The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

The US should suspend all assistance to Pakistan

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/25/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,717 times Debate No: 23714
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (4)




At a time when US foreign and fiscal policy are heavily scrutinized, we affirm Resolved: The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan.
Before we begin, we would like to set a framework for the round. Merriam Webster defines "suspend" as to stop temporarily. This definition does not imply permanency, so the United States would have the option in a later time period to resume assistance if necessary. Moreover, in order to prove if military and humanitarian assistance should be suspended, this round will be best evaluated on a cost-benefit analysis, [taking into account all factors, not strictly monetary.]
Therefore, we affirm for three contentions:
Contention One: The current assistance to Pakistan is an inefficient, ineffective allocation of resources.
Subpoint A: Pakistan diverts the aid away from intended objectives.
The New York Times reports that only 12% of the first $1.5 billion of a five-year aid program, targeted towards the Pakistani civilian government, had been dispersed. Pakistan has misappropriated more than double the amount which it has actually distributed to civilians. Citing the BBC, this is also true in the military where over five billion dollars in US aid to Pakistan didn't reach the intended military units and was instead diverted. (Musharaff himself confirmed this) Overall, humanitarian aid seldom reaches the Tribal Areas, which needs the aid the most, due to geographical barriers and an oppressive military.

Subpoint B: Neither Pakistan nor the United States benefits economically.
Studies from the Woodrow Wilson International Center show that Pakistan's GDP would be affected by only 0.14% by suspending aid. Meanwhile, the US puts in $19 billion for no fair financial return. Despite the billions of dollars invested, US aid doesn't even come close to compensating for Pakistan's losses or our own.

Subpoint C: Pakistani authorities have continuously misused aid for their own purposes, undermining U.S. security interests.
According to a 2009 report conducted by the Harvard Belfer Center, "The Pakistani military did not use most of the funds for the agreed objective of fighting terror." The BBC reports that when the US gave $10 billion for fighting terrorism, nearly $5 billion was used against India instead. (Musharraf himself confirmed that they diverted it) Over half of the total funds were spent on fighter aircraft and weapons, and 10% on advanced weapons systems, including an 200 million dollar air defense radar system, despite the fact that the terrorists in the FATA have no air attack capability. . . "Pakistan's military and security services have for many years been a black hole for U.S. funds. They have enriched individuals at the expense of the proper functioning of Pakistani institutions and the country's ability to fight its extremist enemies, providing further incentives for corruption." Thus, Pakistan is not a valuable counterinsurgency asset, making this assistance superfluous.
Affirming this resolution sets our foreign policy as efficient and one that will not reward bad behavior. Furthermore, the US will have over $4.5 billion in government savings annually to be better invested elsewhere.
Contention 2: The suspension of this unnecessary aid would be in line with U.S. Policy objectives.
Subpoint A: Lowering the Sponsoring of Terrorism
Ironically enough, Pakistan's government has provided weapons and training for numerous terrorist groups over the years. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, most analysts believe that the Pakistani military and ISI [even though the Pakistani army and the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] are now more willing to go after militant groups, they] continue an alliance with groups they want to use as a strategic hedge against India and Afghanistan. According to the New York Times, "Senior lawmakers say they have no doubt that Pakistan is aiding insurgent groups." Aid only fuels this objective and perpetuates this problem. According to The Telegraph [on February 27th], "Osama bin Laden was in routine contact with several senior figures from Pakistan's military intelligence agency while in hiding in the country..." Thus, by arming Pakistan we are transitively aiding terrorists.

Subpoint B: Investment Opportunities. Pakistan would no longer stand in the way of relations and investment opportunities with India, a more strategic U.S.-alliance according to the Congressional Research Service. At the same time, the United States can still lower tariffs and increase trade between Pakistan. These will assist the flailing economy without the fear of military relations escalating.

