The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Should America become the world's police force?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Debate Round Forfeited
JudgeSchreber has forfeited round #3.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 621 times Debate No: 98027
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)




First round is acceptance round. Anything is fair game as long as it is on topic.

The topic that I'm supporting is that America's role in the world is to become the world's police force.
Good luck!


I'll take part. This sounds like an interesting topic.
Debate Round No. 1


I believe that the United States of America, which has assumed the role of world superpower status, must become the world's protector, mediator, and in the title of what we are debating about today: the police force.

Alice Lyman Miller once defined a superpower as "a country that has the capacity to project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world, and sometimes, in more than one region of the globe at a time, and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemony (heejemony)." The question that we must answer today, is if we have this power to influence any given place in the world at one time, why wouldn't we use it to better the world?

Imagine a world where 6 million innocent children, women, and men, are slaughtered by a movement taking hold over Europe. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? These are the things that happen when there is no police force; nobody protecting those 6 million people; nobody standing up for them; and nobody strong enough to oppose them that will. Imagine what it would be like if the United States got in the middle of the conflicts rising in Germany. We, along with our allies, could have stopped the Nazi movement before it was a problem.

Imagine a world where a civil war has broken out, the government has fallen, and, in it's place, Islamic radicalism. This spark now turns into a wildfire, as a now dangerous, strengthening terrorist group; Isis, begins to try and liberate much of the middle east. What will happen if we don't stop it? What would have happened if we were there to mediate the civil war? Potentially, Isis wouldn't have had the power to become a threat in our own homeland.

These are just two examples of what happens when there is no police force. The fact is, we need one. Having America, which is possibly the only world superpower still remaining, become the police force of the world will do nothing but make the world a better place. There are a few points that we want to emphasize throughout the debate.

1. We want and need to live in a world that has a police force.

2. We can't afford to just stand by and watch.

3. We need to change the sources of protection in the world.

Initially, there are only two reasons why you would be against this world superpower responsibility:

1. There is no need for a police force.
Which is definitely not true. Much like our own country, not having a police force will lead to nothing but chaos.

2. There is some better police source in the world
We will argue the problems with the United Nations later on, which is the most influential of the theoretical police forces existing in the world already.

I ask the audience to read carefully and judge fairly, and hope that you will see the true perspective, which is supporting "America being the police force of the world".

I await your first argument.


Imagine, if you'd like, the most dystopian reality possible. Millions dying of starvation and disease, ignoble savages are killing one another, women and children dying grisly deaths... and then, from right stage, in swoops America, ready to save the world.
That's what my opponent would have you imagine. That's the reality they'd love to impress upon you.

Now, if only for a moment, imagine the past. Think back to early Iraq. It's April of '03, and the President of the United States, George Bush, has just uttered the fateful words, "mission accomplished"{1}. Within two years, the USA has toppled the locally-supported ruling government, preferring to spread their fabled democracy around the globe as they remove countries they have strategically placed on their "axis of evil." It's at this point the Iraqui people realize - the war is not over. Over the following years, Washington tries and failed to climb out of the hole it has dug itself into. It succees only in burying the ideals it began its pursuit on, choosing to kick aside true equality and empathy in favor of cultivating what Michel Foucault would call "docile bodies:" subjects of its power, at its command. This grand vision of an expansion of already - domineering American primacy from West to East proved just that: a mirage, gone like a ghost as soon as the US let Iraq declare its sovereignty. The American - built, American-modeled, Western nation-state-colony of Iraq had fallen, and turmoil erupted in its place. The Middle East was witness - and is still witness - to some of the greatest amounts of violence in the world - all resulting from a cookie-cutter vision of white culture in a nonwhite land imposed by the West on the ignoble Eastern savages. This ideology mirrors that of a missionary: when the holy man travels to a foreign land, the inhabitants are reduced to nonbelievers, savages, converts-to-be so long as they follow the Western light and Western way. {2}

"Iraq is not a solitary example exposing the limits of American military power and its capacity for state-building in this century. As the world's only remaining superpower, the US had visualized a world in its own image " a community of docile nations who would not challenge American power. After experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, and more recently Libya and Syria, Washington remains far from achieving this. It seems that although America"s overwhelming power enables it to intervene and occupy foreign lands, the country"s ability to sustain war against resistors and undertake the task of state- or nation-building has been found wanting again and again." {1}
Not only would codifying the already-omnipresent American hegemon make widespread violence inevitable, but it would also institutionalize interventionist practices and put into law cultural oppression. America operates as if it is the leading global power, the savior in the midst of the uncivilized Eastern seas of savages, the lone holdout against an oppressive world, but a closer look at geopolitical practice reveals just the opposite: American dominance only condemns local culture and experience as all aspects of life fall under the panoptic gaze of the colonial knowledge-base {3}. Just to clarify, that's not just a cultural oppression impact - it's an indict of all Western-centric thought, all appeals to the fetishization of the colony, the glory and splendor of the new frontier, the sea of faces reduced to the sea of consumers, each with a monetized value ascribed.

