The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

The United States ought to stop being the world police

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 401 times Debate No: 82154
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




1. provide sources. Don't speak off of what you have done. Provide sources.
2. stick to round layout. If you don't then it throws people off.
3. Respect others. Just a courtesy rule.
4. Have fun. I want people to enjoy this.
5. Participate. No forfeiting any rounds without a good excuse like school, work, or down wifi.
5. Any breaking of any rule results in forfeit of all points

r1: acceptance and what you aim to prove
r2: opening statements
r3: questions
r4: answers
r5: rebuttals and closing statements

I accept my own terms and conditions. I will aim to prove why the Unitd States of America ought to stop being the world police


I accept the debate which Tmurdock has graciously opened! I aim to prove the that the US, on balance, should maintain it's presence as the "police man" of the world. :)
Debate Round No. 1


Tmurdock forfeited this round.


This debate is one of pragmatics and humanitarian morality, essentially asking whether or not the United States should act as an international police force. Essentially, this ideology stems from a foreign policy of interventionism, which is how this debate is to be argued. An isolationist US would be one that does not intervene where needed, and could be viewed as a lethargic policeman. Basically, the US should pursue a foreign policy of interventionism (rather than isolationism) to act as an international police force. Argumentation should center around pragmatics and morality, where humanitarian welfare is the optimal metric.

For years, we’ve recognized the state of US foreign policy, and perceive it as crippled -- stretching from one extreme (under Bush) to another (under Obama). It’s widely accepted Bush did far too much and Obama has not done enough to exercise military presence internationally. However, a fix to this problem wouldn’t be total isolationism, and removing our title as world police. Instead, as Wall Street Journal reminds us, “...we need… a foreign policy that is just right—neither too ambitious nor too quiescent, forceful when necessary but mindful that we must not exhaust ourselves in utopian quests to heal crippled societies.” [1] Again, that doesn’t come from completely refraining for actively engaging in foreign policy affairs, but it also doesn’t mean we should exert our powers when uneccessary. The balance can be found with a measured policy of interventionism, which is how I aim to prove the US should maintain its title as the police of the world.

One of the primary purposes for filling the role as “world police” is the nationalistic benefit for society. The proliferation and exertion of US power in international affairs encourages citizens their nation is powerful and can keep itself at the top of global powers. Moreover, the assistance which can be provided can facilitate improved international relations. The more we help, the more friends we make. The more allies we have, the more national pride we achieve by exercising international peace. In the past, similar interventionist actions have facilitated national pride. For example, the War of 1812 promoted patriotism in the US in its ultimate conclusion. Yuhao Wu of Osaka University explains “ The United States emerged out of the War of 1812 with an increased sense of national identity.” [2] Regardless of overall success, it still produced national pride the likes of which the US had not previously witnessed. It was it’s first interventional endeavor, and though not broadly successful, fabricated patriotism and nationalism. Their victories in the war, however small, demonstrably increased their loyalty and pride. The war essentially generated our current national anthem, the “Star-Spangled Banner.” [3] Essentially, the exercise of power is a major cause of nationalism and increased patriotic pride. This results in national unity, which can only serve to heal a wounded national division.

It’s generally accepted that heightened security will lead to less crime. This theory, time and again, has been demonstrated true. Crime rates in the US since 1990 have fallen [4], and the Economist points out one pivotal reason why. “Better policing is a more convincing explanation than bigger prisons: the expectation of being caught undoubtedly deters criminals.” [5] The WSJ again supports this concept by quoting “techniques that emphasized policing by foot patrols and the strict enforcement of laws against petty crimes and “social incivilities”—tended to register sharp drops in crime and improvements in the overall quality of life.” [1] The ideology of policing and the practice thereof has a substantial and verifiable positive effect on criminal activity. By applying the same logic, the US exerting its authority as the world police has a similar effect. A study by Emma Stewart of the University of Bradford comes to the same general conclusion, that conflict prevention can be a resultant of interventionist foreign policy. [6] Even without cited evidence, the patrol of US officers can help prevent criminal activity. Terrorist organizations realizing the US is caring for its allies and neutral territories alike will ultimately dissuade activities against international law.

