The Instigator
Xer
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
Conor
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points

The U.S. should attack the pirate bases in Somalia.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Xer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,050 times Debate No: 8541
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (8)

 

Xer

Con

https://www.cia.gov...

I am against the U.S. attacking the pirate bases in Somalia. My opponent will be for the U.S. attacking the pirate bases in Somalia.

Attacking includes land invasion, air strikes, naval bombardments, missiles, nuclear bombs, etc.

Thank you and good luck to whomever accepts the debate. To my opponent: just accept the debate in the first round, arguments will begin in the second round.
Conor

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Xer

Con

The U.S. is currently involved in two wars overseas. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left us overextended, and in massive debt. The last thing America needs is more debt.

There are five solutions that make much more sense than actually attacking Somali pirate bases. They include:

1) Onboard deterrents are far and away the most effective to combat piracy. Different ships have been using different deterrents from keeping the pirates away. Simple methods include fire hoses, deck patrols, and sometimes even carpet tacks. An advanced technique deployed by some ships is a non-lethal electric siren with a loudspeaker system that produces a sound so excruciating that it keeps the pirates away. However, almost all ships do not arm their crews; they do this because the crew members are untrained for the most part, because the captains are afraid of mutiny, and because the ship owners are afraid of being sued for the actions of the crew. The few ships that are smart enough to properly equip their ships with firearms or private guards do not and will not get attacked. Blackwater, a private security contractor, has even made available a ship to escort cargo ships through the Gulf of Aden, which no companies have used as of January 2009. The shipping industry has been calling on the world's navies to help them out, while most have failed to help themselves out. Properly armed ships are crucial to combating privacy, and could easily defeat, or maybe even eliminate piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

2) Naval deployments are also an effective way to combat piracy. More than a dozen countries, including Russia, France, the U.K., India, China, and the U.S. have all sent warships of their own to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Two multinational anti-piracy patrols are also helping out; they include the E.U.'s military operation, EU NAVFOR, and Combined Task Force 150, a multinational naval coalition. The U.S. has set up a new task force, called Combined Task Force 151, in January 2009 which will partner up with Eastern Navies in counter-piracy missions. Navies have been proven as successful deterrents to combat piracy. While 40% of attacks were successful in 2008, a ramped up navy presence has led to a 23% success rate in 2009. (1) However, when navies leave areas, those pockets become susceptible to piracy again. More navies from around the world, not just the U.S., will help lead to a safer travel route through the Gulf of Aden.

3) The industrialized countries with strong navies could help regional countries set up anti-piracy patrols as well. East African and Middle Eastern countries patrolling the Gulf of Aden would be similar to the work being done in Southeast Asia. The countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand have teamed up to patrol the Malacca Straight and drive away pirates. The teamwork in Southeast Asia has been highly successful. Regional anti-piracy patrols would work greatly to deter piracy in the Gulf of Aden. (2)

4) Establishing a Somali coast guard is another option, while much more complex than the other three. A coast guard for Somalia initially run by the Africa Union or the U.N. would present great challenges, but could prove to be successful. Finding and training qualified individuals would be one problem, and figuring out how to hand over the coast guard to the corrupt Somali government would be an even bigger problem. The coast guard could be funded by a mandatory tax by the U.N. on shipping companies if the shipping companies refuse to properly equip their ships. (3)

5) Going after the investors instead of going after the pirates is another idea. A Reuter's article quoting a senior U.S. defense official, "the United States ha[s] gained a greater understanding in recent months of how pirate operations were financed using a model adapted from camel raiding. Investors funded the raids and provided money to supply the pirates and their captives while the hijacked vessels were held close to shore and ransom talks took place, the official said. "One of the ways to impact (the problem) is to go after the investors," the official said. "There's not that many of them ... They're probably moving around in major capitals -- Europe, the Middle East."" (4)

