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

Resolved: The US should abandon the War on Terror.

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 11/28/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,353 times Debate No: 83124
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (113)
Votes (4)




This will be a team debate.

Pro: ColeTrain, famousdebater
Con: fire_wings, everlastingmoment

No trolling

No kritiks
No semantics
No forfeits
Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
Citations or foot/endnotes may be provided in the comments
No new arguments in the final round
The BoP is shared
Failure to comply to these stipulations or following round structure renders an automatic loss

Round Structure:

Round 1:
Pro - Rules
Con - Acceptance
Round 2:
Pro - Opening Arguments
Con - Opening Arguments
Round 3:
Pro - Rebuttals
Con - Rebuttals
Round 4:
Pro - Defense & Rebuttals
Con - Defense & Rebuttals

Good luck! We look forward to an engaging discussion!


Me and fire_wings accept the argument, we look forward to a great debate!

All rules accepted, just to quickly inquire my fellow opposition to define their stance before the argument as I seem to have not spotted any definitions, all so that there is no confusion, of course. Meow.

Good luck, look forward to your opening arguments!

Debate Round No. 1



Famousdebater and I would like to thank our opponents (EverlastingMoment and fire_wings) for agreeing to debate with us on such a controversial topic and we wish them the best of luck throughout the debate!

We do not support the notion that the United States should continue to pursue military action in the “War on Terror.” Our reasoning will be particularized through the following premises with strong, reliable evidence and pragmatics.

Terrorism: the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. [10]

Let's begin!

Premise I: The War on Terror has been empirically ineffective.

Based solely upon past experiences regarding the War on Terror, we have seen no specific advances or successes in deterring terror from occurring, nor heuristic success in changing society’s views or concerns. Citizens from various countries around the world are still worried about terror from a variety of organizations. [1] As the fear factor has not been dissuaded from public perception, the War on Terror cannot be accredited with success.
If the War on Terror has been even remotely successful, we would not be seeing the following news headlines:

“Paris attacks was carried out by 3 groups tied to Islamic State” [2]
“Yemen crisis: Islamic State claims Sanaa mosque attacks” [3]

“Islamic State claims responsibility for Bangladesh mosque attack” [4]
“Islamic State militants attack hotel in Egypt’s Sinai, killing 7” [5]
“‘I was flogged daily:’ Rescued Boko Haram survivors share tales of horror” [6]
“Boko Haram claims suicide attack [...] in Nigeria that killed 22 people” [7]
“Cameroon: At least 6 killed in suspected Boko Haram suicide bombings” [8]
“Boko Haram Ranked Ahead of ISIS for Deadliest Terror Group” [24] [26]
“Timeline Of Violent Boko Haram Attacks In 2015” [25]

It is imperative to note that each of these events were conducted by prominent terrorists groups active. Moreover, all of these events are quite current, reiterating how terrorism is quite common even now. The Islamic State, one of the more prevalent terrorist organizations of the current day, has wreaked horrific havoc on the world in a year. This infographic shows a timeline of those events. [23] If the War on Terror cannot stop these awful events from occurring, we must abandon the “war” and find new tactics to prevent these horrific atrocities. The premise is fulfilled: the War on Terror is ineffective.

Premise II: The War on Terror has yielded unseemly events.

Terrorist groups are often condemned for their torturous and inhumane acts, but the War on Terror has led these terrorists to the same fate, in various instances. Writer Joanne Mariner notes, “Pakistan's intelligence agencies worked closely with the CIA to "disappear" terrorist suspects, hold them in secret detention, and subject them to torture and other abuses.” [9] The same immorality upon which the international community looks negatively is being served to the ones largely at blame. This could fall under the definition of terrorism, as defined earlier, and shows that the pursuit to end terrorism is counter-intuitive.

The US, to avoid the blame themselves has both tried to alter the definition of torture and outsource the practice to justify their use of torture in the War on Terror. [27] The premise is fulfilled: unseemly events are subsequent to the War on Terror.

Premise III: The enemies are not adequately defined.

The simple statement “War on Terror” is a difficult suggestion to digest. A question that comes to mind is, “what is terror?” We propose a rhetoric: We defined terrorism, but can we really classify a certain race, country, or organization that is responsible for these violent or fearful acts? In reality we can’t. It’s impractical and impossible to declare war on an ideology. [15]

The Washington Post provides an article that supports this premise. “[Terrorism] defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare -- political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.” [12] Were we to specify terrorism as simply the organizations known to condone them, we would still face problems.

There are 95 internationally-recognized terror groups all around the globe. [11] To declare *war* on so many opponents is impractical and impossible. Instead of a subjective and nonviable “war on terror” we need to deal with threats individually as they arise. The premise is fulfilled: we cannot fight terrorism, per the definition.

Premise IV: The War on Terror lacks US support to continue.

The War on Terror campaign was institutionalized after the 9/11 attacks in the US. [13] No doubt, they’ve been around for quite awhile. But the prolonged state, without positive progression and notable achievements has deteriorated interest and motivation to continue. US support for the continuation of the seemingly perpetual war has deteriorated. As of early November, 53% of Americans were opposed to the War on Terror, with only 43% in favor. [17] Utilitarianism mandates by this alone that the US should abandon this failed pursuit. Yet, other support conflicts exist.

