The Instigator
9spaceking
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Emilrose
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The UN should have a Standing Military Force

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Emilrose
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,111 times Debate No: 66063
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)

 

9spaceking

Pro

UN: United Nations, the famous peace-keeping force of the world
Military force: an army of soldier under the UN's command that can be deployed whenever necessary
Honored to be debating an unbeaten. :D
Round one acceptance only.
Emilrose

Con

Challenge accepted. Thanks to 9spaceking for sending this debate--likewise it's a pleasure to debate with an experienced member such as yourself.

As Con: I will be arguing that the UN should *not* have a standing military force.
Debate Round No. 1
9spaceking

Pro

Alright Emily here are the reasons why UN should have a standing army:
1. It's not effective as it is


"The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights." The UN websites states. [http://www.un.org...] The UN depends on other countries sending troops to help it. Yet, it takes a long time for the system and work, and by the time the soldiers are finally sent the conflict has probably gotten too big for the soldiers to work with. And even if that does not happen, most times the soldiers are sent from the countries that have th problem themselves. Thus the soldiers would mostly be not well enough equipped or trained (as they go away when the UN doesn't need them), in contrast to our permanently standing professional army. The following examples can be summarized by: these problems “over­whelmed the capabilities of the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and other parts of the Secretariat like the Department of Manage­ment that have a role in supporting peace opera­tions, leading to mismanagement, misconduct, poor planning, corruption, sexual abuse, unclear mandates, and other weaknesses.” [ http://www.heritage.org...] So unlike these terrible soldiers who are forced by their country; our professional army will be manual volunteers who actually want to help the UN and are dedicated. This is far better than forcing some countries, when the UN is in time of need, to pull out soldiers to help peacekeeping--which could lead to disasterous resource lost that is highlighted in the case of Sierra Leone and India. [http://www.nytimes.com...]

2.Faster solving


As I previously touched on, the UN is too slow. I will provide actual examples here.
One here is cited from an article concerning the failure of the UN to stop the killings in Cambodia.
"The international community’s failure to stop genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and to avert “ethnic cleansing” occurring in the Darfur region of Su­dan a decade later illustrate this incapacity, as do the other massive killings of civilians in Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, and elsewhere. In recent years, huge atrocities have killed millions of innocent people, wounded millions more, forced tens of millions from their homes, destroyed entire economies, and wasted hundreds of billions of dollars.” [www.globalactionpw.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/uneps_publication.pdf]

What is especially sad is another quote...
"[the UN is] the only fire brigade in the world that has to wait for the fire to break out before it can acquire a fire engine.” [http://refugeesinternational.org...]

MONTHS of uniterrupted killings could be prevented... [http://www.un.org...].... SIX MONTHS to be precise.

Another failure is the example of how UN only condemned terrorism and didn't take action until the 9/11 incident. And even then, they couldn't even find a clear definition of terrorism! [http://www.cnsnews.com...] We see here, UN has no real power, things take too long to work--the United Nations really needs its own permanent standing military force!

A final example is the Srebrenica Massacre. Within this example, it is clearly shown with evidence that my assertions in argument number one were correct--these soldiers, neither permanent, nor belonging to the UN, cannot and will not prevent war and establish peace. [http://www.nytimes.com...]

There are many, many more examples of the UN's failures, but I will stop here. I believe these examples have shown that the UN is ineffective with its needing of such voting power to acquire troops, which takes forever, and even then, the troops aren't well-trained or equipped to keep peace. If the UN wants to keep its name and its good purpose, it needs a standing military force, permanent, and good to fight.



"Heheh, what do you mean I look like a citizen? I totally got your back!"



"Step aside, trained professionals coming through!"

Onto you Emily.
Emilrose

Con

Thanks 9spaceking. I'll now begin with presenting my own case.


The UN is not a Nation

The first argument against the UN having a "standing" army is based on the fact that throughout history--and this is lasting into the present day--only countries and nations are really eligible to have their own permanent army. The UN is an organization that has no specific sovereignty or form of "government".

