian soil, they would essentially be declaring war on all of NATO. For this reason, we can conclude that sending US personnel to Ukraine would actually deter an invasion.
We can also conclude that sending thousands of US personnel to Ukraine would impose a minimal burden, as there are already 30,000+ US armed personnel in Europe
Contention Two: The US Intervening in Ukraine Militarily would be Enlightened Self-Interest
It is my belief that the united states intervening in Ukraine would be an action of enlightened self-interest. To further my point, I will refer to my criterion, the Hegemonic Stability Theory. According to the Hegemonic Stability Theory, to maintain world peace there can only be one international hegemon, if this hegemon is undermined or allows a new hegemon to rise, world stability and peace will be threatened. If the HST's conclusion is correct, allowing Russia to invade Ukraine militarily would further solidify their recognized status as a regional hegemon, which would undermine US hegemony in Eastern and Central Europe. Why can we not have multiple hegemons, you ask? According to the father of the HST, Charles Kindlebeger, conflict is more likely to occur when there are multiple hegemons with competing interests. Clear examples of this are WWI, WWII, and the cold war (which resulted in multiple bloody wars). We can then conclude that in the current state of affairs, only the United States re asserting its role as hegemon will maintain peace, which upholds my value of Enlightened Self-Interest.
Thank you, I eagerly await my opponent's reply.
Thank you pro, I will now present my argument.
I’ll split my thoughts into three key points.
First point: Historical proof that military interventions do more harm than good – and that most were part of larger, more selfish plans.
For, as Michael Crichton said, if you don’t know your history, you are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. There are numerous examples in even our brief period of U.S. history that show us that military interventions just cause more chaos.
However, for now I’ll bring to your attention the Afghanistan war, but not our turn in Afghanistan, rather the Soviets, from 1979 – 1989. The Soviets went to war by using much the same logic we used later, in 2001. They attacked to destroy insurgents that were stirring up trouble, that is, the Peshawar Seven and the Tehran Eight.
Both groups housed smaller groups within them, but as a whole, they comprised a unit called the Mujahedeen.
We supported the Mujahedeen in Operation Cyclone, this fact is not controversial and should not be treated as such. This Operation gave these militant Extremist Muslims around $26 Million every year and by 1987 around $630 Million yearly. We supported them because we assumed that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, like we are doing in the Ukraine. Aside from money, we gave them high-tech stinger missiles, military training, and military intelligence.
A short time after the Soviets left, America cut off most of its financial aid, both for military and for refugees. We assumed that our mission was complete in Afghanistan, but we were obviously quite wrong. Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto told Pres. George H.W. Bush “You are creating a Frankenstein”, and he was right. In supporting the Mujahedeen, we supported leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was friendly with al Qaida and Osama bin Laden.
A large part of the Mujahedeen went on to become the Taliban, and in part, this funding was responsible for 9/11. We funded them, and we paid for it. We invaded in 2001, and have spent almost $500 Billion and lost tens of thousands of lives. (Oddly enough, of the $4 Bill. We gave to rebuild the devastated Afghanistan, [for comparison, this year’s rebuild budget for Japan was $262 Billion, two years after its earthquake] half of the money went to DynCorp, a military contractor).
On a side note, Afghanistan is also responsible for some 75% of the Worlds opium production, and that figure has curiously not dropped since we invaded.
As Noam Chomsky said: “Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.”
All of this leads neatly into my second: We have no business being in the Ukraine.
As Mark Twain said “God created war so that Americans would learn geography”. American world politics is essentially a one sided affair that can be summed up with the neat stupidity of Pres. George Bush, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” (http://goo.gl...).
I ask pro to assume for a moment in his so-called “Hegemonic stability theory” another Nation besides America took control. Would you be so pleased if this world power marginalized your country? Why do we respect the Ukraine’s sovereignty, but not Iraq’s? Why are we prepared to give a brand new Government, ripe with passion and blinded by rage, weapons? Why don’t we respect Russia for what it is: a nation capable of making its own decisions, especially when it comes to decisions in its own backyard?
