The Instigator
Andromeda_Z
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
AustinHill4
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

The United States is justified in using Private Military Firms abroad to pursue its military...

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Andromeda_Z
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,071 times Debate No: 18674
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

Andromeda_Z

Pro

Resolution
The full resolution could not fit in the box, but it is "Resolved: The United States is justified in using Private Military Firms abroad to pursue its military objectives"

Structure
This is the structure Austin and I have agreed upon in a PM:
Round 1 - definitions, clarifications, and rules
Rounds 2, 3, and 4 - arguments
Round 5 - closing statements

Rules
1. Any forfeit will result in the loss of the conduct point.
2. As R4 is the last round that will be used for debating, no new arguments may be presented then. This allows both debaters to respond to their opponents' arguments.
3. Dropped arguments will count as concessions, in order to prevent the use of abusive debate strategies.

Definitions
Private Military Firms - legally established international firms offering services that involve the potential to exercise force in a systematic way and by military or paramilitary means, as well as the enhancement, the transfer, the facilitation, the deterrence, or the defusing of this potential, or the knowledge required to implement it, to clients. [1]
Justified - Having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason [2]

Sources
[1] http://www.privatemilitary.org...
[2] http://www.google.com...
AustinHill4

Con

Utilitarianism defined by Plato is the greatest good for the greatest amount of people for the greatest amount of time.

Justify
-To prove or show to be right, or reasonable

Objective
- Something toward which effort is directed: an aim, goal, or end of action

Abroad
-Beyond the boundaries of one‘s country

Pursue
-To find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish

All my definitions are from Black's Law Dictionary 5th Edition

I would like to make one (1) observations before we begin. My arguments will uphold this observation.

1) We have never justified the use of an abusive organization and we never will.
Debate Round No. 1
Andromeda_Z

Pro

I will first attempt to show that the use of private military firms is justified. If they are justified, then it logically follows that it is justified for the United States to use them.

Argument 1

The use of private military firms allows the competition that is naturally present in a free market to reduce the costs of military operations. Competition is considered beneficial when it is applied to televisions sets, breakfast cereal, toothpaste, and all manner of things, so

Argument 2

Private contractors play a large role in the composition of the United States armed forces. Statistics from March 2011 show that there were more contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq than soldiers. There were 155,000 contractors and 145,000 soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq at this time. [1] If we were to discontinue the use of private military firms, then over half of our military would disappear, depriving soldiers of vital support, which is hardly justifiable when we expect them to fight wars for us.

Argument 3

Hiring private military firms to fight in our wars decreases the cost. Both soldiers and contractors cost money; however it is only the soldiers that incur long-term costs that continue long after the military objective is completed. Programs such as the GI Bill provide for college education, vocational training, and unemployment compensation for past soldiers. No such costs are incurred with private military firms. You pay for length of time they are fighting and then part ways. When considering how best to spend taxpayer money, it seems that spending less money for the same services is the reasonable choice.

Sources
[1] http://www.fas.org... Page 2
AustinHill4

Con

As a brief road map I will answer the points brought up by my opponent and then proceed to bring up my own arguments.

As far as I can tell my opponent's first and third arguments are the same and the focus solely on reducing costs to the United States. My opponents second contention focuses on the use of PMFs being vital to the success of the war.

I will first attack my opponent's first and third arguments as one. PMFs are not the most cost effective or the best option. Military Contractors have started to operate under and "cost plus" contracts. A "cost plus" contract involves educated estimation of the cost for a said "job" and then the PMF is responsible for all extra costs. This does not make them more cost effective it makes them take more shortcuts and do things for speed not safety. An example of this would be delivering for supplies and meals that were damaged or destroyed all together. The Defense Contract Audit Agency has identified more than $10 billion in questionable costs from PMFs. These costs are not just misspent funds they are lost opportunity. These funds could have gone to anything from programs to get would be insurgents of the streets to better flak jackets or up armored vehicles. All of this proves that the use of PMFs is not cost effective and so according to my opponent not justified.

In my opponents second contention she discusses how with out the help of PMFs our military would be unable to continue fighting and therefore it is unjust. I would offer the following argument and proof that this is untrue. "In most of the military operations today the distinction between frontline and hinterland blurs, bringing Non-violent PMFs who are most active in logistics, site and convoy security and weapon maintenance ever closer to active participation in hostilities". (Peter W. Singer) Also coordination is needed to prevent conflicts between the regular forces and the PMFs. This not only increases risks that they will become a target of opposing military attacks; it also calls upon the regular forces to extend their protection to these firms. Also coordination is needed to prevent conflicts between the regular forces and the PMFs. The increase of so-called blue-on-white fire in Iraq — accidental attacks between U.S. forces and the contractors — indicates how difficult that is. Also because they have no access to the commanding officers in the military they have no way to know what is going on day-by-day. This poses an added threat and danger to the majority, the public armed forces (the military) thus prohibiting it from being it from being the greatest good for the most people. Also saying that requiring PMFs to perform duties that they enlisted for is unjust is a completely off topic claim because we are not talking about what is just for the military we are talking about whether or not it is just for the United States to use PMFs and if those PMFs are getting in the way of the United States performing their military objectives then it is not just.

