The US federal government should bomb ISIS
1. BOP is shared
2. No Ks
3. Be open minded
R1. Pro instigates, posts entire set-up (definitions, this, etc.)/Con posts acceptance *only*
R2. Pro opens/Con opens Con is not allowed to rebutt pro's arguments
R3. Pro rebuts/Con rebuts
R4. Pro closes and rebuts/Con closes and rebuts
*no new contentions/arguments shall be put in the last round.
US deferal government- The central government of the United States of America
bomb- Commence in bombings and airstrikes, this includes drone strikes.
ISIS- The Islamic State, an extremist terrorist organization.
Contention 1: ISIS is a serious threat and should be defeated by any means necessary
If we take ISIS lightly and they have their way the word will be harmed beyond what you can imagine. In fact some believe that ISIS wants to bring forth the apocalypse, and frankly I wouldn't be surprised if that's what they want. ( http://www.theatlantic.com...... ) ISIS has been rapidly capturing territory. Fairly recently ISIS captured Baghdad, while slaughtering citizens and military in the process, leaving the streets littered with bodies. ( http://www.cbsnews.com...... ).
ISIS has been nothing but brutal. ISIS kills dozens of innocent people at a time for doing nothing but failing to conform with their beliefs. ISIS has been known to carry out public executions and Crucifixions. ISIS reaches out an manipulates those in 1st word countries and instructs them to "kill where you are". Those killings have no benefit. There is no gain for ISIS to have innocent people killed thousands of miles away, yet they do it anyways. ISIS has shown no mercy to anyone whether it be civilians, military, the religious or impressionable youth they manipulate. ISIS simply knows no mercy. They will not show us mercy and will destroy us the instant they have the opportunity. So we should not show them mercy. (http://www.cnn.com...... http://www.nbcnews.com......)
Contention 2: Airstrikes are effective methods of fighting ISIS that will almost never result in military casualties on the side of the US
Airstrikes against ISIS have been our best method of fighting them. Very little to no casualties on our side, and most importantly very effective. We can use airstrikes and bombings to strategically target strike points, take out military leaders and drive ISIS into submission. 500 pound bombs being dropped on your head will take away your will to fight very quickly.
According to these two out of many reports airstrikes and bombings against ISIS are working and are very effective. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...... http://abcnews.go.com.......
The only downside to it is the unfortunate reality of civilian casualties. With bombings there will inevitably be civilians who will lose their lives in the blast. Many people believe that because of this we should not bomb ISIS, but there are a few key points they are missing. 1. Some civilian casualties are absolutely inevitable in war. No matter what we do they can not be avoided. 2. These attacks are done by talented, trained military professionals. They know what they are doing and they know how to minimize civilian casualties and they will do so. Still not convinced? Well let me help you think about it in a different way.
Contention 3: Despite there being some civilian casualties we save more civilian lives in the long run.
The death count for the people ISIS has murdered is around 170,000. Those 170,00 people probably had friends, families and maybe even lovers, and now they're gone. Many of them brutally murdered by ISIS. The question I have for ISIS is: Why? Why did all of these people have to die. Well it seems there really is no good reason for their death. Many of them were murdered for their religion or for standing in ISIS' way. (http://www.quora.com......) Now sure if we bomb ISIS there will be some civilian casualties, but that number will be absolutely nowhere near the number of innocent people ISIS has slaughtered. If these bomb strikes can put a stop to this genocide then we will save countless lives. The lives that will be lost is a sacrifice that we need to make to save thousands and possibly millions of lives.
Contention 4: Saving our troops
By reducing the number of troops in the area and replacing them with drones we are saving soldier's lives.
Drone strikes are a common method of bombing and even with the drone being shot down we do not lose any soldiers. This is creating a huge change in the way 1st world countries fight wars. By fighting wars this way we are allowing for more soldiers to survive in the world. And this doesn't just stop in the US. By doing this the rest of the world is likely to follow in 1st world countries' examples and fight wars this way. This will do a good job to eliminate drafting and make wars focus on military targets instead of taking lives.