At the very heart of the matter is an old American assumption, one that is prideful, arrogant, and deeply misguided. America assumes it is boss. It assumes it can tell countries what to do and how to do it. It sees the world as its oyster, with resources ripe for plundering, so long as it can avoid destruction. This idea is imperialistic and impossible when held up to modern warfare. We live in times where a move to threaten Russia could be a move to end the world, in the most literal sense possible. We don’t push miniature plastic men around on a big world maps while we laugh over whiskey and cigars anymore.
John McCain said, “We are all Ukrainians in the respect that we have a sovereign nation that is again…being taken in as part of Russia...that is not acceptable to an America that stands up for the rights of human beings. We are Georgians. And we are Ukrainians.”
Mr. McCain is an aged man, at 77, and perhaps has forgotten he is American. This "America that stands up for the rights of human beings" must have forgotten, too, about Guantanamo bay, and all those drones they fly over Pakistan, which, by the way, have liberated over 700 civilians, around 200 of which were children, from their mortal coils. Maybe this America, or this senator, has forgotten about that little invasion they did in 2003, in search of nonexistent WMD's in Iraq. The very same Iraq, which, right now, is still a deadly and nasty country, only now it's a bombed and destabilized nasty country.
This leads to my third point: It is not worth it to threaten Russia.
Obama must ask himself if a world without a war, or a cold war, is worth giving up to come to the aid of the Ukrainians. I would say it is not. Especially when the Russians are acting in their own backyard and have perfectly acceptable reasons to want to assimilate Crimea, a Crimea that wants to be assimilated yet for some reason we won’t let them.
I will first defend my contentions and argument and then attack my opponent's.
My opponent does not really attempt to refute my first contention; that aiding Ukraine militarily would impose a minimal burden on the US, so this point flows through the round and I hope he attempts to refute it on R4.
Defending C2: My opponent attacks my second contention primarily by attacking my value criterion; the hegemonic stability theory, he also attacks my value some, let's take a look:
My opponent brings up the fact that I probably would not like it if I lived in a nation where the lead hegemon was marginalizing my country. He's right, I probably would not, but as I pointed out in my quote during R2, if the US so wishes to maintain it's role as lead hegemon, we must deal in power concepts, we must look at what acts will be best for our country first and foremost, and any benefit or hindrance that might happen as a result to another country as a byproduct, not the product in and of itself. It is in the interest of the United States to maintain the military and monetary disparity that the rest of the world has in comparison to the US, there is no doubting this, but it's also in the best interests of the world and maintaining stability. My opponent uses a historical example to enforce his argument; Afghanistan. This is, of course, the rallying cry of most pacifists and anti interventionists. This is still controversial today and is a flimsy way for my opponent to enforce his argument. As a policy expert at Cambridge University and Vasili Mitrokhin; the first chief directorate of the KGB and an ex soviet and archivist for the soviet union's intelligence service stated: there is "no support" in any "reliable source" for "the claim that the CIA funded bin Laden or any of the other Arab volunteers who came to support the mujahideen." Peter Bergen writes that "[t]he real problem is not that the CIA helped bin Laden during the 1980s, but that the Agency simply had no idea of his possible significance until the bin Laden unit was set up within the CIA in January 1996.
They argue that:
with a quarter of a million local Afghans willing to fight there was no need to recruit foreigners unfamiliar with the local language, customs or lay of the land
with several hundred million dollars a year in funding from non-American, Muslim sources, Arab Afghans themselves would have no need for American funds
Americans could not train mujahideen because Pakistani officials would not allow more than a handful of U.S. agents to operate in Pakistan and none in Afghanistan;
the Afghan Arabs were militant Islamists, reflexively hostile to Westerners, and prone to threaten or attack Westerners even though they knew the Westerners were helping the mujahideen.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri says much the same thing in his book Knights Under the Prophet's Banner.
