The Instigator
Samyul
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TBR
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The United States should go on the "attack" against ISIS

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
TBR
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,062 times Debate No: 70535
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

Samyul

Pro

Hello!

I would like to debate a current "hot topic" in our political military world, ISIS! I believed that the United States should actively persue ISIS members and territory both with military force and with foreign influence.

When I say persue I mean actively start advancing an attacking style front on ISIS. I believe and will argue the current state of ISIS is not one that should be taken defensively, but on the attack.

My opponent will argue to opposite, that the US should take a defensive style approach to means of dealing with ISIS.

First round is for acceptance.

PS - Offensive style / defensive style are battle terms relating to combating an enemy and approaches as to which is strategically better based on opinion. Both terms are opinion and cannot be easily defined, therefor the best I can say is use common sense. We are all smart here, let's stay away from semantics on what is an offensive approach and what is a defensive approach, don't be that guy/girl.
TBR

Con

I accept. The United States should not go on the "attack" against ISIS
Debate Round No. 1
Samyul

Pro

Thank you for to my opponent for the acceptance, I look forward to a great debate.

There is some confusion in the comments that I would like to clear up to start off my opening argument.

Should VS Will
There is a huge difference between the US making a decision to go on the offensive against ISIS and the conclusion that they actually will. A few comments suggest that the US never will go on the attack and most likely they won't in my opinion, but that doesn't change fact that they should. Yes, the US most likely will not, but no, that is not what they should do. And that is what I'm arguing, look at the title of the debate, "The United States Should" this doesn't mean that they will, but they should.

An Offensive Strategy
So, what exactly do I mean by the US' offensive strategy. When I talk about offensive I certainly don't mean an official decleration of war, that would be absurd considering this is simply a group. not a country. My idea of an offense is the idea of US presence and monitor in ISIS claimed terrority, in allied nations with their consent, and even on our soil. Once, again, this is not an all out war on ISIS, just a progressive approach to an inevitable conflict.

Inevitable Conflict, and avoiding the avoidable
It is no secret the US is a target for ISIS. Just yesterday Al Shabaab of ISIS called for an attack on the Mall Of America in Minnesota (1). ISIS is a direct threat to America, (2) and who knows what they are capable of producing. The problem with ISIS is that they are not confined in one region, they are mobile and have "pockets" around the globe. The fact of the matter is that ISIS influence and informants could be here in America, the influence of ISIS is near impossible to stop but we can hunt down and stop any ISIS soldiers or informants in America, which I think would be progressive and beneficial to public safety, if we go on the offensive. We cannot sit back and wait for a MOA bombing, in my opinion it would be much safer to avoid the avoidable. Nobody is stopping us from persuing and watching over possible ISIS members that are living here in our homeland, but if we take on defensive approach we are inviting pressure and possible terrorist attacks on our nation.

Monitoring of ISIS Teritory and Allied Nations
ISIS is hunting down people all over the world and publically slaughtering them on film. Yes, including Americans. I think that once ISIS has started killing US Citizens, then they become not only a threat to national security, but also an enemy of our country. Yes Americans die in foreign nations often, but not by terrorist groups who video it and then mock our country by killing our people. ISIS has become an enemy to the US and a defensive approach is inviting more gruesome online beheadings of our people. The US would receive great benefits by mobilizing in to regions of ISIS control, not necessarily by moving in an army, but by using technology and other forms of intelligence gathering to know more about this group. If we know more about them, we then have a stronger defense, because we can predict what ISIS may do next. If we link up with allied nations, we can have the same benefits in a way. ISIS have claimed attacks on nations like France and England, and if we go to those nations to provide support we may also learn more about the attacks, and then learn more about ISIS' attacks and better prepare ourselves for a possible attack on our soil. (3)

Conclusion
ISIS is a national threat. They have killed Americans, threatened America, and an attack on our soil is hanging over our heads. If we go on the attack and monitor incoming possible ISIS members in to America, go monitor their claimed territory, work with nations already attacked, we can go on the progressive front and move towards either stopping an attack completely, or better preparing ourselves for one. A defensive approach where we sit back and wait for an ISIS attack is dangerous to our citizens. We need to actively persue and hunt out possible attacks before it's too late. Once again, this is not a call to war, rather a call to action to go on the offense against someone who is going on the attack against us.

