The Instigator
JustCallMeTarzan
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
rock022
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

The United States Will Lose the War on Terror (Esp. Iraq & Afghanistan).

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,423 times Debate No: 2884
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (14)

 

JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

Forgive my short opening argument, but I believe this is obvious based on the current circumstances. Not only is the United States qualitatively losing the war in Iraq, but the general War on Terror as well. Even disregarding the notion that you can't defeat an idea, we are still going to loose. I outline several basic reasons for this below:

1. The two major terrorist organizations in the world are not located in Iraq or Afghanistan (primarily). Hezbollah and al-Qaeda are not based in either of these countries. The two of them together are far and above the rest of the world's terrorist organizations in terms of effectiveness, structure, planning, etc... Fighting them on the ground in two countries will NOT be successful.

2. We cannot win against the classic insurgency that Iraq forces are perpetrating without a major change in US policy. What we're seeing here is the same sort of activity as in the People's Revolution in China, The Vietnam War, and as the French saw in Algeria, which, incidentally is one of the major reasons they are not willing to commit forces to Iraq.

3. The coalition of the Iraqi forces is of such composition that they are clearly willing to band together to destroy the United States. Consider that al-Qaeda is working with other Muslim sects, which is something they traditionally did not do. Also, we see al-Qaeda working with remnants of Saddam's regime, two groups that were at polar odds for literally decades.

4. The terrorist organizations are arguably better funded than the United States military. If you examine the monetary commitment per troop compared with the relative success of the forces. You will find that the terrorist organizations spend less per enemy defeat (death) than the United States military does. This has mostly to do with the fact that the US army is better equipped, but it's also a problem if the terrorist organizations continue guerrilla warfare or practice a war of attrition.

This is just a basic outline of some points... I'd like to keep the focus of this debate on Iraq and Afghanistan as they apply to the general War on Terror. If it will please my future opponent, I'd like to abbreviate War on Terror (WoT), War in Iraq (WiI), al-Qaeda (AQ), and Hezbollah (HZ) to save space on these concepts we know by association, but take a lot of our precious characters.

I look forward to an interesting and involved debate. And if you're out there reading this, I'd be interested in debating how we CAN win the War. Not that we ARE... how we CAN. I look forward to a rebuttal.
rock022

Con

With your opening statement, the first thing we need to clarify is, what do you consider wining? I don't know if your answer would be to defeat all terrorist organizations, and I doubt it is. When the WOT was declared, the U.S. was not the only one in this. Other nations did as well. Every nation would fight the extremist groups that threaten them, and many other nations would assist if needed to be. Also if these groups had any ties on other countries, it would be the responsibility of the governments to assist each other. Due to the nature of politics, going into another nation in search of the terrorist has been a very difficult mater. After this declaration of War, the nations who came together to fight the WOT, have open a faster political door, which facilitates timed events.

Afghanistan: The Taliban even though it was not recognized by many other nations as a form of government, had been running the nation. Obviously OBL has been a very important figure both in AFG and A-Q so going in to AFG is a no brainer. This was the place where the events that took place had originated from.

Iraq: As a troubled America, the government began to expand its search. A defiant dictator who had proved to be "all talk no show" had to be dealt with. He showed animosity towards the demands of many other nations who backed us up in regards of WMD's. A show of force was clearly made to him, and he still refuse to comply. In the interviews after his capture he stated that, due to the pressure from other nations towards the US not to go in, he did not believed G.W.B. had the "guts" to defy them. We sure proved him wrong!

When things got sour! Well is no secret, we have not found WMD. Thank you MR Poser (Saddam) we are there, now what? Well Saddam had ruled with an iron fist. You could hardly find anyone who opposed him, and if you did they where risking their lives. Saddam never violated the rules because he was the one that made them. Just to show you a few things tolerated by the regime:

Son one: As head of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, Uday oversaw the imprisonment and torture of Iraqi athletes who were deemed not to have performed to expectations. He had torturers beat and caned the soles of the soccer players' feet, inflicting intense pain without leaving visible marks on the rest of their bodies. He kept scorecards with written instructions on how many times each player should be beaten after a poor showing. Jailed soccer players were forced to kick a concrete ball after failing to reach the 1994 World Cup finals. Athletes were dragged through a gravel pit and subsequently immersed in a sewage tank to induce infection in the victims' wounds. He used devices of torture deriving from the Middle Ages. One of them was a 50 lb black iron mask in which his players were to stand up straight with in the sun for the entire day after having performed poorly in a game, players would faint and be awakened by kicks of guards. Uday Kidnapped young Iraqi women from the streets in order to rape them. He used an iron maiden on persons running foul of him. (An iron maiden is a iron cabinet built to torture or kill a person)

Son two: Qusay Hussein (ran the military aspect) was allegedly responsible for the killing of many political activists. Played a vital role in crushing the Shiite uprising in the aftermath of the 1991, and is also thought to have masterminded the destruction of the southern marshes of Iraq. The destruction was aimed against the Marsh Arabs, as retribution for their participation in the 1991 uprising.