Contention 3:Aid hinders the United States and Pakistan from moving towards a better future

Subpoint A: Military aid to Pakistan discourages democracy.
According to previously cited Harvard Belfer Center, "The army has become one of the richest and largest industrial, banking, and landowning bodies in Pakistan despite having repeatedly disrupted the country's political process. As a result of this, both the ISI and the military are dangerously independent from civilian governance." In this decade, U.S. funding for the Pakistani military has bolstered this undemocratic status quo, by directing two-thirds of its budgetary funding to the military [since 2002].

Subpoint B: Foreign aid diminishes government accountability.
Foreign aid lessens the requirement for a government to forge a bond with its citizens by raising revenue and redistributing those funds as services. Such a social contract is fundamental to Pakistan's emergence as a robust democracy that provides for its people. According to the RAND Corporation: of 180 million Pakistanis, fewer than 1.5 million pay taxes. This lack of governance induces a reliance on the US instead of self-sustainability.

For all these reasons, we respectfully urge a pro ballot. Thank You


I agree to my opponenent's definition of the word "suspend", and agree to her framework under the stipulation that her cost:benefit ratio is not purely monetary, and other benefits woudl be considered as well.

Also, sorry if I look like I don't know what I'm doing throughout the round, but this is my first time using a Public Forum formatted argument, so a few things may not be the way they're supposed to.

I negate due to the following the contentions:

Contention 1: In the modern economic climate, we need good relations with the Middle East in General.
Subpoint A: America's economy is dependant upon oil imports
According to's report on the importance of Arab oi9l to the United States, "The American economy needs oil for energy production and for fuel. Oil is the most important source of power in the US, where alternative sources of energy have not been developed extensively. About 40 percent of the energy that is used in the United States every year comes from oil. American society is based around the car, so the US requires a lot of oil for fuel as well as for energy production. Oil provides about 97 percent of the fuel used by American vehicles, including ships, trains, planes and automobiles. Oil is also a source of important chemicals for a number of industries, such as the plastics and textile industries. " To put it simply, we require oil imports in order for our economy to function properly.

Subpoint B: The Middle Eastern region provides the majority of oil exports.'s table on geographic oil location shows that 66.4% of all proven oil reserves are in the Middle Eastern Region. It also shows that 54.1% of all identified oil reserves are located in the Middle Eastern region. When approximately 60% of America's oil is imported, the importance of Middle Eastern oil reserves increases considerably from the American viewpoint.

Subpoint C: America needs good relations to ensure oil imports
This point is fairly self-explanatory and is based on common-sense logic rarely than evidence, but if you want me to I can scrape up some studies on this. The basic premise is that when our relations with a nation are good, we have more access to their exports and at better prices. If we ensure good relations to not only Pakistan, but as many major powers in the middle East as well, we can ensure available and cheaper oil imports.

Sorry for the half-assed subpoint, but unfortunately I have to rush now, very sorry!

Debate Round No. 1


First I would like to thank my opponent for his eloquent case and acceptance of this debate.
Moving on, I shall refute his case with a case overview, straight down contention and subpoints, and back to framework at the end.

Starting with a case overview:
Please note how my opponent's case as a whole has a few main issues
1. From Pakistan alone, there is very little oil to actually be concerned about. please see for a solid comparison. Thus, his entire case is outweighed by he benefits I discussed and the harms of continuing aid I discussed.
2. He NEVER links at any point how suspending aid to Pakistan will even affect our oil market. It's all so vague. Consider that in the long run, we are forcing Pakistan to be more cooperative. Regardless of their motives, Pakistan wants us and at the point where we send the foreign policy message that they have to cooperate better: we will yield greater trade results, and not only in oil.
3. He completely ignores India. Note in my C2 Sub B where I talk about the strategic comparison of India. India is about 34 ranks higher in oil. Pursuing that partnership is only hindered by Pakistan, and we will see much better oil results through that way. Again, his whole case is outweighed and you can vote on that alone.

going through contentions:

Contention one rebuttal:
sub a: sure, oil is very important to the US. No one would argue with him there. But I solve for this better, because we could actually pursue better oil imports as I talk about in problem 3 above. He also gives no link to how he fixes this.
sub b: cross apply my previous response. Furthermore, I think my opponent may be missing something key in US foreign policy. Look at Iran. Iran has lots of oil. BUT, Iran doesn't cooperate with the US. Due to that, we don't support them. No president would. The US is excellent at ensuring security through the oil diversity concept first brought about by Winston Churchill, the US makes sure that losing a country's oil is never a huge hit. With Pakistan, this is even less of a problem given how little oil they actually have.
Sub c: this turns against him. At the point where the US is sending the message that we aren't cooperating with terrorist supporters anymore (see my second contention), we improve relations with the region overall where it matters. And again, look at the better partnership with India. Furthermore, we can even strengthen relations with Pakistan itself in the long run. This is for two key reasons. First, because we will make Pakistan more democratic. Democratic countries historically cooperate better. A more democratic Pakistan leads to more open and free markets, i.e: development for Pakistan: thus leading to a happy US AND Pakistan. Cross apply my third contention. We have been trying to fix the holes by reallocating or sending more for years, and it has never worked. Restarting aid so that it can function well will lead to a more mutually beneficial aid relationship in the future.

note how he agreed to the Cost Benefits Analysis. Yet ironically enough, he never quantifies any cost or benefit. He tells us that we lose some oil (cost, which I've already displayed how minimal that is) yet he never says that we aren't getting a better benefit or any benefit at all. He completely ignores half of the agreed framework. Even as con you have to address both sides or you cannot win a round.

Ultimately, under a CBA framework, at the point where we invest billions of dollars into an essentially black hole that sponsors terrorism, for the illusioned cost of some oil (which we turn towards India for more return anyways), we must vote Pro. Furthermore, at the point where we create a self-sufficient Pakistan while strengthening both our economics and Middle Eastern Economics with billions of annual government savings, we must also vote pro.

Thank you.


In this round I will first be addressing the claims made against me by my opponent, and I will then move on to my opponents case.

Starting at my opponent's overview:
Points 1&2: I apologize if the point I was trying to get across was not clear, and for all the confusion that may have caused you and the spectators. My point was that America needs to improve their relations in the Middle East as a whole, thus increasing oil supply and decreasing hostilities.
Point 3: I did not address India because because the resolution focuses around our relations with Pakistan. Never in my argument do I state that we should cut ties with anyone else, but rather try to strengthen our ties with Pakistan. I'll move on to your India argument later on in the round.

On my Contentions:
SpA: As i stated in the Points 1& 2 rebuttal, the main point I'm trying to make is that we need to advance our relations with the Middle East in general. Pakistan may not be the most oil-rich country, but increasing our relations with that region also includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other oil-rich nations. The main problem that we run into overseas is the belief that America and other Western nations treat the Arabic people poorly and try to manipulate them for their oil. If we were to help some (namely the oil-rich) and cast others to the wayside, like Pakistan, these feelings would continue, if not escalate. And so, not only would cutting monetary ties with Pakistan be counter-productive from the oil aspect, it might actually make the situation worse as tensions rise.
SpB: As part of the argument was cross-applied from Subpoint A, you can cross-apply my rebuttal for that portion as well. Moving on to the Iranian point, Iran does not cooperate with the US due to the of anti-western tension caused by attempted interference, such as the Iranian nuclear crisis [1]. What I am suggesting is strengthening ties and reducing tension as a whole across the Middle Eastern region, which cannot be done by abandoning Pakistan monetarily.
SpC: The main argument my opponent is trying to get across here is that once we cut ties with Pakistan, we can expect a happy ending for everyone. Unfortunately that cannot happen. When monetary supply is cut off from Pakistan, the Pakistani government will in turn need to raise more funds. Because the government is so military-focused, we can actually look to more oppresion as a source of these funds[2] rather than a miracle government. Moving on to her argument on increasing ties with the region, I would like to cross-apply my argument made in response to her SpA attack.