There is great need for a world power to help international rule be kept in check and assist in crisis that arise. Conflicts, even in the past year, have plagued the earth -- and it’s important to note the US can help in them all -- including tyrannical acts by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Ukraine, and Syria are only a few of the plethora of horrific crisis that currently (or very recently) plague our world. A superpower like ours is not one incapable of providing the means to achieve the ends of helping the adversely affected societies and individuals. However, without an interventionist foreign policy of policing the world, we can’t provide them with the assistance they so desire and of which they are in dire need. Even in the past, intervention has been necessary. [7] Moreover, international law mandates intervention. The Council on Foreign Relations shows, “There are, to be sure, lots of international laws on the books prohibiting genocide, land mines, biological weapons and other nasty things. But without enforcement mechanisms, they are [...] meaningless.” [8] If no nations enforce international law, it’s illogical to abide by it. The US is well-equipped in doing so, and must therefore assume the position. Moreover, the world relies on the US for assistance in times of egregious circumstances. [9] Furthermore, there’s implications of detriments subsequent of our ill-decisions of not helping. The Atlantic demonstrates the possibility in 2013. “A bloody, grinding stalemate in Syria will not only empower Islamist extremist groups, who are currently still limited in their support and power inside Syria. It will also increase tensions in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq. Both scenarios have catastrophic consequences for regional stability and for the position of the United States in the Middle East.” [10] Their prediction is dangerously accurate. This calls for US policing to assist in the local efforts to restrain these problems from exponential worsening.

Some individuals may express their distaste on ethical grounds, but this is inherently false. The ethical case for interventionism/world policing is quite strong. First of all, interventionism is justified simply due to the fact of defense of aggression. Dealing with a problem before it becomes a personal one is sufficient grounds to intervene when deemed necessary. Australian philosopher C. A. J. Coady expresses “The power of the defense-against-aggression model can be derived from the moral appeal of a simple model of legitimate self-defense.” [11] Self-defense is acceptable and ethically necessary, and the following logic is cross-applied to international affairs. Intervention is ethically justified on the grounds of self-defense logic. However, Coady also further establishes two forefront reasons as to why intervention is justified. (1) Threats to International Peace, and (2) Massive Violation of Human Rights. Both of these reasons are logical and present in cases of intervention.

The position of interventionism can act as a gateway for the spread of democracy and other US ideals, which is a huge benefit. Democracy gives rights to the people, and should be at the forefront of our foreign policy concerns, even if not on a military level, but on an economic basis. Najtev Dhillon of Brookings Institute expresses agreement for this concept. “Democracy is hugely important… we are seeing some of those [democratic] movements emerge, and we ought to support them.” [12] Economic prosperity can become subsequent if we prioritize development of democracy by way of maintaining our presence as an interventionist super power. These benefits are only the follow-up of one policy: interventionist policing.

It’s imperative to recognize the ramifications of the lack of interventionism and worldwide patrol. The Telegraph does well to conclude the arguments I’ve made, “There is only one thing worse than the United States acting as the world’s policeman. And that’s the United States not acting as the world’s policeman.” [13] In the end, policing the world promotes nationalism, is a prevention of infringement on international law, is necessary, is ethical, and can be utilized to promote democracy and the proliferation of Western ideals.

Debate Round No. 2


how spread out are we?
why do we have the final say?
Who or what gives us the right to do to this?
Is there problems today in the U.S?
Should we help ourselves or others first?
Can we force someone to change their morals?