You do not hear this in the media do you? Maybe you have, but how many people had actually paid attention to how Saddam ran Iraq? Not many. WOT in Iraq??? Well it began that way, and then we had to change the route. You also have to realize now we are on their turf. OBL has been clear stating it has been easier for him to fight the "Infidels" since we went across the ocean. Is the world better with ought Saddam in power? Definitely! Did we fight the war correctly in Iraq? No, not really. When you look at my profile I stated Against the WiI, just for the fact that we need to change the current battle plan. You may also debate there was no A-Q in Iraq, got it. This is one of the reasons OBL is "happy" we are closer.
Debate Round No. 1
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

Yes - you make a good point. I believe "winning" the WOT would involve providing adequate counterterrorism enforcement so as to prevent a majority of instances. Obviously, the shooter in the mall is going to slip through, but I'm focusing more on preventing another 911, Oklahoma City, or Madrid train bombing... I'll address some of your responses below...

>>"When the WOT was declared, the U.S. was not the only one in this. Other nations did as well. Every nation would fight the extremist groups that threaten them, and many other nations would assist if needed to be."

This is only sort of true. The US invasion of Afghanistan was a legitimately recognized international "war" (congress never declared war). However, it was a NATO operation that was sanctioned because the Afghan Taliban was harboring al-Qaeda, and nobody likes either group. However, Iraq is NOT internationally sanctioned, and the only countries that invaded Iraq were the US, UK, Poland, Denmark, and the Peshmerga (Kurds). So not every nation was willing to fight extremist groups...

>>"Obviously OBL has been a very important figure both in AFG and A-Q so going in to AFG is a no brainer."

Correct - but nobody contests this. The problem is that we can't actually win, even by killing OBL, which actually might make it worse. I'll touch on that later.

>>"He showed animosity towards the demands of many other nations who backed us up in regards of WMD's. A show of force was clearly made to him, and he still refuse to comply. In the interviews after his capture he stated that, due to the pressure from other nations towards the US not to go in, he did not believed G.W.B. had the "guts" to defy them. We sure proved him wrong!"

Wonderful. It was still a misfounded invasion that was actually technically illegal by international law. We broke several rules, especially ones concerning placing spies in international inspection teams, and violating the sovereignty of another country without due cause. Saddam Hussein was a terrible person, don't get me wrong, but that's still not the issue - the fact that we're going to lose the Iraq Insurgency is.

>> Uday and Qusay Hussein, etc...

Again, wonderful. They're dead and can't serve as figureheads. But now they're martyrs and we have a real problem on our hands. The atrocities of the Hussein family are irrelevant to the WOT as a totality except in that we killed them as part of it...

>>"WOT in Iraq??? Well it began that way, and then we had to change the route. You also have to realize now we are on their turf. OBL has been clear stating it has been easier for him to fight the "Infidels" since we went across the ocean. Is the world better with ought Saddam in power? Definitely! Did we fight the war correctly in Iraq? No, not really. When you look at my profile I stated Against the WiI, just for the fact that we need to change the current battle plan. You may also debate there was no A-Q in Iraq, got it. This is one of the reasons OBL is "happy" we are closer."

Ah - well now were a little closer. However, the WiI did not start as part of the WOT - it was about WMD's, The Axis of Evil, Oil, and the idea that Iraq had attacked the US. In a huge "OOPS" it turned out that the WMD and the Attacked US were just plain wrong. The Axis of Evil really had more to do with genocide than terrorism - Saddam's regime wasn't really a terrorist organization (the Kurds may differ on that), but rather just plain evil, like Machiavelli-Gone-Wild or something. Until the removal of Saddam, there actually was no AQ in Iraq, mostly because Bin Laden hated Hussein's regime because it was too secular (yes, too secular - AQ is Wahhibist...).

*****************************************************

I feel you haven't really refuted any of my points. You dance around the issue with talk of the Hussein brothers' atrocities and how OBL is a major figure in the WOT. This is fairly obvious to anyone with a TV, newspaper, magazine, or computer.

Once again, I'll outline the situation...

