Should society declaw the metaphorical "Russian bear"
Debate Rounds (1)
We shouldn't declaw the Russian bear primarily because we can't do it without dying ourselves. There are two ways to actually win with Russia, economically or militarily. We shouldn't be doing either.
Russia has a vast assortment of nuclear weapons that it can and will use if it becomes desperate. That means global annihilation if we try direct action. We can also wage a proxy war, even though that won't be any more successful. If we do fight proxies, by winning we would press Russia into a nuclear attack openly supporting that war.
We can also fight economically. Let's look at a bit of history for this. Reagan led to the fall of the soviet union simply by spending. He spent so much that the SU simply didn't make it. They ran out of money, stopped supporting armies in provinces, and the whole shenanigan fell. That was great, except for the fact that it crippled the US economy as well. Nowadays, despite the fact that Russia isn't doing well, America isn't either. We have the whole housing price affair, and there were things before that too. America can take down Russia economically, but it will end up in the same grave.
Even if we did find a way to win with Russia with minimal losses, nobody will be there to actually implement the plan. USA is tired after long wars, it has a bit more than a million troops active and they're all tied up retreating from Afghanistan. Besides, can you imagine selling the American public yet another war? NATO too, can't help out. 1/3 of Europe is dependant on Russian oil, all Putin has too do to stop seroius action is stop the flow of oil. Politicians in Poland are already planning to "surrender immediately if war breaks out". And then we have China. China is in it's own little world, trading with Russia and stopping Western sanctions from taking effect.
But lets say there is a possibility, that someone stood up with a great plan and a nation willng to carry it out. The "Russian bear" is declawed, and everybody is happy (theoretically). But what will then happen to Russia?
You see, Americans don't really understand that Russia has a completely different culture. Russians evolved in the time of autocracy and leaders who trodded on their subjects. Being called to his royal palace either meant death or a serious promotion. The had Chinggis Khan, Poles, Czars, untill the bolshevik revolution. Then, instead of a Czar, they had a "First Secretary", who managed to worsen the people's situation. And then the soviet union collapses, and in come the "presidents" Putin, the most recent one, cut all media and practiced strict control. So, in reality, the Czar and First Secretary and President didn't really differ that much. Russia was always autocratic.
When Russia falls, USA (if it exists) will most likely invest in it and try to make it a democracy yet again. The Russians will organize themselves, "elect" another autocratic leader, and start the whole thing over again. Except now they know their weaknesses one downfall better. And they just might want revenge.
This is why we simply can't be declawing the Russian bear. In the event of nuclear warfare, only the coacroaches will win. Economic warfare kills the nation attempting as well. There just isn't any way out.
First, since this is the only round, I'd like to open with a hello and a welcome to all judging the debate.
Second, I spot a flaw in my opponents system immediately. He is trying to use a Lincoln-Douglas style debate format, which is not appropriate for this debate because it tends to skip over supporting arguments. Because of this, he implies that contextualization (broad evidence) is not needed, as that is what a LD debate is. However, I will provide examples of my points as I pose them. Citing will only be used when necessary.
Nuclear bombs: My opponent claims that Russia"s arsenal of nuclear weapons acts as a deterrent to the world, and makes most countries hesitant to "declaw the Russian bear."
Response: Russian-built nuclear weapons were built poorly, have been maintained poorly ever since their creation, and continue to decay under a government that can no longer afford to perform upkeep. Basically, my question is: How many of Russia"s nuclear weapons actually work? The last time Russia has tested a nuclear device was 1990, with it being banned in the same year (1).
My opponent is also assuming that the main powers of the world currently do not have a missile defense system in place which can detect nuclear warheads. However, Reagan"s SDI program proves that the U.S., as well as other European allies, had the thought of a defense system in the back of their minds. The thought has been traceable to 1947, where the Soviet Union had detonated its first nuclear device.
Russia"s poor guard of nuclear devices is well known directly after the fall of the Soviet Union, as several "suitcase nukes" went unaccounted for after the independent states joined once again as Russia (2).
Looking at the facts, Russia"s nuclear program is a joke and there are several methods to prevent nuclear war as we attempt to declaw the Russian bear.
Economics: Con has suggested that economic warfare against Russia would result in a downturn in the American economy.
Response: My opponent ignores, in his claim that a bad Russian economy also means a bad American economy, well, all of history.
I will provide two pieces of evidence that a bad Russian economy actually increases the growth of the American economy.
Post-Cold War (1990s): The failing Russian economy is ultimately what led to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. That being said, we can safely say the Russian economy was in the can for most of the decade (1). Meanwhile, the American economy thrived more than it ever has, hitting its biggest economic boom in history (2). The budget, for one of the few times in the nation"s history, was balanced. The U.S. even maintained a 2$ trillion federal surplus. The picture below displays the economic change from 1991 to 2003. Anyone can see that when the Soviet Union fell, in 1991, America"s GDP skyrocketed, maintain an above average level for the entire decade.
My opponent also mentions Reagan"s economic policies, popularly named "Reaganomics". Con briefly states that Reagan devastated the national economy. While Reagan"s tax cuts and increase in military spending did add 200$ billion to the federal deficit, it quickly led to the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, just as my opponent has stated. So if Reagan"s economic policies led to the end of the Cold War, and the end of the Cold War led to an economic boom for the United States, then Reagan did not "devastate" the economy as my opponent suggests. He merely took one step back, increasing the deficit by 200$ billion, to take ten steps forward, leading to a 2$ trillion surplus.
Graph showing boom: http://www.rba.gov.au...
Post- Ukraine Crisis: Following the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the world powers warranted sanctions on Russia, devastating the Russian economy and leading directly to stagflation (1). However, only one year following the Russian recession (which is deepening into 2015), the American economy just entered an economic boom (2), following suite the main European nations (our allies in a theoretical Russian/NATO war).
Oil: My opponent states that 1/3 of Europe"s oil supply comes from Russia, implying that in the event of a Russian/NATO war, oil could become an issue for the European countries.
Response: First, my opponent provides no piece of evidence as to where he got the "1/3" number. Second, my opponent also forgets about a little something called a military oil reserve. In the event of the war, the U.S. and Europe have enough oil to fight for years without importing (1).
Election/ Democracy: My opponent defeats himself in this argument. He states that the Russian government is corrupt, and does hold fair elections. He also argues that it would be impossible to maintain democracy in Russia because the people don"t want Democracy. See the contradiction? He cites the various times in Russian history where the government is anything but democratic, but also says that the people do not have a choice, and then proceeds to say that maintaining democracy in Russia would be impossible, because the people have never picked a democratic government on their own. Plentiful in contradictions!
Why we should "declaw the Russian Bear":
-The Soviet Union intentionally caused the Cuban Missile Crisis
-The Russian government has unfairly terrorized the smaller, militarily weaker state of Ukraine
-Russia has been known to historically massacre its own citizens
-Russia has been trying to intimidate peaceful European powers
Conclusion: My opponent failed to legitimately assert that Russia could defend itself in a war against NATO. He did not include citations when needed, and failed to pose his argument in an organized, convincing manner.
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