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The United States needs to increase funding to its nuclear program

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/26/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 395 times Debate No: 70734
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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The simple fact of the matter is that the united states is pitifully unprepared for nuclear aggression. Our once formidable arsenal now stands but a rotting hulk of what it once was. Experts have described our launch facilities as: "A badly maintained cold war museum", and our facilities are aging and dated. the time is now to refund our missile program, and make the United states an mighty nuclear superpower once again.

Contention 1: The United States nuclear arsenal is aging and ineffective

Subpoint a: The nuclear arsenal is dated
The entire amount of software needed to launch our nuclear missiles is stored on an 8" floppy disk from the 1960s, our missiles have sat still since the 70s, and the building that holds our entire supply of enriched uranium, suffered a collapse due to old age. The blast doors on our silos are too rusted to completely shut. whether you like it or not, our nuclear arsenal is in great need of updating, and that can only happen if funding is allocated to modernize our most powerful weapons. If funding is not provided, the US will lose global diplomatic power, and will be open to intimidation from other, increasingly well armed countries like China, Russia and Iran.

subpoint b: The employees are ineffective

A missileer sits for hours on end in an underground bunker, with no bathroom, waiting for an attack that may never come. There have been drug convictions and dismissals for cheating on tests, and the fact of the matter is, that the men and women who work to protect our nation from some of the greatest threats in the world, are forced to endure ineffectual and almost prison like conditions. The bunkers that defend our nation need to renovated, and the employees retrained and overhauled.

This issue is a matter of national security. I f we do no take action soon, the United states may find themselves in a dangerous place, where they can no longer hold their own against those with more powerful arsenals.



Is it in a pitiful state yes. But I however view this as a proud testament to the fact that we never actually needed to use it. You also make it sound as if our arsenal isn't powerful anymore. Seeing as all of north Korea's missiles have been duds only 7 states are known to have working nuclear missiles. Of them only Russia's stock is the only one that comes even remotely close to ours and if you think are nukes are pitiful you should see the Russians.

Contention 1: The united states nuclear arsenal is not ineffective.

Though the nuclear arsenal is dated I propose that spending more money on it will have a counter effect to what you want. You seem to think that if we don't other nations will bully us but in reality if we do the chances of them doing it go up. See if we start to revamp are nuclear program and modernize it this gives the other nations an excuse to do so as well. Our nukes were always the best nukes so any nation that would gain from a revamp would be the nations you think will bully us. If we do this it will be viewed as a grab for power and thus lose us prestige.

As to the employee question I think it is primarily anecdotes and the most of them are in general good loyal soldiers. The conditions may be bad but in reality military life is never a good life. Are there inefficient drug users there, probably, but they are throughout the entire military. These programs are not that much more ineffective then most of the rest of the military.

In general to your contention ineffective is a relative term. We still could destroy all potential threats with our nuclear stock in its current condition. Not to mention it is still better the the rest of the world. You fear loss of prestige but committing an action that could potential spark world war three would make us less safe in the long run.

Question 1. Does it break any treaties?
America has signed a lot of treaties in our time pertaining to proliferation (SALTs STARTs ect). If I am not mistaken increasing funding to these programs would break at least one of these various treaties we have signed. If I am correct as a nation of honor we should not break our treaties.

Contention 2: If it needed to be done it already would have been.
I don't know about you but I am a joe blow with no experience in the militarily. If it really was as bad and as terrible as you seem to make it out to be bills already would have been signed. We however are not privy to all the information that the military is. It may look bad but if it really was bad something already would have been done. If we feared MAD would no longer be on the books with Russia we would update them very quickly.
Debate Round No. 1


I would firstly like to address your statement that all of North Korea's nukes have been duds. That statement is completely false. The Taepodong 2 is a functional North Korean nuclear missile that has the range capability to hit Alaska, and start WW3. North Korea also possesses other functional missiles including the Musudan and the Nodong. Secondly I would like to address your insinuation that the Russian nuclear arsenal is somehow ineffectual. That statement is also completely false. Russia has the nuclear might to literally destroy the world four times over, and Russia has continued to improve and update its nuclear arsenal far after the US stopped.

In response to your first contention

This argument is very easy to disprove. Many other countries including Russia are revamping and improving their nuclear programs as we speak, and therefore, improving our defense to match those who have threatened the US will not be a power grab, it will simply be ensuring national security. Also, if it were to be considered an act of aggression, wouldn't those nations who you claim will call us out, have already called us out? because our government has actually started an initiative to replace the Minuteman missile. And if that is not renovating our nuclear program, I don't know what is. But just because one action has been taken, doesn't mean the job is done. The Orion missile is still years away, and we still need more budget to replace our launch equipment and modernize our facilities.

In response to your statement about employees, Yes I understand that military life isn't easy, but we shouldn't be depriving the people dedicated enough to defend our country, of the simple "luxury" of not having to use an open bucket as a toilet. We also need to be training these brave men and women for the future, not using antiquated training methods the pre-date the Nixon administration, and such improvements can only be done with an increase in funding.