Onto you Con
Arg 1: Counter Productive to the effort
The only direct military action taken by the United States against ISIS is through drone strikes. The US is hesitant to extend this campaign to include ground troops on Levant soil, however is also equally unwilling to retreat their forces all together.
Thus this alone implies the counter productivity of Allied bombings. One cannot expect to win a war of a military campaign with air superiority alone, historically, air superiority has never lead to victory in any war. This can be seen during the 70"s when the United States engaged in the Vietnam war. The operation "Rolling Thunder" was an attempt to replace ground troops with air strikes as the primary offensive. This campaign later proved to be disastrous for the United States and the South Vietnamese.
A problem with this type of strategy is that airstrikes at most, can only achieve in temporarily stunting the opponent, not sufficiently disposing of them. It would be far easier for the ground troops (from ISIS"s side) to adapt to dodging air strikes then it would be for drones to adapt to shuffling ground units.
The only way that Allied countries would make airstrikes productive would be if the airstrikes were followed by sufficient land forces. However, most of the countries in the coalition lack enough interest or capability to land a ground attack against ISIS. To compensate, the US planned on using the Iraqi military forces and the Kurdish autonomous region to substitute as ground forces. But the Kurdish army is hesitant and unwilling to move beyond their borders and the Iraqi army lacks the capability to move into Syria.
The Islamic state does not recognize the border between Iraq and Syria. Despite their origins in Iraq, the ISIS headquarters in Raqqa is actually in Syria. So even if the US invaded Syria with airstrikes and stopped at the barely existent border between Syria and Iraq, then ISIS would simply retreat to its Iraq territories and remain there. The same could be applied vice versa.
Therefore, airstrikes lack any strategic benefit.
Arg 2: Attacks against ISIS indirectly benefits Assad
Prior to the official establishment of ISIS in 2014, Syria was (and still is) facing a bloody civil war between rebels and the Assad government. Originally, this war was mostly between civilian rebels and Assad"s police forces, as riots escalated, protests turned into civil war. Today, at least a dozen or so rebel factions exist going against Assad and each other.
Gradually, radicalization happened within the rebel forces. As rebelling factions continue fighting, they turned to more extremist means. This could be seen in the rise of Al Qaeda"s Syrian branch "Al Nusra", which gained much power in Syria prior to merging with Al Qaeda"s Iraqi branch hence forming ISIS.
With that in mind, the inherent problem with attacks against ISIS is that by attacking ISIS, one indirectly benefits Assad. Since ISIS/Al Nusra have made up a significant fraction of the Syrian rebel forces, and Al Qaeda is a major supplier of weapons and missiles. Moreover, attacks against Assad would indirectly benefit ISIS for similar reasons.
Rebuttal 1: Counter productive
My opponent's argument here has a lot of flaws. He states that more than just airstrikes is needed, so therefore the effort is counterproductive. That just doesn't make any sense. I never argued that the only action taken should be airstrikes which is what Con's entire argument hinges on. According to the resolution the only area I have to prove is that we should bomb ISIS, not that we should only bomb ISIS.
Bombing ISIS would work very well with attacks with ground forces which I support. I never said that we shouldn't be using ground forces and instead all I said was we should be bombing ISIS. My opponent even stated himself that a combination of ground strikes as well as bombing would be very effective.
Also my opponent gives the argument that air strikes simply haven't been doing that much against ISIS, however recently we had a great victory against ISIS thanks to an air strike. The IS's second in command was recently killed in an airstrike.
Experts believe that his death will severely cripple ISIS' operations. This includes finance, media and logistics. With results like these airstrikes clearly do have a strategic benefit against ISIS. http://www.voanews.com...
Next my opponent gives a lot of problems in the current situation of nations and armies not wanting to directly fight ISIS via ground forces as well as the US being hesitant to deploy ground troops in the area, however that 1. gives no reason as to why we should not be bombing ISIS. 2. That is likely to change very soon. In fact deploying ground troops against ISIS is likely to happen soon for the US and has a lot of public support right now.
This undermines my opponent's entire argument. If ground troops are being deployed soon then air strikes would be very effective and productive, and in no sense counter productive. If ground troops are not being deployed air strikes still do help in some manner with no losses.
My opponent gives a very faulty argument next.
"The Islamic state does not recognize the border between Iraq and Syria. Despite their origins in Iraq, the ISIS headquarters in Raqqa is actually in Syria. So even if the US invaded Syria with airstrikes and stopped at the barely existent border between Syria and Iraq, then ISIS would simply retreat to its Iraq territories and remain there. The same could be applied vice versa."
This argument is all assuming that we can only strike them while they are on one side of the political border, however this problem can easily be solved by being able to strike them on both sides of the border making this argument simply irrelevant.
It's also a little confusing about what my opponent would like the US to do. He has the attitude that the US should not be involved, but something needs to be done. Since I think my opponent has the idea that the US should not get involved let me give a few reasons as to why that would be a bad idea.
1. Allies of the US in the middle east would feel abandoned. This severely hurts diplomatic relationships. Now let me give a few reasons as exactly why this is bad.
A. Diplomatic relationships to western countries are key to keep stability and peace. This is especially important in the Middle East, because stability and peace is in very short supply there.
B. Diplomatic relationships are very important to trade. Trade helps the economy in both parts of the world.
2. Involvement is what US citizens want. They see the atrocities that ISIS commits and wants something to be done. That is why attacks against ISIS have such high support when usually involvement is not wanted. This helps keep the US at peace by keeping the citizens satisfied.
Rebuttal 2: Assad
My opponent claims that with hurting ISIS we help Assad, because ISIS is part of a rebellion against Assad.
So I have a few different arguments against this.
1. ISIS is the greater of the two evils. ISIS is an international threat that has much more aggressive behavior that extends to a potential nuclear war threat, if ISIS were to get their hands on nuclear weaponry and means to launch it. If Assad will be benefited by taking out ISIS then so be it.
2. Assad is predicted to fall soon regardless of ISIS. http://www.voanews.com...
3. ISIS is only one of the many forces fighting against Assad. If that one force is lost it won't be that much of a change for Assad.
4. We do not necessarily have to pick one or the other. Both can be taken out in time even though one or the other may be temporarily benefited.
As requested, I'll do my rebuttals (to Pro's opening argument).
Just like the Taliban, ISIS has little interest in engaging in attacks abroad. If one looks at the Islamic terrorist attacks done in west in the past year (such as but not limited to, the Hebdo shooting in Paris and the Parliament shooting in Ottawa) one may notice that ISIS was not directly responsible to any of those attacks, they may have inspired the attacks, but have not directly employed the attackers. Hence this shows that ISIS has little interest in attacking Western countries (especially the US) for the time being. As, just like the Taliban, they are looking to consolidate their regional territories before issuing any attacks abroad. Hence, ISIS is by no means a threat to the US homeland as that does not suite ISIS’s interests.
R2: “Airstrikes against ISIS have been our best method of fighting them. Very little to no casualties on our side, and most importantly very effective. We can use airstrikes and bombings to strategically target strike points, take out military leaders and drive ISIS into submission. 500 pound bombs being dropped on your head will take away your will to fight very quickly.
Simply because airstrikes can cause the least casualties from the offending side, that does not make it a sufficient reason for it to be the only form of military intervention against ISIS. As mentioned previously, airstrikes may be effective at temporarily hindering ISIS but it would not be enough to do any long term damage to ISIS. Simply put it, no war has ever been won through air superiority alone. The United States had attempted to subdue the North Vietnamese thourough the use of air superiorirty, but airstrikes if not followed by ground troops is not only ineffective but counterproductive, since ISIS ground units would eventually adapt to the airstrikes.
(This rebuttal is applicable to Pro’s 3rd and 4th arguments)
Now it is my turn to rebutt my opponent's rebuttals. Let's begin.
"However, most countries under the US-Led coalition are geographically distant from ISIS territory"
With modern technology this isn't much of a problem. Especially for an organization as advanced as the US military.
"So to most countries a part of the coalition, they do not face direct threat from ISIS"
Wrong. Western countries face direct and indirect treat from ISIS attacks or ISIS inspired attacks. Also from destabalization in an area as critical as the Middle East the economy is put at risk because of oil price spikes.