Lastly before I move on to my contentions I would like to point out that while my opponent did get statistics from the site she posted she failed to read further into her own material. She quoted the Department of Defense Contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just one paragraph below her facts the Secretary of Defense Roberts Gates acknowledged DOD's failure to adequately plan for the use of contractor. He says and I quote "the use of contractors occurred without any supervision or without any coherent strategy on how we were going to do it and without conscious decisions about what we will allow contractors to do and what we won't allow contractors to do... We have not thought holistically or coherently about our use of contractors, particularly when it comes to combat environments or combat training." Second a report by the Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations (the Gansler Report) found that contracting officer representatives, who are responsible for managing contracts, usually have no prior experience with contractors and receive negligible training on how to manage contractors. As a result, DOD is not getting the most out of the services provided by contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is not just to the United States.

I now have only one finally thing to bring up in this round as to the lack of justification that the United States has in hiring PMFs. I have stated other reasons in my attacks on my opponent's arguments and a lack of rebuttal to these will result in the flowing on of these to my side. My final point is that Private Military Firms Are Abusive.

One of the fundamental tenets of counterinsurgency operations is to establish and maintain security while winning the hearts and minds of the local population. So how can we do this while abuses by security forces are a major escalating factor in insurgencies? Abuses committed by contractors, including contractors working for other U.S. agencies, also strengthen anti-American insurgents. The US Attorney's Office, as of today, has declined to prosecute and dismissed almost all of the cases, of detainee abuse by private military firms, referred to it, with little explanation. Although limited information is available, likely among the cases are those of the Titan and CACI employees implicated in the detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, as described in the Army's internal investigations, the Taguba and Fay and Jones reports. On December 19, 2007 256 prisoners held at prisons in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, filed a lawsuit against the private military contractor, CACI. The suit alleges the prisoners were repeatedly sodomized, threatened with rape, subjected to electric shock, attacked by un-muzzled dogs and subjected to serious pain inflicted on sensitive body parts. This kind of treatment distances those that we are trying to win over and that counteracts the mission. The United States cannot be justified in using a corporation that hurts people that we are trying to help and endangers the lives of our soldiers.
Debate Round No. 2
Andromeda_Z

Pro

Arguments 1 and 3

"An example of this would be delivering for supplies and meals that were damaged or destroyed all together."
Exactly how likely is it that that particular PMF will be hired again? Reputation is important to every industry, especially so when making purchases that could involve a risk to human lives. Messing up in such a way that you described is something that the PMFs simply can't afford to do. As their goal is to make a profit, they will minimize mistakes like this to the greatest extent possible. Because of the incentive that the drive to profit provides, PMFs likely will try harder to do things correctly than soldiers would because soldiers have no such incentive.

"The Defense Contract Audit Agency has identified more than $10 billion in questionable costs from PMFs."
This comment lacks both a source demonstrating that this is in fact truthful and a reson why "questionable" costs are costs that could have been used for other things. Anything can be questioned. Until evidence is shown to substantiate the clam that these funds were actually wasted, it is unreasonable to assume that they were.

Argument 2

In response to this argument, I will refer you back to the definition of "justified". Justified was defined in the first round as "Having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason". In most instances, it is extremely difficult to correctly determine the consequences of an action ahead of time. This does not detract from the reason that the ation was done in the first place, which you have not provided any argument against. Your argument was focused on the PMFs interfering in military operations, ratther than showing that the reason itself was not legitimate, which is the focus of this debate.

Source of Statistics

While the Secretary of Defense may have those opinions regarding the way the use of contractors occured in the past, it has no bearing on how they are used now or will be in the future. Pages twenty-eight and tewnty-nine of the document provide a plan for training contingency contracting personnel. These plans were made in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, among others. To solve a problem, you first have to acknowledge that the problem exists, which this source does. Such training will enable the US to get the most benefit out of the services provideed by contractors.

PMFs are Abusive

You are correct in your assertion that abuses by PMFs have occured, however, you neglect to mention the numerous examples of abuses by US soldiers. After the Abu Graib abuses committed by the private military contractor, US soldiers continued to abuse prisoners. They also killed people who were attempting to surrender, in a clear violation of acceptable conduct. [1] In the video, an Afghan citizen describes the abuses against him commited by us soldiers.

PMFs have more reasn to reform their actions than soldiers do because of their nature as privately-owned businesses. As ddemonstrated by such websites as Angie's List [2], the public perception of a service provided by a buisiness is very important. If a business is viewed poorly by the public (as abusive PMFs are), then they are unlikely to be hired. It is in their best interest not to be abusive, so they will put every effort into preventng such things from happening. This incentive does not exist for military perrsonnel, because the US military is not a business.


Sources
[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

[2] http://www.angieslist.com...
AustinHill4

Con

AustinHill4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Andromeda_Z

Pro

Extend my arguments.
AustinHill4

Con

AustinHill4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Andromeda_Z

Pro

Thanks for the debate! If you come back to DDO sometime and want to try again, contact me and we can have a rematch.
AustinHill4

Con

AustinHill4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Andromeda_Z 5 years ago
Andromeda_Z
I will post a round, I'm writing it now.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
Hope Pro posts her first round and doesn't forfeit. I'm actually kind of looking forward to this one.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
Andromeda_ZAustinHill4Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF by con, countering BOZO
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
Andromeda_ZAustinHill4Tied
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Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter.
Vote Placed by bozotheclown 5 years ago
bozotheclown
Andromeda_ZAustinHill4Tied
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Even though he forfeited, it seems that he wasn't given a fair chance.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Andromeda_ZAustinHill4Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit of three rounds.