Bin Laden himself once said "the collapse of the Soviet Union ... goes to God and the mujahideen in Afghanistan ... the US had no mentionable role," but "collapse made the US more haughty and arrogant." 
As you can see, while I am not denying my opponents claims (since no verifiable source can actually confirm or deny them), they are controversial and should be taken with a grain of salt, considering they are so fundamental to the core of his argument. Even the leader of the Al Qaeda and Bin Laden himself denied that they were funneled any aid, only Afghans were given aid, foreign armies were not aided by the USA, and it was the foreign arab armies that were held responsible for forming the Taliban, not the people that the US funneled aid to.
My opponent expends the rest of his time and characters forming his own argument, that America is prideful and arrogant sees the world as it's own to plunder. I could easily refute these claims, but my opponent does nothing more than assert that they are true while providing no evidence of such "plundering" on a large or significant scale.
The hegemonic stability theory and my value of enlightened self interest do not attempt to deny that the United States is acting in it's own interests, simply that the byproduct of this is world stability. We can see that in history, any time the lead hegemon started to collapse, instability followed. When the Roman Empire was absorbed by the vikings the dark ages followed. Competing hegemons led to WWI and WWII, and then we see the example where the US finally accepts its role as hegemon, the Cold War. The conditions for the cold war and pre-WWII were strikingly similar, except this time the US accepted it's role as hegemon and through multiple smaller wars, prevented World War III. Russia is attempting to rise again, the lessons of history have taught us that appeasing thugs and dictators in hopes that they will stop at the concessions we give them have failed. Before WWII, we would have had pacifists like yourself that would have advocated against the US impeding Germany's expansion, Hitler himself said: "If France had then marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs." - Hitler
Ukraine, Crimea, is the 21st century Rhineland, Russia does not compare to the United States militarily, if we use force to back Ukraine, they will most likely withdraw with their tails between their legs, if we don't, it will only embolden them and other nations and undermine our hegemony. If we fail to stay the lead world hegemon, it will lay the groundwork for another large scale conflict with competing hegemons like China and Russia. My opponent claims that Russia should be able to handle affairs in its own backyard, let me ask him this.
Would his opinion be any different if Mexico decided it was going to violate the United State's territorial sovereignty and send thousands of troops to Texas, Arizona, Southern California and New Mexico to protect 'ethnic hispanics' and then held it's own elections (where it didn't allow international oversight), and then annexed the territories? Or what if the US did that to Canada or Mexico to protect 'ethnic americans', would your opinion be any different? I imagine it would be.
We can see today that what will actually keep the world at peace and what will actually work in reality is a practical theory that has been proven to work in history, not an idealistic slogan fabricated by Noam Chomsky.
I eagerly await my opponents response.
Thank you pro, I will present my rebuttal. As a side note, I wrote my first points with an emphasis on my arguments, not on rebuttal.
Your First Contention:
I would strongly disagree. The United States is first in external debt, and by a head start of about 7 trillion dollars. That makes the United States’ debt about 5.6 times as much as China, which is 5th on the debt list at around 3 Trillion. In case you forgot, the total, astronomical figure, sits at about 17.3 trillion dollars. The U.S. is in a begging position, not a giving position. Our money is not ours. That rule goes for everything.
I’ll remind pro that it costs about a Million dollars per solider per year in Afghanistan.
I’ll also remind pro that a single tank up for a civilian Airbus A319 costs around $15,000
We cannot afford another war.
Your Second Contention:
To contradict pro, I’ll say that the United States’ position as “lead hegemon” is being seriously contested. The United States may not have been seriously challenged, but that does not make them the true lead power at this point. China has around twice the active military man-power the United States has. In total, they are 9th for total army manpower. North Korea, if it pulled together, would have a total force of around 9 Million, with China in the next place, at 7 Million. We may have nuclear status, but so does Russia, the UK, France, China, and India…and probably Pakistan. How would you like it if China and Russia decided it had to “look at what acts will be best for [their] country first and foremost” and it came to the conclusion that the U.S. was sucking the world dry, and it was time to stop it.
