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

The United States military should be significantly reduced in size and scope.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,444 times Debate No: 67935
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (4)




Greetings and thank you in advance to my opponent for accepting this debate.

It is my contention that the U.S. military should be substantially reduced in size and scope. This includes the number of personnel, goals and overall military spending. The military shall refer to every branch of the armed forces, and a significant reduction would equal about a 1/3 cut in funding. The U.S. military budget is $756.4 billion for FY 2015. As such, I will be arguing that it should be around $500 billion.

My opponent will be arguing that we should "support our troops" by either maintaining our current military spend, or spending more than $500 billion to ensure sufficient protection for both military personnel and civilian security.

Although I am an anarchist, I will be arguing from the perspective that the U.S. military should exist and be federally funded through taxes to avoid any tangents about the proper role and responsibility of government (though I'm sure that will be a factor in the debate, I don't want to be arguing from the position of anarchism as I think that would deter from the overall quality and discussion).

I'd like to wish my opponent luck. I will provide my opening arguments in R2. Con is free to use R1 for introductory notes, or to begin their case early if they so choose.


I accept. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks, Con.

The primary purpose of the military is to defend its country from actual or perceived threats. The question is whether or not the U.S. military would be able to fulfill this mission if reduced in size by 1/3. I affirm.

The U.S. spends 58% of the total military dollars paid out by the world's top 10 powers. With its unparalleled global reach, the US outspends China, the next-biggest military power, by nearly 6-to-1. It outspends the next biggest competitor, Japan, by 12-to-1 and so on. We spend more than the next 26 nations combined on the military - 25 of whom are allies [1]. Because we not only spend more but infinitely more than everybody else, we can afford to cut costs by a significant amount. Considering we have good working and trading relationships with the next most powerful nations, the incentives for armed conflict is not high.

Security is of paramount importance for prosperity, but to what extent is a military attack on the U.S. realistic? Considering no other nation comes close to the resources they allocate toward their military, it would be naive to assume that any major super power would find it productive to wage an attack on one of the most influential nations in the world. Indeed, the U.S. still has more sophisticated weapons and military technology than any other nation [2, 3]. There is no nation on the planet that poses a great physical threat to the U.S. in the way that the USSR did during the Cold War. While we should absolutely be prepared, there's no need to spend 10X everybody else.

This enormous burden on tax payers hurts our economic standing. The U.S. is losing financial credibility which is the real source of power and influence in a global economy. Moreover, it's taking money away from funding other/better causes such as education, combating poverty, infrastructure, medical research, etc. The money required to eradicate hunger for everyone in the world has been estimated at 30 billion dollars per year - what the world spends on the military every 8 days.

Our ever-expanding institution is creating an arms race throughout the globe. This is counterproductive to inhibiting war. In fact, crafting predetermined alliances "just in case" there is war was one of the primary causes of WWI. It incentivizes people use their shiny new toys... that is if they are functional. Sometimes our military spending is so wasteful, that we completely blow trillions of dollars without true concern for the grave reality of cost and what that translates to in real life.

For example, the new F-35 army plane just got crippled by a computer glitch that won't be fixed for at least 4 more years. The jet has already cost 400 billion dollars since 2006, and expected to cost around 1.9 trillion in total by the time they can even be used in 2019 [4]. Ergo, the U.S. has already spent hundreds of billions of dollars on planes we haven't used or have a reasonable reason to use, which is not only a massive burden on tax payers but a massive insult to humanity.

The UN's entire budget is less than 2% of the world's military expenditure. It is revealing that the world can spend so much on their military, but contribute so little to the efforts of global security, international cooperation, and peace. Let it be noted that while every other facet of government is scaling back, the military is not. The Marine Corps Times said, "the Armed Services Committee's proposals on major weapon programs were left unscathed" [5].

The Global Peace Index attempted to quantify the value of peace, and rank countries based on quantitative data and qualitative scores from a range of sources. The top ranking nations on the global peace index were New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Finland, and Slovenia [6]. Most of these countries spend very little on their military. While strategic alliances are important, one repercussion of U.S. expenditure is that other countries can afford to spend a lot less on their own. Many countries have outsourced their defense to us, which is problematic and unfair for obvious reasons.

Excessive military spending is used to maintain unwarranted control of the U.S. population, assert a level of political dominance, and foster the dangerous and very real Military Industrial Complex that is crippling our economy and putting citizens in danger. As long as there is profit in war and politicians have connections to war profiteers, the world will never know peace. A militaristic arms race is detrimental and only helps those who benefit from investment in war materials, such as defense contractors. Politicians support these industries because they have both direct and indirect ties to individuals and corporations who benefit from an expanding military.

In terms of self-defense, the U.S. is concerned mostly with terrorism. Terrorism is typically fought as an act of guerrilla warfare. An individual strapping a bomb to themselves and blowing up a bus is not realistically made impotent by adding a million soldiers to our army, or developing better weapon technology. In fact, fighting fire with fire has been proven counterproductive, as our highest defense officials have acknowledged that our military presence in the U.S. has facilitated the recruitment of terrorists, and made us less safe [7].

Terrorism should be dealt with by addressing the underlying causes, and exploring potential solutions outside of outright violence and aggression. Military invasions cannot stop small-scale terrorism attempts, and developing a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy is necessary. Suggestions include increased intelligence sharing, renditions, and specialized raids on terrorist bases, safe havens and training camps [8]. This would be more prudent than having a bunch of kids running a muck amidst great danger in the Middle East, getting nothing out of it but an ugly uniform and bad case of PTSD.