As an organization created to both maintain and promote "peace", the UN, in having its own standing military force, would also contradict its own foundational basis and existing purpose in the international community. The UN forces would not only be able to defend a populace or an area, as an army they could also attack. The UN stands as an organization that deals with matters of conflict through diplomatic efforts, not fully-involved military action itself. With its own specific army with soldiers deployed from all over the world, the UN would be largely compromising on its own upheld democratic values, a full-standing army would significantly damage the presentation of the UN as being an impartial organization that supposedly represents neutrality. I'll reiterate once more that essentially, only actual governments can (and should) be enabled to have a standing military army.

Conflict of Interest

If the UN was to have its own permanently standing army, it would undoubtedly lead to a conflict of interest between all 193 member states. While some may support military action somewhere; others may not. On the contrary to reducing military involvement, nations such as the U.S would be obliged to enter conflicts that the UN categorizes as action worthy and this, instead of furthering "peace efforts", would considerably undermine and prolong them. This alludes again to the point that not every conflict is in the interest of every country. Many nations would have very little to gain from sending out individual soldiers to assist in international conflicts. Historically, this has only been something that nations with direct involvement have ever done. More to the point: it would also be expensive for each country with soldiers deployed. It would require the consistent investment of more military, and other important resources such as food.

Getting full cooperation from all involved nations would be an almost impossible task. To expound further, the vast majority of countries would all take issue with the prospect of funding military forces that have long been upheld as rivals--and with working consistently alongside them.

Another issue that relates to the soldiers themselves would be the very realistic probability is major difference in cultural understanding, both in approach to conflict and communication through language. For example, each solider from each nation will speak a different language, and not every one (including the locals in the populace that soldiers are sent to) will have the ability to speak English, or at least even some of it. Such issues would seriously impair the operational effectiveness--cases could also very well arise with soldiers from entirely different cultural backgrounds (I.E, Muslim Sunni/Shiite, Christian, etc.) being accused of taking sides with the enemy and not providing the required collaboration.

To summarize:

(1.) Who would finance the military? As previously stated, a standing UN army would essentially be without any adequate financial provider, primarily because of the expensive of military equipment and other necessary commodities. Another contributing factor is that most nations would not be prepared to finance a military that is not its own, and that it cannot control.

(2.) Who would train the soldiers? It's likely that the hiring of expensive contractors would be the most effective option. Moreover, a UN army would not just be about having soldiers that have experience within their own borders, the matter of training them to work in dangerous conflicts alongside other international soldiers is likewise a reality. Once again highlighting the fact that the issue of cultural difference and lingual challenge also arises.

(3.) Who would lead them? The question of who actually commands the soldiers is also an important one. Whether that commander would be completely impartial and able to work with soldiers from all over the international community, including countries his own may have had previous or current difficulties with is also highly debatable.

The question also remains on as to whether a permanent UN army would actually be any more efficient than the current peacekeeping system referenced in your own argument. Rather than expanding military warfare and involvement, the UN should focus its resources on prevention of war and the maintaining of diplomatic relations.
Debate Round No. 2
9spaceking

Pro

Thanks to you too Emily.

The UN isn't a Nation?
First of all, let me point out the the UN does indeed have a government structure, just a strange rare one that isn't used in any particular country due to how representative the UN is. As Wikipedia describes the structure:
"The assembly is led by a president, elected from among the member states on a rotating regional basis, and 21 vice-presidents....

When the General Assembly votes on important questions, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required. Examples of important questions include recommendations on peace and security; election of members to organs; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; and budgetary matters. All other questions are decided by a majority vote."

As you can see it's some type of democracy or obligarchy, just very unclear if the General Assembly really has a government name yet. Even so, it's not formless, and all the different countries have different representatives. It would still be equal, and the majority rule vote would still be required to deploy the standing army like normally, only this time the army is actually well-prepared and ready-to-go. Even if this army does damage the democratic values somehow, the UN has damaged its reputation severely alreay in the cases seen above. People don't see the UN as a trustworthy peace-keeping source. Note that my opponent has accepted all my examples and dropped all my cases. If this goes on, the UN will be useless. We need a standing military to keep it efficient and fulfill its purpose.