To quote Newsroom “…there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, Number 4 in labor force and Number 4 in exports, we lead the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending where spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies”
I’ll correct pro in my comparison to Afghanistan; I never linked Osama Bin Laden to United States funding. I said “We supported the Mujahedeen in Operation Cyclone”, which we did. It’s not controversial. It’s fact. As for al Qaeda, yes that is controversial, and should not be taken as serious proof until proven right or wrong. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
If Afghanistan is no good, then look up Pol Pot. He was supported because he fought the Cambodian-Vietnam war when the U.S. left Vietnam. Pol Pot ended up killing some 25% of his population.
The main fact is not that these leaders and countries did bad stuff. We know they did bad stuff, and we know that they probably would have done bad stuff anyway, what’s truly terrible is that the US supported them, and ignorance is no excuse – and we cannot let this ignorance continue.
Your hegemon theory is flawed. It is idealistic and misses out on the human element. You use the Roman Empire as an example, which is fitting, being that they collapsed after growing fat, corrupt, and lazy, and accepting other people to fight their battles. The Roman life was quite brutal, and the senate was mostly corrupt. I’ll remind you that Julius Caesar was one of the most ruthless dictators the world had ever seen. For example, in the Gallic wars, they slaughtered entire towns that resisted Roman leadership and faith. He is thought to have slaughtered some 1 Million Gauls.
World powers come and go. That is how it is. That is how it will always be. All we can do is hope the United States’ successor is kind on us all.
There is no proof Russia is “trying to rise again”. Putin is not a Hitler. The world has changed dramatically since the 1930s. You just can’t go traipsing around Europe anymore. Our technology has changed, something you are forgetting. Ground wars are a thing of the past. Russia has nuclear power, and is not that far behind the U.S. for active nukes. Are you willing to take the chance, and suppose that Putin isn’t capable of nuclear war if pushed?
As for my historical mindset, I would say the same thing. That was a European matter, not an American matter. We did not fail in that situation, the British and the French did. But I don’t want to debate history.
Your U.S. invasion theory is extremely flawed and dissimilar to the Ukraine situation.
Canada’s population is 1% American.
Crimea has 58% Russians, and 24% Ukrainians.
America has no history in Canada. Russia has a long history of owning Crimea.
Who are you to say they can’t take Crimea, especially if the majority is Russian, and the majority wants to be Russian?
Isn't that what Democracy is? Or am I mistaken?
I've got a better scenario. What if the U.S. tried to invade Syria, and China threatened to aid the Syrians with a military presence? Would we “go back with our tail between our legs”?
In response to my opponent's attack on my first contention:
My opponent fails to fully comprehend my first contention, as it is centered around the fact that aiding Ukraine would indeed pose a minimal burden on the United States if we did it in the way I suggested. My opponent also distorts figures to work to his advantage. The US does indeed have a high deficit, but if you put it in to perspective with a more accurate measurement, the US deficit is not all that bad, for lack of a better word. To look at it from a more balanced perspective, I will use a Debt-to-GDP ratio chart. Japan, Canada, Egypt, France, the UK, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Singapore all have a higher Debt-to-GDP ratio than the United States. Basically, half of the developed, industrialized world has a higher debt in comparison to their GDP than the USA. To top it off, none of what my opponent says here really refutes my First Contention because it doesn't prove that doing the things I mentioned in my First Contention would impose a heavy burden on the USA.