In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commissioned a task force to study what causes terrorism. It concluded "Muslims do not hate our freedom but rather they hate our policies. Specifically, American direct intervention in the Muslim world through our one sided support in favor of Israel, support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and most of all, the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan" [9]. Of course this occupation would significantly decrease if the size and scope of our military were reduced.

If our presence were truly needed throughout the globe, our leaders probably would not have had to exaggerate and lie to convince us of intervention. I would argue that our sprawling occupation has not been successful, necessary or beneficial to the U.S. on a cost/benefit analysis.

We also cannot ignore that many countries rely on militaristic prowess to maintain systematic control over a population in the name of security. What originally starts as technology for military security tends to evolve into something else. For instance, the U.S. has now made it legal to utilize spy drones against its own citizens for surveillance [10]. Our civil liberties are being taken away while the government grows and military becomes more powerful. New policies like the NDAA, which allows "indefinite detention of American citizens without due process at the discretion of the President" is also scary and a direct violation of our Constitutional rights. The military should protect against internal threats, but not help exploit its own citizens.

Indeed the military famously engaged in Operation Green Sweep, a series of raids conducted by the military where they targeted people growing marijuana [11]. What a ridiculous waste of resources; marijuana is minimally harmful by virtually all standards even if it is against the law. The military should not be used to engage in such frivolous activity, but specifically kept at a minimum to maximize defense in the most efficient manner. Our military resources are simply not being used efficiently and/or fairly.

We have troops in more than 150 countries around the world. Rather than focus on man power, we should be focusing on cyber-terrorism. In 2009, Chinese spies hacked the Pentagon's $300 billion F-35 fighter jet project. In an age where cyber security is our biggest threat, increasing our brain power that government's can invest in is more important than having such a massive military. The greatest threat to our security is an EMP: having our electrical grid destroyed by an enemy with a low-cost, short range, ship-launched missile armed with a nuclear warhead. The consequences would be far-reaching, with long-lasting, continent-wide crippling effects to our electricity-dependant infrastructure. Investing in military expansion won't help combat this threat.

In conclusion, thus far I've argued why the current size and scope of this institution is dangerous and counterproductive. In the next few rounds, I will outline more specifically what should be cut and estimate their savings so as to warrant the 1/3 reduction.




Right. First things first. The actual mission statement of the Department of Defense is to "provide the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the country [1]," where deterrence and discouraging threats from ever taking place is actually a lot more broad in scope than saying "we're only going to resist invasion and defend against attack," which Pro's overly simplistic DoD purpose seems to imply.

Secondly, the current US military posture since year 2000 has called for Full-Spectrum Dominance [2]. Full-Spectrum Dominance is a military doctrine based on the technological idea that a nation has invested significantly (aka money & research) in all elements of armed battlespace (including land, sea, air, space, and information based assets) and is thereby able to conduct military operations in any given scenario with complete wartime impunity, without ever having to worry about effective enemy opposition or prohibitive interference. [3] It is the strategic intention of the Department of Defense that the US military is able to achieve Full-Spectrum Dominance in any possible conflict, with or without allies. [3]

I would therefore seriously hope Pro begins to understand then why maintaining current funding of the military is so vitally important to national security strategy, less our official military doctrine becomes Less-Spectrum Dominance.

Next. Where in loony-toon land do we get the idea that other government agencies are feeling the effects of serious budget cuts but the military has not??? Here's an in your face look of what $500 billion worth of sequestration cuts over the next 10 years is going to have:

The U.S. Air Force now has the oldest fleet of bombers, fighters, tankers, and cargo aircraft in its history.

The Navy now has the least number of active duty ships since WWI.

The Army and Marines are currently undergoing 25% reductions in active duty troop levels each.

And our nuclear deterrent is infected with rats, roaches, sewage, and is inching dangerously close to expiring.

But regardless of whose expert opinion Pro's been referring to, there is not one single defense official in the entire country with actual street cred that has said massive cuts to the DoD was ever a good idea. Former Defense Secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta certainly haven't endorsed any (, I don't recall 4-Star General and war hero David Petraeus ever endorsing any cuts (, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (and foremost military adviser to the President) has said he firmly wasn't for it (, and now it looks like the super benevolent always right POTUS was never for any "draconian style" cuts like this in the first place (

All in all, it is the official position of the Department of Defense that continuing sequester-level cuts like the above examples will "result in a military that is too small to fully meet the requirements of its strategy, thereby significantly increasing national security risks both in the short- and long-term," and that we would be "gambling with our future." [4] There is no doubt that this reality is coming true considering the rise of China, a resurgent Russia, an overstretched US military, a rather weak NATO alliance, and a host other frightening war possibilities that range from North Korean cyber attacks, to Iranian Nukes, ISIS, and the never ending War on Terror.

Yet, despite all the warning labels, Pro insists to go against all expert advice and initiate an immediate 33% across the board cut to the DoD (some $170 billion) ontop of ongoing sequester cuts, ongoing wars in 22 different countries (, and the impending loss of 300,000 American servicemen from active duty service since this whole financial crisis thingy first started... That's not just irresponsible, that's INSANE! And that high of a percentage is enough to scrap any one branch of the military. (