Conflict of Interest
My opponent already concedes that "Many nations would have very little to gain from sending out individual soldiers to assist in international conflicts." Remember, this is already happening, although on a very small scale, and even then it's by force, which is why the soldiers are so terrible. If we sent out posters for volunteers, and let the soldiers come to us, giving them salary and pride for service, then it would be fine. Millions of lives has been lost in the UN's inefficiency. The cost of billions of dollars is worth saving those millions of lives. And it actually wouldn't cost as much as you think. Just about 12,000 to 15,000 soldiers would be enough, and the Security Council can take countrol of the army, with ability to veto a certain action, and it would only cost $2 billion dollars to begin, then $900 million annually from the nations. This would be actually not too much, considering the amount of nations within the UN to contribute to the UN. [source: https://www.lifesitenews.com...] I mean, look at the list of all the members in the UN [source: http://www.un.org...], having them share that $2 billion startign amount and $900 million wouldn't put too much of a burden. It really wouldn't be as expensive as my opponent puts it. And even if not all nations were involved, we can even stretch to other nations neutral to the UN. I mean, we give money, they choose to come or not! It's a win-win situation.

As for different languages, we can just hire lots of translators within the bugdet. Not that we would need them anyways, we just have to show them what to do, and they'll probably understand. Even if my plan doesn't work, these arguments are non-unique. These problems are addled within our current UN too, no? Who commands the volunteers currently? What happens if multiple members send their people to the UN to work with? All I need is something better than the status quo. And what could be better than saving millions of lives?
Emilrose

Con

U.N as a non-nation

Firstly I'd like to state that while the U.N may have at least have an inter-governmental structure (as quoted directly by Wikipedia) it is still not a nation. For something to be categorized as a nation it must be of one country with one specific system, while the U.N is made up of a number of different countries--all of which that have individual policies of their own in dealing with international affairs.

A "nation" is defined by the following terms:

na·tion

n.

1.

a. A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.



b. The territory occupied by such a group of people: All across the nation, people are voting their representatives out.



2. The government of a sovereign state.

So again, to be considered a nation; you must have a single government that is exclusive to one country. In other terms; a sovereign state.

(1.) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

The U.N is not a single state that is restricted to one country or one territory. Rather, the UN is an organization, which again is not defined in the same way as a nation.

The UN definition that Pro uses in round two states: "The United Nations is an international organization". The fact that the UN was founded by (51) countries does still not make it a "country" itself.

Pro goes on to state that:

"As you can see it's some type of democracy or oligarchy, just very unclear if the General Assembly really has a government name yet."

I'd specifically like to highlight here that democracy and oligarchy are entirely different systems of governance--additionally Pro states that it's "unclear" if the General Assembly has a government name yet. On the contrary to showing that the UN has an easily recognizable and clearly defined form of governance, Pro has failed to determine whether the system is either "democratic" or "oligarchic", and has displayed that it does not yet have a formative name.

"Democracy" is generally defined within the following terms:

1. Governmentbythepeople,exercisedeitherdirectlyorthroughelected representatives.
2. Apoliticalorsocialunitthathassuchagovernment.

While "Oligarchy" is a system that is described as:



1.

a. Government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons orfamilies.



b. Those making up such a government.



2. A state governed by a few persons.

(2.) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

If the UN can "some type" of either, then evidently its exact form of governance has not be definitively established by Pro.

Pro further states that a UN standing army would be "well-prepared" and "ready-to-go", while this may be the case, the current forces that the UN deploys to places it deems necessary are also (in essence) prepared and equipped to go where deployed.

Here's what the UN saying concerning their peace keeping personnel:

"Our military and police personnel are first and foremost members of their own national services and are then seconded to work with the UN."

So these are indeed people that are trained and that are "first and foremost" members of their own national services; largely suggesting again that many have considerable experience within their field.

(3.) http://www.un.org...


As for the democratic values of the UN, as a organization that was directly founded on such values, they are absolutely still paramount to the UN in maintaining its integrity and fulfilling its stated duties. As alluded to in round two of my argument, the prevention of conflict through democratic measures should claim more importance than the involvement with conflict through military efforts. As can be seen in numerous historical and present cases of conflict, enhancing military action does not exactly solve anything. In fact (as can be particularly viewed in present examples) it can quite easily exacerbate them.

