The Instigator
Forever23
Pro (for)
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The Contender
balooga1229
Con (against)
Tied
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The USFG should lead a bilateral effort with Russia to support Asaad in Syria to defeat ISIS.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/15/2015 Category: News
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 393 times Debate No: 82630
Debate Rounds (3)
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Forever23

Pro

Much has been said about Russia"s intensified military involvement in Syria and its call for building an international coalition to confront ISIS. As usual, opinions have varied. Some have viewed this as an opportunity to seek a solution to Syria"s intractable conflict; others have voiced alarms about Russia"s actions and motivations and cautioned against cooperation. And, as usual, the reasons and context for both positions and those in between are complicated, nuanced, and ever changing.

Hello, my name is Forever 23 and I am here to bring forth the premise which is that the USFG should lead a bilateral effort with Russia to support Asaad in Syria to defeat ISIS.

My ensuing roadmap will include first defining this debate and then divulging 3 of my assertions into the debate.

So these are the definitions-
USFG-The United States Federal Government is established by the US Constitution. The Federal Government shares sovereignty over the United Sates with the individual governments of the States of US. The Federal government has three branches: i) the legislature, which is the US Congress, ii) Executive, comprised of the President and Vice president of the US and iii) Judiciary.
Should- used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions.
Bilateral- involving two parties, usually countries.
Russia- Russia, the world"s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches.
ISIS-The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham, or simply Islamic State.

Now onto introducing my own assertions:
Contention 1: The United States and Russia share important interests in defeating the Islamic State, protecting civilians from violence and hunger inside Syria, and preventing chaos there from spreading to other countries. Both of these countries want this conflict to end. Yes, I am aware that these countries have different solutions but in order to beat ISIS, the countries have no choice but to unite. In spring 2014, the American and Russian students settled on a lowest-common denominator recommendation to cooperate on humanitarian aid. By spring 2015, The Islamic State"s position had strengthened substantially and the civilian death toll had topped 200,000 with no end in sight, so the American students decided to follow Secretary of State Kerry"s lead by signaling some flexibility on Assad long enough for an international coalition to defeat ISIS and negotiate a political settlement to the Syrian civil conflict. ISIS has been responsible for many deaths and terracts. Without a strong alliance such as this once, stopping ISIS is an impossible goal.

Contention 2:
Without a unison, stopping ISIS will be an unachievable goal. ISIS is unfortunately a very strong organization. Quite blatantly, we need to stop this terrible organization. And as I mentioned before, the unison of Russia and USA is inevitable in order to stop this conflict. According to CNN, "ISIS on Thursday purportedly released a video and audio statement threatening to attack Russia "very soon." The video is entitled "Soon Very Soon the Blood Will Spill like an Ocean" and was posted two weeks after a Russian commercial jet crashed in Egypt, killing 224 people. An ISIS affiliate has claimed it brought down the plane. Russian air power has backed the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's military in its fight against ISIS since October 1. Both USA and Russia have been affected by ISIS because they were fighting alone and not together. Russia has no wish to see Syria become a radical Islamist state or a long-term safe haven for terror groups, with possible consequences for its own Muslim regions in the Caucasus. America does not was Syria to be a terrorist haven either. Such a strong alliance would bring the end of ISIS.

Thank you and please vote Prop if you believe that it is time for the deaths to end and for ISIS to be defeated.
balooga1229

Con

This is my rendering of the argument articulated above:

1)Both the US and Russia want the conflict in Syria to end.
2)ISIS is a very strong organization
3)ISIS" defeat would facilitate the resolution of the civil war in Syria

Therefore: USFG should partner with Russia to defeat ISIS

As I understand the argument as being, I have three objections to it.

First, I disagree with (2); what momentum ISIS the organization had over the past year has dissipated and been replaced, in terms of threat to Russia and the U.S., by domestic grass-roots terrorism.

Second, I disagree with (3). ISIS" defeat would not ultimately erase the underlying sociopolitical realities of Syria"the drivers of the conflict"foremost of which is the devolution of political authority.