In response to the third part of your first contention, As I have said our nuclear arsenal is not the superior force we'd like it to be. Our nuclear engineers have to Fed-Ex the ONE wrench available that can tighten the bolts on our missiles and warheads whenever it is needed at another missile base. Secondly yes I do fear a loss of prestige, but again, I have disproved your argument that renovation will lead to less international prestige, because if it was true, it would have already happened, as we have already began to enact a plan to renovate our weapon capability, and there has been none of the "International bullying" you referenced.

In response to your question 1: I point again to the new missile plan, If we were to break a treaty, we would have already done so, and seeing as we haven't broken the treaties, the argument that it would break treaties is totally invalid. Even if you continued to say we were would break a treaty with renovation, I would need some actual quotes from the treaties themselves.

In response to your contention 2

This argument is quite refutable. The US started a long term project to replace the only minuteman missile, so therefore your argument that "it doesn't need to be done if nothing has been done so far", may still stand, but something has been done, so therefore by your own logic, this renovation needs to be done. Even if something hadn't been done the US government is known for gridlock and for partisan squabbling, and in this mess, we lose things that need to be done. In a government where our speaker of the house sues our president for doing his job, and where people shut down the government simply deciding how not to go totally bankrupt, Other very important things are drowned out. Simply because something hasn't already been done doesn't mean it shouldn't be. Also even if our government didn't squabble, I mentioned earlier that the American populace is Overconfident in the ability of our nuclear arsenal, and therefore would make the baseless assumption that we were ready for any threat, and do nothing, even if we weren't ready at all.

Lastly, the improvements are not necessarily about the deadliness of our missiles, but their reliability after years of sitting and rusting away. Any classic car enthusiast will tell you that having metal sit in damp condition will lead to rot and rust, and we cant place our national safety on the hope that our missiles might work when we need them, and the hope that the dated guidance systems and thrusters are intact enough to protect the nation we love dearly. We need to place our security on certain fact, and when we renovate our facilities and weapons, we can be sure that the newest technology will be able to protect us when the time is dire.


Now as the commenter has brought up we could go down the rabbit hole and address nuclear energy as well. Seeing as that would make for a harder to follow debate I say we stick to just nuclear weapons. The reason I bring nuclear energy up is it serves as a nice analogy in this sense: the alternatives are better.

Nuclear energy is not as clean as solar or wind or as efficient as traditional sources. Just like nuclear energy, nuclear weapons are not as useful as traditional forces and not as tactical as cyber concerns. On the cyber front the fact North Korea can even be believed to have attacked us shows that virtually anything is a cyber threat. China and Russia aren't stupid, their not going to attack us with nukes but they can and have done cyber attacks on us. It is better if we focus on the attacks that can and will happen.

It is also better that we focus on the more traditional military capacities. Now the chances of nuclear war or any nuclear conflict occurring I feel are close to zero. Iran is being dealt with, North Korea is largely managed by China and neither China or Russia are stupid enough to attack us seeing the negative ramifications. The Kenen telegram is still in effect to this day I would say in that Russia is not stupid. Now the chances that we will go to traditional war with at least one of the nuclear states is close to one in my estimation and though not as deadly as nuclear war it is still deadly. Yes, you should worry about Ebola but you should get a flu vaccine.

Not to mention improving traditional warfare works to mitigate the negative effects of any potential nuclear war as well. Having a strong navy and air force can help shoot down or at least track the missiles before they are able to reach us. Every cost is an opportunity cost and I feel it is better to invest in other capacities.

It also provides a for any loss in prestige that you think are bad nuclear state is in. Having a traditionally powerful army makes us just as large a threat to any ordinary nation as it does to Russia or China. Perhaps even more because the concept that we will use regular forces is believable.

But, perhaps you will argue that we should just fund every part of the military. Fine then how? Every cost is an opportunity cost so who are we going to raise taxes on or what programs will we cut to make this possible and why wouldn't that money still be better spent focusing just on traditional or cyber concerns?

Let's not forget that the largest reason for having a nuclear stock is to serve as a deterrent. Using basic game theory all we need is one function nuke capable of hitting them to show cooperation is preferred to war (infinite turn prisoners delima loss of one round is all we need). Even if the stock is not up to the highest quality we only need to have them and a few functioning ones.
Debate Round No. 2


You have failed to address several of my previous main points, and therefore, I would like to quickly restate these points that have gone un refuted: firstly, the training and welfare of our employees is important, and as I said before, we need to be training them for the future, not keeping them in the 60s. These vital updates can only take place with increased funding. Second point, we cannot place the fate of our great nation in the hands of unreliable and laughably dated technology, and final unrefuted point, other nations are surpassing us in nuclear power, and we must act to preserve the national power and sway we worked so hard for, before it is too late.