Thanks to everyone for reading and I look forward to hearing from my opponent.

(1)http://www.foxnews.com...
(2) http://www.cnn.com...
(3) http://www.theatlantic.com...
TBR

Con

I appreciate Samyul for opening this debate topic. The impact of the decisions that are made around this topic will effect real people in the most fundamental ways. Going on the "attack" is not a subject to take lightly, and I expect neither of us are.

Opening argument
The civil wars in Syria and Iraq have provoked outrage. Horrific sectarian violence producing a staggering body count. The refugees the fighting has displaced estimated at over two million and growing [1]. The natural human response to this is to act. Adding to our emotional response are the open wounds of terrorist attacks on our own country, and the costly wars that ensued. Rhetorically, if we don’t act, what was accomplished with all our blood and treasure?

The problem with this line of thought is, additional US intervention runs demonstrably counter to the perceived goals. We are less likely to end the suffering than to compound it, stretching the killing out over decades instead of years. We strengthen the cause of ISIS, knowing that our intervention is critical to their objective of uniting the Middle East in a very vertical interpretation of Islam.

Elaborating on these two points in turn:

We are less likely to end suffering than to compound it.
The United States is without question the most powerful fighting force on the planet today. Our capabilities run a wide range, however, going on the attack, in whatever form that takes, means fighting a lesser adversary with our monstrously superior force. Try as we might, the civilian population will be in greater jeopardy in the immediate presence of the US military. In Iraq we are counting in the hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties [4].

Our recent involvement in the Middle East has strong lessens for us about our expectations for length of wars. ‘‘I can’t say if the use of force would last five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.’’ - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [5].


We strengthen the cause of ISIS
ISIS, learning from the recent pass, have a keen understanding of the value of propaganda. Their grizzly shows of beheading westerners is not stupidity, or arrogance. They are orchestrating intervention. ISIS needs the west as the evil “other”. The cause for the riotous fight, the image for recruitment and consensus around their interpretation of Islam.

During the run-up to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many who favored less military intervention said something to the effect that killing some number of terrorists only resulted in multiplying the terrorists. The argument goes - regardless if my father was a terrorists or not, if he was killed by a US bombing launched by a drone, it is a powerful motivator for me to want to fight back at the killer of my father. The religious extremists stepping in when emotions are high fill my need for revenge. Chopping off the head of an enemy by proxy is not as barbaric as the killing of my father by drone strike! The results are in at this point, and it’s not hypothetical anymore [2][3]. We are creating them with every one we kill.

Adding to the obstacles ISIS must overcome is the issue of adoption and acceptance of their vision of Islam. When the battle is contained entirely within the bounds of Islam, the population is splintered. However, when faced with the radical “other” the slight shades of gray become less critical. That is, whatever disagreement the population may have about the correct Implementation of Islam, it looks trivial when facing the western world that seems hostile to Islam in any configuration.

Summary of intimal points
The members of ISIS are clear in their hatred of the west. They are violent. They are a growing force in the regent. That we want to do something about them is all very understandable. What we can and should do about them is not as clear. About the only approach that is a known looser is direct attack.

[1] http://www.unhcr.org...
[2] http://www.washingtonsblog.com...
[3] http://www.thenation.com...
[4] https://www.iraqbodycount.org...
[5] http://www.personal.psu.edu...

Debate Round No. 2
Samyul

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for his opening case. My opponent didn't seem to refute my arguments rather they instead created their own. I understand this as it was never clear to ask for a direct rebuttal to my case in the second round. My arguments therefore if my opponent so chooses to argue them will remain open until the end of the debate. Instead of piling on more to my opening arguments I will discuss my opponents and prove in favor that going on the defense will be the wrong choice in dealing with ISIS.


STRENGTHENING THE CAUSE OF ISIS-

My opponent claims that ISIS is orchestrating intervention, and I agree, but that doesn't not mean we should go on the defensive. ISIS is showing propaganda to get us angry and dig deep in to our spirit and nationalism to pull out conflict and I agree with my opponent that this is happening. IF WE DO NOT for say pursue this conflict though, ISIS will have to dig deeper. Right now it's videos to get our angered attention, but if they never receive our attention because we fall in to the viewpoint of my opponent and do nothing, that's not going to make ISIS stop going for our attention. They will possibly go for home soil attacks and more extreme measures to get us involved. If we do not give them attention now then we are inviting a serious, dangerous problem unto ourselves that in hindsight could have been avoided.