Moving on to the framework:
The main point brought up here is that I do not properly utilize the Cost:Benefit ratio. Once again I apologize for the confusion made to both my opponent and the spectators as a result of me being unclear. My Benefit in this case is both the increased ties to the Middle East and the increased oil supply and better prices for that oil supply as a result. The cost would be the funding we give Pakistan. My argument in this round would be that the benefits mentioned above outway the costs.

Moving on to my opponent's case:
Contention 1:
SpA: Although this is indeed unfortunate, it also shows how military-focused this government is, and emphasizes the dangers of cutting off their funds, which I listed above. However, I would suggest a moer hands-on approach to how the funding is used. Although I do not have the political experience myself to suggest how this is done, I believe that a more hands-on approach where we personally direct money flow will solve this problem.
SpB: I would like to refer back to the framework of the round. This debate is based on a Cost:Benefit analysis, which both debators agreed is not on a purely monetary basis. You can cross-apply my arguments made in both my constructive and rebuttal to the actual benefit the US would be recieving.
SpC: Cross-apply my arguments made against SpA, as they both deal with basically the same thing.

Contention 2:
SpA: Not only does my opponent's evidence in this subpoint point to the fact that Pakistan does actually move money towards the defeating of terrorist organizations, but they also use these terrorist organizations to negate threats to their security. If this is a valid reason to cut off all assistance to a nation, then all assistance should be cut off to America as well for their arming the Taliban against the soviets, Al Qaeda against the Libyans, and various other rebel groups.[3]
SpB: Cross-apply my arguments about strengthening Middle Eastern relations to negater her "Investment Opportunities" argument.
Contention 3:
Cross-apply my arguments about the "miracle government", and my Rand quote about what would really happen if aid was cut.

Works Cited:
Debate Round No. 2


Case issues and then voter issues.

He jumped around with his organization, so I'll just go over the first part of last round to start:
1, A: He just talked about advancing relations in the region in SPA. Quite the opposite. Let me draw your attention to a quote by the External Affairs Minister, SM Krishna: "It is not desirable that this region had to be heavily armed by the US, which will upset the equilibrium in the region itself." Since Pakistan consistently uses our money to proliferate, it just raises tensions in the country. Furthermore on this SP: We HELP them in the long run. I'll get to this in my pro versus con world comparison.But this will actually make relations with them better; our tactics to improve them thus far haven't been working.
1, B: All he did was cross apply even though it's different. He concedes that we put in BILLIONS of dollars for a short term effect of .14% of GDP (which is basically nothing.) And I don't know why he is talking about Iran here, but is it really okay for us to cooperate with Iran? Of course not. They are not our ally. By not aiding them, we don't fuel their nuclear proliferation. Same idea here. That isn't what we the US support.
1, C: He assumes, like many, that cutting off the aid is going to hurt their economy. At first, this sounds like a good argument. But let's look at long term effects. Specifically, let's look at the highly cited Malik (2008) study which took 6 countries with similar economic situations to Pakistan. It found that the long run effects for economic performance were found to be negative from foreign aid. The Department of Economics has also found that, "foreign aid seems to be an unimportant factor for economic growth..." Nearly every study agrees that the relationship is either negligible or negative in long run.
He offered a completely blank claim that the govt will oppress the people with suspension. He can't give a warrant for this in the last round since I have no time to respond to it. Actually, the govt will have to be accountable.

Framework: He completely ignores the opportunity cost of a more strategic relationship with India. We would get this better economic result due to the relationship of Pakistan and India. As The Express Tribune points out, India will be more willing to cooperate and they have already welcomed suspension efforts.