Finally, I am aware of ZERO defense sponsored studies by the DoD, NSC, or defense intelligence community that has ever concluded that military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was a direct cause in a rise of the terrorist threat index against America. Pro's claim that military occupation leads directly to increased terrorism and that a special task force by Donald Rumsfeld of all people (who's favorite quote was "America ain't what's wrong with the world") found that "American policies were actually the problem." are debunked through careful searching of Pro's sources as deliberately exaggerated rhetoric from liberal academia and anti-war websites. The correct orgin for the misleading quotes from Rumsfeld's report is found in the Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication 2004 which was an attempt by the Executive Branch to improve on American image and perception problems in the middle east [5] The report acknowledged that among Iraqis who were failing to notice many of the democratic changes taking place, that some middle east societies had found Americans to be "hypocritical" because the perception was that Americans had previously supported authoritarian Arab regimes so long as they were aligned with American interests (anti-communist) (5). It is the official conclusion of the paper however, that poor trust with the Muslim world was "a problem" but not "the problem" to middle east conflict, and none of its seven policy recommendations ever mentioned altering major foreign policy objectives or withdrawing American forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, -if anything- the paper advocated increasing cross-cultural interaction with the Muslim World in order "to better understand Muslims" and "win heats & minds." [5]

Today, the US military has the largest defense commitments of any nation, where -when weighing the facts- the greatest threat to national security actually comes from excessive budget cuts. More American servicemen have been loss under sequestration than the total wartime casualty counts of all previous wars since the Korean War (based on what I know of American casualty figures since 1950). And given the current fiscals strains on the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines, and their diminished sizes, it is absolutely irresponsible to cut another dime from the defense establishment. Gutting the defense budget, especially by a ridiculous 33%, could risk loosing an entire branch of the military along with vital defense sector jobs in many local state communities who depend on government contracts for a source of revenue and economic growth. Though admittedly large, the entire defense budget at just 3.8% of GDP is affordable and is completely in line with the spending averages of other countries (6). Our troops are providing the nation with the most vital service in the world and deserve the best equipment and all the excellent support that we can afford. Our freedoms and way of life is never something we can afford to lose.


Debate Round No. 2


So my opponent's entire round can be summed up as one gigantic appeal to authority. Con implies that because the military does things a certain way, that the military's policies are in fact justified. If that were true, this entire debate would be moot. I'm arguing the military's goals and strategies ought to be amended. While I acknowledge deterrence as the security goal, I believe conflict can be avoided even by reducing the military's funding. That is what is up for debate. My opponent has to JUSTIFY the status quo, including both the goals and the means to achieve them. Thus far all he has done is quote current policy.

Con has argued that the U.S. defense policy is full-spectrum dominance, which means the goal is to be able to win any war of any kind without allies. However, Con has not justified this goal, proven it as the most practical or moral course of action, explained why it's realistic (I've argued it's not) or most importantly, justified why this amount of funding is necessary to achieve this goal.

Instead, Con has focused on arguing that the military is under-equipped because we have an aging fleet of ships and aircraft. Of course Con does not provide a comparison to other nation's fleets, because the U.S. military technology is still far and above the weaponry or capabilities of any other nation on the planet [1]. But for the sake of debate, extend all of my dropped arguments regarding the futility and danger of an impending arms race. Also, consider the U.S. has access to more nuclear power than any other nation [2].

Con ignored the vast majority of my arguments from R2. I explained that perhaps the greatest threat to U.S. security involves taking out the electrical grid via EMP or other blow to our natural resources [3]. My opponent completely dropped this valid point as if it were irrelevant. To reference official military experts, the greatest threat to U.S. security is - ironically - debt [ 4]! This is amazing considering my proposition vs. Con's. After all I have addressed the issue of spending and the U.S. economy; my opponent has not.

But really, the DoD also suggests terrorism is the biggest threat which I will get to later as well as cyber terrorism. Please extend all of my dropped arguments about how more resources should be allocated to those areas and eliminated elsewhere from the budget. Investing so much into current endeavors is NOT the most effective use of resources. I explained why the military should focus less on equipment and man power, and more on combating the threat to our electrical grid and other security breaches.

Con never addressed my arguments regarding military inefficiency, including but not limited to frivolous military projects (such as Operation Green Sweep) and the trillions of dollars that have been completely blown in regard to the latest F-35 fighter jet and other tech problems. Apparently Con's strategy in this debate is to ignore all of my points, and simply quote a bunch of soldiers insisting that their industry needs carte blanche for "safety."

Con writes, "there is not one single defense official in the entire country with actual street cred that has said massive cuts to the DoD was ever a good idea." Con cites military-man after military-man stating the military needs more money. How novel. I wonder if employees of any particular institution were polled on whether or not their funding should be increased or decreased, how many of those employees would vote in favor of a pay cut or against more funding. Hmm. Probably zero. To suggest that I have to find military personnel who say the military ought to be cut is like saying the Democrats have to find poor people to say they should receive government aid. It is circular.

While expert military advice is certainly relevant in terms of combat, strategy and other tangible experience, the opinion's of Defense Secretaries and those with a vested interest at a particular level are practically moot in terms of expert advice on economic policy, or the ethical virtue of our imperialistic aims. In fact, I will outline how Con has dropped almost every single one of my arguments in favor of quoting the "expert opinion" of others who have investigated themselves and determined they need more money... shocking.

But even so, I HAVE in fact managed to find military personnel to support my claims. "Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski was a former Pentagon analyst, and key figure in revealing how the Bush administration sold the Iraq war based on bogus intelligence... 'I hold the DoD as a federal bureaucracy in a bit more contempt because I spent way more time in it, and I saw close up the actual conscientious, direct political lying to promote war, invasions and occupations - none of which were sanctioned or even reviewed in accordance with the Constitution'" [5].

Ergo, a lot of Con's DoD sources are useless for the sake of discussion. We already know that the DoD wants more money. This debate is about whether or not this amount of money is necessary for defense. Also, in terms of the sequester my opponent keeps referring to, apparently "This tiny reduction in personnel - if it ever happens - is not backed by cuts in spending. No cost savings. No real reduction" [6].