Now that the ideological section is finished, I'll answer my opponent's arguments in order.
First, the assertion that without the American savior, history would repeat itself: we would have a Nazi-esque genocide that only the guardian state could solve. Logically, the only way to prevent nationalist movements is by organizing, in law, a nationalist agenda dedicated to " project[ing] dominating power and influence... in more than one region of the globe at a time" in order to ensure the lesser Eastern nations follow our example... right?
Evidence - historical and logical - proves the answer is no. The Middle East, Vietnam, and South Sudan all prove neoliberal intervention has one consequence that far outweighs any of the rest - inspiring anti-occupation movements that later "spark," to quote my opponent, and become the "terror cells" and "radical groups" we know today. Osama bin Laden was supported by the United States. The USA supported the Khmer Rouge rebellion, culminating in genocides and a national civil war upon the reversion to agrarian society. Sudan, upon receiving funds from the US, carried out ethnic cleansings that continue to the present day. Western organization of Yugoslavia culminated in the Balkan genocides of countless Serbians.

Next, my opponent has you imagine the terror of the East: an ISIS member, dressed in unfamiliar garb, killing civilians. In invoking the image of the terrorist, my opponent calls into being his spectral appearance - the fact that you picture his flickering form seems only to reinforce the fact that he is absent - this false sense of urgency only serves as justification for neoliberal intervention in the form of 'peacekeeping' - subjugating nations, making the East and the West alike kneel at the feet of the American empire.
There's another facet to this illusion my opponent creates: the creation of the personal threat, the justification of the 'kill to save' mentality inherent in Western occupation and manipulative 'engagement' with the East, and finally, the culmination of the guardian state. This is offset by the 'great peace' that would follow the reinstatement, the accumulation, the increase in American power - invoked like the 'other man/woman' in an argument with a significant other, the invocation of the terrorist threat capable of striking in the heartland of America. The great peace proposed by my opponent ignores the passive role intervention and US primacy plays in creating organized violence beyond the state level. {4}. This thesis is backed by the most trustworthy data in this debate - any my opponent could provide would obscure the US's role in conflict creation {5}. The Guardian State, or the crisis-managing "police force" invoked by my opponent, relies on a process of scapegoating - by creating problems outside itself, it justifies racist intervention and endless recourse to war - this is just another reason their great peace fails {6}.

My opponent gives three preliminary reasons one would wish codified supremacy on themselves:
1. the world is dangerous - we need to patrol it and stomp out uprisings
2. it's our obligation to save the uncivilized 'rest'
3. the countries out there can't protect themselves

I'll answer these in order:
1. Reject this for all the reasons stated above and two more:
a. it's an unsolvable risk calculus - basing actions off of potential threats leads to "infinity logic" that allows intervention over the smallest threats
b. it's corruptive to grassroots movements - if the American world police are capable of both determining who needs to be stopped and carrying out disciplinary action, resistance to totalitarian rule would be impossible {7}
2. I've covered that above - see all my arguments on the guardian state {5, 6}.
3. Also covered via my guardian state arguments - there's no reason provided as to why self-governance would not be able to solve local conflicts, and no mention as to how US indecisiveness in Syria allowed ISIS to form from militant Islamic sects.

My opponent then attempts to preempt my offense:
1. My entire speech is a reason as to why a 'global security force lead by the USFG' would be bad
2. Agreed - the UN is pretty bad. Feel free to make those arguments - it's a puppet organization led by the US and restricted by Western interest which has supported insurrectionary movements in order to spread neoliberal ideology.

Like my opponent, I ask you to judge each argument carefully, but beware of the ideologies promoted by those who would advocate for US supremacy - colonialist ideologies affect every foreign policy decision we make and subversively affect the actions we take as well - that's Walter Mignolo, my third author.

And before I forget - thanks for the debate! It's definitely interesting. I look forward to your response.