In fact, some of the most important roles in fighting terror may not be sustainable for the persistence of the War on Terror. Business Insider documents, “Frustrations with the never-ending U.S. war on terror are mounting among the country’s elite fighting forces. These top-level troops—called special operations forces—are fraying at the edges after more than 13 years of near constant deployments, according to public comments by current and former leaders at the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).” [28] With new problems arising (ISIS and Boko Haram), these special forces are simply not capable of continuing. Without this back-up, the War on Terror will not have even minute success. The premise is fulfilled: the War on Terror lacks necessary support to continue unrelieved.

Premise V: The War on Terror is destroying the economy.

Economic impact is another area in which the War on Terror has shown fallibility. The shocking statistics in regards to costs will demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the War on Terror should be abandoned.

In the US alone, $1.7 trillion has been spent on the War on Terror (2001 - 2014). [16]Thisis evidentially not a small amount of money to spent on anything - especially on something ineffective. This year, the USFG was given a budget of $3.8 trillion. [18] The amount spend on the War on Terror is roughly half their yearly budget. Think about the good that could be done with this money instead of wasting it on a cause that is effectively useless, as demonstrated. Moreover, the funding for this project has been acquired nearly entirely from borrowing, more than the cost of WWII. [20] This accomplishes nothing but furthering the national debt, currently at a staggering sum of $18.7 trillion [21]. As the USFG total budget for this year is $3.8 billion, simple calculations exemplify the national debt is approximately 4.5 times the USFG yearly budget.

Only $175 billion per year is required to end extreme poverty innately [19]. There are no statistics in regards to the complete abolition of poverty however it is quite evident that if only 1/10 (approximately) of the amount spent on the War on Terror is required to end extreme poverty then with the remainder of the money left it is not unreasonable to assume that we could abolish poverty worldwide. The rhetoric is obvious: would you rather fund a pointless cause or innately end poverty? The reasonable answer is clearly the latter.

There’s another important facet to the economic impact of the War on Terror. The people who fought in the War on Terror are promised benefits, for which the US has to pay. In 2011, the Los Angeles times published an article noting “At this point, the bill for future medical and disability benefits is estimated at $600 billion to $900 billion, but the number will almost surely grow as hundreds of thousands of troops still deployed abroad return home.” [22] It is quite plain that the War on Terror will have exclusively detrimental consequences in regards to the economy.

Premise VI: Alternatives would be more pragmatic solutions to the problems.

It is undeniable that terrorism is a problem. But the War on Terror is inherently and empirically undesirable and far from pragmatic. We have consistently shown flaws with the existing policy, and now will provide a solution. Rather than using direct military force and action to attack terrorism, we need to take necessary steps to prevent terrorism, and deal with problems before they arise, a political approach. [29]

Multiple variations and alterations of the War on Terror would be beneficial, and they are key to note. The Third World Traveler gives suggestions, a few of which include: cooperations with countries affected by terrorism, moving towards an international effort to assist against terrorism, and finally support the countries who need assistance and gain knowledge of global events. [14] It would also be beneficial to have a cooperative set of states to deal with terrorism wherever it arises in their country. [29]

These steps, though not directly a *war* against terrorism, could be utilized as a policy to prevent terrorism, rather than actively fight it. Gaining intelligence of organizations and strategies is crucial to warding off terrorism and providing a better, safer, and ultimately peaceful world. The premise is fulfilled: more pragmatic and efficient solutions have been provided to use as a means to deter terrorism.


In closing, we find that past experiences have proved fruitless when it comes to military action, the efforts can be turned immorally against the terrorists themselves, we can’t attack *terrorism* itself, we lack necessary US support, and better alternatives could be pragmatic and beneficial. Having each of these premises fulfilled, we must affirm the resolution, and abandon the War on Terror.

Sources in comments



The War on Terror has a long history that can be dated back in the 20th century, but first officially began with the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in the United States, and since then, multiple campaigns have been launched in retaliation, the war in Afghanistan being the most prominent, and there will be a more than sufficient explanation why these were advocated actions that should not be abandoned by the US government.

Contention one - State Security

The 9/11 attacks claimed the lives of nearly 3000 people in total, many families were left shattered and the security of the United States was breached on an unparalleled scale by 19 perpetrators that were directly supported from Al-qaeda, an internationally recognized terrorist organization. [A] [B] These attacks caused the US to exercise it's provocative, but rightfully so. These are war crimes at some of their worst, firstly, these attacks were targeted on sites with high amounts of civilians, the perpetrators took hostages that played the role of a 'human shield', and they had no regard for collateral damage.
And this is where state security comes into play, under these circumstances it is only just that the government should take measures as a result, they have an obligation to protect their citizens and their state from hostile powers that so threaten it. Direct attacks on a nation should be met with force, because not only because of this, but because administering direct action for the war against terror would help safeguard their citizens in the future from further attacks, the US led invasion of Afghanistan not only seeked justice to the lives lost, but also prevented any more attacks on this scale from occurring on US soil since 2001, which also led to increased border security that would help combat this situation in the future. [C] [D]

Contention two - Global Security/United Nations

It has long been the interests of many countries to counter terrorism all across the world, and many have come together to form to bring forward a unified attempt against terrorism for the interests of world-wide security, under the United Nations Charter which was founded after the end of the Second World War in 1945, it clearly dictates that,

"To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace" [E]