Finally, the conclusion does not seem to follow from the premises my counterpart has provided. While ISIS is a terrible, violent organization that has been the source of many atrocities against local peoples, my counterpart has not provided an argument for why this should influence the conduct of American foreign policy. Perhaps this ambiguity could be erased if she could characterize the nature of the "obligation, duty or correctness" that is entailed by premises 1-3 (i.e. is it of a moral nature?).

In summary, my challenge can be described as follows:

1)The threat posed to Russia and the U.S. by ISIS proper"the official lands of the caliphate"has declined.
2)ISIS" defeat would not do much to solve the political violence in Syria.
3)My counterpart has not provided an argument for why the humanitarian disaster in Syria should control the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.

Therefore: It is unclear that USFG should work with Russia to defeat ISIS in Syria
Debate Round No. 1
Forever23

Pro

Hello ladies, gentlemen, judges this if Forever 23 once again.

My roadmap will include first abrogating my opponents 3 points, restating the points we have previously presented and finally introducing a new point into the match.

My opponents first assertion was that the threat posed to Russia and the U.S. by ISIS proper"the official lands of the caliphate"has declined. This argument, without any explanation behind it has been very obfuscating so I will refute it to my greatest ability. I have understood this as since the ISIS is not planning to create a caliphate, there is no danger. However, this is in absurd notion since ISIS and other groups still do want to create a caliphate. In fact, according to independent.co.uk conquering the whole world is clearly a target for the long term.

Their second assertion is that ISIS" defeat would not do much to solve the political violence in Syria. However, we aren't doing this for Syria only. We are doing good for ourselves to. The ISIS group has been a threat to many, many nations and all the people in the world. Getting rid of ISIS would be a major benefit for the world. In fact, ISIS has recently been threatening Russia according to CNN and I will further discuss this later.

Their third and final assertion was that my counterpart has not provided an argument for why the humanitarian disaster in Syria should control the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. However I have already mentioned that ISIS affects the whole world and as a part of planet Earth, the USA must take action and fight this enemy.

Now onto quickly restating my own assertions:
1. The United States and Russia share important interests in defeating the Islamic State, protecting civilians from violence and hunger inside Syria, and preventing chaos there from spreading to other countries.
2. Without a unison, stopping ISIS will be an unachievable goal.