In response to your arguments about funding "cyber warfare" or other things instead of the nuclear program, I would like to point out that these arguments are completely, and 100% unresolutional. This entire debate is based around the specific wording of this resolution: "The United states needs to increase funding to its nuclear program". Literally nowhere in that resolution does it say anything like "the nuclear program is the best use of surplus funds" or "the nuclear program should take presidence over all other parts of the military" , the resolution simply states that the united states needs to increase funding to its nuclear program, therefore the entirety of the arguments made in your paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are totally irrelevant to the resolution and the debate, and should be completely disregarded by the judges.

In regards to your statement that " I may argue that we should fund all parts of the military", you are trying to take apart and interrogate me about an argument I haven't made in this debate, and never even intended to make. In regards again to cyber warfare, I point to the fact that this debate has nothing to do with if the nuclear program is the best use of funds, it simply is about whether or not the united states should increase funding to the program. Therefore this continued argument about funding cyber warfare is again, totally unresolutional.

Lastly, just one nuke, is not very threatening from the standpoint of Russia or china. For example, say I'm china. Not only do I have literally 190 times more nuclear missiles than you, I also have the support of Russia, AMM's and other deterrents. Even if you managed to hit JUST ONE of my cities, I would be able to cripple every peice of important infrastructure in your country in under fifteen minutes, and you would be completely out of missiles. This is not about "Game Theory" this is about real live warfare. When other countries flaunt their growing and superior nuclear arsenals, we cannot get by by skimming off the very minimum. This is not only about North Korea or Iran, and neither is this debate. The US has other enemies. We must take the necessary and proportional action, in order to secure our nation's safety from said enemies , and that action is to refund and reinvigorate the nuclear program.

This debate has really boiled down to three points:
-Our staff and equipment needs to be updated
-Our arsenal is dated and rusting
-Other, dangerous, countries have surpassed us in nuclear might ie.(china)

I point to these three pivotal arguments, of which my opponent has successfully refuted none, and all of which I have backed with solid evidence. I point to these arguments which are the center of the debate and we see that I have won all of these points.

This and my rebuttal of all my opponents arguments, is why I believe I have won this debate today, and why I urge a PRO ballot from the judges in today's debate.

Thank you



First you cannot dismiss out of hand the cost argument. We need to get the funding from somewhere and you made no provision as to how. Every cost is an opportunity cost and thus the arguments make sense. Second, in reference to the cyber warfare point it does actually have relevance to the debate. Lets not forget it was a cyber attack on Iran that set there nuclear program back substantial amounts of time. Not only does it boast our defenses to a more probable attack but also our offenses. Thirdly, you completely disregard the validity of the deterrent effect. Lets not forget that no one has attacked the UK or France and their arsenals are far inferior to ours. It is also a mix of support from China and the deterrent effect of nukes that has prevented US from going against North Korea. They only have a handful but that is all we needed not to fight. India and Pakistan despise one another but have not gone to war because of the deterrent effect.

Also, you did not address all my points. The risk of us needing to use nukes is so negligible that it is completely useless to increase funding. There are far riskier things that need our attention.

Now to your points. As far as staff goes I still don't think this is relevant. They are military men they do not need luxury and upgrading their training does not require additional funds. However, as to the equipment much of this actually could serve as a detriment and not as a positive if we upgrade. The more technological our equipment becomes the more risks for hacking. Because, we have floppy disks the chance of our nukes being hacked like Iran is minimal. As to the dated and rusted this I feel really is not a different argument than the first point.

As to your third point, no, it is factually incorrect to say that China has surpassed us. I only share one link but much of the rest of the sites show the same. You have to assume a Chinese nuke is more than a thousand times better then the average American nuke to legitimately say they have surpassed us. Also let us not forget that do to proliferation treaties that all nation are supposed to be reducing their stockpile. If China rapidly starts increasing it we have diplomatic ways to deal with them. I mean we are not nuking Iran to top their nuclear program we are getting it through diplomacy and it is working rather well.

In general it is just not that big of a deal. The risk is low and much of the benefit comes from merely having them. Most of the use of nukes comes solely from deterrents which if North Korea has it with a stock far inferior to ours I feel its fine. Let's even assume that their first and second point are valid. Why does this not also apply to all the rest of our infrastructure? Even if you do not believe it is better to invest in security issues like the military shouldn't we make sure that our bridges don't collapse because of our own folly and not another nations?

In conclusion, the cost exceeds the benefits. Let us even assume that opportunity cost is not a valid cost. Let's just assume that it is purely a monetary cost to the debate. The benefit derived from upgrading is virtually zero. It does not make us any safer because we have diplomatic means and deterrents that protect us against war. Russia and China are not stupid they are not going to attack us thus making the need for nukes minimal. Let's even assume my opponent is right in their first two points this doesn't mean we get any benefit by upgrading.

Also, I hate to end on a nit pick but we don't "need" to do anything so just by the nature of the wording I am correct. We could get rid of our entire stock. I mean South Africa did and they are still safe. However, feel free to judge based of should instead of needs to.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by EchoboostX4 1 year ago
Y'all seem to have secluded yourselves militarily with the phrase "nuclear program". The debate would be totally different if you guys concentrated on a nuclear program NOT of weapons but of energy supplementation.
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