This charter clearly details that it is the objective of the United Nations and the USFG, one of the leading members of the Security Council, to combat any and all threats to the security of any nation, and that they will support any nation in dire need during times of facing the attacks of radical extremists or even the attack of a foreign state as it is so commanded to follow. The United Nations has brought together the nations of the world closer than ever, and it is in the interest of every government present during the conferences to advocate their stance on their actions taken against a hostile power, which under the United Nations Charter, they should by all means have the right to do so. This, more than anything else, proves our point and supports our position that is clear that these are justified reasons to combat the War on Terror.
Taking one example to support this was the very recent November 2015 Paris Attacks, that were conducted by Islamic extremists from the Islamic State. The impact of over 120 deaths from coordinated attacks on the french capital of Paris. This was followed by international outrage, but rightfully so. Because the impact of the attacks from the Islamic State were very deep, it affected many policies regarding the current ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, the national security policies of France and many other countries, and became the deadliest attack on France since the Second World War. And all this is due to the mere fact that these extremists are not met with enough brute force, the impact of allowing the spread of the Islamic State had only caused more crisis, and the efforts under the United Nations to resolve this, along with a bilateral attempt from the Russian and French governments launched a devastating attack on ISIS controlled territories in Syria, damaging massive oil lines along with ammunition caches which further strained the terrorist state. [F]

Contention three - There is no solution that can be seen as a necessary or effective alternative to the War on Terror

Since the day the UN was formed in 1945, it had long been their goal to prevent the outbreak of war through some means of keeping political stability in states across the world that could potentially be under the risk of foreign threat. However, these political missions were not proven to be as effective as they would have hoped, in 1995 during the Bosnian War, Resolution 819 was passed detailing that all personal in the area of Sebrenica would be under the "safe zone" with the protection from the United Nations Protection Force that would have kept them from any harm by the Bosnian Serb Army, yet, when the Bosnian Serb Army did invade the protection promised to these citizens were abandoned by the United Nations as the Protection Force failed to keep the situation under control which subsequently led to the Srebrenica genocide of 8000 muslim bosniaks. [G] [H]

Keeping in mind that this was not an attack carried about by terrorists, this case is brought up because it is an example of how such means of adopting policies without direct involvement from either the US or its allies from using military action is simply not going to be sustainable enough on its own. Any act that is taken up to provide a solution without the need for starting for a war to promote non-violent methods can be intertwined with the War on Terror as it is clear unless the affirmative can provide a sustainable long term solution to this issue that there is no measure that can realistically achieve it's goals that the War on Terror was initially designed to do itself.

Contention four - The effectiveness of the War on Terror

Naturally, it is our stance to also prove that the War on Terror is met with effective outcomes, moving aside from the still ongoing conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and France that were already covered before, there is another prominent example of where the War on Terror has brought a complete victory in the eyes of the citizens of the country of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a country that was locked in a 30 year long civil war against the LTTE, which was an internationally recognized Tamil terrorist organization that launched multiple attacks on the State in order to secede from the nation, which was finally brought to an end in 2009 through a joined effort from the Sri lankan military and foreign financial aid along with assistance from the United States government and it's allies which brought forward an era of peace. [I] This organization was listed as one of the most dangerous in the world at the time, which is one of the reasons that it is considered a reasonable case to bring forward, who through a long struggle, ultimately suceeded which easily shows the effectiveness of overwhelming odds against terrorism for those that advocate it.

Such attempts can be replicated elsewhere in the world, notably in the Middle East, where millions of people face oppression under the rule of extremists, where they are victim to people who freely commit crimes against humanity and we as a globally connected union should rise up and face this threat, not only for the reasons that were stated earlier regarding the economic and international polices against terrorism, but also for the humanitarian side of things, which we hope to touch on in later arguments to further reinforcing the already obvious facts that terrorism must be dealt with, for the safety of our people, now, and in the future.

Having put forward the case against the resolution and backing up and providing points for each of these contentions, it should affirm our case and nullify the case for this until such time as Pro puts forward their arguments to counter this, in which we then hope to further provide an in depth study of these contentions.

I leave it now to the affirmative to present their response, and I wish them good luck in the next round.

Sources -

[A] -

[B] -

[C] -

[D] -

[E] -

[F] -;

[G] -

[H] -

[I] -

Debate Round No. 2



We thank our opponents for such a strong case. We will now analyze and refute their arguments. After reading their arguments we still affirm the resolution and therefore believe that the War on Terror should be abandoned by the US.


State Security

I agree that the 9/11 attacks were horrific and the statistics are high however there is a lot of controversy over it and there are even conspiracy theories in regards to who exactly is responsible for it [1]. It is believed by 1 in 7 Americans that the US government are responsible for 9/11. The causation of 9/11 is not a justified position to base your arguments off since it is not a proven fact that 9/11 was caused by any specific group of people [1].

It is not as simple as to say that “direct attacks on a nation should be met with force,” as my opponent claims. It’s about whether this is successful and will actually work. The US government are extremely desperate. and have even committed war crimes with absolutely no point in an attempt to show that they are actually doing something:

“In 2009, an American cruise missile hit a village in Yemen where Al-Qaeda operatives were believed to be hiding. When the missile exploded, it rained cluster bombs over the entire hamlet, killing 35 women and children. Five of the women were pregnant; the youngest child was only one year old. Nor did the carnage stop there: nearly a year later a ‘bomblet’ that survived the attack exploded, killing two locals and injuring fifteen more. There is no proof anyone killed was an active terrorist.” [2]

Is this really what we need to be doing? It is evident that without these desperate attacks innocent lives would not have been lost. Of course we don’t want people to do and we don’t want terrorism however even with the War on Terror, it isn’t like any large terrorist organisations are going to stop because of it. [3]

