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

The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,284 times Debate No: 25907
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Criteria – The U.S. should not suspend civilian or humanitarian assistance. If we convince you this, you should vote for us because the AFF. Side has not shown that the U.S. should suspend ALL assistance.

My first contention is -
1.Suspending aid drives Pakistan toward other sources, our enemies.

Huffington post states, “As The Council on Foreign Relations reminds us, the last time we walked away was disastrous."As relations with the United States deteriorated, Pakistan pursued ties with the Taliban‐‐part of its "strategic depth" initiative to counter India and bring "stability" to Afghanistan after the Soviet occupation. It also continued an aggressive nuclear program too, complete with disastrous global proliferation." However, a Pakistani change in heart would not have to be so dramatic to have adverse effects on America. For example, if Pakistan were to align itself with China, China could leverage Pakistan into antagonizing India. According to the Washington Quarterly, "As India struggles to emerge as a global power with an ambitious foreign policy agenda, China can effectively scuttle Indian ambitions by continuing with its diplomatic and military support to Pakistan. Much to India's chagrin, China has given ample indications in the recent past that it wants to follow that path." The Quarterly also shows that should we suspend aid, this turn to China would happen. Reacting to the U.S. move to suspend some aid in July 2011, Islamabad's ambassador Masood Khan, was quick to suggest that ‘‘China will stand by us in difficult times as it has been doing for the past years.' Pakistan could also be driven to Saudi Arabia, a known hot spot for terrorists who could use nuclear bombs. According to Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institute, In October 2003, when Crown Prince Abdullah visited Pakistan for a state visit. Several experts reported after the trip that a secret agreement was concluded that would ensure Pakistan would provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear by Text-Enhance" href="../debates/The-United-States-should-suspend-all-assistance-to-Pakistan./4/">technology and a bomb if Saudi Arabia felt threatened by a third party nuclear program in the future. Riedel found also however that no country can match America in its assistance to Pakistan, so as long as the assistance remains, this is not a threat.”

My second contention is -

2. Pakistan controls U.S and NATO supply routes.

Narenraju states, “The Council on Foreign Relations shows that Pakistan's assistance is crucial in our efforts in Afghanistan. We cannot fight in Afghanistan without the 80 percent of fuel and dry goods shipped through Pakistan. A responsible withdrawal of U.S. forces depends on an Afghan
political solution that Pakistan will influence. The Brookings Institute finds that 80% of NATO troops in Afghanistan could not survive without resources coming from the port of Karachi. As Lisa Curtis, of the Asian Studies Center stated "The U.S. must avoid abrupt action like stopping all aid, which would come at a steep price to U.S. interests in the region. Pakistan could react by cutting off NATO supply lines that run through Pakistan to coalition troops in Afghanistan. It could also expel U.S. intelligence officials from the country, thus denying the U.S. access to valuable information that helps the CIA track terrorists. Peter Brooks of National Security Affairs finds If Islamabad closes southern supply routes, and we can't boost flow from the north, we'll have to look at reducing coalition forces and operations in Afghanistan, possibly resulting in a premature withdrawal from Afghanistan. Suspending is too rash, better alternatives exist.
Suspending aid has the massive detriments mentioned above, as well as the imminent threat of nuclear war. Alternatives, such as applying conditions, suspending some aid, etc. are far more beneficial and will not threaten national security. Suspending aid will destabilize government.
There are multiple impacts to this.
First, Pakistan's economy will suffer, as it is not able to function without aid.
Second, The government will be in danger of collapse.
Third, this could be an opportunity for extremists to take control of a nuke-possessing country.”

3. Suspending Aid will help the U.S.

Point A of my third contention is -
Nuclear State

Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons. One of the main reasons we supply money to Pakistan is to keep them on relatively good terms with the United States because of their nukes. We do not want the country to degrade into a terrorist state or become an anti-US nation like Iran is. While Pakistan may be corrupt it is a well known fact that you do not bite the hand that feeds you. Giving the Pakistanigovernment moneykeeps them warm towards the US which is something we must maintain in order to keep security in the region and in the world in balance.

Point B-

We do indeed need something from Pakistan and that is friendship and cooperation. Pakistan may be seen as an enemy to the general public or at least not an ally but Pakistan has been a fairly good ally to the United States in the past. Pakistan allows the US totruck suppliesshipped into Pakistan into Afghanistan for our troops. They have cooperated in allowing US drones to strike their tribal regions on the Afghan border. They have been a great help to our operations in the Middle East and we need to maintain this friendly demeanor between our countries because they are a nuclear state and have a potentially unstable government. Money keeps them friendly and strong.

Point C -

We fund their military because their military protects their nuclear stockpiles. Can you imagine if a terrorist group managed to attack a nuclear site and succeed? The affects would be devastating. A strong Pakistani military is a huge step towards making sure this nightmare never happens. While their people may not like the United States we must make sure that their government always will.

Point D -
Balance of Power

India and Pakistan are both nuclear nations with a bloody and bitter history. By the US giving money to Pakistan and maintaining friendly relations with India they make sure the two countries leave each other alone by providing them with a common ally. If the US pulled its aid out of Pakistan it might feel isolated or cornered by India and the United States and act rashly. It is better to maintain this power balance.




Contention one: Pakistan actively supports terrorist networks.

Pakistan’s ISI, or Inter-Services Intelligence, supports numerous militant groups which it deems beneficial to its own interests. The Center of Strategic and International Studies notes that “as senior US officials and officers have made all too clear – along with some Pakistani experts and their Afghan counterparts – some elements of the Pakistani governance and forces are supporting groups that are actively at war with the United States and Afghanistan.” Admiral Mike Mullen, during his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, reported that “the Haqqani network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. With ISI support, Haqqani operatives plan and conducted that [September 13] truck bomb attack, as well as the assault on our embassy. We also have credible evidence they were behind the June 28th attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul and a host of other smaller but effective operations....” A large portion of the aid to Pakistan is given with the intent of fighting terror. Consequently, continuing to fund a government that is working against our interests is both self-defeating and morally unacceptable. With billions of dollars being funneled into a such a government, the U.S. now has itself to blame for the death of thousands of soldiers and civilians.

Contention two: Aid to Pakistan breeds anti-U.S. sentiment.

Subpoint A: Drone Strikes:

The United States pursues an aggressive drone strike program within Pakistan. This, alongside other factors, contributes greatly to the recent rise of anti-Americanism within Pakistan. CNN reports that “despite the massive U.S. aid program, a poll by the Pew Research Center last June found that 68% of Pakistanis saw the United States as an enemy, while only 6% considered it a friend.” Numbers for drone strike civilian casualties vary, with studies by Dawn and the Pakistani government finding over 700 civilian casualties in the space of twelve months, and the New America Foundation finding between 293 and 471 militants killed in the program’s entirety. A study from the Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy, surveying 550 professional people living in the areas hardest hit by drone strikes, found that roughly 4 in 10 said they did not damage militant organizations, roughly half said they were not accurate, and 4 in 10 said they increased Anti-Americanism. A similar poll done by Al Jazeera among 2,500 men and women, found that only 9% favor the drone strikes, while 67% oppose. These deaths contribute to the Belfer Center finding that “far from having reduced, Islamist extremism in Pakistan has risen.”

Subpoint B: Economic aid:

Rather than improve the image of the United States, recent focus on economic and development aid has damaged it. From the Belfer Center, on current conditions: “In some parts, the United States is unpopular. Some aid agencies have found it counterproductive to reveal that the development programs are funded by the United States. In these cases, they are administered anonymously.” As will be discussed later, most aid to Pakistan is subject to corruption, and is never actually delivered. This leads to a general sense of distrust among the Pakistani civilians when they never receive their promised assistance. The New York Times reports that “instead of polishing the tarnished image of America with a suspicious, even hostile, Pakistan public and government, the plan has resulted in bitterness and a sense of broken promises.” Even when small amounts of aid make it through, the result is the same. “Pakistanis see the aid as a crude attempt to buy friendship and an effort to alleviate antipathy toward United States drone attacks against militants in the tribal areas.”

Subpoint C: The War on Terror:

Our attempts to coerce the Pakistani government into fighting terrorism have backfired. In the small occasions where they give into our demands, the backlash upon civilians causes more harm than good. The Belfer Center notes that “Pakistani deaths from terrorist violence have skyrocketed. There we 189 in 2003, 648 in 2005, and 3,599 in 2007.” Not only are thousands of innocent civilians dying every year, but they’re dying for a cause that they don’t believe in. “A poll in 2008 found that over half of Pakistanis hold the United States responsible for recent violence in Pakistan, and most Pakistanis—74 percent— do not support action against Taliban and al Qaeda militants.” While our aid may be intended to help win the hearts and minds of Pakistan, it is, in reality, harming the positive image of the United States.

Contention three: Aid money is poorly managed.

Extensive evidence of corruption is shown through the findings of the Belfer Center: “The Pakistani military did not use most of the funds for the agreed objective of fighting terror. Pakistan bought much conventional military equipment. Examples include F-16s, aircraft-mounted armaments, anti-ship and antimissile defense systems, and an air defense radar system costing $200 million, despite the fact that the terrorists in the FATA have no air attack capability… The great majority of the Coalition Support Funds given by the United States to reimburse Pakistan for counterterrorism operations was reportedly diverted to the Ministry of Finance, with only $300 million reaching the Army in the financial year ending 2008. This is evidence of corruption at the highest level. The result is that, after eight years of funding, many Pakistani troops in the FATA lack basic equipment such as sufficient ammunition, armored vests, and shoes.” The New York Times notes that, even after recent reform bills, “only $179.5 million of the first $1.5 billion of the five-year program had been disbursed by last December.” Impacts of this contention will be discussed later in the debate.

Given the sheer size of my opponent's case and the character limit, refuting all of his arguments within this round is simply not feasible. As my opponent did not mention anything regarding round structure, I will be refuting his arguments and defending my own case in the final round.
Debate Round No. 1


Both my opponent and I agree that to win this debate, one must show who will bring about the most possible suffering
.Furthermore, all of the benefits of keeping aid (havingPakistan crumble) that I will state now will not be possible if we were to suspend assistance.

My opponent hasn't provided any argumentation yet to as how exactly removing aid will harm Pakistan. H. Mahood, a PhD scholar and lecturer writes:
"Foreign aid is bad for political process as natural resources become bad for natural resource-rich countries...Foreign aid and natural resources have the common features of exploitation by corrupt politicians." [1].
He also writes:
"Reinnika and Svensson studied the survey of primary schools in Uganda and found that only 13% foreign aid for education reached to the schools and rest was exploited. Knack documented the pattern of corruption with foreign aid, as aid dependence increased, accountability would decrease, domestic corruption to disburse the aid fund would increase and there would be weak institutions. Knack and Rahman found that the greater the foreign aid with respect to GDP the greater would be corruption levels and weak democratic and bureaucratic performance." [1]
As more foreign aid flows in, corruption in the government will increase.

Overall, foreign aid has little to no impacts on the countries. Lack of good coordination, high transaction costs, and failing government alignment has led to the undermining of the sustainability of national development plans, the distorting of priorities, and the diversion of scarce resources and/or establishing uncoordinated service delivery systems [2].

Peter Heller, a Deputy Director of the IMF"s Fiscal Affairs Department, says:
"Maureen Lewis on HIV/AIDS programs notes obvious dependency issues, including a reduced incentive for aid recipients to mobilize domestic resources; the potential for economic agents"whether in the government or the NGO sector"to tailor their priorities to the perceived interests of donors; a reduced pressure for governments to address inefficiencies in how public services are delivered; resistance by governments to a greater private sector role in delivering services; and the potential for increased corruption and rent seeking. Finally, countries relying heavily on aid inflows give up significant autonomy in decision making on budget priorities."

Basically, foreign aid takes away from the responsibility of the government, inviting laziness, corruption, and bad decision making. Also, aid allows bad governments to stay in power.

"In some circumstances external aid can fill so great a proportion of civilian needs for food, shelter, safety, and health services that significant local resources are thereby freed up for the pursuit of warr. This economic substitution effect of aid has a further political impact. When external aid agencies assume responsibility for civilian survival, warlords tend to define their responsibility and accountability only in terms of military control. Even if they started with a commitment to peacetime political leadership, as the international aid community takes over the tasks of feeding and providing health services and shelter for civilians these military-oriented leaders increasingly relinquish responsibility for civilian welfare. They focus on military ends and, over time, define their roles solely in terms of physical control (and the violent attainment and maintenance of that control). As this occurs, warriors struggling for victory over space and people lose all interest and competence in civilian affairs and become increasingly ill prepared to assume broad, responsible leadership in a post war period" [3]. Self-explainable - aid shifts the responsibility of leaders and allow them to wage war.

"...development aid can exacerbate social tensions, encourage bad policy making, make governments less accountable to voters, intensify competition for resources, and feed processes of structural violence in a country, ultimately empowering the very elites who benefit from exploiting marginalized segments of the country..." [4/5].
In Rwanda's situation, the aid that was sent directly resulted in a corrupt and genocidal government slaughtering an ethnicity.

A study found that reliance on local resources is actually more beneficial then foreign aid [ Aid delivered bythe US Government will only increase rent-seeking and cripple economic development. In fact, aid leads to dependency and hinders the development of the economy. It is likely that Pakistan's condition will improve after we withdraw aid.

Pakistan is also not an ally.

There are many cases where Pakistan's actions have proved that they are not allies.

An example would be the IPI pipeline. The general plan to build the IPI pipeline would strengthen Iran's importance in gas/energy markets in Asia [5]. Pakistan has tried to perhaps even accelerate the building of the IPI pipeline, while the US have demonstrated their obvious opposition to the pipelines [5].

Pakistan is also becoming increasingly inhospitable to the US due to drone attacks. The general public has grown hostile towards US attacks, because of the many innocent lives lost [6].

Pew Surveys found that 69% of the citizens of Pakistan view the USA as an enemy, and 73% see America as unfavorable. The US public image in Pakistan is obviously bad.
Public support for the use of an army to combat extremists have also been steadily declining [7].

However, it is not only Pakistan that has been 'unfaithful'. Pakistani leaders have grown angry at America's support of the quickly growing India [5]. Other accounts include the "sale of U.S. military hardware and provision of civilian nuclear technology assistance to India" [5] and Obama's endorsement of a permanent seat in the UN for New Delhi. India is seen as the greatest threat to Pakistan - a majority of 57% [7]. In the eyes of Pakistanis, the USA is teaming up with their greatest enemy.

In the end, Pakistan is destined to be our enemy. By continuing to give them aid, we slowly destroy them without ever having to launch an attack.


1) Keeping aid will prolong human suffering (and taking away aid will reduce suffering)
2) Pakistan is an enemy, meaning that we wouldn't be hurting an ally.

Because of all these reasons, vote Con! :)


I'm going to be fairly brief. To begin, extend all of my arguments, as my opponent's rebuttals did not even begin to address them. In fact, many of the points which he brought up were either for the pro side, such as his first conclusion, or they contradicted and negated his original contentions.

My opponent, in his previous speech, contends that the winner of this debate will be whichever side can promote the least amount of unjustified suffering. His conclusion was that "keeping aid will prolong human suffering (and taking away aid will reduce suffering." By his own admission, con loses this debate, as his side prolongs human suffering.

Furthermore, my opponent states that "basically, foreign aid takes away from the responsibility of the government, inviting laziness, corruption, and bad decision making. Also, aid allows bad governments to stay in power."Again, this is a pro point. My opponent establishes that our aid is allowing a flawed government to remain in power. Thus, we should suspend it.