We're fighting a war we can't win. Nevermind the notion that you can't kill an idea - I'm talking about a qualitative solution, not a quantitative solution. In other words, winning is containing terrorism, not killing the terrorists.

The problem is that the terrorist organizations (primarily AQ as the US is concerned) are fighting a type of war we simply don't know how to fight. The US is exceedingly good at the type of warfare practiced during WWII - the troop movements with air and artillery support. However, the US is terrible at fighting guerilla wars - this is pretty clearly evidenced by Vietnam, and Iraq. Insurgencies have been historically quite successful against superpowers: The French and US in Vietnam, the Afghan rebels and the USSR, France in Algeria, The People's Revolution in China.

As the US is fighting now, we cannot win this war. Our contracts with companies like Blackwater are a HUGE part of this problem. The reason there's a huge snafu about Blackwater at the moment is that the terms of the US contract with them state that neither the US nor the Iraq government can prosecute them for civilian deaths. This doesn't make the Iraqis very happy, and in an insurgency, that's VERY VERY bad for the US.

Another HUGE problem was that we defeated the Iraqi military and then disbanded it, leaving the state of Iraq with no military, no functioning government, and a lot of angry, bored warriors sitting around with nobody to fight. Oops - here comes the Iraq insurgency and Al-Qaeda looking for members... We've pissed off the Iraqi military, the Iraqi people, and we've got an insurgency on our hands.

Without a MAJOR policy change and a HUGE influx of new troops, the Iraq insurgency will push the US military out of Iraq. And, by the way, the US media is part of the problem - a HUGE part of the problem.

In Afghanistan, we perceive our efforts to be defeating the "head of the monster" that is AQ. The problem here is that AQ is a huge international organization, not actually that much unlike McDonalds. In fact, it would be a very apt analogy to call AQ the McDonalds or Starbucks of the terrorist world. If we even find the "base" of operations in Afghanistan, which is kind of unlikely anyway, they can simply pack it up and move the base to someplace else in a matter of (probably) hours. The al-Qaeda manual is on CD, easily movable, they use the internet for information movement, don't establish permanent bases...

We're fighting ghosts in Afghanistan and Insurgents in Iraq. We can't win without changing policy and getting a lot more troops on the ground - like 400-500 THOUSAND troops, which is actually initially what the first general in charge of Iraq said was needed before he was fired. Oops again. We've taken the first step with Petraeus' counterinsurgency manual, but that's simply not enough. We need to study previous insurgencies and learn how to nip them in the bud.

Essentially, we need to provide security for the Iraqi people - not gun-toting commandos prowling the streets, but living with them like UK peacekeeping forces do. We need to change our agreements with companies like Blackwater to make them liable for their actions. We need to get the Iraqi people on the side against the insurgents, which is something we've not done too well. And we need for CNN to start showing some positive aspects of the war too - they're not helping things by providing the insurgents with a propaganda machine (and it's not JUST CNN...).

I hope that gives you a better idea of where I'm coming from... I look forward to your next rebuttal.
rock022

Con

Well it is clear to both of us how the situation has come to what it is today. And I find it interesting. Instead of both giving history lessons, I will get back to your subject.

To make sure I truly understand better, I believe you are actually refering to the US having another 9/11 scale attack. You also understand that killing every terrorist would be impossible, and you understand we will have to continue to fight terrorism around the world. However, you believe the tactics that are use at the moment will result in loosing.

No war is ever like the one before. Military personnel will always have a new challenge. The battle today takes us to civilian population, with an enemy who hides trough the crowd. At the moment, the battles fought are needed to stable the region. This can be accomplished, unfortunately no one has a magic button, and only through trial and error we will prevail. No, I do not wish this to be the case. Lives are too valuable. Today many people see the war on terror as the US only. Not true, and you know this with all the other groups around the world. The position we hold is critical, there is no doubt. We can win or lose depending in our actions to come.

Recently North Korea came to an agreement with the US about the Nuclear weapons. Just because we are fighting in the Middle East, does not mean we forgot about the rest of the world. Since 9/11 many "experts" said there will be another attack. Well it has been years, some have tried and failed do to our constant offence. We cannot let our guard down, and that does not mean we need to fight the world. But it means be alert and ready.

The media could be our enemy, when they continue to say negative things about the president and the war, they influence people. How much coverage they aired to the NOK nuclear weapons. Do they really care? But it is more important to continue to show another suicide bomber in the Middle East. If the explosion did not affect Americans or its allies, why bother? Why do I say this, because it was like that before we got there. Sick people want attention; show it on the media, which is what they want. Suicide bombers are brained washed. We need to go after the big fish. And that is what we do.