Furthermore, the War on Terror doesn’t include “state security” by how our opponents term it. They essentially say that the War on Terror directly safeguards the US. This is not the case. Our approach solves for this, but as the War on Terror is a WAR, it is an active military pursuit against nearly 100 opponents. NPR explains “It's a war directed against multiple enemies, not just one adversary.” [8] Their approach, advocating for a WAR does not protect the US directly. It spreads out defense by getting our troops involved elsewhere. Indirectly, they claim it will preserve the US. That’s untrue, but we’ll address that later. Our approach, on the other hand, deals with local terrorism -- protecting the US from outside terrorism by political means. It is both more effective and plausible, and doesn’t result in the meaningless deaths of thousands of US troops. In fact, since the war was instigated in 2001, there has been roughly 1.3 million deaths of troops. [9] These statistics are as of March 2015, and have likely risen since then. This does NOT protect the states.

Global Security / United Nations

Our opponents assert that we are bound by international “law” to conduct the War on Terror. Yet, this can’t be true. The war was only started in 2001, following the terrorist attacks in NYC. Besides, there are other approaches to confronting these problems and adequately dealing with them, like we mentioned earlier. Fulfilling our obligation under the UN can be achieved by using a political approach. Instead of actively fighting the surfaced problems, deal with them prior to their prominence. Obviously, solvency is needed for the current problems, but it isn’t going to come from our military action. The track record for this has ruled out the option long ago.

Instead, we need to support those who are fighting the groups as well as prevent the terror from reaching our country. Instead of wasting funds overseas, and letting the threat slip into the US (as it did in San Bernandino, CA), the USFG has to prioritize itself over global assistance. If the US falls, then they *can’t* help other nations. That is why it is imperative to deal with problems at home, rather than abroad.

For example, the San Bernardino, CA shooting killed 14 people. [4] In fact, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is treating the shooting as an act of terrorism. [5] Moreover, the two shooters were supporters of the Islamic State. [6] Tashfeen Malik, the wife, had taken a public pledge to IS, and there were IS members who quoted “We pray to God to accept them as martyrs.” [7] This is indicative of how the US itself is at risk. It cannot feasibly place any more importance on the world when itself is prone to devastating attacks and unsafe as well.

No Other Effective Solution

This is essentially identical to the fourth contention, so we’ll combine our refutations.


First of all, it is imperative to note our contention regarding effectiveness. It’s not an effective procedure. Besides this, it is imperative to recognize the ramifications the War on Terror has had up until this point, particularly in regards to effectiveness. Instead of curbing terrorism, it has actually facilitated the despicable acts and furthered them. Terrorism has dramatically increased by nine-fold since the War on Terror was started. [10] Instead of helping prevent terrorism the war has been so ineffective it has had reverse effects, actually increasing terrorism. The mere one example doesn’t account for the dramatic increase worldwide, including recent Paris attacks and those in California. Furthermore, some of the methods by which the US conducts the War are counter-productive. For example, the drones they use to bomb terrorist organizations actually kill more civilians than previously recognized. They kill innocent people in an ineffective attempt to end terrorism. The harmful consequences far outweigh the benefits. [11]

Moreover, it is ineffective in that it is damaging to the economy. An effective policy would establish safety from the former (curb terrorism) and be more beneficial than costly. This isn’t true. Not only has it failed to curb terrorism, it’s also left a gargantuan dent in the US economy. If we don’t stop the War now, the Council on Foreign Relations explains “actual costs through 2017 will amount to roughly $1 trillion, but interest payments on debt will add over $700 billion to that price tag.” [12] That’s an unacceptable amount that could be added to more effective policies and practices. The War on Terror should not be considered effective.


All of the concerns we noted previously are still glaringly obvious and harmful. Moreover, none of the claim of our opponents are substantiated or standing. We’ve thoroughly rebutted each one. The War on Terror is a hopeless, impossible, and ineffective pursuit. We should seek superior, effective alternatives to solve terrorism problems without destroying the economy and raising questionable ethical issues.
















We thank our opponents for putting forward their response, and for this, we will now focus on rebuttals now and later defend our own arguments in the final round accordingly, and without further ado, we shall begin.

Rebuttal one - Ineffectiveness

Our opponents have naturally brought forward the case of it's ineffectiveness, but seeing the case that they have put forward makes me already question exactly how 'strongly' they researched into finding their evidence in relation to the War on Terror, because we will identify key flaws in their reasoning that will negate the contention effectively and further reinforce our arguments against it's validity to serve as a reason for the resolution, we will focus on our points regarding it's effectiveness seperately in the final round.

The affirmative try to assert that various news headlines show the ineffectiveness of our efforts against terrorism, and to take an example firstly, they have put forward 5 examples related to the terrorist group Boko Haram, yet they are trying to question the effectiveness of supressing Boko Haram when the USFG only deployed troops in Chad to assist against this group in October 2015, with previous financial support only occuring a month prior. [A] [B] Boko Haram's ascension to a prominent terrorism organization which the affirmative has shown to be more deadly than ISIS was only officially designated in 2013. [C] Nigeria themselves have openly welcomed US military intervention to assist against the war on terror while the Multinational Joint Task Force is still preparing to deploy and there are no signs that this joint task force will be in anyway prepared to effectively combat Boko Haram better than the US and it is clear that the bilateral effort is stronger than simply focusing on one sole alternative at this time. [D] [E]
And this is why I have to bring out the affirmative for looking too narrowly on the issue and ignoring the bigger picture, because not only does this show that their evidence is not strong, but even the reliability of these sources are at the question. They bring up a headline regarding the Islamic State claiming they attacked a mosque in Bangladesh, and this source is invalid for several reasons that I will now point out, first of all, the US aren't even deployed in Bangladesh and they have no military presence there whatsoever, if the affirmative was trying to argue that this was showing it's ineffectiveness then it is very vague to be looking at one attack that the Islamic State "claimed" to have performed which even in their own source, shows that the government of Bangladesh rejects that they had any involvement in the attack. Whether or not the Islamic State was involved has not yet even be confirmed, and this cannot be directly related to the War on Terror's effectiveness.