Hermann Goering, a former Nazi soldier explains "Naturally the common people don't want war... that is understood. After all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Say, he's got a point! So not surprisingly, Con argues "There is no doubt that this reality is coming true considering the rise of China, a resurgent Russia, an overstretched US military, a rather weak NATO alliance, and a host other frightening war possibilities that range from North Korean cyber attacks, to Iranian Nukes, ISIS, and the never ending War on Terror."

First, I'm so glad my opponent brought up nuclear weapons for aforementioned reasons. We should allocate more resources there (where we already far surpass everyone else). Second, I've already addressed the so-called War on Terror in the last round, and my opponent completely ignored it. It's abusive to force me to waste character space -- please extend my arguments regarding how "terror" is effectively fought from the last round. This includes threats like ISIS.

Third, I vehemently agree that we have an overstretched military, which is specifically why I have advocated for less global policing. This would require FAR less resources: less man power, less equipment and billions of dollars just to "maintain a presence" overseas. I've also already addressed cyber terrorism, and I disagree with our participation in NATO and the exorbitant burden it places on U.S. tax payers. Con dropped my argument regarding the U.S. footing the bill for other country's defense. Extend those arguments.

Moreover, Con suggests I am "insane" for advocating budget cuts considering we have a U.S. military presence in over 22 countries. Apparently Con has missed an entire portion of my argument (arguably the most important part) about how I strongly disagree with such an extensive military presence throughout the globe. Con is expected to justify this occupation - he hasn't. I disagree that imperialism is paramount to our safety, and in fact believe it can impede on our security. Con says there are ZERO defense sponsored studies or intelligence that suggest our foreign policy in the Middle East, specifically war, has made us less safe. In the next round, I am going to negate this by posting several -- I simply cannot in this round for lack of character space.

My opponent does not deny the massive expense of our military, but suggests "our troops are providing the nation with the most vital service in the world." On the contrary, that is a massive appeal to emotion (much like most of the "support our troops" rhetoric) which is not remotely justified in reality. No soldier has ever once directly serviced me in any way whatsoever, and therefore their implied value to my livelihood is not substantiated through any tangible evidence, but rather assumed utility with no data to warrant the subjective presumption.

To reduce costs, in addition to what I have specified (shift in spending toward different threats, i.e. cyber terrorism, nukes, chemical and biomedical warfare) I would also like to suggest the following -- less foreign intervention; closing at least 1/4 of our domestic defense sites; reducing personnel; and closing unnecessary military bases where we have strong allies and no significant threats - which is most places. We can afford to close at least 50. There is no current or foreseeable risk of any conventional military attack on the American people, particularly from long distances. We should be able to rely more on our allegiances, and focus on other efforts to avoid war. Other countries should also pay more for their own defense. Finally I propose more of a libertarian type funded military, which is arguably more efficient and more lethal. I will expand in the next round.



So my opponent's entire round can be summed up as one gigantic appeal to authority.

Appeal to authority is only a logical fallacy if its misused ( So far I've been forced to quote a lavish number of DoD studies and documents because Pro appears to be quite ignorant of current US military leaders, policies, hardware, statistics, or affairs. Three prime examples that I've corrected Pro on thus far have included DoD goals (explained through actual DoD mission statements and Full-Spectrum Dominance) a misleading quote from a fictional Rumsfeld study -that was traced back to left leaning anti-war websites,- and an article pretending to be from the Marine Times that Pro said showed that large DoD weapon programs were not being cut.

If appeal to the truth makes me a Nazi (which Pro has unfairly compared me to) then by all means, I'm a truth Nazi.

the U.S. military technology is still far and above the weaponry or capabilities of any other nation on the planet.

Prove it! Pro's own appeal to authority to back this point up is a news article of five different weapons systems she probably hasn't read about, hasn't followed, and doesn't fully understand. They are; the F-22 Raptor, the F-35 JSF, the B-2 Spirit, the upcoming Ford Class carriers, and the Virginia class submarine.

Here's the short-list of problems with each one of these systems:

The F-22 = is too expensive, too few in number, and lacks several key 5th generation upgrades including a helmet mounted display, off-bore sight missiles, a cross-platform datalink to communicate with other planes, and an effective IRST platform to dodge incoming missiles and track other aerial targets. It has already been shot down in simulated Red Flag exercises with NATO rivals ( and is now facing 5th generation competition with the Russian T-50 and the Chinese J-20.

The F-35 = Pro has apparently bashed the F-35 enough, please see her arguments.

The B-2 Spirit = there are only 20 active duty B-2 spirits in the world and each cost $1 billion a pop. They are too few, aging fast, must fly home to the states after every mission, and are too precious to waste in combat without a significant fighter escort.

Ford Class carriers = are meant to replace America's nimitz class supercarriers. The problem with replacing a large ship with an even larger ship is that they become an even easier target for Russian anti-ship missiles and the Chinese Assassin's Mace.

Virginia Subs = 11 attack subs isn't going to save you when the Chinese have hundreds more and newer ones that actually carry ballistic missiles capbable of striking Hawaii or Alaska (

In all honestly, I could have made Pro's point 50X better than what she has done; where I would have started with Full-Spectrum Dominance, explained to all that it is the strategic intention of the United States to be the technological military leader of the world, and then shown the amount of money, capital, and procurement the US has invested in making Full-Spectrum dominance a reality. Unfortunately however, according to Pro, the official military doctrine of the United States is a moot point and doctrines calling for large monetary investments aren't necessary in order to have the best military in the world - it would therefore be very hypocritical of her to justify it.