This also again relates to the neutrality of the UN and why, as a self-titled impartial organization, it should not partake in war efforts.

Conflict of interest

Pro claims that I concede in stating that (many) nations would have very little to gain in sending soldiers to assist in international conflicts, however, Pro then states that while this is happening, it is happening "on a very small scale", thus not rejecting my point--which was to highlight that if actual armies belonging to individual countries were sent off to international conflicts; again, these countries would have very benefit. The difference with the current structure is that smaller units are deployed, and that it is on a much more manageable level, a level of which, that the UN can still offer some assistance in certain areas while still retaining its neutral integrity.

Another aspect to my initial argument was the fact not all countries would be willing to send out troops to certain conflicts, or any, for that matter. As well as resistance to direct involvement, some countries would likely not be content with other countries initiating or increasing their involvement in international conflicts. Russia would naturally be a prime example, a nation of which that is usually not in support of western countries furthering military involvement internationally. As well as assessing the humanitarian need, the political effects and outcomes are also to be examined in if the UN ever was to establish its own standing army.

Concerning financial cost, Pro also includes the estimate of "billions of dollars" in discussing the cost of a standing army. As I summarized in my opening argument--including the cost of training, military equipment, and other additional and necessary resources, the cost would be considerably expensive, something *some* countries would likely not be able to afford. Pro appears to neglect the fact that not all 109 countries that are part of the UN have "billions" (even $2 billion) to contribute to military efforts in international conflicts that bare no relevance and have virtually no impact on their own country. Expanding financial contribution to countries neutral to the UN is not exactly that realistic an option, once more, what would such countries have to gain? The questions also still remain on as to how effective a standing army would be, how much difference they would be able to make, and what the eventual outcome of their "involvement" would be. It's also likely that standing troops would have to stay in deployed areas for prolonged periods of time--adding again to the cost of resources. Pro fairly presents the case that troops would be sent out and then things would be immediately solved, which would of course not be the case. One would have to begin with the internal politics of such areas and countries (examples Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Fiji, Sudan, Congo, Libya, Somalia, etc.) to even introduce a possibility of end to conflict.

Likewise hiring translators would be necessary in order for international soldiers to communicate with each other and more importantly: with the people of the country/area they're deployed to.
Debate Round No. 3
9spaceking

Pro

It's the last round so I'll try to not give new arguments.

First of all, I must apologize and say I was confused when I read the structure of the General Assembly, and undecisive between oligarchy and democracy. However, after my opponent helps me define democracy and oligarchy, it seems apparent, based on my sourcing of the system, an my opponent's definition, the General Assembly is most certainly representative democracy (only with far more power than most other governments, but that doesn't affect the fact that it's a specific government type). Think about it. "Vice presidents" from each major country are elected--part of democracy--actions are decided by majority vote--yet another defining trait of democracy--and most of all, power is spread in the UN so that there's a separate branch that declares war/sends out soldier (similar to USA's democracy, where only the president can declare war, but the legislative branch has to agree to it).
This is not a new argument because I already stated my structure in the last round, only last time I was a little confused because lack of time and understanding.

"The assembly is led by a president, elected from among the member states on a rotating regional basis, and 21 vice-presidents....

When the General Assembly votes on important questions, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required. Examples of important questions include recommendations on peace and security; election of members to organs; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; and budgetary matters. All other questions are decided by a majority vote."
--From the previous round

But after a while of thinking, I finally came to conclusion. Indeed, united nations may be united nationS, but its government still works well enough for it to have its own standing military and still work well.
In addition, over the course of this debate Emily has failed time after time to truly assert exactly WHY you have to be a nation or have a government to have a standing military. In the ancient times, where there were no nations or government, in the state of anarchy, technically everyone consisted a "military" (hunting and killing animals, gathering food, etc.) to team up and hunt as well as gather (hunter-gatherers). Again, my opponent talks of how UN is not a nation in round two but never gives any logic, philosophy, or evidence for why something needs to be ONE nation to have a military. Why, cannot multiple nations SHARE a military? My opponent did move onto how the UN supposedly ruins its own democratic values (special pleading fallacy, as this does not support her first point), but I already refuted this with the fact that majority vote was STILL needed to deploy the troops even if the UN had a standing army.