And finally, the affirmative puts forward that we must find "new tactics" to replace the War on Terror, we will personally address major concerns with this later as he has brought forward a contention dedicated to this, but to clarify on the timeline of the Boko Haram attacks, the US had been funding the Multi Joint Task Force since june, donating five million dollars to Nigeria, and since then absolutely no action has been taken against the attacks and they even had to postpone operations till 2016, this clearly shows while the War on Terror is deemed "ineffective" for because the affirmative somehow believes that because we haven't completely wiped terrorism off the face of the earth it is not sustanable, it is clear that other means are clearly more ineffective at this current time and the War on Terror is not ineffective for the reasons the affirmative have stated. [F]

Rebuttal two - The morality of the War on Terror

Let us first address what this contention is really arguing, our opponents have put forward the case on morality, arguing that the case of torture among captured terrorist operatives were inhumane themselves, despite the fact that these terrorist practiced the same methods themselves, which the affirmative does not disagree on. Indeed this is true, however, Obama's administration has since taken measures against these acts following with the belief that the US can capilitalize off their mistakes regarding certain measures of torture that they have adopted. [G]

However, the affirmative has to properly elaborate further as to why this should serve as a determinent in abandoning the War on Terror as they have to relate it to the resolution, how exactly does this premise show that we "should" abandon the War on Terror? Despite the fact morality is evidently seen as terrible, this is only natural as it is a war that the US is fighting, this is not general enough on its own because it doesn't show why overall it should lead to such extremes of abandoning the War on Terror.

Rebuttal four - The Support for the War on Terror

We're going to be very straightforward here, the affirmative uses a source from a poll that has a unspecified amount of voters,
though through the use of the Gallup polls to get this result, it is assumed that they used the standard 500 to 1000 votes from voters. [H] Yet the only explanation of the importance of this source is because of Utilitarianism. We will quickly identify two issues with this, first of all, the affirmitive is trying to assert that Utilitarianism 'mandates' that the US should abandon the War on Terror, yet they are trying to assume that the US follows this form of "Pure Utilitarianism" where the voting majority should take precedence over the minority, which is not even the case in the United States, even for elections the US has the electoral college which decides the vote instead of the simple majority. We are putting forward this case because of the affirmitives assumption that it 'mandates' the abandonment of the War on Terror, which it clearly does not.

Furthermore, how exactly do these unconfirmed amount of votes show that the US cannot continue the War against Terror? Arguing for Utilitarianism doesn't show this alone, in fact, based on a vote with such a small amount of voters doesn't even show how this renders the US unable to continue the war, in fact, the US has a great deal of financial support from weapons manufacterers such as Lockheed Martin, who have very close relationships with the US government and their close partnership in the US economy can easily allow sustained support in Middle Eastern operations and the now kickstarted action in Central Africa. [I]

Rebuttal five - The War on Terror is destroying the economy

The US alone spends more on its military than any other nation in the world, it has the highest percentage of overall GDP invested into it's military due to it's presence as a prominent world leader. Our opponents assert that the staggering costs to maintain the War on Terror prove its unsustainable and destroying the economy, however, what we must keep in mind was that the cost of the War on Terror, amassing less than 10% of the National Debt of $18.7 trillion that our opponents have already mentioned, is that many other factors play a even more detremental role on the US economy than what the War on Terror had done in the span of nearly 15 years, the 2008 Financial Crisis was compared to the Great Depression in the 1930s as the US economy suffered a loss of over $13 trillion dollars, amounted to almost their total economic output for that year, which also reduced it's overall productive potential due to a rise in unemployment. [J] So what the affirmitive claims is untrue, the War on Terror is not even the major factor of the sharp incline of US debt in recent years, furthermore, taking into account the budget defecit is projected to be $474 billion by next year, when the US spends on average now $600 billion a year on it's forces, shown in the graph below. [K] I now question the opposition to show us how exactly ending the War on Terror is going to help the debt crisis, as clearly we can present that ending the War on Terror will have a insignificant affect in the grand scheme of things and considering the necessities of it, it is not practical to assume that it will benefit the US economy.