Con cites military-man after military-man stating the military needs more money. How novel.

Gates, Penetta, and Obama are actually considered "civilians." If Pro was more aware of how military affairs worked she would know that the military is run through civilian leadership.

While expert military advice is certainly relevant....

Wait, now expert military advice from DoD leaders is relevant???

I vehemently agree that we have an overstretched military...

Right. And why again is the US military overstretched??? Let's examine this again:

(please extend all prior sources)

Air force planes aging? CHECK

Army and Marines undergoing 25% reductions? CHECK

Navy fleet too small? CHECK

Nuclear deterrent about to expire? CHECK

An impending doomsday 33% spending cut by Pro on top of Sequestion. CHECK

Now correctly if If I'm wrong, but given the facts above, one way to reverse an overstretched military is to actually advocate for increased funding, more soldiers, and more equipment. Yes, it might require more resources on our part, and it is arguing against the status quo, but at least its a solution that does not involve falling back and sacrificing US interests.

First, I'm so glad my opponent brought up nuclear weapons ... We should allocate more resources there (where we already far surpass everyone else).

As I've already explained US missile silos are in fact infested with rats, roaches, and sewage. Russia and China also appear to be modernizing their missiles ( ( But AFAIK, the DoD still hasn't purchased a new missile silo since 1991. Meanwhile we've had to scrap some pretty important upgrades to our ICBMs due to some rather one sided START treaties, the most important of which was Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle (MIRVs for short) which Russia and China are still unfairly able to keep. But If Pro knows anything about how a nuclear deterrent works, she'll be able to explain to the audience how loosing MIRVs effectively reduces the megaton yield of a ballistic missile anywhere from 50 to 90%. (Hint, it has something to do with the warheads).

And the trillions of dollars that have been completely blown in regard to the latest F-35 fighter jet

Ahh the F-35. I love the F-35! Originally designed back in the mid 1990s as an affordable stealthy light weight fighter supplement to the F-22, the F-35 represents the pinnacle of more than five decades of aerospace development and technology, including; radar evading stealth, supersonic speed, extreme maneuverability, and the most powerful and comprehensive sensor package and electronic warfare suite of any fighter aircraft in history (1).

But my favorite absolute favorite part of the F-35, and this will blow your mind, is that the sneaky little devils at the Pentagon have agreed to export it to other countries! The stragetic brilliance of this move, besides adding money to help pay for the program, is that the export version of the F-35 (which is significantly weaker than the non-exportable F-22) guareetes US air dominance for the next three decades, seeing as how the US defense industry will establish a worldwide monopoly on 5th generation fighter parts, training, doctrine, upgrades, and designs. All other country's attempts to development their own 5th generation fighters to compete with the US (or even a superior platform) are effectively put out of business before conflict even begins and must come back to the US for parts before ever taking on the US Air Force. Sneaky bastards!

So much for Pro's model of DoD inefficiency!

Con suggests I am "insane" for advocating budget cuts...

Pro has not just advocated a budget cut.. she's advocated an immediate 33% cut!

33% of the total base DoD budget of $ 581billion fy15 is equal to $ 191billion (

Yet, the Air Force total budget is $137 billion, the Navy & Marines is $123 billion and the Army's is $120 billion. The rest of the money is allowed to defense-civilian job sectors.

So what's it going to be Pro? Should we decommission 420,000 army soldiers; all 10 aircraft carriers along with every destroyer, submarine frigate, and tugboat still in service; or how bout just 5,000 planes along with the nuclear deterrent?

Have I mentioned that the DoD is also the nation's largest civilian employer? Let's just slash civilian jobs too while were at it!

Even if you could spread the cuts out, the combined cutting effects ontop of sequestration would be a whopping 52% reduction on the DoD since 2012.

Pro has not provided a clear plan at all how a drastic 33% cut would fit into a viable national strategy and not jeopardize military readiness at a time when the military is already getting pwned by $500 billion in sequester cuts over the next ten years. Meanwhile, wars continue to be fought and the rise of ISIS proves that even after a US pullout that terrorism and threats to America will still rise up. Pro's apathy to the complexies of national security strategy is irresponsible and reckless!

Also its one thing to say that our soldiers should come home, but its quite another thing to say that they should all GO HOME!

I would also like to suggest .. closing unnecessary military bases where we have strong allies and no significant threats - which is most places.

Right, so after we've literally sent the troops home because of 33% cuts - what allies are we left with? Ah yes, NATO! Here's how well NATO stands up against to Russia and China. (

China: 2,285,000 active duty soldiers
Russia: 766,000

Total: 3,051,000

France 215,019
UK 182,620
Italy 179,155
Germany 182,620
Spain 123,300
Australia 56,552

Total: 939,266

Forgive me if I hid Poland and Canada from this list.

There is no current or foreseeable risk of any conventional military attack on the American people, particularly from long distances.

Long distance:

(much like most of the "support our troops" rhetoric) which is not remotely justified in reality.

Strongly disagree.

Apologies to Pro If I again skipped over arguments and forgot to include things like how fighting terrorists works - I ran out of character space :(

Debate Round No. 3


Re: The alleged Truth Nazi and Full-Scale Dominance

It is completely false that I have compared Con to a Nazi. I quoted a soldier (who happened to be a Nazi) explaining how it is easy for political leaders to convince the masses to invest more in security, defense and war even if it it is not necessary. The analogy was noting the appeal to fear that is applicable to invoke nationalism and militarism among governments of any kind -- tell the populace that they're not safe, and denounce the nay sayers as both pansies and/or ignorant. Con has not disputed this; he's played into it and done just that.