I believe this war could be won. But if people think bombings in the Middle East will stop, they need to realize that is how they lived. As far as another attack to the US, we cannot let our guard down. The moment a person thinks he lost, they give up the fight. What is the media telling us? At the moment, people say Bush has brought this country to recession. Did he really?

In closing, the outcome of the WOT is a personal decision at the moment. Who would have tough John McCain would be the nominee after running his campaign on pocket change last year. And every one was sure Hillary would win. What I mean by this is that once people make their minds towards a conclusion, they forget is not over yet. The only certain thing in live is death.
Debate Round No. 2
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

My apologies - I'm caught in Springfield at the moment and can't properly respond... However, I'd like to point out that again, you've not actually refuted my points, but have instead provided language actually supporting my argument with the media being part of he problem...

Again, my apologies, but travel is not of the same mind as we are...
rock022

Con

rock022 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

Still... no actual rebuttal - I'm going to copy/paste part of my earlier argument.

I feel you haven't really refuted any of my points. You dance around the issue with talk of the Hussein brothers' atrocities and how OBL is a major figure in the WOT. This is fairly obvious to anyone with a TV, newspaper, magazine, or computer.

Once again, I'll outline the situation...

We're fighting a war we can't win. Nevermind the notion that you can't kill an idea - I'm talking about a qualitative solution, not a quantitative solution. In other words, winning is containing terrorism, not killing the terrorists.

The problem is that the terrorist organizations (primarily AQ as the US is concerned) are fighting a type of war we simply don't know how to fight. The US is exceedingly good at the type of warfare practiced during WWII - the troop movements with air and artillery support. However, the US is terrible at fighting guerilla wars - this is pretty clearly evidenced by Vietnam, and Iraq. Insurgencies have been historically quite successful against superpowers: The French and US in Vietnam, the Afghan rebels and the USSR, France in Algeria, The People's Revolution in China.

As the US is fighting now, we cannot win this war. Our contracts with companies like Blackwater are a HUGE part of this problem. The reason there's a huge snafu about Blackwater at the moment is that the terms of the US contract with them state that neither the US nor the Iraq government can prosecute them for civilian deaths. This doesn't make the Iraqis very happy, and in an insurgency, that's VERY VERY bad for the US.

Another HUGE problem was that we defeated the Iraqi military and then disbanded it, leaving the state of Iraq with no military, no functioning government, and a lot of angry, bored warriors sitting around with nobody to fight. Oops - here comes the Iraq insurgency and Al-Qaeda looking for members... We've pissed off the Iraqi military, the Iraqi people, and we've got an insurgency on our hands.

Without a MAJOR policy change and a HUGE influx of new troops, the Iraq insurgency will push the US military out of Iraq. And, by the way, the US media is part of the problem - a HUGE part of the problem.

In Afghanistan, we perceive our efforts to be defeating the "head of the monster" that is AQ. The problem here is that AQ is a huge international organization, not actually that much unlike McDonalds. In fact, it would be a very apt analogy to call AQ the McDonalds or Starbucks of the terrorist world. If we even find the "base" of operations in Afghanistan, which is kind of unlikely anyway, they can simply pack it up and move the base to someplace else in a matter of (probably) hours. The al-Qaeda manual is on CD, easily movable, they use the internet for information movement, don't establish permanent bases...

We're fighting ghosts in Afghanistan and Insurgents in Iraq. We can't win without changing policy and getting a lot more troops on the ground - like 400-500 THOUSAND troops, which is actually initially what the first general in charge of Iraq said was needed before he was fired. Oops again. We've taken the first step with Petraeus' counterinsurgency manual, but that's simply not enough. We need to study previous insurgencies and learn how to nip them in the bud.

Essentially, we need to provide security for the Iraqi people - not gun-toting commandos prowling the streets, but living with them like UK peacekeeping forces do. We need to change our agreements with companies like Blackwater to make them liable for their actions. We need to get the Iraqi people on the side against the insurgents, which is something we've not done too well. And we need for CNN to start showing some positive aspects of the war too - they're not helping things by providing the insurgents with a propaganda machine (and it's not JUST CNN...).

I hope that gives you a better idea of where I'm coming from... I look forward to your next rebuttal.
rock022

Con

rock022 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Interested in justice?

(http://www.debate.org...)
Posted by Rob1Billion 8 years ago
Rob1Billion
2 forfeits = no votes la la la
Posted by rock022 9 years ago
rock022
BTW I notice you had started the same debate before and got no actual debate. Like you said, this is an important issue. And it most be analyzed in all aspects.
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rougeagent21
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