Secondly, my opponent sources the implication that UN soldiers MAY be experienced, but are they? They crush their own privilege. They failed to save a myraid of countries, and they act completely the opposite of what an honorable military is supposed to act. It is exactly a military the UN needed to solve the problems I posed within round two. The UN has some effect with its peace-keeping forces. It will have FULL effect only if it has a standing military. To address the fact that "some countries may be unwilling to send", once again, this is non-unique. Under the current system it isn't very effective either. Only the countries that have the certain problems or have allies with the problems woul be willing to send, and once more, I already stressed this before (this is unaddressed by my opponent), THE VOLUNTEERS ARE FORCED AND UNTRAINED. Under my standing military, the volunteers will be dedicated, AND trained. They gain free will, we gain effectiveness. What could be better?

Finally, to address the money problem, let me address it in this way. Let us suppose by magic, only half of the countries--say, 50 countries--support the UN and share the burden of this 2 billion dollars. Even then, even with only half of the countries supporting the UN (which is very unlikely, certainly far more than just half of the countries would support the UN in a case like this, I mean, they would earn more allies because of where the UN deploys troop to help keep peace).


"Likewise hiring translators would be necessary in order for international soldiers to communicate with each other and more importantly: with the people of the country/area they're deployed to."
Opponent does not address that the translators might be a common problem under the current system.

IN CONCLUSION
-My opponent has tried hard as usual to negate the resolution. However, most of her problems are nonunique, or they don't apply to the UN.
The UN should obtain a permanent standing army. It would be far more effective than their current method of deploying troops, and they would finally earn a reputation as a strong, excellent (if not out-standing) peace-keeping source!
Judges, vote for me. Vote for UN!
s://i.imgflip.com...; alt="" />


Emilrose

Con

The purpose of adding definitional sources to the terms "oligarchy" and "democracy" was to highlight that the two are fundamentally different, and that Pro seemingly had not decided on which specific system that the UN does indeed represent--something that's extremely important in making clear.

While it's agreed with Pro that the overall General Assembly system is democratic, it should be demonstrated that not all countries within the UN are in fact democratic themselves. Out of the 193 member states only 87 are "fully democratic" or "fully free", meaning that only this non-majority 45% are presented as being fully-fledged democracies. This alludes again not all countries would be willing or able to cooperate in engaging in conflict and sending out their soldiers; moreover, they or other nation states may heavily disagree with those that do. If all member states are not democratic, this means that all member states do not share the same interests. Likewise, if non-democratic or non fully-fledged democratic states were to participate in any action, this would of course again significantly undermine the integrity of the UN is representing a fully democratic system that promotes entirely democratic values.

(1.) http://www.humanrightsvoices.org...

Pro further states:

"But after a while of thinking, I finally came to conclusion. Indeed, united nations may be united nations, but its government still works well enough for it to have its own standing military and still work well.
In addition, over the course of this debate Emily has failed time after time to truly assert exactly WHY you have to be a nation or have a government to have a standing military. In the ancient times, where there were no nations or government, in the state of anarchy, technically everyone consisted a "military" (hunting and killing animals, gathering food, etc.) to team up and hunt as well as gather (hunter-gatherers). Again, my opponent talks of how UN is not a nation in round two but never gives any logic, philosophy, or evidence for why something needs to be ONE nation to have a military. Why, cannot multiple nations SHARE a military? My opponent did move onto how the UN supposedly ruins its own democratic values (special pleading fallacy, as this does not support her first point), but I already refuted this with the fact that majority vote was STILL needed to deploy the troops even if the UN had a standing army."

It should appear obvious that technically, only countries with actual sovereignty's are eligible to have their own army, something that still continues to be upheld and followed through within modern times. Nations have their own armies primarily to protect their own individual interests as nations. Pro attempts the refute the argument in stating that in ancient times--because of no existing nations or governments--that such a policy was not necessary, however, I should remind Pro that were quite obviously not living in ancient times and that now: clearly established nations do exist and that: clearly defined sovereignty's and governments also exist. The system of governance has progressed considerably since the time Pro is referencing to; something that he does not make fully apparent in only using the term "ancient"--something that could easily apply to ancient Egypt, a place that had an organized system of governance. The oldest civilization in the world is widely considered as Sumner, Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) naturally a definable form of governance developed here as well. Note: 4000 BC.

