The Instigator
xsweetlove
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
mrpresident
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

The U.S is losing its cachet as a global superpower.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,172 times Debate No: 2213
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (6)

 

xsweetlove

Pro

America's reputation has been tarnished within the last decade. America's reputation in the world is on a steady decline. The world didn't support America in its endeavors in Afghanistan and Iraq. They viewed America's endeavors in these regions as an extension of American imperialism. Furthermore, they saw these 'tactical strategies' as an imperial overstretch. Each successive campaign has had major implications on our armed forces. They have become weaker with each successive campaign. They are ill-equipped to deal with such problems as terrorism. America can not deal with these issues alone. America can not continue flouting the new world order. Unipolarism will not help America especially not while its power is on the decline.
mrpresident

Con

First, the obligatory concessions. Yes, America's reputation has been severely tarnished by our foreign policy actions. However, it is not true that the world did not support America's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Forty nations, including America and Britain, provided troops for the war, and 21 of those currently still have troops present. This is not some arrogant act of unilateralism. America had the support of many nations in the invasion. Afghanistan is the same situation. Although America and Britain were the only initial invaders, personnel and material are present from no less than 35 different nations.

As for imperialism, this is merely a matter of perception, reinforced by the already horribly abstract and biased opinions of the United States. Invading countries to free innocent civilians from the tyranny and oppression of a genocidal Iraqi Baathist and a repressive terrorist organization hardly constitutes imperialistic ideals. Not to mention the blood we've spilled on their behalf and the billions of dollars we've poured into revitalizing their shattered nations. Oh, and forget about the general freedom that we've brought to the average Iraqi and Afghan. I suppose this constitutes imperialism?

But I digress. America's power. As the world's sole superpower, policeman of the world and it's seas, and pinnacle of technology and innovation all topped with the world's most advanced and highly trained armed forces and an economy that amounts to 300% more than the next in line it becomes highly laughable to suggest that America is anywhere near declining in power. A combined GDP of over 13 trillion is nothing for anyone to sneeze at. On the contrary, America has simply become more powerful as the new century marches on, and it's unlikely to change. It may seem that way, but that's only because other nations have become more competitive over the years.

"America cannot deal with these issues alone." Perhaps not, perhaps so. It's inconsequential either way, because no one is here to help America. America will be carrying on alone. Those who call themselves our 'allies' have shown themselves to be spineless cowards in the face of their own problems, much less the rest of the worlds. But I disagree with you. With America's long noted history of rabid ingenuity, I feel that America can pull through. They say the world's going to Hell in a hand basket, but apparently, America will be the only one carrying it out in the end. Call it arrogance, call it egotistic America-centrism, call it whatever suits you. America's name is not tarnished, only the perceptions of those who watch us. America chose between what was right and what was easy, between action and petty complacency. And our critics always crack me up. They complain about everything America does, but who do they ask for help when something goes wrong? They don't ask China. They don't ask France. They ask America. And we're normally already there when they ask. America is not declining. America is not faltering. The rest of the world is. And stats show that I'm probably right.

And enlighten me about this 'new world order' you speak of. I'm curious of what that exactly is.
Debate Round No. 1
xsweetlove

Pro

Forgive me if my argument seems incoherent and jumps all over the place because I just took Nyquil for my bronchitis. I am going to keep this short.

I guess you're for the War on Terror. The situation in Iraq isn't getting better. America doesn't know when we're going to start pulling the troops out because it might start another round of violence just when things have started quieting down. Iraq is very much a quagmire like Vietnam. Iraq was more stable before we went in. If you recall, the reason we went into Iraq was to remove Saddam Hussein from power because he was perceived to be a threat to us. However, that theory never panned out because they never found WMDs. According to the documents that the Bush administration has released, we're in Iraq due to faulty intelligence. We did not go in to spread democracy. By the way, terrorist organizations only came into Iraq when it was unstable. Terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda didn't thrive under Saddam Hussein.

I disagree with the notion that America has gotten stronger and more powerful as the century marches on. America is faltering in a sense. As Condoleezza Rice has said America has no "permanent enemies," but it has no permanent friends either. Unilateralism doesn't work any more. Sure, it may have served us in the past but it doesn't work now. For example, the first Gulf War was only hugely successful because we had the help of other nations.

