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Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
9 Points

Should the US and its allies bomb Syria?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 947 times Debate No: 37186
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (2)




Without any solid proof of use of CW on the Syrian people by the Assad regime the United States and its allies don't have the right to bomb Syria.
Bombing of Syria may have deadly consequences leading to a regional war that can never end.
Look at Iraq, it's been 10 years and what now? Iraq is destroyed.
It would take decades for the state of Iraq to get back on its feet.
I advise the United States to intervene only if the international community is okay with it, other than that it would be another violation of the international law by the US.


I thank Pro for the open challenge and stand to affirm the following resolution:

RESOLVED: The U.S. and its Allies Should Bomb Syria

1. The Use of Chemical Weapons Must Be Punished

Chemical weapons pose an exceptional threat to global security due to their capability of creating mass destruction, the gruesome effects they have on victims, and the indiscriminate nature of their deployment. Multiple international agreements ban the use of chemical weapons for these very reasons. As an example, Sarin gas causes vomiting, involuntary defecation, convulsive spasms, and finally death. The gas can kill thousands at a time and those who come into contact with the gas but survive may suffer permanent neurological damage. [5] Unlike conventional weaponry, chemical weapons attack indiscriminately, posing an equal threat to combatants and civilians alike. The attacks in Syria are believed to have killed over 400 children. [6]

The use of chemical weapons is a violation of international norms which cannot go unpunished. The U.S. has a moral obligation to stand up for the norms which prohibit such atrocities and a practical obligation to ensure that future uses of chemical weapons do not occur. A military response to Assad’s regime sends a clear message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated, deterring other international actors who might consider chemical weapons. A military strike would likely inhibit Assad’s capability of deploying additional chemical weapons.

2. U.S. Must Prove Threats are Credible

Obama stated a year ago that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was a “red line” and that the U.S. would hold Assad accountable in such an event. Now that chemical weapons have been used, the U.S. must follow through with its threat or the international community will no longer take U.S. foreign policy seriously. Failure to act will amount to a major loss of U.S. credibility.

The issue of U.S. credibility is especially pertinent given Iran’s extensive support of the Assad regime [3]. U.S. response to Syrian behavior has a direct impact on Iranian national security. Bombing Syria ensures that Iran will not only take note of future U.S. threats but that Iran gets a taste of what happens when U.S. threats are put to the test.

The threat of a nuclear Iran is persistent, with fears that the Iranian nuclear program could cross the red line set by the Israeli government. [4] Given the close ties between the U.S. and Israel, any loss of credibility on the part of the U.S. could undermine threats issued by Israel as well. Loss of U.S. credibility also undermines U.S. attempts at preventing a nuclear Iran via diplomatic methods. Finally, the recent election of a new Iranian president means that the perception of U.S. threats is especially critical – failing to follow through with threats could leave a first impression of weakness with the new Iranian government.

3. Syria is not Iraq

The attack on Syria is to be limited in scope and will not involve ground troops. The Obama administration considers Iraq an example of what not to do and is explicitly avoiding a repeat of the Iraq war. [1] An attack on Syria poses no risk of embroiling the U.S. in a long term military commitment.

4. Unilateral Military Action has Precedent

The U.S. has consistently maintained the right to use military force unilaterally. The U.S. exercised that right in the past in the intervention in Kosovo and in the invasion of Iraq. Use of chemical weapons by Syria poses a threat to the security of the U.S. and its allies, justifying unilateral action by the U.S.

The use of chemical weapons is a clear violation of international norms, yet the international community has refused action. In light of the failure of the international community to respond to Syrian transgression of international norms, the U.S. intervention is a legitimate exercise of military force.

In taking military action, the U.S. is supported by NATO allies such as France and Turkey. Military action by the U.S. therefore has international support.