Contention 3:
The countries are ready and willing to go to war. This alliance will happen sooner or later. Why not beat this terrible organization now? All of the developed countries are willing to go to war. However, one piece of the puzzle is missing. The alliance between USA and Russia. According to CNN, In his speech about ISIS last week, President Barack Obama said, "American military power is unmatched, but this can't be America's fight alone."Allies and partners of the United States, Obama vowed, would provide support to degrade and eventually destroy the militant group that has slaughtered many people in Iraq and Syria and beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker. The United States has conducted more than 150 airstrikes in Iraq against ISIS, and Secretary of State John Kerry has said nearly 40 nations have agreed to contribute to the fight against the militants. But it remains unclear which countries are on that list and the precise role they'll play. On Sunday, Kerry said countries in the Middle East are willing to help with strikes against ISIS, but he said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that "it's not appropriate to start announcing" which nations will participate and what each will do.Those statements come as ISIS beheaded a third Western captive, Briton David Haines, and as Kerry ended a weeklong trip to the Middle East to drum up support for the battle against the militants. An international conference convened Monday in Paris, where there was more discussion of a coalition. After the meeting, the French government released general points the parties adopted to push against ISIS. On September 17, in a speech to service members at Central Command in Tampa, Florida, Obama said that Saudi Arabia has "agreed to host our efforts to train and equip Syria opposition forces" to fight ISIS. He mentioned several other nations, and the roles they are playing, detailed below.
So far, this is what's known about the nations involved and their contributions:
Australia: On Sunday, the Australian government responded to a request by the United States and said it is preparing to deploy to the United Arab Emirates up to eight Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 combat aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft and a KC-30A multirole tanker and transport aircraft. Australia will also help to stem the humanitarian crisis. Obama said on September 17 that Australia will send military advisers to Iraq.
Australian combat troops will not participate in ground fighting, according to Prime Minister Tony Abbott's office.
Great Britain: Prime Minister David Cameron called ISIS "a menace" Sunday and said the United Kingdom would help arm Kurdish forces, support the Iraqi government, keep supplying humanitarian help and coordinate with the United Nations to battle ISIS.
"This is not about British combat troops on the ground," he said Sunday, "it is about working with others to extinguish this terrorist threat."
France: France has begun reconnaissance flights over Iraq, the French Defense Ministry said. Two Rafale air force planes took off from an air base in the United Arab Emirates, the ministry said.
France has contributed 18,000 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition in the fight against ISIS, a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters Sunday during a background briefing. It's protocol for officials giving the information not to be quoted by name. France's air force was also part of a recent operation in the Iraqi town of Amerli that pushed back ISIS fighters and, along with Australia and Great Britain, has performed humanitarian aid drops in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters in Baghdad on Friday that French President Fran"ois Hollande promised that France "will participate in efforts to hit terrorist locations in Iraq."
Germany: Geared toward curbing ISIS propaganda and recruitment, Germany has banned activities that support ISIS, including making it illegal to fly the trademark black flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Germany has also said it was sending military assistance to the Kurdish region to fight ISIS.
Obama said on September 17 that German paratroopers are offering training in the overall effort to fight ISIS.
Netherlands: In Sunday's briefing, a State Department official praised the Netherlands for "leading an effort" to help curb the flow of foreign fighters coming into the country who may be empathetic to ISIS or assisting it in some way. Dutch leaders have proposed amending national law that would revoke citizenship to those who work with terrorists, The New York Times reported.
Canada: A State Department official said Sunday that Canada has provided "tangible equipment and ammunition" to the broader effort to fight ISIS. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced just days ago that more than 50 Canadian special operations troops are being deployed to Iraq as part of an adviser mission but that there would be no direct military intervention by the country, according to CTV.
On Sunday, State Department officials also called out Italy, Poland, Denmark, Albania and Croatia for providing equipment and ammunition in the fight against ISIS. New Zealand, Romania and South Korea were also named for providing humanitarian assistance, with specifics on South Korea giving some $1.2 million.
Turkey: U.S. officials say Turkey has taken steps to cut the flow of money to ISIS and denied entry to or deported several thousand foreign fighters heading to Syria to join the extremists, CNN's Elise Labott and Tom Cohen reported Friday. The United States is hoping Turkey will stop oil exports from ISIS-held areas that bring more funding to the group, they write in a piece that examined who is signing on to aid the West fight ISIS.

I would have given many more examples but I do not have enough characters left. Many nations are already in the union but in order to have a definite win, we need the world power- RUSSIA.

If you vote prop, you vote against terrorism. Thank you.
balooga1229

Con

Sorry! Perhaps one of the reasons my counterpart may have thought I am obfuscating the argument is because I was using unsupported "special" characters (i.e. a dash mark) and was uncertain whether I should provide supporting reasons before a premise was called into question.

Now that I have received pushback on objection 1 (quite rightly given its counter-intuitive nature) I will defend the claim. ISIS is undoubtedly planning to do a lot of things. But everyone plans, and, as the military theoretician Von Moltke once said, "plans rarely survive first contact with the enemy". I argue that this principle is on display with regards to the tactics, strategy and doctrine of the ISIS core.

The ISIS core is the organizational structure of the group in the Levant and Mesopotamia. It encompasses the "human capital" in the group. This human capital, its money, as it were, is spent in prodigious amounts and with great skill when fighting positional warfare. This was the classic mode of warfare in the 20th century, as massed unit formations fought against the enemy over a line of contact and control. As ISIS is a de facto state in the areas of Syria and Iraq it controls, it must hold ground, hence the need for positional warfare.

While ISIS may indeed be a fearsome enemy in positional warfare, it lacks a comparable skill in terrorist tradecraft, which is an activity altogether different. Terrorists don"t need to defend territory. Terrorists aim to strike fear and discord into their target audiences. Hence, there is an operational and skills split between an organization like Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS. While AQAP has demonstrated proficiency with manufacturing sophisticated explosives to hit targets of international significance, ISIS has not demonstrated an interest in this or the requisite skills to do so effectively.

Furthermore, ISIS" obligations as a state are doing more to defeat it than perhaps any number of airstrikes. ISIS taxes, provides a bureaucratic apparatus to people, facilitates the flow of trade etc. It is a rational actor in this regard that is locked into territory that it must spend lots of money and blood to defend.