The new global order and new superpowers I'm talking about are China, European Union, and the United States. The U.S is no longer the huge 800-pound gorilla in the room. None of them dominate over each other. I guess the U.S will have to share the spotlight with the EU and China.

Are you familiar with the geopolitical market? The EU sees themselves as the mediator between America and China. The EU is doing much better than the U.S as of late. For example, each year, the EU opens up a new oil route to transport oil from Libya, Algeria or Azerbaijan to Europe. As my political science professor once said: "What other superpower grows by an average of one country per year, with others waiting in line and begging to join?" Certainly, not the U.S. As a matter of fact, Turkey has been stepping up efforts to join the E.U but they have refused to align with the U.S. As you may recall from 2003, Turkey refused to let the U.S use its airspace in the invasion of Iraq. Also, Turkey receives almost 20 BILLION dollars a year in investments from the EU. At this point, Turkey might be more reliant on Europe. Furthermore, the EU market is the world's largest. European technologies are setting the global standard and Europe gives the most in aid for developing nations. As a sign of America's weakness in the global economy, the dollar has sunk to new lows against the euro. According to my calculations, a dollar is only worth 0.68 euro. That says a lot about how far we've fallen. Currently, London reigns supreme as the world's financial capital for stock listing. Even the Chinese companies are choosing to list their stocks in London as opposed to New York. America's share of the global exchange market has dropped to 65%. Third-world countries no longer want to emulate the U.S. For example, take the African Union that was recently created. The U.S is simply having difficulties with the rise of Europe. For example, the E.U was invited to the EAC meetings while the U.S was not.

China is a rising global superstar in its own right. China is on its way to the top through strategic alliances with third-world countries that the U.S doesn't want to do business with. There are several 'rogue nations' that have a lifeline from China. Since you want to talk about statistics, studies have shown that China is exporting weapons at a clip the Soviet Union used to export during the Cold War. As an affront to America, China is planning to launch their own regional monetary fund with Japanese support. Asia has become less and less dependent on the U.S due to in part by China's spectacular rise. There are several trade organizations that have spring up in Asia over the year with the most notable of them being ASEAN. China asserts its influence in the Asian economy by lowering tariffs and lending money to the poorer nations. For the record, many Asian nations are aligning themselves with China as opposed to the US with the exception of Taiwan. Political scientists have noticed that they are balancing against the US.

From what I've noticed, these superpowers will be feuding over the new second-world countries. It's going to be similar to the Cold War when we were feuding with Russia for countries not to turn Communist.
mrpresident

Con

Ouch. Bronchitis is nasty. Hope you get better, man.

The Iraq Conflict has over the past few months seen some of it's lowest levels of violence, as American and allied Iraqi forces seem to be cracking down on al-Qaeda fairly hard. Provinces that were once deemed lost to insurgents are now some of the most peaceful in the nation. Even civil war ridden Baghdad has become considerably more pacified in the past few months. The Iraqi government, though inept, is still on it's feet and capable of governing a nation (partly). The progress of the Iraqi army and security forces are coming along well. Given their suffering under three decades of a dictatorship, it's quite remarkable that Iraq is setting up a democracy faster than Germany or Japan did after WWII.

As for WMDs, we did find chemical weapons hidden in warehouses. And though obsolete, they still had weapon potential, and could have killed thousands. And it is widely thought that Saddam transferred the majority of his weapons to Syria before the invasion. http://www.2la.org...
Perhaps Iraq was more stable before we came along. But I wouldn't call suffering under a brutal regime where at any moment you could be gassed or put on firing squad, or sent to a rape room if you were a woman. That's iron fisted stability, stability that is solely enforced by the army and police, not stability induced by the relative peace and prosperity of a certain people. It was time for America to exercise it's moral obligation to defend human rights and remove Saddam Hussein anyway. You believe that we ought to have left them alone to suffer even further?

Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, "The phrase initially described the policy that the United States had the right to treat countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups as terrorists themselves, which was used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan. Later it came to include additional elements, including a policy of preemption, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate (used to justify the invasion of Iraq), a policy of supporting democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating the spread of terrorism, and a willingness to pursue U.S. military interests in a unilateral way." Saddam Hussein had been funding suicide bombers in Palestine since the Intifada began.

"Those of two suicide bombers were the first to be paid the new rate of $25,000 U.S. and those whose relatives had died in other clashes with the Israeli military were given $10,000 U.S. each.

The $500,000 U.S. doled out in this impoverished community yesterday means that the besieged Iraqi leader now has contributed more than $10 million to grieving Palestinian families since the new intifada began 18 months ago."

This was published in March 2002 by FOX News. Iraq had terrorist connections and was perceived as a threat to America and her interests. Therefore, we responded by removing the dictator from power in 2003.

As for the Gulf War, America rolled it with nearly 700,000 soldiers. If you use the highest estimate for each nation after that, they add up to 262,900 soldiers. With statistics like these and the troops under the command of Norman Schwarzkopf, America could have easily done everything on it's very own without any help. Had we invaded Iraq with the same numbers, the situation would have been very different than now. It's more than likely that the insurgents would have all been slaughtered by now. Unilateralism would have met no speed bumps here, but a coalition is always preferred. And Rice is right. We have no permanent allies, and we should never have them. But we do have permanent enemies, even if she thinks not. Our enemy is whoever stands between a people and their freedom, and whoever wishes for our death, for our destruction.

Ah, the EU and China. The EU may see itself as a mediator of sorts, but no superpower can keep that status without a mighty military. As things stand, Europeans are too wimpy to have such a distinction. Their combined economy may be stronger, but it's future prospects are chilling at best. The National Intelligence Estimate predicts that the EU will fall apart by 2020. I'd reckon sooner, however. Europe's economy is highly centralized and constantly racked and regulated by a bloated bureaucracy. Economic growth is becoming stagnant in most areas. In countries where taxes can be as high as 50%, where highly unproductive and restive Islamic populations reside, and where the majority of it's income is spent on useless entitlement programs, it's very unlikely that Europe will retain any sort of superpower statue within the nest 20 years or so. The countries that have invested money there will find little of it left in future years. Europe is ahead of America only in the sense that it's canoe is already halfway over the waterfall.

And now China. I must say, it is astounding of how quickly China's economy is expanding. Double digit growth is nothing to sneeze at. However, China's situation is like Europe's, but with a twist. Europe has the threat of Islamic invasion, China does not. But what they both share is the massive amount of entitlements promised by their communist/statist governments. As their populations get older, both the Chinese and European governments will have to dish more and yet more money that was promised to the elderly. With both regions having negative population growth and an enormous surplus of old folks, they won't be having much money left to spend on anything else. Is China going to be the superpower of the 21st century? No. It's population is going to get old before it gets rich. And China will have increasingly hostile populations as capitalism resists Chinese regulation and China's "Army of the Unemployed" begins to act out after being denied the fruits of the economic boom. With more people unemployed than America employs total, and where, just like Europe, unemployment hovers permanently around 10%, the problems will only be exacerbated in future years.

What's different about all this? America does not have these problems. America has stayed (relatively) capitalist-oriented, still has a healthy birth rate, and the ingenuity and materials to fix any problem that arises. America has more of a stake in the future than the present, perhaps more than any nation has ever been granted. And the world is going to give it to us on a silver platter.
Debate Round No. 2
xsweetlove