5. The US has Evidence of Chemical Weapons

The U.S. has a wide range of evidence supporting the claim that Assad’s regime used nuclear weapons. Syrian social media offers thousands of reports of chemical filled rockets impacting the suburbs of Damascus. These include videos and images of victims of chemical weapons. These reports are supported by U.S. satellite intelligence showing rocket attacks on the regions in question that originated from locations under Assad’s control. U.S. satellites also showed increased activity in areas known to be involved in mixing Syrian chemical weapons. The U.S. also has intercepted communications from Syrian officials confirming the use of chemical weapons and describing concern over U.N. weapons inspectors obtaining evidence. [7]








Debate Round No. 1


Whether the regime used chemical weapons or no that's a controversial issue.
No reliable source confirmed who used them.
Unlike Iraq, we know these chemical weapons exist and they have been used.
If the US were to strike Syria for the atrocities both sides have committed especially the regime, it should have 2 and half years ago when the regime started slaughtering people.
Thank you.


Pro offers no refutation of the U.S. evidence that chemical weapons were used and concedes that they have been used by saying:

"Unlike Iraq, we know these chemical weapons exist and they have been used."

Pro says if we were to strike Syria we should have done so at the start of the Civil War. Pro misses that the U.S. interest is to protect norms against the use of chemical weapons and maintain credibility in terms of threats. These interests are only in jeopardy after chemical weapons are deployed; the U.S. had no reason to strike Syria at the start of the civil war.

Extend my arguments that the U.S. has a moral obligation to uphold norms against chemical weapons, that the U.S. has a security interest in preventing the use of chemical weapons, and that the U.S. must follow through on threats or risk a new nuclear Iran.

Pro has not responded to any of these arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


Con claims that the US had no reason to strike Syria in the start of the civil war.
I believe Con is wrong.
When a dictator slaughters his own people, bombs his own infrastructure.. a strike is needed.
But again when a limited number of developed weapons arrive to the opposition the strike is kind of a must.
But in all ways I am against a strike.. unless the opposition doesn't have proper weapons.
The US doesn't have any moral with all due respect.
Check what the US did in : Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Iraq aggravating the situation rather than calming it down or providing peace and prosperity.
Nuclear Iran isn't the threat.
Nuclear Israel is.
Oh and I responded to some of your arguments : argument number 1,2 & 5
In respond to argument 3 : Any military kind of military intervention may not backfire on the US but it will when it comes to the Middle East's security.
In response to argument 4 : Use of chemical weapons isn't a threat to the US. What happened in the last 2 and a half years was a violation to human rights and international laws so why intervene now when there is no clear evidence the regime used CW? (I believe they did but nothing is for sure)
Thank you


Pro hasn't responded to the bulk of my arguments. The few responses he does offer are just assertions without any evidential support or even analytical explanation to back them up.

For clarification, when I said "the U.S. had no reason to strike Syria at the start of the civil war" my point was the following: The reasons behind the currently proposed strike did not exist at the start of the civil war. The justifications for bombing Syria that I put forth are only relevant once chemical weapons have been deployed.

Perhaps other considerations might have compelled US intervention, but that point is irrelevant to this debate.

Con says "when a dictator slaughters his own people... a strike is needed." This is exactly the case in Syria, so Con concedes the debate. A strike is needed by Con's admission.

U.S. action in Pakistan etc. is irrelevant to this debate; my arguments are independent of whether other conflicts were justified. The U.S. has a security interest in preventing the use of chemical weapons even if bombing Libya was wrong.

Pro offers no explanation of why nuclear Iran isn't a threat or why nuclear Israel is. A nuclear Iran would threaten regional stability, would threaten to trigger conflicts with Israel, would embolden Iran to enhance its regional influence. Regional instability causes violence, disrupts the oil trade, could spill over into Africa or Asia, and is just generally an awful thing to happen. Israel has been nuclear for over 30 years without destabilizing the region.

Pro offers no explanation of how a Syria strike will harm Middle East security. Syria is already in civil war and the U.S. has stated that strike is not intended to end the war, the status quo violence will simply continue.

Pro doesnt respond to my arguments about preserving international norms against CW. Punishing every instance of CW use is critical to preventing their use in the future.
Debate Round No. 3


LebLeft forfeited this round.


Pro FF. Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 4


LebLeft forfeited this round.


Con FF, vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sargon 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was more effective in establishing that the US and it allies should strike Syria for its use of chemical weapons. Con didn't respond to many of Pro's arguments, which were convincing. Pro also used reliable sources to defend his arguments. Pro won this debate fair and square.