In summary, it still remains unclear why ISIS poses a larger threat than do organizations like AQAP or grassroots terrorists.

The new premise put forth by my counterpart seems to conflate the distinct reasons for why the U.S. and Russia may choose to involve themselves in Syria. The U.S., whether rightly or wrongly, is skeptical of the reasons for Russian military involvement in the theater of operations. Moreover, the fact that something is perceived as having to happen urgently, like an intervention, still does not justify the operation itself. Just like a doctor doesn't remove a liver because the patient needs something done urgently. It must be the right kind of something. And U.S. Russian cooperation doesn't seem to promise itself to be the right kind of something.
Debate Round No. 2
Forever23

Pro

Hello once again, this is Forever 23 and I am here to bring forth the premise which is that USA and Russia must collaborate in order to defeat ISIS.

My roadmap will include first doing the final refutation, then restating my own points and finally weighing this debate for you judges.

Their first argument was that ISIS isn't a threat. He stated that they are just making plans that aren't going to come true. However, that is an absurd notion because ISIS has currently done many cruel, terrible things. According to CNN, just a few days ago, there were many bombings in Paris. There were 122 death, 392 injuries 98 of which were very serious. Recently, ISIS also bombed a Russian plane. In that accident, 224 passengers died. Are you saying that that's all just planning?

Their second point was very obfuscating too. In that point, my opponent seemed to say that what ISIS does is ok and that the organization is very smart.. (If I didn't understand that point correctly please tell me). However, it is quite cler to anyone that what ISIS does is simply said unforgivable.

Their third assertion was that defeating ISIS wont solve the problem. Yes, its true that there are many other terrorist organizations. However, getting rid of ISIS gets us at least on step closer. There will be many other things troubling the world, but defeating ISIS will help us.

Their fourth point was that Russia and USA have very different solutions to the Syria conflict. However, they are both going toward the same goal- protect their own nations and help Syria. As a mentioned before, in order for this goal to be met, the two nations must ALLY.

Now to restate my own points
1. The USA and Russia share important interests in defeating the ISIS organization, protecting civilians from violence and hunger inside Syria and preventing Chaos from spreading to other countries.
2. Without this alliance, stopping ISIS is an unachievable goal
3. The countries are ready to fight

From the multiple evidences I gave, Im sure you can understand how the only way to stop ISIS is the collaboration between USA and Russia.
I also want to point out the fact that the opp has dropped and did not refute 3 of my assertions.

Judges, if you want the countries to ally in order to stop these deaths please vote prop, and thank you.
balooga1229

Con

In regards to the first objection; I believe my counterpart is refusing to buy what I deem to be the legitimate difference between grassroots ISIS-inspired terrorists and cadres from the organization itself.

In regards to the second objection, I am hardly saying ISIS is anything other than the vicious, ruthless organization it is. I will quote again from my previous statement:

"ISIS taxes, provides a bureaucratic apparatus to people, facilitates the flow of trade etc. It is a rational actor in this regard that is locked into territory that it must spend lots of money and blood to defend."

Perhaps the confusion is coming in when I use the term "rational". Killers who commit the most heinous acts can be considered "rational" when they have a clearly defined set of goals and limitations. Rationality hardly counts as a normatively good or bad thing. It merely connotes that the agent is aware of its priorities and mission, and sensitive to its vulnerabilities, for which ISIS has many. Hence the "blood and treasure" rejoinder following.

I also don't buy the one step closer argument. Think of defeating a terrorist organization instead as a wrestling match. Why waste time and energy on a wrestler who seems vulnerable to defeat in the first place, especially when one considers the imposing obstacles to fighting terror that both the U.S. and Russia face in other parts of the region and globe. Defeating ISIS is rather one step forward and three steps back.

In summary, my challenge is described as follows:

1)The threat posed to Russia and the U.S. by ISIS proper, the official lands of the caliphate, has declined.
2)ISIS" defeat would not do much to solve the political violence in Syria.
3)My counterpart has not provided an argument for why the humanitarian disaster in Syria should control the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.

Therefore: It is unclear that USFG should work with Russia to defeat ISIS in Syria
Debate Round No. 3
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