The US is still the lead hegemon, not even my opponent denies this, although he does say it is 'seriously being challenged'. Manpower at this point, and pretty much since the Cold War is but a small, insignificant indicator of military might, especially for the US since it's main competitors (China, Russia) are overseas. China could have a standing army of 100 million men, but due to superior US naval and Air Force strength, I doubt they'll ever land even 10,000 of those soldiers on our coasts to actually invade us before the aircraft and naval units transporting them are destroyed by our far superior navy and airforce. Under the MAD theory, Nuclear Weapons exist more as a deterrent than something any nation would most likely use in combat. Nations build nuclear weapons to ensure other nations don't fire their nuclear weapons at them, not to use them unless they are first used against them. Putin may be an arse, but he isn't insane and won't start a nuclear war that could destroy half the world, and probably most of his country over Ukraine. Sure there are nations ahead of us in certain areas of prosperity, but most of these nations have significantly lower populations to sustain. Let's actually analyze Jeff Daniel's speech on The Newsroom, because it's actually garbage. Most of the statistics are slanted or distorted, or from unreliable sources, including the infant mortality rate and education statistics.
(Four articles all refuting most of Sorkin's 'facts' in his speech).
Response to Other Rebuttals:
Simply saying we supported the Muhjahedeen is intellectually dishonest and, while it's the truth, isn't telling the full story. We (as I stated in R3) supported the Afghan Muhjahedeen, not the arab/foreign Muhjahedeen that is responsible for 9/11. A large part of the Muhjahedeen did go on to become the Taliban, but not the Muhjahedeen that was starkly anti western and responsible for 9/11. The Muhjahedeen that was responsible for 9/11 already had sufficient, significant funding from Saudi Arabia and many other wealthy arab nations. I need not source these claims as they were already sourced in R3.
I am aware of Pol Pot and his atrocities, and I am aware that the USA aided the Khmer Rouge regime, and while what their regime did to their people is unacceptable and a blemish on the history of Cambodia, and a very unfortunate incident, the US was not the only nation to aid the Khmer Rouge regime. The UK, China, and a wealth of other foreign countries supported their regime, if you condemn the US in this case you must condemn many other nations.
Both nations did bad things, in one case the 'bad thing' that occurred (9/11) was not as a result of, or even partially a result of US aid, as I've proven. In the other case (The Khmer Rouge Genocide), all ASEAN nations, China, and the UK were also responsible.
In response to your critique on my hegemonic stability theory:
I believe that pacifism or non-intervention is idealistic and misses out on the political nature of humans and nations. The fact is that violence will always exist as a means to an end, and the only way to deter violence is by possessing the means to retaliate against this violence. We can both agree that the Roman Empire under Julius Caesar was corrupt and brutal. I do not even deny that this contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire, but corruption and brutality existed throughout the Empire after the Republic fell. The leading reason (as evidenced by historians) for the collapse, though, is actually the lack of fortifications that would have prevented the empire from outside attack by barbarians and vikings. My opponent also does not deny the fact that instability followed the collapse of the Roman Empire.
The proof of Russia trying to rise again is this very scenario, and as I've shown it's very similar to pre-WWII conditions. My opponent says that no nation can just go "traipsing around Europe", why not? I highly doubt any nation is going to use their nuclear weapons to deter an invasion (although it cannot be proven or disproven with certainty which direction a nation would take), and the EU and NATO are comparable to the League of Nations before WWII, NATO was effective as a deterrent and rallying force during the Cold War, but the idea of intervening in a foreign nation to defend an ally is lost upon most nations because most people have a mentality similar to yours.
When a nation threatens world stability (or a group of nations), it is the responsibility of the world hegemon and any strong nation capable to stop it, as it effects the stability of the world. Even most modern pacifists do not deny that it was necessary for the US to intervene in WWII on both fronts, or at least morally justifiable. Con, isolationism is a failed policy as evidenced by history over and over again, we cannot just have a strong military and stay within our borders and watch the stability of the world collapse around us and hope it doesn't come to our shores, this mentality is what has caused is to come to our shores.
I suppose the Canadian anecdote was a bit poor, but that doesn't take away from the Mexican anecdote, the fact of the matter is that Mexicans:
-Originally owned the states I mentioned
- In some places make up an ethnic majority
So I ask again, would it be justifiable if Mexico invaded these territories and held their own elections where they didn't allow international monitors? Democracy is good when it's transparent and doesn't involve violating a nation's sovereignty. Does my opponent think it was okay for the US southern states to secede in the civil war if the majority supported it? I am guessing not.