The idea of attacking/bombing the Somali pirate bases off the face of the earth is unrealistic. "The idea that you are going to bomb the pirates into the Stone Age is completely naive and it won't work," said Senator Russell Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, who has traveled extensively in the region. "It is a much broader problem that has to do with Somalia itself." (5) Many of the pirates are young men recruited from the local militias, where risk is very, very high and pay is very, very low. People are killed in Africa every day; from war, disease, and many other causes. The idea that attacks or bombings would crush the will of the pirates is ridiculous. Sugule Ali, the spokesman for the Somali pirates holding hostage the Faina said in an interview with a New York Times journalist, "We're not afraid of arrest or death or any of these things. For us, hunger is our enemy" (6) Even if pirates were killed in the attacks, more would be recruited and more would join. Young men would surely love a chance to make thousands of dollars in one day when they only have a chance to make a few dollars through the whole year. And the pirates live in villages with innocent civilians, who would surely be killed in the bombings. The killings of innocent civilians would surely help the recruiting efforts of Somalia's al-Shabaab group, an Islamic militant group which has relations with al-Qaeda. The innocent civilians do not deserve that. Attacking Somali pirate bases would only reap negative affects, such as more American animosity, and most likely even more pirate and terrorist recruitment.

The past failures in Somalia have indicated that any military attack will not work. The ‘Black Hawk Down' incident at the Battle of Mogadishu is the most outstanding evidence of what can go wrong. 18 mutilated U.S. soldiers were paraded through the streets of Somalia after being shot down by Somali rebels.

To intervene in Darfur is to destroy the importance of the Treaty or Peace of Westphalia that has successfully governed the world since 1648. The Treaty of Westphalia has been the guiding document on basic principles of state sovereignty for over 450 years. Simply discarding the Treaty sets up a very dangerous precedent on the future of state sovereignty. Is it fair for the U.S. to decide that using military action against Somalia is ok; but also decide that Russia invading Georgia to protect the people of South Ossetia is wrong? Of course it is wrong, and it is incredibly hypocritical. (7)

---Sources---
(1) http://gcaptain.com...
(2) http://www.iiss.org...
(3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
(4) http://www.reuters.com...
(5) http://www.boston.com...
(6) http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com...
(7) http://plato.stanford.edu...
Conor

Pro

All these suggestions are made with the assumption that the "instigator" wants to merely combat piracy, or deter it. If the US were to attack the pirate bases, I would like it to occur with the intention of eliminating Somalian piracy. It's true: strong and well-equipped naval detachments can effectively escort merchant ships and ward off pirate attacks, but in order to truly eliminate piracy, the U.S. needs to attack it at a grass roots level.
Response to Part 1:
Like I said before, you're entirely correct in judging the effectiveness of these various pirate-deterring onboard capabilities, but I disagree with your last sentence: "maybe even eliminate piracy in the Gulf of Aden." Your inclusion of the word "maybe" shows that you're also doubtful about this prospect. These methods will certainly save some individual ships from a pirate takeover, but they won't end piracy just by making some ships hijack-resistant. If the U.S. were to launch a series of decisive strikes with JDAMs and Tomahawk missiles, as done in the past, these could eliminate some of the on-the-ground pirate leadership. If these methods don't immediately succeed in crippling the pirates' command structure, a ground invasion of the coast and occupation of the coastal cities would eliminate and intimidate the poorly armed and poorly trained pirates who are dominating these cities. I don't suggest "bombing them to the stone age," but a series of air and naval strikes would definitely lead to the elimination of the roots of Somalian piracy.
For Part 2 and 3, multinational naval patrols are very successful in terms of militarily defeating pirates in individual battles, but that's not at all tackling the issue of piracy as a whole. Not only are the naval patrols too thinly spread, but they are also not assigned to specific boats but to whole areas, and are often slow to respond to distress calls due to their physical separation by distance. And even when U.S. and European destroyers defeat and rout a band of pirates, they often just pursue them, disarm them, and release them back into Somalia due to the lack of international legal procedure for dealing with piracy. This ineffectiveness can only be solved by putting combat troops into Somalia to successfully kill or arrest these pirates while acting under US martial law.
Part 4 is an interesting idea, but aside from its obvious logistical difficulties (as you outlined), it also would not completely eradicate piracy in Somalia, and this poorly equipped and probably poorly paid coast guard would only present a new target for these seaborne terrorists.
Part 5 is still compatible with my idea for a complete ground invasion and/or airstrike campaign, although it would not effectively disarm the young Somalians on the coast and would not do away with the incentives for piracy. On the other hand, a sustained occupation or bombing campaign (not a saturation slaughterfest, just an aerial precision strike campaign) would stop the pirates in their tracks and help establish law and order in the region, allowing for more legal economic methods to be pursued.
In closing, I'd like to say: Get some! Just kidding; I hope you don't judge the validity of my arguments based on my personal unprofessionalism.
Debate Round No. 2
Xer