U.S. Military Spending, $ Billions


The opposition then make the absurd comparison to an alternative solution to the War on Terror by spending it on preventing poverty. I will acknowledge the affirmative merely because this is the closest thing to a pragmatic solution that they stated at the start they would include to replace the War on Terror. First of all, this has absolutely nothing to do with the global effort against terrorism, nor can you even consider ending poverty with the strong presence of terrorism, especially in the Middle East. In Egypt, total revenue from exports has fallen considerably due to fears of terrorism destroying their tourism industry, in which they earn some $7 billion US dollars. [M]

Rebuttal Six - Alternatives would be more pragmatic solutions to the problems

The affirmative addressing a solution to combat the issue with the War on Terror was fundamental in order for their argument to have an effective stance, even before they began their opening argument they stated that they would use pragmatics as a vital key in order to affirm the resolution, yet nowhere in their argument did they even use proper pragmatics, occasionally the affirmative would state at the end of their premise that we need to resort to new tactics as an alternative and in this premise itself gave a list of such tactics that haven't even got evidence to show that it is pragmatic. In their first premise, we had to include one of the possible pragmatics for them, that being the Multinational Joint Task Force because they simply haven't included any such examples themselves.
It is clear to the voters now that the affirmative is yet to give a practical example of a solution and because of this it is completely illogical to affirm the resolution and this premise is invalid.

Sources in comments

Debate Round No. 3


We'd like to thank our opponents for taking this debate, and for the lengthy, interesting discourse thus far! :)


Our opponents make a pronged attack here by initially attacking our news articles referencing broad-scale and worldwide terrorism. They claim that, because we haven’t adequately funded Boko Haram, it is not a sufficient example. However, the War on Terror doesn’t preclude Boko Haram. If attacks against Boko Haram haven’t been funded, that is the fault of the War on Terror. Allow us to remind voters that the war is instigated upon all terrorist organizations. Again, Boko Haram is not excluded. Therefore, the War on Terror is ineffective simply because it cannot sufficiently fund support against Boko Haram. The ascension of this organization as a prominent terrorist group occurred long before the US sent troops in October of 2015. The job has been ineffective at reducing and preventing terrorist attacks in Africa.

In fact, our opponents are the ones looking too narrowly, as they appear to believe it can only be judged by if funding has been provided. This is untrue. The War on Terror, to be effective, must be effective at reducing and preventing terror. As Boko Haram is still rampant with their attacks, and have barely been dissuaded, it has been ineffective.

Another largely damaging component of this rebuttal is that is almost entirely bypasses the Islamic State. Only one small component is addressed, Bangladesh. In fact, it WAS the Islamic State that committed these barbarous attacks. [1]

Our opponents seem to think that we advocate ALL terrorism has to be wiped off the face of the earth. This is a vague, and quite honestly, inaccurate representation and harsh misinterpretation of our advocacy. Obviously, completely eliminating terrorism can’t feasibly be possible. But, the biggest, most active, and deadly groups MUST be dealt with for it to be effective. In reality, it has done nearly nothing expel the attacks of the Islamic State and Boko Haram, the two most deadly terrorist organizations of our time. When we either don’t involve, or wait until atrocious acts have already happened, we aren’t effectively combating terrorism. That is why the War on Terror is inexplicably a failure.


Nowthen, with those semantics and such out of the way, I’ll go into a little more specifics. The War on Terror has facilitated an increase in terrorism. Terrorism deaths have risen significantly since the war was started. Terrorism has increased since the War began in the following areas: Iraq [4], Afghanistan [5], the Middle East [6], Africa [7], Asia [8], and globally. [9] Fatalities from terrorism have increased five-fold since 9/11 and the implementation of the War on Terror. [10]


The incidents themselves have also increased. “There were 982 terrorist incidents worldwide in 2002, resulting in 3,823 deaths. In 2011... there were 4,564 incidents resulting in 7,493 deaths.” [2] Terror has only waxed worse since the War was started. Malaysia, an area that has trumped broad terrorism, asserts that the War on Terror is ineffective. [3] It is not the best way to fight terrorism.


This premise is one that is enveloped based on the previous one. It is immoral to continue to do something that involves torture and doesn’t achieve positive ends. Obviously, terrorism itself is immoral. *IF* the War on Terror can stop terrorism (it can’t) then it would be justifiable. If not, it wouldn’t be. Moreover, adding torture into the mix necessitates we abandon the war to prohibit two immoral things: (a) Torture, and (b) Increased Terrorism.


The support of the War on Terror should be something that is quite weighted. A government’s duty is two-pronged, in the most basic classifications: to protect and please its people. The US should do what affirms protection as well as pleasing its people, if possible. In this scenario both are possible by affirming the resolution. For protection, the US ensure it doesn’t spread its troops abroad and leave the US more vulnerable to terrorism itself. For pleasing the people, it does that as well, per the poll numbers. By logical consequence, valuing utilitarianism, the US should do what it can to protect and please its people. Here are two breakdowns:

Protect: prevent terrorism in the US, to be otherwise spread thin. (Fulfilled by affirming)

Please: stop the costly war that people don’t like, being utilitarian. (Fulfilled by affirming)

Essentially, by affirming the resolution, you value a couple of different values (utilitarianism, humanitarianism) and value a pragmatics over rhetoric. [18]


The figure of $1.7 billion only comes from the burden shifted to taxpayers. In reality, the war has cost roughly $5 trillion dollars, including the wars in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan (which, to be clear, are all part of the War on Terror). [11] Specifically, that’d equate to $16,000 per American, if we were to divide the costs that way. This is an unbearable burden for a plan that has NOT SEEN TERRORISM DECREASE, but rather has dramatically INCREASED terrorism both in specific areas and GLOBALLY since its implementation. Even if conservative estimates are more accurate, there is still a significant burden being placed on Americans for a war that has been demonstrably ineffective in achieving its goals.

In regards to debt, our opponents claims that the debt increase was a result of the 2008 Recession. This is true, but the War on Terror did have a demonstrably LARGE and substantial effect. In fact, the debt, after having risen only slightly each year, began to jump up by larger margins each year following 9/11/01 and the War on Terror’s implementation.