Why did you forfeit?
Does the US have the moral obligation to protect its citizens?
Should the US intervene when allied nations' security is at risk?
If other nations are in need, do we have an obligation to help them?
Should we pursue national sovereignty or globalization?
Should we promote democracy to protect international individualism?
Is it ethical to allow preventable suffering?
Should we prevent crime when possible?
Should we promote nationalism in our country?
Debate Round No. 3


im sorry, but in order to understand I need you to change the text to normal english


** Sincere apologies for the technical glitch, I don't know what happened. Hopefully this link will be a remedy: [] **

1. We? To whom does that refer? Without clarity, I cannot accurately answer the question posed.
2. We? Again, I'm not sure to whom this is referring. I will assumed the US and provide the following answer: The final say is actually not necessarily accurate in terms of foreign policy and being the world police. We simply intervene to provide assistance.
3. The moral obligation we have to assist people in need, for one.
4. Yes.
5. Generally, on a humanitarian level, that depends on which is in more desperate or immediate need.
6. Not necessarily.

My opponent should have the option to answer the questions in the comments as to allow full character space in his final rebuttal round. Again, I apologize for the technical glitch. I feel it has something to do with adding the text to DDO, as I typed them up in normal English in Google Docs. However, I don't think this necessarily hinders the debate, as we have one final round of argumentation remaining. Ergo, I pass the round off to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 4


Thank you for the help.
not before our own
no, but we can't help others until capable to do so

Intro: Welcome to flight 109. please remember in face of an emergency please put your own respirator mask on before helping others. Thank you, and enjoy the flight!
1: The U.S. has many of their own problems. We are not able to help others. We have homeless vetrans, refugees, and many more problems. Here is a list.
2: Have you ever played risk? We are spreading ourselves too thin. Here is a list of all the countries we are giving aid to.
3: stats
A: unemployment
B: Homeless
Conclusion: America is spread too thin! We are not capable yet, but will resume once capable.

Overlook: We are helping too many people. We can't help others if we aren't even helping our own people. Vote with me and side with helping ourselves before we help others!


Because of his earlier forfeit, Pro violated rules 2, 5, and {6}. This has forfeited his chance to refute my arguments; therefore, they all stand unrefuted. These include:
- Spur of nationalism and pride
- Preventionism
- Necessity of assistance
- Ethics
- Spread of democracy

Moreover, he didn't answer all of my questions.

My framework stands, and should be used to judge the debate.

1. US Internal Problems
- This debate is about what the US ought (implying moral obligation) to do, which largely involves humanitarian morality.
- My opponent's advocation to solve problems like unemployment and homelessness is also applicable to other countries.
- His advocacy actually fulfills my framework for my side, further exemplifying the US ought to attempt to solve these problems.
- As I've explained the US obligation includes the US, but also extends further out.
- My opponent has not shown why his side better provides overall humanitarian welfare.

2. Spreading Too Thin
Again, this doesn't explain why the US ought *not* assist when capable.
- The argument doesn't explain how the US giving aid to those countries makes the US spread *too* thin.

3. Stats
With not explanation of the stats, there is no impact here. This point is nullified.

- My opponent doesn't create a link between aid and being spread too thin, so this conclusion is meritless
- Moreover, I've explained contrary points

My opponent has never established this as fact.
- Policies are in place to help the problems my opponent mentions, such as employment [] and homelessness [].
- Humanitarian welfare mandates we help all in need.
- Since both the US and other countries are being helped, there's no need to stray from being the Worldwide Sheriff.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by ColeTrain 11 months ago
What? @lannan
Posted by lannan13 11 months ago
Well then.
Posted by ColeTrain 11 months ago
Hmm. Is it not appearing in English again? This happened once before. I will create a Google Doc in which you can read both my case and my questions, and then answer in the comments so as not to fault you (or me, for that matter) of technical glitches. The link will be posted shortly.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by famousdebater 11 months ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro broke his own rule in R1. No forfeiting. Since he also provided no arguments other than questions whereas con was able to provide an argument, I vote Con.