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Should the United States launch a ground offensive to combat ISIS?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 680 times Debate No: 70250
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I believe that the a Coalition ground offensive is a very effective way to combat ISIS. But I also believe that local forces (PKK, Iraqi Armed Forces, FSA) are the most relevant in the offensive because they are fighting for their homeland (they've been doing so for decades, even centuries), and that their determination and perseverance should deserve credit.




a.) An ground offensive is a military operation that seeks through aggressive projection of armed force to occupy territory, gain an objective or achieve some larger strategic, operational or tactical goal (via land only) Another term for an offensive often used by the media is 'invasion', or the more general 'attack'.

In this case, American troops would have to lead and coordinate the attack. For anything to be considered an attack, American forces have to be fighting in it actively alongside allied forces. The attack's aim would be to dislodge the Islamic State from Northern Iraq and possibly liberate areas such as Mosul from IS control.

BoP is laid entirely upon the opposition.


1.) SAA and Iraqi Army are already on the offensive again

a.) In Syria

ISIS in Syria is currently in a dire state in Syria. On the 8th of this month, the Islamic State organized a huge withdrawal from Northern Syria. Withdrawing from Ayn Aissa and al-Qamishli, this reorganization of Islamic State forces is the first of the kind. [1] After the loss of the Siege of Kobani by the Islamic State, the YPG has been on the advance against the IS. Yesterday, 156 were liberated from the Islamic State in the areas around Kobani. [2] The Islamic State's advances on Dayr Ezzor and other offensives into Syria has been large failures for the Islamic State, resulting in huge losses towards the Islamic State. [3] Advances in to Shaer Gas Fields have been easily repelled by the Syrian Army. [4] These scores of victories by both Kurdish forces and Syrian Regime forces have shown that the Islamic State have been retreating since US-led airstrikes in Syria/Iraq. In Syria especially, the Islamic State is being challenged by Syrian and Kurdish forces. From central Syria, with the vital airfield of Dayr Ezzor, the Islamic State is constantly under threat.

If the offensive in mind here has the aims to weaken the Islamic State, then it would be perhaps comforting to know that the Islamic State is weaker than ever. More and more IS fighters are defecting; there are reports of IS suicide bombers defecting to Turkey and of IS executing it's own fighters for disloyalty to the leader. [6] The Islamic State is on the verge of collapse, and has shown itself to be nothing more than a rabble of Salafists who are untrained and will soon be overrun by Kurdish and Syrian forces. The intent of the United States here is to weaken the Islamic State. But there are consequences to the eventual deployment of US troops into the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR).

Intervention in Syria will cause a grave and inexcusable violation of national sovereignity. The first article of the Second Chapter of the Charter of the United Nations states that this "Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members", hence not allowing any extra-judicial attacks against the sovereignity of one country. Apart from that, an attack/offensive of such a magnitude will cause the agitation of Iran, Russia and DPRK. The DPRK is harmless and silly; however, Iran and Russia has repeatedly repeated that they will defend Syria from any other encroachments of it's sovereignity by foreign fighters. Moreover, the Syrian Arab Army has proven itself to be a formidable force. With the 4,000+ MANPADs within the armory of the SAA, it is unlikely that flying air operations over Syria would be as safe as say Iraq. To invade Syria would henceforth be a risk for American lives, both domestic and international.

b.) In Iraq

Iraq remains a worry for most; the Islamic State's hold of the places there are quite strong. However, the Islamic State's main weaknesses are still ever more prevalent; lack of training places them almost as moving targets for the battle-hardened YPG and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias. Supported by American airstrikes, Kurdish fighters are now closing in on Mosul and broke the siege on Mnt. Sinjar. [7,8] Only two hours ago, Kurdish fighters in Erbil has successfully defended Kurdish positions against an Islamic State attack. The weakness in the Islamic State ranks was also accompanied by a reorganization of the Iraqi Army, who is now (in the following weeks) going to launch a huge offensive against the IS in the North. This offensive might include Jordan's Army. This "major offensive" will be supported by United States air-support, which is all that Iraq has asked the United States to assist in. [9,10]

The consequences of invading and deploying ground troops to Iraq would be huge; Shi'ite militias, mostly anti-American, are the ones holding out around Baghdad and central Iraq. There will be a three-front war if this were to happen: US soldiers would be pitted against Shi'ite militias, who would then be both fighting IS. This complicates the situation-it is the US's interests that such complications do not happen. Shia militias fighting in Iraq are supported by Iran, who will surely not allow another US offensive against Iranian backed militias. These complications are wholly harmful to world peace, and should be avoided at all costs.


a.) Armed Offensive Supporting the FSA

The FSA is no longer fighting for democracy; that cost was lost a long time ago. The FSA is dead-or at least, those fighting for freedom. An armed offensive supporting the FSA would mean de facto support for the terrorist group known as J. al-Nusra. The FSA has been killing Christians since it has started fighting the Assad regime. [11] Apart from this, the FSA's "Southern Front" is allied with J. al-Nusra, a well-known terrorist organization that originates from al-Qaida. [12] Harakat Hazm, a group of "moderate Islamists" that the US support, has also declared the RCC, in which some American-supported brigades are part of, to be their opponents. This disunity within the FSA and rebel circles shows one thing-that Syria under these people will be worst than the secular, authoritarian personality of the Assad regime. This is contemptible-why should we support these groups? These groups have been known for inciting sectarian violence of the Salafist quality, of quarreling among themselves and of killing innocent civilians. These groups are not much worst, or perhaps much much worst, than Assad's "Shabeehas". The opposition says we should support these groups-name me a Syrian rebel group with moderate power who are ready to die for liberty and equality, and who are ready to die for Syria. An offensive supporting such a wide-range of groups will not be beneficial to the US and Syria.

b.) Armed Offensive Supporting the PKK

The opposition is suggesting we break with Turkey to fight with a terrorist group, the PKK. This is absurd-no one in their right mind would fight for these radical communists. [14] Breaking with Turkey would be the de facto destruction of relationships with the second largest NATO ally in the treaty. To fight for socialists, attempting to reclaim "their homeland"? It is impossible for anyone to conceive of launching an offensive to assist the PKK.

Hence, the resolution remains negated



Debate Round No. 1


JayTrish_27 forfeited this round.


FSA-PKK commies has been routed! Glory to the Ba'ath!
Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3


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Debate Round No. 4


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Debate Round No. 5
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Vote Placed by Zarroette 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff