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

The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/17/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,162 times Debate No: 25119
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Since my last attempt to debate this resulted in a forfeit, I'm going to try again as con.

Resolved: The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan.

Round structure:

1) Acceptance
2) Arguments
3) Rebuttals
4) Response to rebuttals.
5) Summary


Burden of proof is shared.
Definitions/framework is open.
You can only respond to something said in a previous round.
Forfeit in any round is an automatic loss unless worked out through a mutual agreement.
No new rebuttals in round 5. Show why you have won, do not attack what was said in round 4.

This is one of my stronger cases. As such, I'd prefer a skilled opponent, but have made the debate acceptable by anyone.


I accept the debate. BOP shared as you said.

Can we in the comments come up with a mutal definition of Assistance?

If not I am willing to say that Assistance is any material, or gesture, that would help Pakistan.
Debate Round No. 1


We negate.

I agree to my opponent's definition, that assistance is any material or gesture that would help Pakistan. Note that, as the resolution states all assistance, pro must argue for a complete suspension of such materials or gestures. However, as the resolution also states "suspend," pro must only argue for aid to be stopped temporarily.

Contention one: Suspending assistance would destabilize Pakistan.

Subpoint A: Humanitarian Aid: The New York Times explains how the three year old civilian government is deeply unpopular, having failed to provide a better life for Pakistanis. The economy is failing, while education, health care, and other services from the government are almost nonexistent. ( The general populace now relies heavily on U.S. humanitarian aid. Notable successes of such aid include the addition of 700 megawatts of power to Pakistan’s fragile grid, the annual delivery of 32 million polio vaccinations, and flood response programs which supported over 600,000 families. Without this vital aid, millions of citizens would no longer have power, access to health care and education, or food, water, and sanitation services. Suspending assistance would only exacerbate the problems faced by the Pakistani citizens.

Subpoint B: Economic Assistance: Pakistan’s extremely fragile economy, which nearly collapsed in 2008, is currently supported by USAID. In addition to the money the government receives, local communities greatly benefit from agricultural programs, which raised farmer’s wheat yields 60% above the national average after the 2010 floods. ( Vocational training is also given to women entrepreneurs, health care providers, and education administrators. ( under health, education, and economic growth) Individual industries also benefit greatly, with the facilitation of mango exports through three additional processing centers and the farming industry receiving drought-resistant crops and livestock supplies. ( With IMF repayments coming due soon, U.S. economic assistance is more vital than ever.

In a nuclear armed nation of 180 million, whose citizens are already discontent with the government, and which borders Afghanistan, stability is the U.S.’ number one goal. The risk of nuclear proliferation and the amount of anti-Americanism will greatly increase in the context of an unstable Pakistan. (

Contention two: Pakistan is a benefit in the war on terror.

Subpoint A: Supply Routes. Pakistan contains the main supply route to Afghanistan. Alternate supply routes, such as the Northern Distribution network, cost the U.S. roughly 2.1 billion dollars over the span of 8 months ( Such routes are also far more dangerous, going through the extremely unstable country of Uzbekistan, which is best known for the fact that they still boil people alive. Combined with the additional cost of airlifting supplies which cannot be sent through alternate routes, suspending assistance to Pakistan will cost the U.S. billions of dollars per year, saving little to no money and jeopardizing our efforts in Afghanistan.

Subpoint B: Drone strikes. Aerial drone strikes from bases within Pakistan have killed thousands of terrorists since the program has been introduced. Not only does Pakistan allow such strikes, but on numerous occasions it has requested them. For example, a leaked state department cable revealed that Pakistan’s top army general has been privately pleading for an increase of drone strikes in the North Waziristan area, aimed at the residing Haqqani network ( Subsequent strikes led to the killing of the 3rd highest ranking member of the Haqqani clan, in addition to hundreds of other low-ranking militants.

Subpoint C: Intelligence: The information the U.S. gains through Pakistani relations has led to the death or capture of numerous high ranking Al Qaeda members, such as Khalid Mohammed, the mastermind behind 9/11 ( The CFR notes that “through bilateral cooperation, more al-Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed in Pakistan than in any other country.” ( The U.S. also relies on Pakistan for intelligence to identify targets for drone strikes and to help control the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Pakistan also allows U.S. officials to remain within select military bases, gathering their own counterterrorism intelligence.

Contention three: Suspending assistance would shift Pakistan’s allegiances.

Subpoint A: Terrorist networks: The CFR explains the impact of past aid cuts: As relations with the US deteriorated, Pakistan pursued ties with the Taliban... It also continued an aggressive nuclear program, complete with disastrous global proliferation. ( Shortly after these aid cuts, anti-Americanism shot through the roof. By 2001, U.S. approval ratings were at only 10%. ( Another aid cut, confirming the suspicions of the Pakistani citizens that the U.S. is just a fair-weather friend, as well as giving the sense of another American betrayal, will only repeat the mistakes of the past. With Pakistan expressing interest in maintaining influence in a post-America Afghanistan, alliances with the Taliban and the Haqqani network, which were previously broken off, are sure to reappear.