As to my opponent's points about us getting involved and that provoking a quicker spawn rate of terrorists and giving young people an escape to terrorism I unfortunately have to say that terrorism, as long as the Middle East remains a hot spot for various religions, will always produce terrorists and those terrorists will have ties to previous terrorist groups. Unfortunately when you have so many religions in a confined area intimidation and violence will result, and terrorism will always exist. These terrorist groups will have roots to others, and always go back to a hatred of the west.

I guess what I'm trying to say is us not attacking ISIS is not going to stop the spread of terrorism in the Middle East and a thought that it will is false. Optimistic, yes, but unfortunately there's an ugly truth.

WE ARE LESS LIKELY TO END SUFFERING THAN TO COMPOUND IT-

My opponent makes a point to say that a military of great size and force pursuing ISIS would case more harm than good. I agree, and I'm glad I made a point in my opening argument that when I say attack ISIS I do not mean an invasion of great force. I mean small Intel gathering and reconnaissance, not an invasion. So my opponent's claim of that being an issue is resolved, I agree it is and never said otherwise.

My opponent bases the next point on that permise that I just concluded as resolved, so my opponent's next claim is assumed to be resolved as well, nontheless for the sake of the debate I will refute it. My opponent says that "the civilian population will be in greater jeapordy in the immediate presence of the US Military." Also possibly true, BUT is the civilian population not already in danger? They have a world wide known terrorist organization toting guns throughout their streets and beheading journalists from around the world in the neighborhood, are they not already in danger? And another point, aren't we in danger? There have been calls to action to bomb our Mall of America, should we worry about the foreign well-being of a small Islamic town more than we should one of our own? That's just assuming I was in favor of an immediate US military presense, which I stated above I am not. Just because I am in favor of going on the offence does not mean I'm in favor of deploying units to charge in to battle.

FINAL POINTS-

My opponent gave some good points and summed up their debate with the idea that ISIS is a force that is something to be taken with care, and what we should do about them is not clear. (That is not a direct quote, but a summed up interpretation). I refute that taken a defensive, "not clear" idea to a serious threat to our citizens is dangerous and even more clear in itself. Sitting back and waiting for ISIS to strike US in a sensitive spot is a ticking time bomb, and when it goes off citizens will call for a serious call to action and a serious need to go on the attack, more than I would agree with!
I am in favor of oppressing this issue with offensive style, but if we wait to get attacked, the American people and government will be so overwhelmed with emotion (much like 9/11) that we will call for something me and my opponent both disagree on, a war! We need to start the offensive now before it's too late and the offensive style is lost to an extreme. It's time to act before it is too late and protecting the lives and soil of our homeland is easily exchanged for a foreign presense, not war, but presense and investigation in to ISIS.








TBR

Con

My opponent has presented a compelling case. Compelling cases got us into a number of devastating wars without a productive resolution. One of these pervious devastating wars is almost completely the cause of the current ISIS conflict.

I will use this round to rebut the case presented by pro, and thank him for his thoughtful effort.

“Should VS Will”
Not quoted to save space

I have no objection to pros description of the debate.



“An Offensive Strategy”
Not quoted to save space

I similarly have no issue with the description of offensive strategy as it relates to this debate.



“Inevitable Conflict, and avoiding the avoidable
It is no secret the US is a target for ISIS. Just yesterday Al Shabaab of ISIS called for an attack on the Mall Of America in Minnesota (1). ISIS is a direct threat to America, (2) and who knows what they are capable of producing. The problem with ISIS is that they are not confined in one region, they are mobile and have "pockets" around the globe. The fact of the matter is that ISIS influence and informants could be here in America, the influence of ISIS is near impossible to stop but we can hunt down and stop any ISIS soldiers or informants in America, which I think would be progressive and beneficial to public safety, if we go on the offensive. We cannot sit back and wait for a MOA bombing, in my opinion it would be much safer to avoid the avoidable. Nobody is stopping us from persuing and watching over possible ISIS members that are living here in our homeland, but if we take on defensive approach we are inviting pressure and possible terrorist attacks on our nation.”