(2.) http://www.anciv.info...

(3.) http://www.humanities360.com...


I'd reiterate to Pro that in current times we do not live in a state of anarchy without any systems of governance.

The UN not being a "nation" should speak for itself, both Con and I have outlined that the UN is an "organization" and that is my exact basis on why it should not have a standing military. As also specified in my arguments, the UN is an organization with the stated aims of promoting democratic values and preventing conflict throughout the world through democratic measures, once more why it should not be able to enter conflicts militarily.

Pro claims that my argument on the neutrality and democratic values of the UN being undermined is refuted by the fact that a majority vote would still be needed, however, he has failed to recognize what was implied by "neutrality" and "democratic values" and really confront the issue. Naturally, if the UN was to have a standing army (regardless of majority vote) the military power still exists and the widely upheld democratic values of the UN, particularly concerning its policies of prevention of conflict (diplomatically), are still contradicted. Moreover the neutrality of the UN as an impartial organization, without political or national affiliation, is again heavily impaired. If the UN intervenes with conflicts with a fully standing military, it no longer remains fully impartial. There is also the fact, as stated previously within this round, that all countries belonging to the UN (a majority) have fully-fledged or even part democracies.

"Secondly, my opponent sources the implication that UN soldiers MAY be experienced, but are they? They crush their own privilege. They failed to save a myraid of countries, and they act completely the opposite of what an honorable military is supposed to act. It is exactly a military the UN needed to solve the problems I posed within round two. The UN has some effect with its peace-keeping forces. It will have FULL effect only if it has a standing military."

First off, it isn't an "implication", rather it explicitly states that current UN soldiers are experienced. Issues that may have taken place in areas where these soldiers have been deployed may not necessarily be attributed to exclusively to weakness on their part. The question of how much improvement a standing army there would actually be in replacement of a full standing army, as with the current UN forces, these soldiers would soldiers from different countries, with varying dialects, there's no confirming that the level of professionalism will be that vastly superior. In order to make such improvements to decisively ensure that the military will make a difference, the financial cost would increase and more resources (such as better training/military equipment, etc.) would have to be invested in; and for a sustained period of time.

Pro outlines that under his standing military that volunteers would be "dedicated, AND trained" and: "They gain free will, we gain effectiveness", relating to my point that dedication and particularly effectiveness cost money. He also fails to respond to my statements concerning long-term effectiveness of UN military involvement and how it would not actually solve conflicts occurring within the areas that troops are deployed within. He also did not fully rebut my inclusion of certain nations being in potential disagreement of others entering or sending out troops to certain conflicts, I'll use the example of a country like Russia again:

If the UN was to vote for enhanced military action in Syria, and nations such as the U.K and the U.S were wanted in participation (and more to the point: were prepared), as previous situations show Russia would of course not be in opposition; noting that it has been fairly allied with Syria. Other examples can be used for surrounding Middle Eastern countries, and Asian and African ones.

In response to (not) addressing that translators may not be needed; if international troops from different countries were deployed in places abroad, where locals and other people may very likely not speak English, then obviously translators would be necessary.

Conclusion

*Character limit* Firstly, my arguments towards Pro are unique and also absolutely apply to the UN, particularly as that's the topic we're debating.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
Aw, likewise! I enjoyed our debate. feel free to try and beat me again sometime ;p
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
good debate. It was an honor debating you, Emily. Hopefully some time we can go again.
Posted by yoshidino 2 years ago
yoshidino
Really!? We get interrogated for why we voted the way we did?? Is this some sort of UN thing or something? lol jk
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
RFD (Pt. 1):

Alright, I'm going to split this up a little differently than I normally do. I'll address each of the debaters in turn with regards their cases, rebuttals and conclusions, then I'll do a brief comparison and explain who won.