Nor has Con denied my reference to politicians presenting misinformation to convince the public to support a war and other defense investments, that in hindsight have been a failure on a cost-benefit analysis (for example, the Iraq and/or Vietnam wars). Thus Con is misrepresenting my position. I agree with the DoD's goals of deterrence and security. However I'm arguing that full-spectrum dominance is not necessary to achieve deterrence and security.

Further I've argued that the amount of funding currently used is not necessary to achieve military superiority. Con's repetition that he has been "forced to cite a lavish number of studies" is irrelevant, as none of them have addressed the arguments I've brought up i.e. on ethics, political science, economics and the market. Certainly they have not addressed my biggest concern: waste.

Re: U.S. Military Prowess

Apparently Con thinks arguing in a condescending tone implying my ignorance will somehow discredit my position in the debate. It's too bad for him that snarky ad hominem criticisms does not negate the following facts backing up my claim that the military has the best technology and weapons advantage to date:

- The U.S. has 19 aircraft carriers vs. 12 operated by the rest of the world combined. This allows the U.S. to set up bases all over the globe and project power throughout the world. We have more aircraft than any other country, and once again more nuclear power... which is... huge [1].

- The M1 Abrams tank is the most powerful battlefield tank on the planet. China, the next biggest military power, has less than 500 Type 99 tanks that have just been developed, and are not even close to being as good as the Abrams. We have 8,700 Abrams.

- There are 8,400 attack helicopters in the world. The U.S. has 6,400 of them.

- The U.S. owns virtually ALL of the satellites that guide GPS systems. We have all the advanced stealth technology including the latest sensors and information systems [2].

- The U.S. has access to weapons the rest of the world does not, including but not limited to the MQ9 Reaper Drone, the Laser Avenger and ADAPTIV cloaking. In addition the AA12 Atchisson Assault Shotgun, the PHASR Rifle, the TASER Shockwave, Black Knight Tanks, Active Denial System, Laser Avenger, modular advanced armed robotics, enhanced sniper rifles, etc. [3].

Because Con cannot deny or refute the obvious military prowess of the U.S., he attempts to divert the argument and say that without so much investment in our military, our superiority could not exist. Alas, previous investment in building our armed forces has given us the leeway to decrease our budget and scale back NOW, which is what I'm arguing. So yes, we can afford to cut our military spend going forward, and considering our massive debt, we should. Please extend all of my dropped arguments regarding our debt, the economy, the market and why we need to cut costs. It's too late for Con to respond to them.

Military Waste and Pro's Proposals

From our 700+ billion dollar defense budget, a huge portion is spent on unnecessary overseas military operations. Only around $80 to $100 billion goes towards research, development testing and evaluation of weapons [4]. This is where we get all the newest and craziest weapons used in modern-day warfare. Ergo, if you want our military to continue upholding its prestige, then THIS is where we should continue to invest (again, Con dropped my argument regarding EMPs, guerrilla and cyber-terrorism being among our biggest threats, and it's too late for him to respond).

We have far too many generals who have a ton of exorbitant and luxurious benefits. "Jack Jacobs, a retired U.S. army colonel... says the military needs only a third of that number. Many of these generals are 'spending time writing plans and defending plans with Congress, and trying to get the money,' he explained. In other words, a large number of these generals are essentially lobbyists for the Pentagon, but they still receive large personal staffs and private jet rides for official paper-pushing military matters" [5].

A New York Times analysis showed that simply the staff provided to top generals and admirals can top $1 million - per general! That’s not even including their own salaries, which are relatively modest due to congressional legislation — and the free housing, which has been described as “palatial” [6].

Senator Tom Coburn notes that the DoD can reduce $67.9 billion over 10 years by eliminating the non-defense programs that have found their way into the budget [7], including but not limited to ridiculous seminars like "Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too" or "Training for a Zombie Apocalypse" [8]. Con must justify this lavish and massively wasteful spending not only on these seminars, but military operations like Green Sweep -- which he has completely ignored despite my frequent repetition.

The Pentagon and DoD are NOTORIOUS for wasteful spending. They famously spent $640 on a toilet seat, and in addition at one point couldn't account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes [9]. Indeed like most troop worshippers, Con presents the military as an entity which should be automatically revered and unwaveringly supported with carte blanche tax payer dollars. However he has ignored my arguments on cronyism and military politics inflating the budget.

Con expects us to accept every expense supported by the DoD. But according to a 2011 DoD report, The Pentagon has paid $1.1 TRILLION to hundreds of defense contractors and their parent companies that have defrauded the government over the past ten years [10]. "The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 TRILLION in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for" [11]. There's little accountability for the waste, and worse, the DoD continuously uses the same defense contractors that have defrauded the government - yet Con expects us to trust and accept all of their budget proposals.

Con did not respond to the problematic revolving door in politics which skews the military budget.

On 9/10/12 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared a war on waste and bureaucracy. The Pentagon's Inspector General substantiated claims of corruption. Department of Defense Analyst Franklin C. Spinney made headlines exposing what he calls the "accounting games" and says the books are cooked, and have continuously gotten worse. In his opinion, "With good financial oversight we could find $48 billion in loose change in that building, without having to hit the taxpayers" [12]. This alone is about 20% of my proposed budget cut.