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It also costs (and will continue to) more than WW2. [13] The costs are simply too much of a burden, and waste, when the war is entirely ineffective. It’s flat-out too expensive. [14] Per hour, $300,000 is spent fighting the Islamic State. [17] Our opponent’s assertion that poverty is not related is a little misguided. The only reason we brought that up is to exemplify where this money could (and could have) be better spent. Instead of funding a baseless and meaningless war, we could put the money toward more capable and positive areas, such as poverty reduction.


Our opponents misinterpret this point, and pragmatics as a whole. Our alternatives for a more home-based, political approach are more pragmatic because they don’t qualify as deserting our nation for rhetoric-based approaches to a problem that have been consistently proven faulty. They did not attack any of our approaches here, so they all stand. A political approach focused towards prevention rather than active military action against terrorism is a better solvency. Helping, politically, native dealings with terrorism, too, would ensure we don’t get involved in the conflict ourselves.


Instead of again beating the same horse, we need to stray from the illogical and failed paths of old and find a better one, so we don’t repeat the same consequences we’ve already suffered. [19] I’ll once again highlight our six premises here:

    • > Ineffective
    • > Immoral
    • > Ideological = Impossible (UNATTACKED)
    • > Lacks Support
    • > Economic Detriment
    • > Superior Alternatives

All of these have been successfully defended. For these reasons, being that all of our premises are upheld, the war is not utilitarian nor pragmatic, vote in affirmation for the US to abandon this ineffective, costly, and inhumane war on limitless opponents.























Thank you for the lengthy response, we will address our defense and combine rebuttals to solidify our stance and prove all our contentions and debunk theirs.

Rebuttal & Defense - Ineffectiveness/Effectiveness

Our opponents have completely misunderstood, at no point did we ever say that the War on Terror was 'inadequately funded' as the affirmative have put it. As we mentioned in round three, the only problem that was faced with facing Boko Haram was that the US deployed a MONTH AGO, what was inadequately funded was the Multinational Joint Task Force, which is an alternative form of dealing with the situation, which is why we're arguing that while a decent alternative can be effectively prepared, the US should not abandon the War on Terror and it's effectiveness cannot be judged considering how recently it was deployed.

The affirmative then stab themselves when they state that it's ineffective as it cannot "fund support against Boko Haram" when we'll have to make it very clear to the affirmative that alternatives, something that our opponents have vaguely elaborated on with practicality is exactly what 'funding support' against Boko Haram goes to. Funding support is a political approach, something the affirmative has highlighted in their very vague premise regarding alternatives, and it came as a surprise to us that our opponents would attack their own solutions to the crisis, as the 'War on Terror' was designed for direct engagement of the US military against terrorism, and it does not comprise of 'funding support' for countries to fight against it themselves. As we highlighted that alternatives were not adequately funded, and we just began our 'War on Terror' against Boko Haram, it is not ineffective.

We never bypassed the Islamic State, because using the attack on Bangladesh as an example, the Islamic State WAS not responsible for the attack. Claiming that someone is a part of the Islamic State does not make them members of the Islamic State, if they pledged that they were, they are not officially members and this is unreliable. Their own source further supports this. [A]

Our opponents inaccurately claim that we have to deal completely with prominent terrorist groups in order for this to be effective, The War on Terror main purposes were already achieved, one of it's main purposes was to prevent further foreign attacks on US soil, which it has done so. Along with the recent November 2015 attacks, a further intensified War on Terror successfully prevented extreme measures to be carried out against the refugee crisis by suppressing terrorism. [B] [C]

Here's why you shouldn't let your sources do the talking. First of all, the sources for the graphs lead to absolutely nothing. No information on who carried out this report, and specifically for the first graph, when exactly it was carried out or for how long it was carried out. Essentially unreliable, this shouldn't even be considered helping your argument. The statistics they further threw in doesn't exactly even specify who carried out the attacks half the time. And considering this is especially ironic, as the affirmative want us to deal with the "biggest, most active terrorist groups" so that it can be effective and then put sources showing how a majority are carried out by groups that are not major terrorist organizations and henceforth the War on Terror is ineffective. And considering how US forces pulled out of Iraq years ago, and they put in a terrorism increase for Asia when almost all the attacks are not carried out by terrorist groups we are currently facing, further supporting that even if we abandon the War on Terror, terrorism in countries that we have pulled out off will not cease and further defends the necessity of the War on Terror.

Rebuttal & Defense - State Security

1) Our opponents start off by stating that 9/11 wasn't proven to be connected by any terrorist organization, which is simply untrue. Putting aside the fact that al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks, investigations from both the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with help from multiple governments, notably the German Intelligence, pinpointed that the hijackers were connected to the attacks of 9/11. [D] [E] [F]
It's almost hilarious that our opponents put forward that it's not proven and then, from all the sources they could have used, they use one source to back this up leading to an article made by a CONSPIRACY THEORIST. Conspiracy theories are naturally simply theories, and since this was posted by one person, and not a study, it further proves it's unreliability.