{1} {}

{2} {Chengxin Pan, Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics, p. 39} [If asked I can paste the paragraph I've gotten this from in the comments section - it took up too many characters here]

{3} {}

{4} {}

{5} {}

{6} {Margaret Denike, "Scapegoat Racism and the Sacrificial Politics of Security;" Journal of International Political Theory 2015, Vol. 11(1) 111"127} [Same as no. 2 - I'd be happy to put this in the comment section if required]

{7} {Oliver Kessler, "From Insecurity to Uncertainty: Risk and the Paradox of Security Politics" Alternatives 33 (2008), 211-232} [same as 2 and 6]
Debate Round No. 2


Before I begin I would like to thank my opponent for the immense research being used for this debate, which will further our understanding with accuracy.


Understand that while we have caused a lot of problems dealing with Iraq in the past, and certainly other countries, doesn't make the duty any less necessary. There will always be side-affects to power over others. While we have caused some problems because of our role to humanity, doesn't make it a good reason to completely abolish the system. That is like saying because the NYPD has made some mistakes, the whole system should be abolished. While the United states does want a world vuilt in its own image, and we are far from it, doesn't make it unecessary or immoral. Mistakes happen, and we learn from them, basing the idea that as the United States inherits their role as "World Police" they will get better at their job.

Like you say, "American dominance only condemns local culture and experience as all aspects of life fall under the panoptic gaze of the colonial knowledge-base". However, as the world globalization increases, the only end seems to be Americanization and change of distant cultures. Notice how America is already a mixing pot of people. Culture isn't static, it grows, and with American influence taking hold all over the world, the cultures of places are inevitable to change. (1) Who's to say that the mixing of American culture won't create violence, but a harmony?

We want a police force.

Do we want to live in a world with no policemen? And just because we are a police force doesn't mean we don't have allies. In a world with no policeman, these outlaws and belligerents harm innocent people and prosper from doing so, thereby encouraging them to expand their bad behavior and encouraging others to imitate them. 70 years ago, the Axis leaders—Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo—decided to take over the world. No policeman stopped them. They did take over much of the world and 62 million people died in the war, twice as many of them civilians as military. And 50,000,000 or 81% of the dead were in the allied countries that “won” the war. (2) Untold property damage was caused. Huge national debts were incurred and are still being paid by succeeding generations. That’s what can happen in a world where no one acts as policeman. If we won't supply a police force, who will?

Who will protect the peaceful from the ruthless? In developing countries, without armies, who will protect in these times, especially with the rise in Islamic radicalism? Who else will cope with nuclear proliferation? Who else will help developing countries fall to the hands of extremists? The League of Nations, UN, and NATO haven't done enough. And as long as evil exists, we need something that will protect us. Clearly, the world needs a policeman the same as your local neighborhood needs policemen.

So the question is not whether we need a world policeman, but who it will be.

We can't afford to just stand by and watch.

World superpowers can't choose to not be a mediator for other countries problems. This will cause greater problems in the future, that could potentially affect America directly. We can't choose to just vacate off the many target lists that exist. As Leon Trotsky stated: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you". That being said, we must not practice isolationism, because our ignorance of a problem will not negate the problem itself. Americans have lived in a relatively orderly world for so long that many have become complacent about maintaining it.

The United Nations won't work

We have originally tried separate alternatives to keeping the peace of the world without direct United States involvement: The UN. The UN was formed after World War II to maintain order and protect human rights. Since then, we have had United Nations officers put around the entire world. However, their record at keeping the peace was and still is abysmal.

1.The United Nations' nearly 200 members almost never agree on anything, causing lots of fights.

2. The United Nations Peace Keeping forces are always small, poorly armed, and highly restricted in what they are should be allowed to do.

3. It votes to take military action very rarely—far more rarely than is needed. Furthermore, even when it does vote to take military action, members often refuse to provide the needed military personnel and assets, or provide them, but restrict their use to the point where the U.N. Force is impotent. The U.N. Has had 60 years to prove it can do the job and has proven it cannot do the job except in the most clear-cut, extreme cases involving relatively weak aggressors, most notably Iraq invading Kuwait in 1990, 500,000 people were slaughtered with machetes in Rwanda in 1994. UN Peace Keepers stood by the whole time and watched. (3)

If we can't find a good source for global protection, who will?

I believe that we need protection, and America is the best suited for the job.

I await your 3rd argument.




This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JudgeSchreber 1 year ago
never mind, I'm an idiot. all apologies
Posted by JudgeSchreber 1 year ago
Is first round just acceptance?
This debate has 2 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.