My case (due to some redundancy of my opponent, I will just make a few points)
The hands on approach he talks about has been tried for years in several permutations. Hasn't worked. This is no new idea.
Sure, we consider other factors like opportunity cost, but since this is an economic policy, monetary is definitely considered and we can't waste millions or billions of dollars. He doesn't dispute this.
Sub C is quite different. It has several impacts
1. Raises tensions in the region due to proliferation and military hedge against India
2. As the Council on Foreign Relations reports, this happens due to their militant support: "Besides providing militant groups in Pakistan with technical expertise and capabilities, al-Qaeda gets its creates strength today by promoting cooperation among a variety of militant groups." Even if they have made some efforts against terrorism, they have made steps backwards and we are not remedying this problem to our fullest potential at the very least. We won't tolerate this.
On C2: Sure, they have moved money against terrorism. But what I'm looking for is a better solution. One, that won't fuel militancy groups. One, where we can remedy terrorism to a better potential with no black holes of funding. One, where if we say money is to go somewhere, it isn't spent in the millions of dollars for an alternative purpose. At the point where Al-Qaeda was found living comfortably in Pakistan, this should scare you. Clearly, the status quo isn't working. Either they cooperated with him or were completely inadequate.
SpB:You worsen Middle Eastern relations. It's like funding Iran. Would that really make the region better?

C3: Cross applications don't work here (especially for an entire contention!) He never shows how democracy is helped through aid. This contention holds in its entirety. I couldn't seem to find his RAND quote? Note my RAND quote instead.

1. He ignores India opportunity cost.
2. Billions of govt savings annually to invest better where we actually know where it goes
3. Sound foreign policy message
4. Self-sustainability for Pakistan and how every studies shows that foreign aid is negligible or negative for econ
5. my whole contention about the hindrance to democratic and developmental progress
6. Decrease MEast tensions, especially due to less nuclear proliferation
7. At least half his case is about oil, which Pakistan barely has
8. Deception support? No.
9. We have already tried reallocation, etc

Simply handing out money to an undeserving, deceptive country does not advance the US's interest or decrease tensions at all.

I thus urge pro


I'll start with issues brought up in the debate as a whole then move on to voters in the round. Sorry for the delay.

On my C1:
On my SpA:
The main negation of my SpA by my opponent was that cutting off relations with our opponent will make them like us more. However, the idea that our cutting of all aid, whether it medical or monetary, would increase relations is simply illogical. I have never heard of a power liking the fact that another government said "Hey guys, I know barely anyone pays taxes and you don't have a large source of income, but we're going to go ahead and cut you off". The main reason she says that it will increase relations will be because somehow Pakistan will develop a miracle democracy after we cut them off, but she has yet to provide a reason as to why.
On my SpB:
Although my opponent's negation throughout the round of my SpB was simply over the amount of money we put it and the GDP gains of both sides, we both agreed in the first round that this was not a monetary cost:benefit ratio. There are other benefits to having better relations in the middle east, oil trade among them. Due to our current bad relations with Pakistan, our trade is hindered, so even with a non oil-rich country relations are important. [1]
Against my bringing up of other countries in the Middle east such as Iran, my opponent simply states "They are not our ally". Of course they're not, that's why I'm advocatiing we increase relations in the middle east, so we can have more Middle Eastern allies.
On my SpC:
My opponent states that cutting off aid to Pakistan won't actually hurt their economy, but even she uses a source that states that only 1.5 million citizens pay taxes. I may not have a source for basic math, but when you have less than two million taxpayers providing income for a population of over a hundred million more, and your source of aid is taken away, then you're going to have a situation on your hands.
On oppression, I'm sorry that I don't know PF rules, but in LD you can make new arguments at any point before the Final Focus, and you can use the Final focus to adress arguments made throughout the round, as we're both doing now. I'm sorry for my ignorance of PF rules.

Framework: The only claim my opponent makes here is that I ignore India. However, my claim is that we need to advance relations in that area as awhole, and not just in one or two countries.