Subpoint B: Iran: Since 2005, Islamabad has increasingly turned to Tehran to supply Pakistan’s growing energy needs. Bilateral trade between the two countries has greatly increased as the U.S.-Pakistani relationship weakens ( A suspension of the desperately needed economic aid and the power that comes with it will lead to a far stronger Pakistani-Iranian bond. Such an alliance between two anti-American countries will have devastating effects on U.S. global interests. From the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism: Powerful stakeholders within Iran and Pakistan want an unstable Afghanistan. These actors, the Pakistani ISI and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, see an unstable Afghanistan as the way to undermine U.S. South Asian foreign policy goals. In addition, an intimate Iran-Pakistan relationship is a major concern for Washington, as better relations may lead Pakistan to share its nuclear technology with Iran. (



My argument is simple. We are in an astronomical debt crisis in our country. What assistiance does Pakistan need? They had bin Laden hiding under their noses, most likely knew about it, and didnt say anything, but rather condmened us for getting him.

They serve no purpose for us, they can defend themselves. Why should we offer assistance?
Debate Round No. 2


I'll refute my opponent's arguments statement by statement.

"We are in an astronomical debt crisis in our country"

We gave Pakistan about $4.3 billion dollars in 2010, and $2.4 billion in 2009. ( By the figures I supplied in round one, alternate supply routes to Afghanistan cost $3.15 billion dollars per year. This is, however, with certain non-combat supplies still being sent through Pakistan. Should Pakistan completely shut down their supply routes, the U.S. will incur additional costs of up to 4 billion dollars per year. The actual amount of money being saved by suspending assistance is minuscule at best.

"What assistance does Pakistan need?"

Humanitarian and economic assistance, as discussed in my first contention.

Pakistan's economy was only prevented from collapsing by an IMF loan in 2008. They are very dependant on foreign aid, especially in 2012 with IMF repayments soon coming due. U.S. aid works from the ground up to help stabilize the Pakistani economy, mostly through the creation of jobs and the support of individual industries. "USAID has trained 70,000 women micro entrepreneurs from Punjab and Sindh in basic financial literacy and enterprise management training... Since 2003, USAID’s health program has trained 11,000 health care providers, provided 126 ambulances, and upgraded 89 community healthcare facilities... USAID has trained more than 10,000 school administrators and teachers ..." (

Humanitarian assistance is also vital. Health care services, polio vaccinations, flood response programs, etc. are all given by the United States directly to the citizens who need them the most. This aid is vital not only to help stabilize Pakistan, but also to maintain a positive U.S. image.

"They had bin Laden hiding under their noses, most likely knew about it, and didn't say anything, but rather condemned us for getting him"

I would like to see a warrant for your second claim.

"The Americans who deal with Pakistan believe that General Kayani and the director of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, were genuinely surprised and embarrassed that Bin Laden was so close by, though the Americans fault the Pakistanis for not looking very hard." (

However, even if Pakistan intentionally hid Osama Bin Laden, suspending assistance isn't going to change their general attitude towards terrorism. Past aid cuts have always lead to Pakistan pursuing ties with other terrorist networks. As of right now, most of the ties have been successfully broken off with U.S. pressure. If my opponent believes that sheltering Osama Bin Laden is wrong, then he surely agrees that the U.S. should do everything in its power to prevent Pakistan from sheltering other terrorists.

Speaking of Osama Bin Laden, remember that “through bilateral cooperation, more al-Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed in Pakistan than in any other country.” (

"They serve no purpose for us"

The entirety of my second contention refutes this. Pakistan allows us to use their supply routes, shares counter-terrorism intelligence, allows drone strikes within their borders, and has large counterterrorism operations of their own. Assistance to Pakistan also prevents alliances with Iran and terrorist networks, and helps to prevent nuclear proliferation.

"they can defend themselves"

That's not relevant to this debate. Our aid is primarily given to further U.S. foreign policy goals, meaning we don't give aid to assist Pakistan in defending themselves, but rather to encourage Pakistan to take action against terrorist networks. Our aid is successful in this goal.


davidtaylorjr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I am sad.

Vote pro.


davidtaylorjr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Vote con.


I am sorry for my absence. Family issues took priority over this debate. I concede.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Stupidwalrus 5 years ago
Er, I actually meant to say vote con... I've been pro in all of my other debates with a forfeit.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
Love the PFD topic. Very good choice.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro provided an argument but under scrutiny, not only was much of it addressed by Con's round but it proved marginally related at best; Pro was most likely under the pressures he named in the last and was thus gave a not-too good performance. A cut-and-dried case considering the jarring contrast between Con's factually well-supported case, discussing not only the economic relevance, as wells other pressing matters of urgency, of providing assistance to Pakistan as well as other reasons.