We shouldn't go back with our tail between our legs if we want to stay the world hegemon.
I await con's response, good debate so far.
Thank you Pro, here is my last defense/attack.
Your C1 defense:
I do not distort any figures. The question we must ask is; If China, who owns $1.3 Trillion of our debt, or Japan, who owns $1.1 Trillion, were to theoretically default on their loan, would we be able to pay them back? Perhaps, but it would be detrimental.
Your C2 defense:
You are correct about the Navy and Air force, but I wouldn’t say that puts them staunchly ahead. I would say it levels the playing field. I’d like to see the U.S. army, no matter how well equipped, face off against a force twice as big in battle. Once upon a time there was a war against a “piss-ant” nation of rice farmers in Vietnam that I believe didn’t go so great for the Americans.
Putin may not be crazy enough to launch a nuke, but can we bet money on him? The bottom line is; if you are going to lose a war, and you are already a dead man, are you willing to go out with a bang, so to speak? We can’t be certain either way, and that’s enough of a reason for me.
As for Jeff Daniels, most of his specific facts are B.S., but not totally.
By CIA factbook:
The U.S. is 34th in infant mortality
It’s 35th in life expectancy
It’s 21st in the education index
The U.S. is 3rd in labor force
The U.S. is 2nd in exports, but per capita, is 43rd
It is number one in incarcerated citizens per capita
It is number one in people who think angles are real
It is third in Median household income
It does have the biggest defense budget in the world, 640 Bill. Bigger than the next 14 nations combined, and of the 14, 10 are strong allies. Most of the nations on the list are the only ones in the world with an actual military to speak of.
So, not completely “garbage”. Are these really the stats of the greatest nation in the world, or the “lead hegemon”?
Your points on the Mujahedeen are flawed. You missed a man named Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, (who I mentioned by name in my first post) a terrorist leader of the first degree, who was supported by the CIA:
“When the Soviet war in Afghanistan began in 1979, the CIA began funding his rapidly growing Hezb-e Islami mujahedeen organization through the ISI”
I listed the factions under the umbrella of the Afghan Mujahedeen, one of which, called the Peshawar Seven, included Gulbuddin and his organization, the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin. In Kabul alone he killed 50,000 civilians.
Aside from Gulbuddin, we supported the Taliban because they were anti-Iranian—and they had oil:
“Washington furthermore hoped that the Taliban would support development planned by the U.S.-based oil company Unocal. For example, it made no comment when the Taliban captured Herat in 1995, and expelled thousands of girls from schools; the Taliban began killing unarmed civilians, targeting ethnic groups (primarily Hazaras), and restricting the rights of women. In late 1997, American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright began to distance the U.S. from the Taliban. The next year, the American-based oil company Unocal withdrew from negotiations on pipeline construction from Central Asia”
There is an excellent article in The New York Times from 2001 I will quote:
“Taliban forces in Afghanistan are reported to have up to 100 shoulder-fired Stingers, the U.S.-made missile with the deadliest record against low-flying aircraft of any weapon since World War II… In the 1980s, the Reagan administration delivered several hundred Stingers to Afghan resistance groups, including the Taliban. The Central Intelligence Agency, despite strenuous efforts, was never able to recover more than a few of the missiles after the war ended, even with big cash rewards. After Moscow's withdrawal in 1989, the CIA started a buy-back program to recover the Stingers, offering as much as $100,000 each. There were relatively few takers.”
Whether or not they were responsible for 9/11 is a red herring. They killed countless civilians, American soldiers, and innocent journalists. That is more than enough for me…we must look at humans, not Americans. Ignorance to where the money was going cannot be claimed. It was irresponsible, rash, and ill planned, and I don’t like repeating the same mistakes.
I don’t see how blaming other nations for Pol Pot affects the argument. Sure, toss them in too.