My opponent then claims that "overall, foreign aid has little to no impacts on the countries. Lack of good coordination, high transaction costs, and failing government alignment has led to the undermining of the sustainability of national development plans, the distorting of priorities, and the diversion of scarce resources and/or establishing uncoordinated service delivery systems" This too affirms the resolution. My opponent has shown that aid is ineffective, and should be abolished.

Finally, con states that "there are many cases where Pakistan's actions have proved that they are not allies."Also a pro point, as this shows that there's no reason to continue aiding them if they provide no benefits.

The onlystatement that con made which attempts to negate the resolution is "by continuing to give them aid, we slowly destroy them without ever having to launch an attack." However, my opponent overlooks two facts. First, while Pakistan is not an ally, we should not consider it's citizens as enemies. Second, the only harms of foreign aid are put on the civilians, not on the government. Suspending aid, then, will only hurt the citizens, who are not are enemy, and prolong suffering, which my opponent later recognizes.

Rebuttals to Round One

Contention One

My opponent begins to refute his own contention with his last statement. Other countries are simply not able to, or are unwilling to, act as a replacement for U.S. aid.

The Congressional Research Service reports that “Yet Beijing’s willingness to take Islamabad more fully under its wings appears limited. The hesitation is rooted at least partly in China’s concerns about the rise of Islamist extremism in Pakistan and some disappointment with progress in developing the Gwadar port, which suffers from a poor road network and geographical isolation. The Chinese government reportedly is unlikely to place itself in the middle of any U.S.-Pakistani rift, nor has it shown any desire to replace Washington as Islamabad’s primary foreign benefactor.” Additionally, from the Council on Foreign Relations: “China doesn't make a practice of providing the scale or type of assistance that the United States has provided; China isn't in a position to provide some of the higher technology that the United States has provided.”

Contention Two

My opponent appears to be basing this contention off the idea that Pakistan contains the only supply route to Afghanistan. However, this is not the case. The Northern Distribution network is becoming more commonly used as relations with Pakistan deteriorate. Indeed, Stephen Krasner (foreign affairs) notes that “nearly 60 percent of the NATO supplies sent into Afghanistan are already routed through the north, through Russia and Central Asia. The U.S. military is hoping to increase that number to 75 percent.” Obviously, our efforts in Afghanistan are not dependent on our relationship with Pakistan.

Near the end of this contention, my opponent argues that suspending aid will cause an economic and governmental collapse. This is untrue, as I have already shown that the vast majority of our aid not benefitting Pakistan’s economy. Instead, it is going into the hands of the government elite. Suspending assistance, then, will not impact the economy or the strength of the government.

Contention Three

Subpoint A: By no means is our aid keeping the Pakistani government “warm towards the US.” Instead, the Pakistani government works at all times to undermine U.S. foreign policy goals, and our aid itself only helps to spread anti-Americanism throughout the region. Furthermore, a nuclear strike against the U.S. is extremely unlikely, primarily due to our second strike capabilities and the fact that Pakistan doesn’t want to get itself blown apart.

Additionally, my opponent later reverses his stance and claims that our aid is intended to harm Pakistan and destroy them over time. Complete contradiction, and neither of those points stand.

Subpoint B: Except, Pakistan really isn’t an ally. In addition to what I stated above, they have been known to close their supply routes, publicly decry the use of drone strikes in an attempt to increase anti-U.S. sentiment, and work against our counterterrorism efforts. My opponent agreed with this point in round two.

Subpoint C: Except, once again, we don’t fund their military. Our aid doesn’t go to protecting their nuclear weapons. Our aid doesn’t even go to their counterterrorism efforts at all. Suspending assistance, then, will not affect their nuclear security.

Additionally, my opponent later agreed that our aid programs are ineffective. Con, then, has proven my rebuttal to stand true.

Subpoint D: My opponent admits that Pakistan is not an ally, which means our aid does not provide India and Pakistan with a "common ally." Furthermore, India and Pakistan have begun to normalize trade relations and Pakistan has recently pulled tens of thousands of troops away from its Indian border. Finally, there is no reason to believe that suspending aid will cause Pakistan to act rashly, as it by no means "feels cornered by India" at the moment.

