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Resolved: The United States Should Offer Military Aid to Ukraine

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,133 times Debate No: 52546
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
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I will be arguing in favor of the resolution, I believe the US should offer military supplies, equipment, nuclear missiles, financial aid, and if it comes to blows, personnel to the Ukraine to uphold its sovereignty after recent threats and actions by Russia that undermine it's sovereignty.

No arguments 1st round, I look forward to an interesting debate!


Let's do this!!!!!!!
Debate Round No. 1


I will use a Lincoln Douglas format to make my speech easily legible and understandable. So to start, my value for today's debate will be Enlightened Self-Interest, which will be reinforced by my value criterion, the Hegemonic Stability Theory.

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.[1][2][3]

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.[1]

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:

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.

Subpoint A:

It is Unlikely Russia would Invade if the US Sent Armed Personnel to Ukraine:

Section Six of the North Atlantic Treaty:

[1]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.


Mantizah forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Arguments extended


Geh. Sorry about that. So for my first argument, I'd like to just point out that while the USA does indeed currently have the worlds best army by almost anyone's standards, things aren't guaranteed to stay that way. Other countries are catching up. China especially is catching up quickly. Plus, the USA's economy depends greatly on China anyway. There's your real superpower. Fighting between Russia and the US would be nothing more than a violent quarrel, over arguments that should've been settled long ago. Not really a great show of power anyway.

As my second point, I'd like to note all the suffering increased weaponry has the potential to cause. So far this has been a fairly low-casualty conflict in my opinion, but introducing crazy weapons from the US could change that, causing a lot of suffering, and that's probably not the best thing.

For my final point, I'd like to bring up the possibility that it would actually be good for Ukraine to be part of Russia. I'll argue that more later.

I deeply apologize for the wait, and I look forward to your next arguement.
Debate Round No. 3


Defending Contention One:

My opponent does not really make relevant attacks that undermine my C1 argument, but to convince my judges (the voters of DDO) I will address his points anyways. My opponent does directly refute the argument that the US aiding Ukraine militarily would impose a minimal burden. He does indeed cede that "The USA does indeed currently have the world's best army by almost anyone's standards) (Paragraph one R3 argument). Whether other countries could surpass the US or not is.. entirely irrelevant in my opinion to my argument. I don't see how keeping billions of dollars of unused, outdated technology (by US standards) would help us preserve our position as the dominant military power, what would though; is giving it to the Ukrainian government to deter or fight russia in the event of an invasion and undermine their attempt at once again becoming a regional, or global hegemon. Also, China and the USA have inter dependent economies, so if one suffered, the other would also suffer. Indeed, China earns over $400 billion from US exports and Forbes, based on US Department of Commerce statistic estimates that China is 175.6% dependent on the US.

On to the second point on paragraph one: I am afraid all my opponent has done is make an assertion that he did not bother to back with facts or logic, I have pointed out through my value criterion why US intervention in Ukraine would greatly benefit the US, and in turn the world. I don't see why I should have to make new points or defend specific points of mine until my opponent makes a more intricate and well thought out attack that actually addresses the core of my argument.

On to my opponents second paragraph; My opponent does not deny that Russia has the intent to invade Ukraine, and indeed his only point is that introducing new weaponry could increase casualties in the war. I ask my opponent this question seriously, does he think that if the Ukraine is invaded, the nation and it's people should just wittingly submit without a fight? If not, and I am assuming he does not think that, there will be casualties regardless, and attempting to place the blame on Ukraine for those casualties for deciding it has a right to defend itself is simply absurd. If Russia invades Ukraine under the rather phony pretenses it currently has, Russia is at fault for the casualties, and it is my belief that attempting to place the blame of the casualties of a conflict on the nation that is simply trying to defend it's sovereignty is ludicrous. Ukraine should be allowed to defend itself from foreign aggression by any means possible that are not outlawed in the rules of war, codified by multiple conventions in recent history that can be seen here:

Basically, any casualties incurred if Russia invades Ukraine should be moral responsibility of Russia, not Ukraine.

In regards to your final point, I'll just disregard it for now until you elaborate.

Other sources:

I look forward to your response.


Ok then. I'll try going back through your arguments.

Enlightened self interest: You're proposing giving away weapons of destruction to a desperate resistance in a failing part of a confused country. Maybe you'd be helping them, but certainly not world peace, or whoever they're fighting (Russia), so that kind of kills the helping people thing. Why not help Russia, instead? That still works into your theory, right?

Hegemonic Stability: If a new superpower where to replace the USA, it probably wouldn't be Russia, anyway. Russia's economy is only the 9th largest in the world, and their military spending was less than a quarter of the US' last year. Others that spend more on their military than Russia include The EU, South Asia and Oceania, and China. Russia probably won't become a threat for a long, long time.

Minimal Burden: And I quote from your 3rd source for this argument:

"We wouldn"t be in this crisis of hitting the debt ceiling in the first place if we hadn"t spent so much money on unnecessary wars " which are horrible for the economy."

That pretty well sums it up. You sort of refute your argument here. Indeed, sending some equipment to Ukraine has the potential to be not much of a hassle. But you know whats actually going to happen. The US is going to botch it. It's happened before, and it'll happen again. Just like every other war and conflict, they're going to end up spending A LOT more money than they should, putting the US farther and farther out of world supremacy with every billion they add to their debt. That doesn't sound like it would be very much in your interest (or your "Enlightened Self-Interest"), and not good for stability either.

You also mentioned that Russia wouldn't likely invade if there where US troops in The Ukraine, but your forgetting that this isn't just Russia vs Ukraine. There are many supporters of Russia in Ukraine that have been there for quite some time. This is a civil war as well.

I apologize for not giving you much to work with in my first argument.
Debate Round No. 4


Objectivity forfeited this round.


Ouch. Missing the last round. What bad luck. Thanks for the debate though.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Daktoria 2 years ago
I would have loved to debate this.

The West is opposing Russia because the West is filled with fiscal liberals and Ukraine is corrupt with Keynesian deficit spending. The government which was thrown out was pro-austerity and upheld Russia's property rights in terms of both gas and financial loans.

Should America offer military support? Yes. America is a liberal country that should support fellow Ukrainian liberals against Russian conservatives.
Posted by KnowledgeisPower5622 2 years ago
I don't think the USA should get involved period. We have our own problems. USA does have to have a global presence and a positive strong view infront of the world. However, we do not need to get involved in every dispute between countries. When we had problems with Cuba. Russia didn't get involved until we put a missle outside their borders. Whats the difference between them taking a part of Ukraine? You see the hypocrisy in the USA gov't?
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