The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Resolved: The United States Federal Government should significantly reduce its military spending.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/28/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 799 times Debate No: 53495
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
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Thus is the resolution. In your response to round one pick your side (I know it says I am pro but Don't Listen to that) and construct your case. Any argument not addressed in the next and consecutive speech/round is considered dropped and a truth in the debate. New evidence may be brought in only until round 4. So not in round 5

if you are familiar with policy debate, by all means have a plan and use the jargon - I am familiar with it. be respectful and good luck.

Judging Criteria:

1. I know it says Grammar and Spelling... but please listen to the arguments MUCH MORE than Grammar and Spelling.

2. please be "Tabula Rasa" - meaning blank slate. So set aside all previous views on the subject.

3. in your judging comments please outline what arguments you voted on... etc.


A accept the challenge. I choose the side of Pro. From now on, whenever Pro is mentioned, it is me, and Con is my opponent.
From what I understood, I am to begin constructing my case on round 1.

The United States should reduce military spending, within the next five (5) years by about four hundred billion dollars ($400,000,000,000).

My goals are:
1. To improve American domestic life
2. Improve American security, at home and abroad.
3. Change the relationship between the U.S. and the international community for the better.

The Plan:

The United States government spends about $1.5 Trillion on the military. This includes all military-related expenditures, not just the budget of the Department of Defense. However, for the sake of the debate, I will use to the very conservative under-estimate of $800 Billion.

This spending is about 4.35% of the U.S. GDP.

For a comparison to other military powers, France the U.K. both spend about 2.2% of their GDP on the military. China, the emerging rival of the U.S., spends about 2.0% of its GDP on the military. Since America's GDP is the largest in the world, even if the US had a parity in percentage spending, it would still eclipse the spending of all potential competitors.

Thus, US military spending could be safely reduced to 2.2% of the GDP, about half of the current 4.35%. In short, military spending would fall from $800 Billion to $400 Billion.

Where would these cuts take place?

First, overseas presence. The U.S. military, garrisons and war costs well over $200 billion. Of that, $100 billion are active military conflicts, such as the war in Afghanistan, and the other $100 Billion are spent on garrisons and military installations that are not in warzones. These numbers, need I remind you, are all conservative under-estimates. According to the Pentagon Overseas Cost Summary, only $20 Billion should be needed. By cutting unnecessary military bases, recalling the troops back the American mainland, over $200 Billion could be saved.(1)

Second, nuclear weapons. Even if the U.S. wanted to keep a safe nuclear deterrent, we would only need about 500 nuclear weapons to do it. Cutting down on the stockpile to that 500 would save the U.S. another $100 Billion.(2)

Third, obscenely expensive weapons programs run up billions in costs. This includes projects such as the Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35 Lighting II, shown be under-par in performance demonstrations, as well as excessively expensive. Military contractors are infamous for making the most expensive equipment possible, with the least amount of competition possible.(3)

Fourth, general lack of accountability and wasteful practices. It is impossible to audit the Pentagon, military staff is inflated, and the Pentagon will purposefully waste money so as not to have it's budget reduced at the end of every fiscal year.(4,5,6)

The amount of money that could be saved easily amounts up to my recommended figure of $400 billion. It would take time to implement these changes, but five years seems like a reasonable amount of time, as historically demilitarization can occur quite quickly.

Due to lack of space, I will continue on the purpose of my plan and why it should be done in my second round.

Debate Round No. 1


First, My opponent"s points about the GDP are purposefully misleading: our Defense spending per GDP is infact 9th in the world and Conn Carrol of the Heritage foundation stated in 2010 that it is lower than it ever has been at a 9% in the 60"s. So were 9th in percentage for military spending, but first overall in GPD? See how that"s misleading?
Also, the "800 billion a year" is factually incorrect. The U.S. spends around only 600 billion a year - Sarah Wolfe of NPR 2/12/2014 (more recent)

-Now onto my case.
First, let"s frame the world in order to best render our decisions.