ISIS calling for attacks on - or in the case of the video linked by pro, Al Shabaab (not ISIS) - is not much different than any other radical spouting their venom. In the 80’s the “Army of God”[1] was actively threatening bombings and killing[3]. That they have motivates is not in dispute, do they have means and opportunity? Can the means and opportunity be mitigated in any other way than attack? Can another way be more productive?

Pro points to some of the questions. ISIS may, most likely has, sympathetic supporters in the US, but pro further states “the influence of ISIS is near impossible to stop but we can hunt down and stop any ISIS soldiers or informants in America”. On that we agree. In pros definition of “offensive strategy he says”My idea of an offense is the idea of US presence and monitor in ISIS claimed terrority, in allied nations with their consent, and even on our soil”. This definition was sprung on the debate, but I don’t disagree with it now or before. Where we diverge most strikingly is in severity of the threat. Pro has conceded later that “monitoring” is defensive. We agree on many points, but not on severity.



“Monitoring of ISIS Teritory and Allied Nations
ISIS is hunting down people all over the world and publically slaughtering them on film. Yes, including Americans. I think that once ISIS has started killing US Citizens, then they become not only a threat to national security, but also an enemy of our country. Yes Americans die in foreign nations often, but not by terrorist groups who video it and then mock our country by killing our people. ISIS has become an enemy to the US and a defensive approach is inviting more gruesome online beheadings of our people. The US would receive great benefits by mobilizing in to regions of ISIS control, not necessarily by moving in an army, but by using technology and other forms of intelligence gathering to know more about this group. If we know more about them, we then have a stronger defense, because we can predict what ISIS may do next. If we link up with allied nations, we can have the same benefits in a way. ISIS have claimed attacks on nations like France and England, and if we go to those nations to provide support we may also learn more about the attacks, and then learn more about ISIS' attacks and better prepare ourselves for a possible attack on our soil. (3)”

Pro says that ISIS is hunting down people all over the world and slaughtering them on film. This is simply untrue. They are hunting down targets of opportunity within a growing, but still relativity small and contained area of the world [4]. Pro rightly states that the ISIS body count includes Americans. Four of them [6]. That is four Americans killed between 2013 and 2015. Each of these American deaths, while you may use any adjective – I suggest despicable, are still insignificant, and even understandable when considered in the context of choice of the individuals to enter a known battle zone and the intent of terrorism. I have no interest in blaming the victims, only to provide context.

Pro wants to make the leap between a handful of Americans killed and a risk to national security. Terrorism in general accounts for a scant few deaths [5] every year, and the common reaction is horror - the intended reaction of those doing the terrorism. But this hardly rises to the level of risk to national security. The way we invite additional terrorism is to react to the terrorism the way the terrorists want us to react.

P
ro suggests using inelegance, gathering more information. I agree that this defensive strategy is sound. Pro states that these would make for a stronger defense. Further pro wants to use this information to prepare for, and repel attack. Sounds good to me, a perfectly acceptable and smart defense.

Conclusion
ISIS is a national threat. They have killed Americans, threatened America, and an attack on our soil is hanging over our heads. If we go on the attack and monitor incoming possible ISIS members in to America, go monitor their claimed territory, work with nations already attacked, we can go on the progressive front and move towards either stopping an attack completely, or better preparing ourselves for one. A defensive approach where we sit back and wait for an ISIS attack is dangerous to our citizens. We need to actively persue and hunt out possible attacks before it's too late. Once again, this is not a call to war, rather a call to action to go on the offense against someone who is going on the attack against us.

Pro and I are not very far off, but where we differ I think is critical. How existential is the threat. Although terrifying looking, ISIS is simply not a threat on par with other threats we should consider. It is giving them too much credit.

[1] http://www.armyofgod.com...

[2] http://www.religioustolerance.org...

[3] http://www.historycommons.org...

[4] http://i.dailymail.co.uk...

[5] http://www.globalresearch.ca...

[6] http://www.syracuse.com...

Debate Round No. 3
Samyul

Pro

Samyul forfeited this round.
TBR

Con

This was a good debate. Samyul has FF the last round, but I don't want that to completely destroy the voting, so I will not present my summary.

Vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
- Truth is, I was hoping to find problems with your case instead of Pro's, but unfortunately the facts spoke differently. x)
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
Thanks for the thoughtful attention. I doubt anyone else would have given it near the same scrutiny.