It is in everyone's best interest to keep the Middle East as stable as possible and terrorism is devastating to stabilitity.
"ISIS has little interest in engaging in attacks abroad. If one looks at the Islamic terrorist attacks done in west"
If ISIS has little interest in attacking abroad then why has ISIS trained Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a recently arrested terrorist who was trained by the Islamic State to spread terror in the US?
The answer is simple. ISIS does aim to attack the US and because of that this is our battle to fight too.
Next my opponent talks about how ISIS is not a threat to the US.
However, this is just wrong. In fact there enough of a threat that the FBI officially warned people to be careful of violent ISIS followers in the US that target military members and veterans.
ISIS commands it's followers to simply kill whoever they can in the US, whether it be the military, innocent civilians, parents, children. ISIS preaches that innocent civilians simply trying to live a peaceful life deserve to die. By ISIS existing and preaching this message the US is at risk of terrorism increasing and innocent lives being lost. This is our fight. None of these innocent civilians deserve to die and we need to protect our citizens who have done nothing wrong.
"Simply because airstrikes can cause the least casualties from the offending side, that does not make it a sufficient reason for it to be the only form of military intervention against ISIS"
This is very important to listen close. The resolution asks the question of if ISIS should be bombed or not. This does not mean that ISIS only has to be bombed, because bombing is cooperative with other military strategies. If I can prove that ISIS should be bombed with or without other types of military intervention then I should win the debate.
" As mentioned previously, airstrikes may be effective at temporarily hindering ISIS but it would not be enough to do any long term damage to ISIS. Simply put it, no war has ever been won through air superiority alone."
You see the thing is I'm not arguing for only air strikes. I am arguing that air strikes should be done with the possibility of ground strikes. As I stated before ground strikes are likely to happen soon, so that is just more of a reason to continue our air strikes.
Even without ground forces follow up air strikes help eliminate ISIS leadership, and has done so in the past. This does have serious effects and helps slow ISIS' growth and opperations. This buys us more time and allows the war against ISIS to be won more easily.
" ISIS ground units would eventually adapt to the airstrikes."
But you see their adaption will not be perfect. There will be flaws and mistakes that will be fatal and allow for ISIS to be damaged. Even if they do adapt then our military strategies will adapt with them to better target them.
I’ll use this round to do my rebuttals to my opponent rebuts.
R1: “My opponent claims that with hurting ISIS we help Assad, because ISIS is part of a rebellion against Assad.
Firstly, Assad is just as bad and arguably a greater evil than ISIS. Assad has been in power in Syria for 15 years, a part of the greater Al Assad dynasty. In Assad’s time in office he has committed human rights violations far more numerous than ISIS, such as the use of chemical weapons on the civilian populace, the systematic torture and murder of 11,000 civilians. As well as countless war crimes committed during the Syrian civil war, his forces have used cluster munitions and barrel bombs as well on the civilian populace (not forgetting to mention that Cluster bombs were banned during the Geneva Conference.
If Assad were to be funded and his regime allowed to survive, then he would most likely carry one with his human rights violations. Attacks against ISIS would not only be a temporary benefit to Assad, as ISIS alongside Al-Nusra are among the largest provider of weapons to the Syrian Rebels. Attacks against ISIS would mean losing a good quarter of the Syrian rebellion, meaning that the long stalemate in the Syrian civil war could very easily turn into Assad’s favour.
R2: ” My opponent's argument here has a lot of flaws. He states that more than just airstrikes is needed, so therefore the effort is counterproductive. That just doesn't make any sense. I never argued that the only action taken should be airstrikes which is what Con's entire argument hinges on. According to the resolution the only area I have to prove is that we should bomb ISIS, not that we should only bomb ISIS.”
However, you very much implied that was the case. You did not fully specify the degree of intervention you wanted the US military to use. And as seen in the argument about lowering the causalities of soldiers, you’ve implied that airstrikes were the main form of intervention that you were looking for.
(Apologies but due to outside factors I am unable to finish the next two rebuttals. Thanks to Pro for the debate)
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