1.Putin is "Acting like a cornered animal" and "is revealing himself as a thug" Russian journalist Yulia Latynina says. His sole goal is to enforce the "Putin Doctrine"

2.North Korea is on the Brink of a collapse, and not a pretty one " David Trifunpv from the global post

3.Turkey just shot down a Syrian airplane (tensions rising yet again)

4.Trouble in Venezuela .

5.In February Iran"s military chief said they were ready for a decisive battle with America and Israel and that military option was on the table.

Not even mentioning China"s military goals and problems with terrorism, obviously we have no room for error!
Kim Holmes PhD of the Heritage foundation this year stated that although military cuts would still allow us to defend from, say, 1 threat, but not the 46 armed conflicts the International institute for strategic studies predicted recently.
The U.S. will not be able to prevent all of them with a reduced military budget.

Now onto My opponents case:

1.Let's look at the economic arguments and waste arguments.

Sub point A: the Economist stated in 2011 that for every $ spent in military spending, our GDP increased by $1.50.

Sub point B: I propose the following counterplan: the U.S. should use the funds reserved by the Affirmation indicted of waste to invest in (1.) space weaponization and (2.) humanitarian waste.

Sub Point C: Consolidation is not reduction, meaning that my opponent must win the waste argument AS WELL proving the lack of use.

-The consolidation of defense funds away from waste prevents the many impacts I described.

-Even as of now, our navy has admitted (Admiral Samuel Lockhlear ) that the cannot in the status quo meet its requirements. Imagine if war broke out with the many scenarios I described!

2.Now let"s look at My opponents articles cited at the end of the Affirmation case. Please note 2 things.

a.They are all from 2, 3, or 4 years ago. (My citations are from this year or are backed up by easily found recent research)

b.compounded on their lack of recency, they cherry-pick data, and attempt to diminish drastically the actual dangers in our world.

3.To refute the 3rd goal of my opponent:

Sub point A:There is no claim made that our military spending affects our relations.

Sub point B:It does not make sense that it would. That argument has to do with the mindset of the people. If our government has this mindset, changing the budget will just result in an increase of the budget. The real solvency of any impact to this argument is in changing the mindset of how we as people act in the world, WHICH IS NOT competitive with a vote for the negative side.

4. to bring the theory of inherent argumentation: My opponent must bring up inherency . If the plan is inherent (meaning that the status quo is on its way to solving it already) then there is no need to enact a plan.

-The status quo IS moving in the direction of defense budget cuts. There is not much opposition to it as of now, meaning there is no reason to vote for a plan independent of the status quo. bring the theory of harm argumentation: My opponent must bring up that our spending actually HARMS something.

-the only argument made is waste which is countered by consolidation. As of now, the only harms of voting affirmative are in favor of the negative. Voting affirmative rejects the ability to consolidate the funds and prevent the many harms I bring up.


My first Post was all factual data to back up my main argument.
We are 9th in percentage spending, but since our GDP is so large, largest in the world, we are by far the largest spenders.
On the sum of actual expenditures. Official government reports will severely underplay how much is actually spend. Almost half of total military spending is not included in the Department of Defense official budget. We spend at the very least $1 Trillion, closer to $1.5 Trillion. My figure of $800 Billion is extremely conservative. My opponent argues that the numbers are off since my figure is not as recent. This is correct; military spending has increased since the time it was estimated in my sources.

Moving on to my points:
1. Improving domestic America.

By reducing spending in the military, we are opened with two new options:
A. Spend the money somewhere else or
B. Cut taxes.

A. We desperately need funding for education and infrastructure. More Social and Welfare programs would also be a boon to the countless impoverished people in the country. $400 Billion is a hefty sum. We could revitalize national education, provide free universal health care and more, and still have plenty to go around.

B. With less spending comes less need for income. Tax breaks on the tune of $400 Billion for the middle and lower classes would help stimulate the economy and let the average person keep more cash in their pockets.

My spending less on the military, we can spend more directly on the people who actually live in America, instead of focusing on how many times over we can nuke the world.