Pro

Iraq is more dangerous than ever before. Granted, Iraq has seen a decrease in violence but it's costing us. It's costing us time, money, men, and other resources. The only reason why Iraq was seen a decrease in violence is because of the troop surge. The extra American presence has deterred terrorists from carrying out their crimes in such places as Anbar and Najaf. You admit that the government is inept. The government is not only inept but it is a puppet government. Without the US there, the government would just fall apart. Not that it isn't falling apart now. We've been so patient with Iraq that it's not even funny. Iraq was supposed to have had their first assembly meeting on March 16, 2006. If I'm not mistaken, their constitution called for them to elect a president and a cabinet 15 days later. Did this happen? NO. Their government is faulty at best. Another example of the failure of the government is that the Iraqi Front Accord recently withdrew from the government. Furthermore, the Islamic Virtue Party withdrew back in 2006? Is this your idea of a successful government? Parties withdrawing all over the place? It's funny how you bring up that Iraq set up a democracy faster than Japan. This is baseless. Japan didn't have as many problems setting up a new government like the Iraqis have. No one was threatening to withdraw from the government. According to Encyclopaedia Brittanica, the Japanese Socialist Party and the Japanese Communist Party were the first to reestablish themselves after the war. The Liberal Party and Japan Progressive Party came back stronger than ever. Unlike Iraq, politicians in these parties worked across party lines and joined together to benefit Japan. Even as Japan was establishing their transition government, they tried to reimburse the survivors of the war. One can hardly imagine Iraq doing that...

They didn't find WMDs. They found WMDs in the 1990s but they didn't find them after they overthrew Saddam Hussein. It was faulty intelligence. Honorable President George W. Bush himself stated that: he was fully understood that the intelligence was wrong, and [he was] just as disappointed as everybody else" when U.S. troops failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Furthermore, General Tommy Franks stated that: trailers were "impractical" for biological weapons production and were "almost certainly intended" for manufacturing hydrogen for weather balloons.

America had no moral obligation to Iraq.If you haven't noticed, we just made life worse for the Iraqis. Quality of life has actually gone down. Life expectancy has gone down. Oh, yeah. That's a lot better!

Iraq was not a threat.They may have been funding Palestinian terrorism but Palestinian terrorism isn't going to hurt us anytime soon.That's a lot lower on the threat list.

Going into Iraq alone has cost us.There is no doubt about that our reputation is tarnished. Going into Iraq with 700K wouldn't have helped us. Iraq isn't a traditional war.It's guerilla warfare.Guerilla warfare cost us in Vietnam and will cost us in Iraq. U.S troops aren't used to fighting guerilla warfare.The environment in Iraq is very different too.No matter how many desert simulations we put the troops through, it still won't properly simulate Iraq.Iraq is just a lose-lose proposition.

The EU is a mediator.The EU doesn't need a mighty military. It is hardly involved in the quagmire that we're involved in now in Iraq. If it did need a military, it has several European countries militaries' to choose from. Globalchange.com claims that: "The most likely scenario for the future of the EU over the next decade and a half will be slow but steady progress towards integration. Furthermore, most experts don't see the EU collasping by 2020. The experts who foresee EU collasping by 2020 are like Nostradamus. Nostradamus made predictions but did all of them come true. Most experts on the EU fall in line with Jozef Batora. Batora is a Research Fellow, Institute for European Integration Research (EIF). He believes that the EU will continue to prosper. He said: "three scenarios of a future EU seem plausible: a) a regional trade organization; b) a value community; c) a post-national community of civic rights." Also, he states that: "The first scenario is likely to materialize if successive waves of EU-enlargement will not be followed up by comprehensive reforms of the EU systems of governance. The second scenario is quite plausible if the existing tensions with the Islamic religious communities inside and outside the EU increase and the notion of the Christian values as the core foundation of the EU gains greater legitimacy. Finally, the third scenario is likely to come about as a result of increased politicization of the EU, improved governance and democratic quality of the decision-making and a central focus on constitutional patriotism as the basis of European citizen allegiance." The EU will not fade away anytime soon. Other experts continue the EU will keep on growing. Ivan Neurman is a research fellow at the University of Oslo. He believes the EU will eventually absorb Turkey. How can something waning in power absorb another country? Michal Vasceka is the Director of the Center for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture, Slovakia. According to her, the EU will be more cohesive after it comes under Chinese or Islamic threat. The EU is coming under both threats right now!