I thought you were giving me a little crap about 2 million estimate, then I looked at the link. Nope, you are dead on! I picked that number up in another article I was reading, and simply associated it in my mind with the UN Refugee Agency link. Good catch.
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
RFD - 2

Conduct:

=> Both Pro & Con shared decency & respect throughout the argument. However, Conduct goes to Con, for Pro forfeited his 4th Round, hasn"t been clear about the Resolution, which Con did not contest, & mislead the reader about the content of his sources.

Arguments:

- Pro"s argument is that ISIL is a potential threat to America, & thus the US should react, even if the threat is trivial or just propaganda, for it could escalate to more serious stages that may threaten National Security, where then it"s too late to act.

- Con"s argument is that any attempt to intervene in the Middle East will strengthen the cause of ISIL instead of impeding it, for it will worsen the situation & provide ISIL & its muslim adversaries a common enemy they can all reunite against. & he backed this projection with compelling evidence from the past & the present.

- Pro"s argument on monitoring ISIL soil as to maintain National Security may fall into both approaches (defensive & offensive), as Con specified: the incentive must be considerable ("severity of threat") for such measures to be deemed defensive & not offensive. & thus the argument is equally grounded in both positions.

=> It is expected from a debate format such as this that there"ll be a lot of speculations from both Pro or Con, for the Resolution speaks of a hypothetical situation. However, Pro"s lack of backing sources made his argument far less compelling than Con"s, for we are left with a series of speculations hard to count on. & thus arguments go to Con.
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
RFD - 1

Relevant topic to current affairs, though a quite short debate. There was confusion about the definition of "attack" as an offensive approach vs. a defensive approach which makes it difficult to weigh which argument falls under which.

Spelling & Grammar:

=> Equal grounds.

Sources:

- Pro, unfortunately, used non-supportive sources in R2, & no sources in R3.
(1) Was talking about Shabab not ISIL, plus it refutes Pro"s claim of declared attack: "U.S. authorities said there was "no credible" evidence suggesting a U.S. mall attack was in the works."
(2) Not mentioning anything about "ISIS is a direct threat to America".
(3) Is suggesting that if ISIL"s captives ransoms is not paid, they are unlikely to refrain from taking them, for they could
use them for publicity. Which says more about how ISIL exploits the western powers than how it "claims to attack".

- Con uses mostly supportive & reliable sources:
In R2
[1] Non-supportive source (no mention of "2 million refugees!").
[2] Neat source showing with clear charts the impact "the War on Terror" had in the expansion of Terrorism, & thus "strengthening the cause of ISIS".
[3] Explaining in detail the context of "the War of Terror" & the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, & how western foreign policies & force interventions lead to the emergence & thriving of ISIL.
[4] Serves its purpose.
[5] Accurate.
In R3
[1] LoL.
[2] [3] Detailed accounts "active threatening bombings and killing" of the "Army of God".
[4] Map as evidence for ISIL"s "relativity small and contained area of the world".
[5] Extended details about the fact that "Terrorism in general accounts for a scant few deaths".

=> Sources incontestably go to Con, for Pro has provided none that would count.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
All good. I like the debate so far.
Posted by Samyul 2 years ago
Samyul
I know, I made that clear and that's why I didn't want to create any new arguments, I just thought it would be un fair to you if I started creating more and more debate topics. I understand I never clarified a structure and fault you for nothing.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
Just for clarity Samyul, you did not layout round structure. With 4 rounds I thought it best to NOT rebut your first round in my first round.

I will address them in the next. Thought it would be fair.
Posted by dela 2 years ago
dela
if the US government did now, then they'd be accused for terrorism, Isis hasn't done anything to them directly.

but that area does have a lot of oil and it's in the US governments interest to be on that areas good side for all the oil.

I don't think the us government will do anything unless Isis does something to them directly, they do have the biggest debt among other countries and all those guns are expensive...
Posted by David2000 2 years ago
David2000
Let's be entirely honest here. Unless ISIS commits an act of terrorism against the United States, they are not going to do anything about ISIS as it is not in the national interests of the government to launch an attack on ISIS. We have seen that the U.S doesn't do anything that isn't in their national interest, such as Joseph Kony.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
SamyulTBRTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD => Check comments.