According to Congressional investigators, the DoD spent an estimated $100 million for airline tickets that were not used over a six-year period and failed to seek refunds even though the tickets were reimbursable [13]. I could go on and on... and on and on... and on. But my opponent has never once and simply cannot deny the rampant and problematic waste that occurs in the military. He simply appeals to fear and emotion and suggests we "need" all of this money spent for our "safety." On the contrary, I have proven massive waste, inefficiency, lack of accountability, corruption and flat out lies that could all be addressed and allow us to significantly cut costs.

So between a mix (you can pick and choose based on aforementioned rates and savings)

- Cutting back on generals
- Abandoning occupation in non-hostile territory overseas with no foreseeable threats
- Forcing other countries to pay more for their own defense
- Auditing the military and mandating accountability
- Temporarily scaling back on certain weapon and machinery
- Focusing more on particular warfare and threats
- Abandoning frivolous and lavish spending
- Eliminating the incentives or possibility for revolving door in politics encouraging corruption
- Investing more in peace keeping and anti-war efforts, etc...

the resolution has been affirmed. Vote PRO.



Once again, Pro demonstrates ignorance over military affairs by citing weapon systems she probably hasn't read about.

We have all the advanced stealth technology...

This is simply not true. Here are pictures of the Russian T-50, the Chinese J-20, and the Iranian Qaher-313. All are reported to be of stealth fighter designs comparable to the American F-22 and F-35.

1)Russian T-50
2)Chinese J-20
3)Iranian Qaher-313

We have 16 aircraft carriers.

Only ten are the Nimitz class that actually carry fighter aircraft. The rest are smaller amphibious assault ships that primarily transport marines, helicopters, and jumpjets. Of the ten actual aircraft carriers, only 1 to 3 are ever out port at one time due to shore training, maintenance, and current levels of funding.

We have 8,700 Abrams.

Not according to this source (only about 1,500 of the noteworthy M1A2s). 8,700 actually represents the number of M1 Abrams built and sold to the US and other countries since the 1970s. Meanwhile, Russia and China combined have over 3x as many MBTs as the US does

There are 8,400 attack helicopters in the world. The U.S. has 6,400 of them.

AFAIK, the US military has only three attack helicopters in service (where AH = attack helicopter). They are the AH-64 Apache (619 in service), the AH-6 Little Bird (51 in service), and the AH-1 Cobra (153 in service) All of them combined do not add up to 6,400 attack helicopters.

The U.S. has access to weapons the rest of the world does not, including but not limited to the MQ9 Reaper Drone, the Laser Avenger and ADAPTIV cloaking. In addition the AA12 Atchisson Assault Shotgun, the PHASR Rifle, the TASER Shockwave, Black Knight Tanks, Active Denial System, Laser Avenger...

AFAIK, the only one of the above weapons systems in actual service is the MQ9 Reaper. Everything else is either still waiting to be procured or is in the R&D testing phase (I don't have time to cite these, but please Google them yourself). It is entirely misleading therefore, to say that the US has access to these systems when none of them are in operational service with the DoD.

enhanced sniper rifles

What does this even mean?!? If some Call of Duty noob starts attaching a bayonet to the end of a scoped rifle wouldn't that technically count as an "enhanced sniper rifle" too?

once again more nuclear power

Pro forgot to research the implications of America not having MIRV upgrades to its ballistic missiles (see previous round). The major implication of this is that MIRV missiles carry MULTIPLE warheads. America currently does not have any MIRV missiles still in service ( but China and Russia still do This means that Chinese and Russian missiles can carry up to 10x the number of nukes that American ICBMs carry. Simply having more missiles then the competition therefore, does not mean having many more nukes.

Our 700+ billion dollar defense budget

The published estimates for the Department of Defense fy15 is actually $581 billion

Pro has also never provided a study from the DoD that showed that Americans became less safe as a result of military interventions in Iraq & Afghanistan (round 2)

The above examples overwhelmingly prove Pro's profound ignorance of military affairs and demonstrates that America's military prowess is not nearly as dominant or invulnerable as she has claimed it to be. If we are to actually maintain our edge, it is absolutely vital then that we maintain current funding of the military.

Economic Reasons

Pro has advocated that we should cut funding of the military in order to stop waste and combat the debt. Yet at just 3.8% of GDP, 20% of the Federal Budget, and #3 in overall spending behind social security and Medicare, defense spending is not at all responsible for the current national debt ( Meanwhile Pro can also not claim that the debt is the DoD's #1 security issue (as she did in R2) because her source came from former JCS Chair Mike Mullen in 2011. The current JCS Chair (and head of the Pentagon) is actually Martin Dempsey (

However, I can show that the DoD is the nation's #1 employer with over 718,000 civilian employees (, while big time defense programs (like the F-35) can often provide jobs in over 40 states ( Defense companies like Lockheed-Martin and Boeing provide 100,000s of high paying jobs to the US economy as well as an assortment of other benefits; such as research into new computer technologies, robotics, aerospace, communications, and new methods of constructing and developing energy efficient infrastructure. For Pro to say that defense spending, is more or less "wasteful," is incredibly naive and there are plenty of other wasteful government programs that should be addressed first prior to ever touching defense; such as training mountain lions to run on treadmills (, and 3D pizza printers for NASA (

Furthermore, Pro's claims of trillions of dollars of waste by the DoD are interesting because 1) she has admitted private contractors were at fault (not the DoD) 2) she has hidden the source for the trillion dollar waste claim --see if you can locate her link for source #10-- and 3) her claim for source #11 is a bold face lie.

However, I am personally glad to hear that Pro has alluded to fact that the DoD publishes its own public reports on waste & corruption - because unlike other wasteful govt departments (like Medicare & Medicaid who require a 3rd party government accounting office, it demonstrates to me that the DoD is accepting responsibility and taking action.

Security Reasons

As I've argued for in all previous rounds, an immediate 33% cut by Pro would be disastrous to US military readiness. Ongoing Sequestion cuts have wrecked the military miserably and have resulted in one of the oldest air forces, weakest navys, and smallest armies on record (see my first round sources). Even with a smaller reduction of $81 billion (shrink to $500 billion budget), the US military would still be risking nearly the equivalent loss of funding for at least one whole branch of the military. This would not be not be a simple "pick and choose" savings solution as Pro would have it, but a permanent across the board downturn that will indiscriminately slash 1/5 of America's military power (loss of one branch). America has no strong NATO allies to back it up on the world stage, and now is not the time to be cutting defense when threats from ISIS and China continue to rise, Iran and NK continue to build nukes, and Russia is patrolling the shores of Florida ( US military commitments to Japan, Korea, and Europe are there because no other country in the world is capable of providing the military strength and nuclear forces necessary to deter huge military threats from Russia and China. America is indisputably the leader of the free world and what happens in other regions matter a great deal over here, and America must lead when international organizations like the UN Security Council have proved incompetent at enforcing international law or peacekeeping.

Furthermore, deterrence only works when the US has a military that is so strong no other nation in the world would dare challenge it. Our current US military strategy (Full-Spectrum Dominance) shows that the one of the best ways to reach our deterrence goals and prevent threats from taking place is to invest significantly in weapon technologies across all areas of the battlespace, leaving no crack in the armour for enemy to ever take advantage of. And as the Cold War might have proved, one of the best ways to stop the threat of an arms race, is to win it.

Moral Reasons.

Of all the hundreds of agencies and thousands of govt programs being funded today, the Constitution of the United States priorities only two of them for the federal government; general welfare and the common defense. It is therefore time Pro and everyone else in the federal government got their funding priorities straight - defense is vitally important because security (as Pro even admitted in her first argument) leads to peace and "prosperity." The honorable men and women who serve this country bravely by wearing the uniform serve us directly by serving overseas and preventing threats from ever reaching America's shores. Thousands have sacrificed their lives selflessly simply so that we have the ability to sleep safely at night, and for that reason and more, they deserve the best equipment and highest level of support. It is not wrong to say we support our soldiers, our rights, our prosperity, or human freedom around the globe, and by giving the troops our thanks and tools and funding they need to succeed we accomplish all four. Our freedoms and way of life is never something we can afford to lose.


I thank Pro for a very competitive debate. Please vote for the best arguments.

Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
>Reported vote: 2001bhu // Moderator action: removed<

3 points to Pro (arguments). {RFD = Reason for Voting Decision: comments}

[*Reason for removal*] No actual RFD was posted in the comments section.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
>Reported vote: 2001bhu // Moderator action: removed<

3 points to Pro (arguments). {RFD = Reason for Voting Decision: comments}

[*Reason for removal*] No actual RFD was posted in the comments section.
Posted by Allah-Ahkbar 1 year ago
Yes, the United States Army is too big and needs to reduced in size greatly. It will benefit greatly from the reduction and will only make it stronger. I am political genius, trust me.

-Allah Ahkbar
Posted by Zack95 1 year ago
Sure, I could use a chaperone. Thanks for being my new mom.
Posted by UndeniableReality 1 year ago
My impression was that we ought to be voting based on the arguments presented in the debates themselves. To decide, at the beginning of the debate, that you are going to vote completely against one side (including conduct points) because of a position they hold politically that they have explicitly stated would not be relevant to this debate should constitute a spam vote. Hence I will be watching for your RFD.
Posted by Zack95 1 year ago
Why thank you. But I will be voting on behalf of the argument. Depriving ones right to voting is a against the constitution of DDO isn't it? If not then everyone should be reported since we are voting on behalf of OUR opinions. Should you be reported because you are incompetent?
Posted by Jingle_Bombs 1 year ago
Sure. No worries.
Posted by Danielle 1 year ago
Thanks Jingle for your quick reply -- I'm actually engaged in 7 debates atm and this is last on the docket, but I'll post my next round as soon as I can.
Posted by UndeniableReality 1 year ago
I don't know if it has any impact on this site, but if you do vote 7pts against Pro just because you don't like their opinion, I'll be reporting your vote.
Posted by Zack95 1 year ago
Aplaud to con. Arguement is factual and flowed quite smoothly. Also sources were not as media related as pros.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Lexus 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I found arguments were pretty equal on both sides, I think that con used some better sources (quality, not quantity) so they get those points. I feel as though pro was trying to paint con as a war monger and comparable to nazis, which is a no-no... conduct to con.
Vote Placed by warren42 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments: Pro never adequately negated Con's points about the aging of our nuclear stockpile and our vehicles. Sources: Con used more empirical evidence, Pro used more opinions and quotes.
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro defended her resolution well. Con's arguments appear to be more than a little circular in nature. His attitude was also unnecessarily adversarial.
Vote Placed by NoMagic 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree with Pro that Con's primary defense was an appeal to authority. Con seems to think that since the DoD says we must dominate the globe militarily, that means we must dominate the globe militarily. By this logic, if the DoD says we must dominate the galaxy militarily, then we must dominate the galaxy militarily. Con also wishes to claim that it is logic to wish to do so. If this is true, then why is American the only nation with this "rational" goal? Pro argues a strong case. Con's appeal to authority isn't convincing. Con's logic falls well short. Good debate, much information, but I think Pro's arguments are much stronger and also her own arguments. Lets not forget Pro's military man that sides with her. Nice little touch there.