As one of my best friends at West Point has stated: "China has so much leverage in America that if it pulled the imaginary rug from beneath our feet our economy would faceplant, and militarily, Russia is revamping its army and in a decade or so may will probably have a fighter (Su47) which can outflank even our legendary F-22 Raptor (half a billion a piece may I add)." Our trade deficit with China is about $200 billion dollars a year. Our government's US-CHina commission released a report in 2004 about the negative effects of the trade deficit. This is what they had to say: "A new study has found that the United States' growing trade deficit with China has had an increasingly negative impact on the U.S. economy, causing job losses that reach into the most technologically advanced industries in the manufacturing sector and affect every state, according to a January 11 press release by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission." The report also states: "The EPI study found that 1.5 million jobs were lost to lower-wage Chinese competition in the 14-year period between 1989 and 2003. During that time, the U.S. trade deficit with China rose twenty-fold, from $6.2 billion to $124 billion. It is expected to increase another 20 percent in 2004, to $150 billion. The study noted that the pace of job loss has more than doubled since China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, and that China's exports to the United States of sophisticated electronics and communications equipment requiring skilled labor are growing much more quickly than its exports of low-value, labor-intensive products."You say the Chinese population is graying too quickly? There has been a population boom in the countryside due to the loosening of the one-child law.Furthermore, the countryside is so destitute and poor that all the able-bodied men and women are leaving for the cities. China also levies a tax on wages though that go to support gov't programs such as a pension fund.At this time, China's most important asset is its youth. You can't deny that China has gotten better despite its inequalities.

In conclusion, the future of the U.S isn't as rosy as you might think it will be. Our government is in TRILLIONS of dollars of debt that we will be paying off. Trade deficit & national debt are ballooning. Wages are not keeping up with inflation. Job growth is not meeting population growth. Social Security is failing us. Rising gas prices are squeezing our wallets. We might even get to the point where we neglect our infrastructure.
mrpresident

Con

Iraq costs us time, men, money, etc., yes, but what's your point? Where's a better place to fight than the first pitched battle of the new war? As long as we stay there, the terrorists will flock to Iraq like ants to candy. Their innate nature makes it unacceptable for them to lose a battle against their mortal enemy, and they will pour limitless resources into winning it. Our forces have crushed, but not destroyed al-Qaeda in Iraq, and since we have not, they will fight on. If we pack up and leave, if we lose face, things will never be the same. Vietnam was bad, but this could be far worse, but only if we leave. It's perfectly feasible that the government would fall apart if we left. The Iraqi government has it's flaws, but the very nature of the native religion makes them almost incompatible with democracy. But anything that we leave them with will be better than what they or any other Middle Eastern country has or ever had. I believe it will hold if we stay a while longer to shore it up, but neither you or I can predict the future.

Japan had less of a problem setting up their democracy because their country had been sufficiently beaten to the point where a government contrary to the former could be easily set up. And we were there to make damn sure they did. And they did. They have made of the strongest and most prosperous democracies in the world. But it took them longer to set up a government than it did the Iraqis. The Japanese built their government from scratch, with America intervening to make sure their constitution passed and that no civil strife emerged. The Iraqi government was solely set up by Iraqis with firm US direction. Nevertheless, the basis for my statement is clear.

If the Palestinians were a threat to Israel, they were a threat to our allies and our interests, hence ourselves. Israel remains the only real democracy in the Middle East, and possibly our most crucial and supportive ally. Iraq doesn't need to target America; there are far greater points of weakness about. The mere thought of a terrorist sponsor acquiring WMDs is a catastrophe in itself. Even if you were right, and no weapons were ever found, Saddam had them before, used them before, and had every intention of using them again. This you can't deny, unless you're indifferently cynical.

America has an obligation to uphold human rights in the world, which every Muslim nation disrespects. Now, Iraqi girls have access to schools and jobs. Saddam's brutal secret police no longer purge the streets. Baghdad remains the only trouble spot, mostly due to the large mixing of ethnic and religious groups. But order is even being restored there, utilities are being restored, general life is slowly returning to normal. It's a difficult moral position on your part to say there were better off as expendable animals subject to death at any given moment than now.