Con

"All these suggestions are made with the assumption that the "instigator" wants to merely combat piracy, or deter it. If the US were to attack the pirate bases, I would like it to occur with the intention of eliminating Somalian piracy."
-My opponent apparently did not read the resolution: "The U.S. should attack the pirate bases in Somalia." The resolution is not "The U.S. should completely eradicate piracy in Somalia by attacking the pirate bases."

Regardless, my opponent did not even attempt to make an argument. All he did was state: "the U.S. needs to attack it at a grass roots level." What does that even mean? After he made that statement he went on to attempt to refute my points. He refuted my points by saying that my solutions would not completely eradicate piracy. It is true that my solutions would not completely eradicate piracy, but that is not what the resolution or the debate is about. He did not even attempt to refute 4 of my points.

"In closing, I'd like to say: Get some! Just kidding; I hope you don't judge the validity of my arguments based on my personal unprofessionalism."
-Umm... OK then.

All my points stand. My opponent did not attempt to make any points whatsoever. Vote Con.
Conor

Pro

I accept the fact that the debate isn't about whether certain solutions would or would not completely eradicate piracy. I am saying that we SHOULD invade because it would eradicate the problem in Somalia. I disagree with your points because they DON'T fully achieve destroying the piracy problem, which is what I would hope happens when we invade the country. So my points are based on the assumption that we should invade BECAUSE it would eliminate the problem, which is what I personally want.
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
Conduct - Pro - In Con's second round, Pro insisted that Con made no arguments. That's not entirely true. As Pro stated, his argument for complete eradication of piracy was an argument for the resolution. Con's dismissal was a bit disrespectful.

Spelling/Grammar - Con - Both sides were fine with spelling, but on balance, Con's layout was well organized and easy to follow. Pro's Round 2 was all smashed together, making it a little more difficult to follow. I recommend using blank spaces between paragraphs for clarity.

Conduct - Con - Con offered five very sound alternatives to attacking the pirate bases. Pro suggested that the best approach would be the one that has the best chance at eradicating piracy permanently (or at least suppressing it in the long term). However, Con anticipated the political consequences of bombing Somalia--something Pro's arguments didn't address. As a result, I found Con to be more convincing.

Reliable Sources - Con - Con used many varied corroborating sources to support his argument whereas Pro relied completely on logical argumentation.

Hats off to this debate for exposing me to an issue I frankly paid very little attention to before. I have a new appreciation for the plight these merchant ships face.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Good man, Sherlock, good man.
Posted by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
Why waste the first round in a 3 round debate? I do not agree with a full scale land invasion of Somalia, but the instigator did not present the best arguments. I expected pro to attack the financial aspects of Con's points as Con presented the US as being in massive debt. Pro had a plethora of arguments concerning the debt that would accrue from all of Con's counter positions, but chose not to argue them. I gave this a tie, with one point of conduct to Pro, as Con forced a dead first round. I would not have accepted on that point alone.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Btw, have you seen my new argument? Pretty awesome, huh?
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Points? They award points for this? Can I get some?
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
It means that he voted:
Conduct - Nags
Spelling and Grammar - Tie
Convincing Arguments - Nags
Sources - Nags
---That equals 6 points fyi.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Brock meyer: What does that mean?
Posted by Brock_Meyer 7 years ago
Brock_Meyer
C: Nags.
S&G: Tie.
A: Nags.
S: Nags.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
I went: your turn, crunchy.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Yes sir.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
XerConorTied
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Vote Placed by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
XerConorTied
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Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
XerConorTied
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Vote Placed by dvhoose 7 years ago
dvhoose
XerConorTied
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Vote Placed by Lt.Zubin 7 years ago
Lt.Zubin
XerConorTied
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Vote Placed by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
XerConorTied
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Vote Placed by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
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Vote Placed by Brock_Meyer 7 years ago
Brock_Meyer
XerConorTied
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