Pro:

Really messy first round. These arguments have to be organized much better than they were. You've basically got one large advantage with little explanation on the solvency and impact. You've shown the harms quite effectively " the UN doesn't function rapidly in status quo, which leads to many deaths that could possibly be prevented. The solvency is a bit muddled. The UN gets troops, the UN can respond " I get that. How the UN responds remains a mystery to me until R3, where you say it's the general assembly by majority vote. That has me scratching my head a bit, since that's a big shift from how things are done now (through the Security Council), so there's no precedent for this, not to mention that it presents other concerns like voting blocs, but I'm forced to accept it on some level. Con does attack this somewhat, but really doesn't make me think it's a bad mechanism.

So I buy the solvency. The impact is a little wonky though. I buy that more rapid response could potentially save lives by intervening sooner. I'd have liked to see some examples of rapid intervention being effective. I also would have liked to see some info on what's different about a standing army versus the on call army they have right now, and there's a lot of good points there, though I see most of them coming out of Con instead of Pro. More on that shortly.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 2)

Much of your rebuttal is pretty minimalist. I see you got your numbers from the same source I got mine, but you don't spend as much time explaining why those dollar totals aren't a big deal, and Con does show that there's far larger sources of spending involved. I don't think you did as much as you could to counter Con's arguments regarding the purpose of the UN, though you did hit some points cleanly. I think you should have put a lot more time into your conclusion, and really made a big deal out of the fact that your case would save countless lives. I'm surprised that that barely appeared after the first round, and it really should have.

Con:

Your first round was cleaner, but there are some gaping holes.

You say that the UN is not a nation and therefore shouldn't have a standing army, but you only barely scratch the surface, even in R4, of why this matters. It's all about precedent, and without seeing that argument fleshed out, I really can't give you much for this.

The idea that perception of the UN and its actions might change was more interesting. I don't see any warrants for the argument that the UN would suddenly become an offensive force, attacking nations, but I do see support for that view change. I'd like to have seen the impact of that fleshed out. What does it mean for the UN not to be viewed as a neutral party? There are plenty of reasons why this matters, but the only ones I saw was that they can engage in diplomacy and will compromise its "democratic values." I'm not sure how effective that diplomacy is in status quo (though Pro doesn't contest that), nor do I have a very solid idea of what effect hurting their democratic values would have. The impact here just seems really muted.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 3)

The Conflict of Interest point is where things start to feel fleshed out. I end up accepting a lot of the assumptions made here, mainly because Pro doesn't contest them, though many are faulted. I'm surprised there's no basic argument being run here about the UN moving too quickly, though embroiling themselves in a long war was certainly a good argument. Faster movement means earlier entry, and Pro never successfully argued that rapid movement means a more rapid end to these conflicts, just that it would protect more lives. Unfortunately, the only impact I get out of that is that it takes more resources. More on that shortly.

I think the assumption that "nations such as the U.S would be obliged to enter conflicts that the UN categorizes as action worthy and this" is completely wrong, given that no such thing has occurred when the UN enters another country in status quo, though Pro never contests this. Hence, I'm forced to agree that other nations would likely get involved, further increasing the expenses.

Getting finances to fund these troops movements was interesting but similarly flawed. There will always be instances where someone won't be happy to have troops of an opposing nation being funded by them. I don't see how that necessarily gets worse with a standing army than it does with the current system. Well, that's not quite true " I do see how it could be true, but I'm not seeing the explanation I need to warrant it. So while I buy that this might happen, I have a hard time giving you full credit, and an even harder time determining the impact: will other nations have to pick up the slack; what if they choose not to? You could have talked a lot about resources and putting people in harms way, but I don't see those arguments.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 4)

Cultural and linguistic problems, once again, comes off a little odd to me. Why is this more of a problem with Pro's case than it is right now? I sort of get that as the debate goes on, since you have a large number of troops all gathered together for long periods of time, but it could have gotten some simple responses. I'm basically shocked that Pro didn't discuss all of the training that could be involved here, and that many of these problems are only solved by doing training with a lot of people over and extended period of time, something that is practically nonexistent in status quo. But he didn't do that, so I'm buying the presence of a problem here.