Enough of Iraq. The EU is in a precarious situation and they don't even know it. Regardless of what 'experts' (translation: they're always wrong) you cite, it's difficult to deny the underlying problems of the EU. No European nation has a healthy birth rate. Now, for a centralized European economy to function correctly, there must be a constantly expanding population for it to even come close to prosper. The enormous entitlement programs lavished upon the European people need a ever expanding workforce to steal tax money from to support the also ever expanding elderly. Europe is currently running out of workers, in short. As the ones who are working have tax upon tax levied upon them, they will opt to leave rather than suffer under these tax money dictators. Europe's economy is running off the prosperity won by their ancestors a few decades ago (and for that matter, America!). But even trains come to a stop. Europe's economy is headed for a downward spiral in the coming years, and it's almost entirely their fault. Europe can opt for big government or population control, but not both. It's a self defeating idea, one the Europeans will dig their grave with.

Next comes the Islamic problem. Currently, the only groups expanding their numbers are Muslims in European nations. But that's irrelevant unless some questions are answered. Do the majority work for their respective nation's prosperity? Do they view themselves as French or British or German? Are they sufficiently assimilated? Do they generally like or trust Europeans? Answer to all: no. The 30-50 million Muslims of Europe are mainly immigrants sucking on the teat of the European welfare state. They don't work because they view it as degrading to work for the infidel. They commonly view themselves as Muslims before anything else. So, when you have a large population (and a growing one) that, to put it mildly, whose religion has a somewhat fractious relationship with the principles of a free society and who haven't really done anything useful for science, technology, or economics since it's founding, how do you believe things will turn out in Europe? And the Europeans have become so indifferent to their nationality and the concept of citizenship that they've turned themselves into a bunch of squeamish, whining babies who can't really help themselves. They also have not been shown to be willing to stand up for certain rights even when clearly in the right. They are unwilling to confront the Islamic threat in their nations, to fix their shattered birth rates, to think of a future instead of a pleasurable present. Islam and non-native Europeans will be the majority in Europe within the next 50 years, but I'd reckon sooner rather than later. You are only scratching the surface of the European Union, as are your friends and 'experts'. The EU is going to collapse under it's own dead weight.

China does have an astounding grip on our economy, mostly due to our unwillingness to confront China and the WTO with some extremely unfair business practices. China does not allow the yuan to float freely on the market and instead suppress it, making it more expensive for us to import their goods, but cheaper for them to import our goods. China has the largest counterfeiting, drug manufacturing, and pirating operation in the world, and it has made them filthy rich. Our imports are taxed twice going into China, but theirs are not even taxed once. Unfortunately, free trade does not mean fair trade. China has the worst environmental record of any country in the world. And since China holds so much of our debt, it puts us in too precarious a position to call them out on it. We simply buy too much from China. America has sold it's principles to a repressive and cheapskate country for cheap goods, mainly manufactured through near slave labor. But, if they pulled the rug on America, they would suffer just as much as we would. The loss of their single largest consumer would be a crippling blow to the economy that would set back both our nations by 35 years. But I don't believe they would do this, because as much as I abhor China's economic policies, and their government especially, I realize that they are not stupid. But just realize that the trade deficit means that Chinese goods are imported into the US for that much more money than the US imports into China. This is not a measure of any debt that we owe them, so I hardly see how this is so pressing of a problem. China's internal problems will solve all our problems for us, however. Their government won't be able to hold together a restless and starving population while other reap the benefits of capitalism. I'm not particularly concerned about China's rise to power. I know it's fake.

Russia is a nullity wrapped in an abyss and is suffering a worse fate than the rest of Europe. It's unlikely that the Russians will be able to muster the money for those aircraft while so much money goes to fighting AIDs, Islamic terrorism, and a collapsed birth rate. And even if they do, they won't be keeping the advantage long.

Nice debate!
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
-Sidenote

"China does not allow the yuan to float freely on the market and instead suppress it, making it more expensive for us to import their goods, but cheaper for them to import our goods. China has the largest counterfeiting, drug manufacturing, and pirating operation in the world, and it has made them filthy rich. Our imports are taxed twice going into China, but theirs are not even taxed once. Unfortunately, free trade does not mean fair trade."

LOL

The westerners were the ones who forced them into this Industrialization/Modernization/Economy stuff in the first place, by pointing very large guns at them and force feeding opium into the country to bleed silver from China.

"Unfortunately, free trade does not mean fair trade."

Don't hate the player. Hate the game XD
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