NATO and the EU are somewhat comparable to the League of Nations, you’re right, and a big part of why we still sit apart from China and Russia and why Germany went to war was in direct relation to bad and lazy choices by the L.o.N. They just straight up excluded the USSR, ignored China when it called for help from the Japanese invasion, and beat the living hell out of Germany economically.
NATO as a deterrent is a joke. They were the League reincarnated, still ignoring and excluding the people they should have been talking to. NATO was and still is a pretty banner for the people who were anti-commie to huddle under and make deals. They make promises they can’t keep, and they know they can’t keep, and then when the promises get tested, they run away and hide. They are so far practically useless in Libya. It’s got nothing to do with keeping the peace.
Chomsky sums up why NATO is bad news:
Your theory assumes that the world leader is a kind of perfect judge, a nation without fault, just and good, motivated to be fair and honest, and that belief is supremely idealistic and ignorant to reality. The honest reality is that the U.S., if it truly is the undisputed leader, is not perfect. In fact, a case could quite easily be made that they are a terrible judge and a terrible leader. Just look at those stats I posted. Is this the best the world can offer? I’m not so convinced.
When you say “it is the responsibility of the world hegemon and any strong nation capable to stop it”, you aren’t seeing what that means. That means war, and not some war where we sit back and watch, like Afghanistan. A big conflict is a big deal. You can see why I am very careful when it comes to choosing who to attack and who to spare. I am not isolationist. We don’t live in a world where we can be isolationist anymore. My main point here is this:
War is a very, very ugly thing, and it isn’t a fun game for rich white folks to play. It’s not to be taken lightly. We have no economic legs to stand on at the moment, and I don’t want another war way out in the middle of not-north-America for some conflict that doesn’t involve us, either historically, or geographically. Canadians went to the Middle East too, after all.
Your Mexican example is just as poor. Hispanic people make up 16% of the American population, and only 60% of those are Mexican. It would not be justifiable, in any way. Even if every single Mexican-American voted “yes” to become Mexican again, it would not be a majority in a state by state basis. If a civil war arose, which is not likely, but if it did, and the South wanted to secede, and it was voted majority, I would support them. That is the basis of Democracy. It is not “Government” and “People”, it is “People” and “People”, at least in theory. Here in Canada, we’ve been fighting a minority of Quebec that for years has wanted to become its own nation, and I would support that as well, if it was Majority.
We can’t pick and choose democratic principles. It’s either all in or nothing, because any change is not truly Democratic.
Objectivity forfeited this round.
It would seem that pro has quit the last round, so I'll sum up my points:
Historical proof that military interventions do more harm than good – and that most were part of larger, more selfish plans.
We supported the Mujahedeen in Operation Cyclone, this fact is not controversial and should not be treated as such. This Operation gave these militant Extremist Muslims around $26 Million every year and by 1987 around $630 Million yearly. They later became the Taliban. Afghanistan is also responsible for some 75% of the Worlds opium production
We have no business being in the Ukraine
There is no proof Russia is “trying to rise again”.
Crimea has 58% Russians, and 24% Ukrainians.
Who are we to say they can’t take Crimea, especially if the majority of Crimea is Russian, and the majority wants to be Russian? Isn't that what Democracy is?
It cost a million dollars per soldier per year, and a war fighting insurgents in a desert has cost the United States around $500 Billion.
It is not worth it to threaten Russia.
Is it worth it to threaten a nuclear standoff? Over a sliver of Ukraine? I'd wait and see. Especially when the Russians are acting in their own backyard and have perfectly acceptable reasons to want to assimilate Crimea, a Crimea that wants to be assimilated yet for some reason we won’t let them, when, meanwhile, the U.S. travels all around the globe whenever it pleases, and operates a massive sphere of influence, South America included.
We cannot allow the US to support a pack of rebels who have just reconstucted their Government. It is too dangerous. Past hostory has shown that these rash judgements have always been poor, and ignorance is no excuse – and we cannot let this ignorance continue.