Additionally, this is refuted by my opponent's reversal of stance in round two.

I strongly urge a pro ballot.
Debate Round No. 2
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by geekspeech 5 years ago
Thanks, I'll make sure to research about all of that.
Posted by Stupidwalrus 5 years ago
No problem. This is one of my favorite topics.

If you're looking for suggestions, the point on supply routes can potentially be a very strong one. Just make sure to mention the cost (the cost of the Northern Distribution network is something like 250 million more dollars per month) and the dangers of alternative networks, since they go through Uzbekistan.

Pakistan is also vital to the war on terror in others ways. In addition to supply routes, they have massive counterterrorism efforts going on in their country, and they allow the U.S. to use bases for drone strikes and to gather counterterrorism intelligence.

Finally, I'd recommend including economic aid. The part of our aid that doesn't go to the military is intended to aid economic development and humanitarian purposes. Our aid, is some ways, really is the backbone of their country, giving bajillions of megawatts of energy and providing food and health services to millions. It's especially important now, with imf repayments coming due.
Posted by geekspeech 5 years ago
Thank you for all the comments.
I will work on my case.
And thank you for debating with me, Stupidwalrus.
Posted by Stupidwalrus 5 years ago
I appreciate the vote. Obviously, this comment isn't intended to change anyone's mind.

One random thing to keep in mind, however, is that it's difficult to predict what would have happened if "x had done y." Regardless of whether or not it was the most beneficial thing to do, I didn't go in depth when I attacked my opponent's third contention because he completely reversed his stance in round 2. The nuclear stability point, in general, was found to be a fairly difficult point to use at tournaments, because it was refuted by a large amount of evidence in later rounds. Since my opponent didn't develop this, I obviously didn't use the full evidence at my disposal to attempt and refute it. A conclusion regarding the outcome of the debate if con had presented a better resistance in round two probably wouldn't be accurate, because it would have changed my round two as well. Not saying I would have won if con had done so, but my own second round, and by extension the voting factors, would've changed as well. But yes, I do see how it did harm me to not really hit the 3rd contention hard.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
Unbiased going into the debate, I was impressed with the persuasive case made by Con in R1.

I felt that Pro"s argument that "Pakistan is using American money to fund terrorist operations" would have been more persuasive if the US was not also conducting "terrorist operations."

I felt that Pro did a good job of arguing against drone strikes inside of populated areas of Pakistan, but missed an opportunity to explain why we should cut aid to those areas. I found these arguments against drones to be compelling, and I will remember many of these points, sadly, they were of little help in this debate.

Pro failed to convince me that the difficulties surrounding delivering aid to Pakistan are good grounds for ending that aid, especially after the nuclear stability argument proposed by Con in the OA. This is a difficult point to overcome.

In round two, Con lost points on grammar and spelling. The issues were so severe, that I was required to remind myself that Con wasn"t attempting to argue Pro"s case. I felt that the arguments presented by Con were muddled, rambling, and unclear.

Pro then makes the case that this somewhat schizophrenic presentation should be taken as a full concession on the side of Con. I was not convinced of this, based on the reasons given by Pro. I could have been swayed by a more concerted attack in this regard. I felt that the strength of Con"s argument in the first round could have overwhelmed Pro in this round, had a better resistance been presented in the second. This gave Pro the ability to attack Con more or less unanswered throughout, and Pro landed several good hits.

In the end, my score will please no one: I rated it a tie. Con was fatally harmed in R2, and Pro did not quite overcome the assault Con levied in R1.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
Elements of the Pakistani government called for the US to cease aid payments. However, Pakistan should be considered to be in a state of proto-civil war, and therefore, schizophrenic.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
On NPR the Pakistani government asked us to stop funding them...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by DeFool 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: It seemed that Con abandoned their argument in R2. Otherwise, I would have voted differently.