On my opponent's case:
As all I'll really be doing here is restating arguments I've already made, I'll clarify why I cross-applied arguments to my opponent's third contention. However, I will not be bringing up any new arguments, simply clarifying the one I made.
I cross applied argumetns about the "miracle democracy" that I made earlier in the round, because as I stated my opponent does not actually provide a reason for a democracy to arise. Her main argument is Country - Money = Democracy, however she does not say how or why. I however used a quote about statism from Ayn Rand (The specific quote was "A dictatorship is a gang devoted to looting the effort of the productive citizens of its own country. When a statist ruler exhausts his own country's economy, he attacks his neighbors. It is his only means of postponing internal collapse and prolonging his rule.", as shown in the link.

Voters in the round:
1.) As opposed to my opponent, I posted links to every source I used throughout the round so everyone can look through my evidence on the round, so I believe I should be voted as having the most reliable sources in the round.
2.) The main point my opponent argued for is the future stability of Pakistan, but this cannot be achieved if their main source of income is severed
3.) Just because the old system of funding has problems, it does not mean that reforms have no change of changing the system
4.) As my opponent dropped, if we only benefit oil-rich countries and throw others by the wayside, then relations in teh Middle East will decline on the whole.
5.) Showing that we support all nations in the middle East, and not just a few will increase relations in the long run, even though we do spend in the short run
6.) Better relations with the Middle East as a whole will allow for a larger oil supply with reduced prices.

I'd like to thank the Pro both for allowing me to take up this interesting debate, but also tolerating my ignorance of the Public Forum format. I'm sure that probably but some more stress on her throuhout the round, and I'd like to apologize once again.

Works Cited:
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
Maybe you're having a hard time understanding this, or maybe you're just trolling, I don't know. But the round is OVER, the use of cross examination has no impact whatsoever on the actual debate round, and the time for questions is during the round so you can make a proper rebuttal based on what you learned. Since you didn't do that, you actually expended your right for cross examination, and i'm not going to stoop to your level and try to fish for votes that way. I'm really expecting this to make me lose the conduct vote at this point, but I really don't care anymore.
Posted by Dasani 4 years ago
I've heard that many places.
And how is it a cheap advantage? I'll gladly answer any questions you have.
Why don't you want to answer my questions?
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
Since when? I've never seen that used anywhere else, and even if it was legal, the round is over, including cross examination.

Sorry if I seem a bit short-tempered on this subject, because I really am grateful for you helping along the way with what is permissible in a PF round, but when people try to bend the rules to get a cheap advantage it really makes me mad.
Posted by Dasani 4 years ago
We are allowed to use comments for cross ex.
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
Look, Dasani, the round is over, it's exremely rude to keep debating afterwords.
Posted by Dasani 4 years ago
Also, don't you "not strictly" means involving other things as well, not "ignoring"
Monetary? and since when is opportunity cost not considered undered this definition?
Posted by Dasani 4 years ago
Are you aware of the fact that there is huge anti American sentiment in Pakistan, largely due to the fact that in thei opinion we western "ignorants" throw money at them that isn't working? lots of Pakistanis are against US aid.
Posted by Dasani 4 years ago
Yeah, it's PF. And no not in ur constructive:)
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
Just wondering, in a PF debate, is the neg allowed to negate the affirmative case in their constructive?
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
This looks like a public forum topic, isn't it? I'm a LD debator but will gpive it a shot when I get back
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by waterskier 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: con had better arguments in my opinion, and pros sources were not existent
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter Ron. Saying vote pro is not a conduct violation. Sources con, he had them. Args pro. I found the inefficiency argunment convincing.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments were a tie. Conduct goes to con since pro, even in the first round, said "Vote pro". Sources to con because of amount, reliabaility, relativity, and proof.
Vote Placed by tyler90az 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I thought Con missed out on a lot of convincing arguments. Overall, though I disagree, pro made more convincing arguments.