2) The War on Terror plays a role for state security, which is often compared to traditional security or national security, and henceforth it is included. Our approach was that the War on Terror will protect the state from foreign attacks, but as our opponents have addressed a situation that an internal attack does not preserve the US in the contention of global security, we will address this later. The War on Terror HAS effectively defended the state, as we have mentioned as there was no foreign attack, either direct or arbitrary on US soil. Again, our opponents once again assess the importance of adopting 'political means' that will prevent the deaths of millions of troops. First of all, the deaths of these troops have provided state security for the United States, secondly, there is once again, nothing pragmatic about stating that we should use political means and there is no guarantee that this will prevent further deaths worldwide anyway.

Rebuttal & Defense - Global Security/United Nations

Once again, our opponents have come across a factual error along with taking what we said out of context. At no point did we ever say that we were "bound" by international law to carry out the War on Terror, it has become clear that the affirmative do not have a thorough understanding of how the UN works, the UN CANNOT use international law and the obligation for the US to start the War on Terror successfully maintains international security under the United Nations Charter.
Once again, the term 'political approach' comes up, but this time, they state that we should perform it under the UN as an alternative. First of all, if our opponents had even a moderate understanding on how the UN works, they would know that 'political approaches' are divided into special political missions and peacekeeping missions, [G] [H] both of which DO NOT apply to terrorism, and only apply to states and/or rebel groups. Henceforth, this approach made by the affirmative is invalid as there is no such thing as a political approach against terrorism under the UN.

Our opponents have exaggerated the importance of the San Bernardino shooting and maintaining peace in the US. Based on one shooting, the affirmative asserts that we should "prioritize itself over global assistance" and it doesn't take long for the average person to realize how ridiculous this is. Essentially stating that we should throw away the importance of maintaining international peace and security in the UN for, in the grand scale of things, insignificant attacks simply cannot stand. The US is not going to fall from these attacks, this is patronizing the Department of Defense on levels that we can't even believe. How exactly does a shooting cause anarchy in the US when we the War on Terror is active and doesn't when the War on Terror is inactive? The US military aren't the police force in the US, each department should be able to prioritize it's own security without having to completely shut down one for the other. Once again, the two shooters pledging allegiance to the IS doesn't make them members, so the threat is not 'slipping' into the US, there is no way anyone could have predicted this would have happened.

Rebuttal - Morality

Since this premise is based on the previous one, we have effectively proven how the War on Terror is effective for that contention and this price to pay is overall achieving positive goals, and what of the morality of those suffering from increased terrorism? Do we abandon that? And the situation regarding morality in the US IS infact being dealt with by the Obama administration, which the affirmative have not challenged whatsoever.

Rebuttal - Support/Economy

Our opponents have now shifted their stance, stating now that we should 'value' utilitarianism compared to earlier when they said it is 'mandated', which we effectively rebutted. As we already expressed the unchallenged point about the poll's reliability, the US now does not LACK the necessary support it needs for the war. This is now proven. Our main argument about the support in a economic point of view is connected to the economy premise, which our opponents expressed a rebuttal based on the same motive, that the War on Terror has not achieved it's goal and we shouldn't put such burdens on the American people, but we have made it pretty clear that this is a weighted cost. No more time needs to be spent on this repetitive rebuttal.

But quickly addressing one more point, you could not use poverty to exemplify where the money should have been spent considering how this completely undermines terrorism and security as a whole in the international community. This is NOT a reasonable alternative.

Rebuttal - Alternatives

We have attacked your approaches for political alternatives, you cannot simply argue repetitively once again for a pragmatic alternative when it's very clear that this is THEORY put forward and hence there is no reliability to this and no alternative to the War on Terror at this time. Our points still stand.

To conclude, we have effectively debunked the premises put forward by the affirmative and we have effectively reinforced our own contentions put forward that stand, which is why we SHOULD NOT abandon the War on Terror at this current time. Our points that stand -

* Effective

* Protects the State

* Has necessary support

* No pragmatic alternatives

* Economically stable

Sources in comments

Debate Round No. 4
113 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by fire_wings 8 months ago
This needs to be a HOF for sure.
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
It's coming up today for sure... let's just say that voting moderation has been a little busier than usual recently.
Posted by EverlastingMoment 10 months ago
Anytime, whiteflame!
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
I should have this read and a vote posted by the end of the day. Sorry for the delay, guys.
Posted by tajshar2k 10 months ago
Posted by famousdebater 10 months ago
Thanks for the vote Taj!
Posted by ColeTrain 10 months ago
Thanks for the vote, Taj!
Posted by fire_wings 10 months ago
Thanks for your vote.
Posted by tajshar2k 10 months ago
currently reading
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
>Reported vote: Balacafa// Mod action: NOT Removed<

7 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.

[*Reason for non-removal*] I've already addressed this vote, and it's still sufficient. The reporter is correct that the voter doesn't directly address Con's initial arguments, but that doesn't make the vote insufficient.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 10 months ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: This vote is brought to you by the Voter's Union. It's given here:
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 10 months ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: RFD is here
Vote Placed by Balacafa 10 months ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Stefanwaal 10 months ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Here's the whole RFD: Summary This debate was a very close call and interesting to read. Many argument got rebutted, but the following remained. The scores based on my opinion are at the end. Pro - During the War on Terror the deaths from terrorism increased (3) - The War on Terror costs a lot (2) - Many innocent people die (2) - 1.3 million soldiers died so far (1) Con - The War on Terror protects the US (1) - The UN values the defence of people (1) - Pro is contradicting himself (2 because he once gave me the impression he was in favor of the War on Terror) - The War on Terror helped Sri Lanka (2) - There?s no alternative (3 there is little evidence pro's alternative works) The final score is 8 VS 9 for con, so I vote con.