Much of the rest of these arguments is based on finances, and again, I'm lacking a solid impact. What does it mean that some nations won't have the funds? Pro kind of assumes that other nations will pick up the slack, and you sort of let that slide. Why wouldn't every nation just try to shunt those costs along? You're right, they have little stake in what the UN does militarily most of the time. Many may just refuse to fund. Pro never said that anyone would be pressured to do so, nor did he allocate funds from any specific source. That could have been a huge point of attack, but really, all you give me is that there's some financial pain that comes with this. That would be fine if you had talked about the impacts of those deficits, but I don't see those arguments.

Generally, I see you presenting a lot of good questions, but you can't just shoot questions at Pro. You have to answer them. How would things actually go? They'd place some random jackass in charge of a group of troops who likely hate him and each other, they'd never get along in combat, be hopeless in training, and generally just be a massive money sink to toss things into. Pro never argued that these are going to be an efficient corp of troops (though he certainly could have), so why don't you argue that they're going to be anything but
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 5)

As the debate went on, I felt like you shifted into more of a discussion of the broader implications of the UN taking this action on the way it functions as a whole, which would have been great, if you had spent more time explaining why that shift is a death knell for the organization as a whole. Sure, it's not what it used to be, but there's got to be more impact to it than "the UN looks less friendly now," which is all I can see coming off of your arguments. The assumption that democracy is good, and that the UN upholding the values of a democracy in how it uses its troops aren't really impacts in and of themselves. I need to know why that change is going to mar them for quite a while, and I don't see that coming through.

Conclusion:

I felt both debaters really had a lot to work on here. Pro, I need to see you making more hay out of your impacts, and spending a lot more time explaining your case from the outset. A lot of links just seemed to be missing from your case, and though you got away with many of them, you get a lot less credit for the work you don't do. Con, impacts, impacts, impacts. I need everything you're saying in your disadvantages to be linked to a solid harm, whether to the UN or the world at large.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 6)

That being said, I do have to come down to a decision. Pro pretty much asserts his way to two impacts: rapidity makes the UN function better, and a better functioning UN saves more lives. I'm not sure I buy either of those, given his analysis, but I'm given no reasoning from Con to make me dismiss it. Con tells me there might be some larger effects to the perception of the UN and the way it's run, pointing out that it changes the UN on a very basic level, and that there's going to be tremendous financial costs involved and, likely, longer engagements with inefficient troops. I'm not given a reason to believe that these troops are less efficient than in status quo, but there's more of them, so it still counts. I don't get any weighing analysis from either debater, so I'm forced to do the weighing.

I can't weigh the public opinion changes to the UN, nor the alterations to its basic ideals. I need to know why those are harmful, and all I get is a nebulous "it's going to hurt" without much in the way of support. Let this be a note to Con: nothing is obvious. Make it obvious. Make it blatantly clear why a change is harmful, and specifically what it constitutes.

I have a hard time weighing the financial costs. It's basically admitted that they're there, but Pro assures me that they'll be paid, and Con doesn't tell me why not. So I'm forced to accept that, somehow, some nations will pay the cost. Maybe it will harm them to do so, but I don't get that analysis from Con.

So I'm comparing lives to lives. Pro tells me rapidity will solve, Con tells me that that's counterbalanced by lower efficiency and longer conflicts. Both sides are functioning on assumptions as to what those benefits/harms will lead to. By the barest of margins, I end up voting Con. I have a few reasons why this was so close:
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 7)

1) Con's arguments here really were at least partially non-unique, as these are problems in status quo. That really mitigated this.

2) On the other hand, Con did provide a basis for believing that these conflicts end more poorly, stating they would drag on for quite some time. I'm not getting an idea of a death toll from that, but I can see the harm.

3) Really, though, what wins me over is that she keeps bringing this back up. It becomes a centerpiece for the debate, whereas Pro's arguments seem to disappear with time, folding back into the periphery. If Pro had made a more dramatic conclusion (and he certainly had space to do so), emphasizing many of the harms he mentioned in his first round and comparing them with the harms Con presented, this would almost certainly have swung his way. Without that, I'm left to make conclusions based on what mattered most to the debaters. That leaves me with my vote.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
9spacekingEmilroseTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.