The Instigator
baggins
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
XimenBao
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

The mission to kill Osama was prima facie a reckless act

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
XimenBao
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/11/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,552 times Debate No: 16453
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

baggins

Pro

Definitions:

The mission to kill Osama : Refers to the American raid in Pakistan which killed Osama bin Laden.

Prima Facie: on its first appearance, or at first sight

Reckless act: Action characterized by or proceeding from carelessness

Syntactic arguments are not allowed.

== Arguments ==

The operation to kill Osama bin Laden was conducted at Abbottabad, near Islamabad - capital of Pakistan. Abbottabad also houses Pakistan's premier military academy.[1]

India and Pakistan are nuclear power with a history of conflicts.[2] Pakistan does not have a well defined no-first use policy with regards to use of its nuclear weapons.[3]

American as well as Pakistani president have confirmed that the operation was conducted without information of Pakistani civilian government or army.[4]

It is probable that Pakistani establishment could have mistaken the raid to be an Indian attack. In such a case they could have used nuclear weapons. India would retaliated leading to a nuclear holocaust in both the countries.

Risking destruction of a whole sub-continent for killing one person is prima-facie reckless.

The resolution is affirmed.

== Reference ==

[1] http://www.ndtv.com... (News article about location of Abbottabad)

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org... (Wikipedia history of India - Pakistan conflicts)

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org... (List of nuclear powers and policy towards nuclear weapon use)

[4] http://ibnlive.in.com... (News article confirming Pakistan did not know about Osama raid)

XimenBao

Con

I thank Pro for the challenge.

I give two arguments.

First, Pro's definition of a reckless act is an act proceeding from carelessness. Carelessness is in turn defined as "Marked by or resulting from lack of forethought or thoroughness" (1). The operation to capture or kill Osama was planned since August 2010 when his residence was found (2) and many options were considered, including a rejected plan to use bombers to destroy the compound (3).This was a carefully planned act. Whatever Pro thinks of the wisdom or possible consequences, the act was created with significant forethought and thoroughness and thus was not a reckless act. The reader will note that I have refrained from argumentation based on grammar, and thus have complied with Pro's request to avoid syntactic argumentation.

Second, there have been over 200 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004 (4) and this is not the first time we've used ground troops in incursions within Pakistan's borders (5). In this context, detecting helicopters and ground troops was not enough cause to start a nuclear war with India the last 200+ times, it wasn't this time, and it's not reckless to reason from past results. Even if Pakistan did think it could be an attack from India, they wouldn't start a nuclear war, they'd scramble their aircraft. In fact, they did think it might be an attack from India and they did scramble their aircraft instead of starting a nuclear war (6).

The resolution is negated; in meaning, in theory, and in fact.

(1)http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
(2)http://www.cbsnews.com...
(3)http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
(4)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(5)http://www.msnbc.msn.com...
(6)http://www.deccanherald.com...
Debate Round No. 1
baggins

Pro

Many thanks to XimenBao for his response.

First of all let me point out that I had provided definition of terms in the introductory round. Those definitions are part of the debate. The voters should not permit Con to rely on an alternative definition for rebuttal - as that would be against basic norms of debating. Further this should lead to loss of conduct points for Con.

Population of India is more that 1200 million. Population of Pakistan is over 170 million. (For reference - population of USA is over 300 million)[1]. Risking lives of so many people for the sake of one person is 'careless', no matter how much planning has gone into it. Moreover Con offers no evidence to show that US tried to minimize risk of Indo-Pak nuclear conflict.

XimenBao has contradicted himself. First he insists that Pakistan would not have thought attack is from India. In the next sentence he concedes that Pakistan did think that it is an Indian attack and scrambled the jets accordingly!

We will never know how close Pakistan came to using nukes. It is possible that timely realisation that the victim of attack was Osama Bin Laden just prevented a nuclear war. Just because the humanity escaped a calamity, does not reduce the American culpability.

Vote PRO

========

I would like to thank XimenBao for debating this issue with me and wish him best of luck for future.

== Reference ==

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org... (Country-wise list of population)

XimenBao

Con

I thank Pro for the quick response.

First, the definition debate. I did not offer an alternative definition. I pointed out that Pro chose to define a reckless act as a careless act, gave the definition of careless, and argued out that an act with over seven months of planning cannot be said to lack forethought or thoroughness. Pro does not recognize this distinction and tries to move the point to an impact debate about the number of lives at risk. If Pro wanted to define reckless as “unacceptably risky”, he had the opportunity to do so in R1. Pro chose to define it as careless and should have to defend that claim, although he did not do so.

Second, I never argued Pakistan would not consider an attack to be from India. I argued that there were over 200 US strikes within Pakistan’s border since 2004, using manned aircraft, drones, and troops. In none of those cases did Pakistan start a nuclear war with India. With over seven years of evidence showing that a US strike in Pakistan would not start a nuclear war, it is not reckless in any sense of the word to believe that this particular strike would not launch the nukes when over 200 previous strikes also did not. Pro has not disputed this.

It is simply not reasonable given past behavior to believe that Pakistan would start a nuclear war with India over detecting a pair of helicopters, even if they thought the helicopters were Indian. It is reasonable to think they might launch their own aircraft. They launched planes, not nukes.

Pro fails to meet his burden of proof that there was a high risk of war that Obama should have been concerned with. Anything is possible. Pro must argue probable.

The strike was not lacking forethought or thoroughness, thus not careless, thus not reckless under Pro’s definition. The 200+ previous strikes are solid evidence that one more strike wouldn’t cause nuclear war. Pro has not given good evidence or arguments that there was a significant risk of nuclear war.

Each is a reason to vote Con.

Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by baggins 6 years ago
baggins
Well, that was really quick...
Posted by XimenBao 6 years ago
XimenBao
Forgot to delete the formatting when I copied it over from word. I hope nobody really hates Times New Roman.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
bagginsXimenBaoTied
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: "The strike was not lacking forethought or thoroughness, thus not careless, thus not reckless under Pro’s definition. " - true, very nice opening by Pro, but solid refutation by Con 2:1.
Vote Placed by headphonegut 6 years ago
headphonegut
bagginsXimenBaoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: their is a clear winner in terms of argument and conduct.
Vote Placed by GeorgeCarlinWorshipper 6 years ago
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
bagginsXimenBaoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: The sides were even on conduct and sources, but Con made better arguments and had better grammar.