The Instigator
Ragnar
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
teenconservative
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The USA went to war against North Korea.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Ragnar
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/3/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,608 times Debate No: 32073
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Ragnar

Pro

I believe the USA went to war against North Korea, and my arguments shall seek to prove this. I shall not seek to prove the legallity of war, or any larger concepts.

My oppoment is welcome to use any current postering which could lead to war, as evidence against the USA having really been at war with them previously.
teenconservative

Con

I will be arguing the fact that the United States did not go to war with the North Koreans during the Korean War. I do not deny that we did fight them but by no means did we go to WAR with them.

I will begin my argument in round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
Ragnar

Pro

Definitions:
The first definition found for War at Dictionary.com is: "a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air" (1).
And Conflict: "to come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; clash: The account of one eyewitness conflicted with that of the other. My class conflicts with my going to the concert" (2). Being fair, a more favorable definition found on the same page is "a fight, battle, or struggle, especially a prolonged struggle; strife."


Argument:
From History.com: "On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th paralle, ... By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf" (3).
By the end of the open warfare (July 1953), nearly five million were dead. Over half of that staggering figure were civilian, reaching as high as 10% the population of the country. Of the dead were 36,568 American soldiers, plus another 103,284 wounded (4).

Diplomatically a ceasefire between the two Koreas was used, with the hope of a full peacetreaty later. As such they have maintained a 4km (2.5 miles) wide no mans land between them, better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone. As a peacetreaty has failed to be reached, a strong military element from both sides remains stationed on the border. This fortification tactic includes roughly 37,500 US military personal spread over more than 85 active installations (5). This is far more than the US uses on its own border. Also of interest is them being paid Hardship Duty Pay, as an extra bonus for being stationed in that dangerous environment.

While the US was a secondary participant in this, our soldiers were at a state of war. Of the clear enemies our soldiers faced were North Koreans, the blood being spilled to repel them from South Korea. While it did not escalate to the level of WWI or WWII, it remains having been a war. Some definitions would call it as a "limited war" rather than a "total war" due to among other things no nuclear weapons being used, in spite us having those in our arsenal; to do such would leave it being a war in place, and applied further attempt to say in recent history we did not engage in war with Iraq or Afghanistan.


Sources:
(1) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(2) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(3) http://www.history.com...
(4) http://www.britannica.com...
(5) http://www.globalsecurity.org...
teenconservative

Con

War is something that has to be DECLARED. While it is true that we committed forces to the region, there was certainly no war declared on the part of the United States. You seem to use the term "war" to lightly.

The following excerpt comes from the national archives:

"Truman did not seek a formal declaration of war from Congress; officially, America's presence in Korea amounted to no more than a "police action."

URL: http://www.archives.gov...

So there you have it, I really have nothing else to say that can better prove my case.

THE U.S. NEVER DECLARED WAR ON NORTH KOREA. TO SAY THAT THEY DID IS FALSE.
Debate Round No. 2
Ragnar

Pro

My argument assumed that war is a state of violence, and as included in my opening statement sought not to prove if said violence is legal. Indeed the violence of war need not even be polite.

Con's argument seems very simple.
Premise 1: War is only something declared legally.
Premise 2: The US did not legally declare war.
Conclusion: Therefore there was no war.


Rebuttal
:
Con ended on a all caps Straw Man fallacy (1): "THE U.S. NEVER DECLARED WAR ON NORTH KOREA. TO SAY THAT THEY DID IS FALSE." As I never stated the USA went through diplomatic channels or otherwise before engaging in the war, what relevance does this statement have except to attempt false attribution, then to call me a liar for what I never stated?

His single quote makes two points. First that President "Truman did not seek a formal declaration of war from congress." Second that "officially, America's presence in Korea amounted to no more than a 'police action.'"
To the Second: Not merely the article but Con's quote, makes clear use of the word "officially" as a point. While I hope police tactics in my city never involve tanks and land grabs, I shall leave what should be expected of police officers for another debate.
And the First: The source states President Truman did not pursue a formality. Whatever his reasons, the political posturing of one man, have little impact on the nature of a military engagement as to if it was really a war or not.

Con has argued that for a country to be at "a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air" (definition of war), first there must be a formal declaration through legal channels. In the case of the USA it must be a Declaration of War through congress, as he used his quote to imply.
A Federation of American Scientists report prepared for congress in March 2011 (2), remarks on the US having entirely ceased use of declarations of war after WWII, and states on the world adapting to such loopholes "
The laws of war, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions, apply to circumstances of armed conflict whether or not a formal declaration or authorization was issued."

For my opponents definition to be true, war must exist not as actual violence, but as a piece of paper signed prior to violence. A formal thing. The only possible exception to this would be 1989's war against Panama in which they declared war against the US. If true Pearl Harbor was not part of a war. Not even Vietnam in which we relied heavily on the draft was a war. Applying this standard to recent memories, the USA never had any war in Iraq or Afghanistan, and President Bush Jr. is a liar for making statements of any "war on terror" without a formal declaration of war through congress.


Closing Statement:
As this argument is conducted using the English language, English instead of some new political language must be used to weight the terms. Further the question under consideration is not if the US formally declared war, but if we went to war.
The nearly forty-thousand dead Americans of the Korean war, plus the continued military presence, are proof that the conflict escalated to the point where US involvement passed any threshold to be considered a war, whether or not it was also a police action or any other formal title. Regardless of if politicians in congress intended US soldiers to be fighting a war, there was indeed a violent war and war heroes.


Sources:
(1) http://www.txstate.edu...
(2) http://www.fas.org...
teenconservative

Con

Your objection to my argument seems solely based on my definition of war. I never denied that the United States battled with or fought north Korea. The term that you choose was " went to war" and that is something we did not do. I stand by the argument that wars must be formally declared (at least when America goes to war).

You have to differentiate battles from wars and the fact that we did not go to war was the debate. Had we gone to war, there would have been a winner and treaty... there was neither.

in conclusion: since there was never a war declared on Korea, it is illogical to say that we went to war with them.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
This was my first time starting a debate, in future I will be better with the opening details.

I guess my argument boiled down to enough battles and enough of our soldiers lost, makes something a war, even if politicians don't want to say we're at war. Something I could not bring up in the confines of a debate is personal experience: while in the army I never heard any insistence that we were not shipping off to war as opposed to humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people or otherwise. Having seen the "war on terror" up close, it's hard for me to not classify a greater amount of fighting as a war.
Posted by teenconservative 4 years ago
teenconservative
I agree. The debate question in itself was the problem for me. Of course we fought the Koreans in '50... What moron would/could deny that? The way you phrased you argument was technically false I thought I's call you on it. You seem so detail driven and your initial instigation did not pay attention to derail.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
Well this was an interesting debate. Sadly it feels a bit more like we argued over the definition of a word, than a period of history.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by campbellp10 4 years ago
campbellp10
RagnarteenconservativeTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con loses on conduct because he merely spiked out of the debate using weak semantics, basically creating a terrible debate. Arguments also go to Pro because he successfully showed how there needs to be a distinction between "legal wars" and wars. Pro also successfully expressed why we should prefer a greater understanding of war. Con merely uses warrantless definitional understandings of war, and gives us no way of determining why we should prefer to adopt his understanding of war. As such, Pro takes the win.
Vote Placed by DebaterAgent 4 years ago
DebaterAgent
RagnarteenconservativeTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: I believe Pro had better conduct and reliable sources, however Con proved that they didn't "go to war"