2. Improving American security, at home and abroad.
U.S. military presence and empire in the world throughout the past century has left its mark. Latin America is ever distrustful of American "intervention". Countries subject to American military might grow hostile to American foreign meddling. Example: The primary reason why Osama Bin Laden took up arms against the U.S. was because his homeland, Saudi Arabia, is deeply influenced by America, and American weapons present on their soil. Most foreign "terror" acts against Americans are acts of resistance against foreign military occupation (Iraq, Afghanistan). If America did not feel the need to empire and police the world, such resistance would never take root. By removing foreign military bases, we reduce American threat and aggression abroad.

3. American relations abroad with other powers has been one of confrontation. This should change, starting with a more moderate outlook on the world that does not rely on bullying countries through force of arms. America could should not be seen as the domineering military power of the world. Rather, we should take up the model that successful countries like Germany, the U.K. and Japan use. They do not use their military to force matters into their favor, instead they use their soft economic power to influence the world, in a more bilateral and democratic way. The world has positive views of soft powers and negative views of hard powers. The American economy is very important and surely carries much influence in the world.

The way things are going, there will be military draw downs, thanks to the end of the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, but my plan goes above and beyond. By cutting $400 Billion from non-essential spending, we are able to reduce threat to foreign countries, without compromising security at home. The world will be less confrontational and less militant, especially when in opposition to the U.S. Currently, there are unacceptable harms being incurred in American society due to the degradation of the education system and lack of care for people who need it the most. By cutting this military spending we incur no harms, and reduce major harms present at home and abroad.

In my next round I will begin to counter my opponents points.
Debate Round No. 2


First on the GDP arguments: My opponent only stated"My post was factual data". Please accept only warranted claims! That does not mean that my evidence can't be. If you look up my evidence, You will see that the WORLD SPENDING is actually 1.5 trillion. Not our budget. And also again, my opponent is trying to manipulate the data. Its not that we spend a lot, but that our military spending matches our economy and GDP!

Now onto cases. I would like to bring up the rule that if an argument is not answered in the consecutive speech/post, it is considered conceded (dropped/forfeited).

First, My opponent dropped the list of dangers and the Holmes evidence and did not respond to the argument of the evidence attempting to diminish the actual danger in the world.

Next, My opponent dropped the economist evidence, stating that military spending actually helps our GDP and economy. It innovates and multiplies it. This means we actually need to keep military spending to access the impacts of the affirmative arguments.

Now onto the Counter-plan:
- First of all this was dropped.
-Second, weaponizing space now is key to preventing an arms race in the future with catostrophic impacts. Many countries would use it to create a local and Hegemony and ultimately be "un-flank-able" - Everet Dolman, 2006, "Toward a US grand Strategy in Space"
-Third, The United states military acts lot with humanitarian aide. Focusing that part of the military would also refute the global relations arguments my opponent brings up. focusing on humanitarian aide would not harm the U.S. ability to cooperate, but would actually give it more of a voice in global cooperation.
-Fourth, moving funds around or consolidating funds does not mean a reduction of military spending, meaning that this counter-plan advocates for a Pro vote.

Next, My opponent dropped the Locklhear evidence saying that even as of now, our military has trouble dealing with certain threats. imagine if a multiple front war broke out! Which I proved is definitely a possibility.

Next, My opponent dropped the arguments against the Pro evidence:
1. It isn't very recent
2. It cherry-picks evidence and historical data

Now onto the Pro relations argument. My answer that our relations with other groups and nations has not to do with or military size, but with the mindset of our leaders. What would really solve the problem is finding a way to change this mindset. which is not a competitive Idea with keeping our military spending. They are not mutually Exclusive.

Now I will elaborate on What I mean by Harms and Inherent argumentation and Why they are important.
a. First is HARMS.

- Now My opponent did bring up some harms in the last post, so let us compare and calculate which one would be worse.

Opponents: we could use extra money for education and health care, and military spending sometimes causes terrorism.
- the first part isn't even a harm, It's what maybe could be benefited. is a little more money (The 400$ Bill is being exaggerated)
-War with Russia
-War with North Korea
-Massive trouble in Syria
-Riots and Marches protesting all over Venezuela
-Conflict with Iran.
So which one would be worse? also considering that "Education and Infrastructure" really have no impact other than: they would be good, and In a war we REALLY couldn't try to fix it. Also consider that My harms and Impacts are SUPER recent events and evidence, compared to education and infrastructure which governments have been worrying about for millenias, and that My Economist Evidence was dropped stating that Military spending helps our economy.

Now I will quickly talk about Inherent Argumentation:
My inherency argument states that the Status quo (what is going on now) is already looking to passing military cuts. this means that even if My opponent wins that military spending is bad, there is no reason to vote for it because It will already be solved soon. This again was dropped.

Thank you. I will answer questions in comment


AizenSousuke forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent forgot to post, this round will not mean anything.


My rebuttals

Armed conflict with Russia is unfeasable. In this day and age, Great Powers cannot afford to fight against each other directly, invasion of Ukraine or not. It will be economic issues that will limit Putin, not American soldiers.

Korea and China have contingency plans in case of North Korean collapse. American "peacekeeping" would only make things worse. The Koreans would be much more grateful if they could solve their domestic disputes without foreign intervention.

Turkey is the strongest native military power in the region. I'm sure they can handle their own borders just fine, and they have NATO support if they need it. The security of Turkey has never necessitated American troop deployments.

Venezuala has already had more than its fair share of American intervention. Its hard to help democracy when its done at gunpoint, American Marine guns or others, it makes little difference.

Iran has often talked about destroying America and Israel over the past four decades. The fact that they have never executed open aggression towards the U.S. and Israel beyond their own borders indicates that these are empty words.

We have plenty of room. We have massive fleets that dominate the seven seas. Just because there hasn't been much need to demonstrate the superiority of the U.S. navy and supercarriers does not mean that they are not superior, just that none have dared to try to prove otherwise.

My plan is mutually exclusive with the Satus Quo. The Status Quo would keep military spending near its present rate, at about $1 Trillion, for the sake of this debate, the conservative $800 Billion. My plan would reduce this from over three quarters of trillion to less than half of a trillion, at $400 Billion. This is a huge difference that is unlikely to be proposed soon by the current government.

My plan is not useless, and even if it was, it has nothing to do with the debate on hand.

My opponent's case changes nothing and keeps many harms without providing solutions. My plan provides many benefits for Americans and other world citizens. There are no harms, as these cuts are designed to not reduce the capacity of the American military to defend Americans, and my plan is also supported by evidence that armed conflict with countries such as Russia, Syria, Iran and North Korea are extremely unlikely to ever happen. The Con should know that the Cold War is over, there is no global threat to peace, and most localized threats could easily be neutralzed by current naval and aerospace power. There is no need to keep military bases all over the world to bully third world countries and counter the hordes of communism from the Soviet Union and China.
Debate Round No. 4


Paullus forfeited this round.


Arguments Extended

Vote Pro
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Paullus 2 years ago
Its alright. lets just make this round null.
Posted by AizenSousuke 2 years ago
I completely forgot to post my round, my apologies
Posted by Paullus 2 years ago
oops!!!! meant that the counter-plan advocates for a con vote..... silly me.
Posted by AizenSousuke 2 years ago
That's weird because I read it as humanitarian aid and didn't even notice the error until you pointed it out. Double oops.
Posted by Paullus 2 years ago
oops... when I said in the counter-plan "humanitarian waste", I meant humanitarian aide... hope that was obvious. I would be a pretty horrible person :)
Posted by Paullus 2 years ago
I will clarify and answer questions in the comments about any of my posts int he rounds.
Posted by AizenSousuke 2 years ago
Basic economic information:
military expenditures as a % of GDP:
Posted by AizenSousuke 2 years ago
Well, I haven't thought of any good ideas for con argument, thus I'd like to choose pro- in favor of reducing spending.
Posted by Paullus 2 years ago
Yes it will be acceptable. which side have you chosen by the way?
Posted by AizenSousuke 2 years ago
Will it acceptable for me to use wikipedia as a source? I find it very effective at delivering simple data/statistics on countries and the world.
No votes have been placed for this debate.