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

This House Would Create A UN Standing Army

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,937 times Debate No: 35639
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




"A standing army is a permanent military force, entirely under the command of a single authority."

Standard DDO Code of Conduct Applies


Let's d-d-d-d-d-dddddddddddddddddddddddddddduel!
Debate Round No. 1


End American Hegemony:

Currently, the US has committed a huge number of crimes internationally due to their current foreign policy. The US funded the Contra's well noted in the Iran-Contra affair. Committed acts of evil in Iraq especially with torturing prisoners of war, imposing the United Fruit Company in Guataemala, and attacking Philippines for entry into the Chinese market under Roosevelt.

This legislation would make the US foreign policy more accountable, and end it's hegemony. Should the US invade a nation illegally the UN instead of advising the US to pull-out from a conflict would be ordered too, unless massive consequences would befall the US.

Enforce the Genocide Conventions/Treaties in Place

Should a civil war break out in say, Rwanda, the UN would be able to enforce the arusha accords and persecute the belligerents responsible for deaths there. Romeo Dallaire, who is an ex-Canadian Major General whom led the UNAMIR ops in Rwanda during the time of Genocide wrote a book called “Shake Hands with the Devil” in which discusses his issues with alcoholism, depression, and PTSD due to the trauma he suffered in Rwanda.

In it, he noted that the US refused to support the Operations, Canada only sent in one soldier: him. And the only major states willing to send in anything were Belgium, Sudan, and Bangladesh. Even worse, the Bang.'s and Sudanese were sent in poorly equipped due to the fact that the UN's peacekeeping operations worked on a purely voluntary basis. Bangladesh, and Sudan sent in troops hoping someone else would supply the arms, and food. None never did. And solely on the basis of a lack of political interests, the US, British, France, etc..all stayed away from Rwanda, despite the fact that they could have ended the Genocide very easily. In fact, the most outrageous of this all, is the fact that those soldiers still answered to their commanders, and took precedence over Dallaire. Meaning they could outright refuse orders from a commanding officer, which resulted in the deaths of several Belgium soldiers while Dallaire watched.

Make States More Accountable:

In other words, when an UN standing army is now in place, it means select state actors will no longer be involved only on the basis of political convenience, but on the basis of humanitarianism's necessity. Now a deterrence for Genocide, civil war, etc.. is in place within the international community.

We Already Have One:

The UN already sort of operates like a standing army when they dawn the blue-barrets. However, they are poorly equipped for their jobs, and often times are put into positions of life and death with nothing to defend themselves. This makes them more efficient, stops political opportunism (makes all places equal when a genocide happens, no one “more important” area like Rwanda), and makes states too powerful to be convicted of their own crimes (the US, or Russia, or China) more accountable as a result.

The resolution is upheld, the UN should have a standing army.

Thank you!



Opening Arguments:

(None of these are rebuttal, that will be later))

1. Nationalism

The U.N army would have to come from somewhere. The countries in the U.N would fight over where the soldiers come from, who the generals would be, etc. The soldiers would still have ties to their respective countries. If the U.N were to decide to take action against the U.S or Russia or another superpower, this would lead to a huge chunk of the U.N army being withdrawn. The U.N army would inevitably divide against itself and it would be like a civil war, except that it is really just a World War under the pretense of a single U.N army.

2. The Goals of the U.N

The purpose of creating the U.N was to solve international problems through diplomacy, not through violence. By having a standing U.N army, the majority opinion on a particular issue would be able to force there beliefs through violence and tyranny rather than through negotiation and reason.

3. Finance

The soldiers have to be paid somehow. This will result in one of two things: Either the richer countries with more money will own most of the soldiers, creating a hegemony, or the U.N will fight and squabble about this issue, ignoring the other issues at hand.

Opening Conclusion:

Creating a permanant standing army that answers to the U.N is not a viable goal and is not in accordance with the purpose of the U.N. I await Cons rebuttal and further argumentation.

Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for the arguments:

Nationalism Does Not Apply Here:

My opponent completely ignores my argument here, and claims that a UN army must come from somewhere, and that they have ties to their respective countries.

First of all, while there is no doubt that a UN soldier has ties to his country of origin, the fact of the matter remains that we still technically employ soldiers within those same means today under the occupational title of "peacekeepers". Essentially, we already do this and have had minimal issues with soldiers following UN orders. What this legislation does, is give the UN powers to enforce it's legislation already signed on by the consenting parties in contract with UN membership.

Now lets have a hypothetical of this UN standing army: lets say in our standing army (for simplicity) the UNSC demands 100 troops. 4 countries donate (for a temporary amount of time) 25 troops each for the UN standing army. The four countries in question are Iran, Canada, US, and China. Now let's say Iran hates US, launches a war against them, and proceeds to remove their 25 troops from the UN standing army. The UN standing army would still have 75 troops left to serve in the effort against Iran and it's hegemonious government! Which means that depending on the structure of how the UN army would be built on an assumed equal, and rotating basis (like above) then we don't have to worry about the nationalism of a soldier to his home country. Indeed, what this legislation is asking for, is for countries to be forced into donating an equal amount of troops for a shared goal of being able to enforce it's legislation's against those parties that agreed to them in the first place.

The Goals of the UN Are For Diplomacy, But Diplomacy Doesn't Always Work:

In my previous argument I note Romeo Dallaire's Shake Hands With the Devil as a source for a standing UN army. In fact, the basis of the book is to justify being a "liberal hawk" with regards to the UN issues pertaining to Rwanda, my opponent claims that the UN was suppose to be not about violence but tact and diplomacy instead. The problem here? As with Rwanda, diplomacy when one of the parties is bent on killing the other regardless of outcome within those diplomatic instances will not cause them to negotiate. In fact, the Tutsi slaughter in the Rwandan genocide was outright because of the President of Rwanda always had intended on trying to kill off the remaining minority within the country. Dallaire notes that one source of his (which remained classified) claimed that they were always going to kill off the Tutsi's and had arm caches ready to do so, he not only witnessed them, but sent a cable out to the UN, to which the UN halted any raiding operations on them to prevent genocides. Case and point: the Hutu led government never intended on negotiating in good faith, they were ready to kill even prior to the outcomes of the negotiations. There was no stopping them...however, if the UN was given an adequate army as Dallaire noted, and he was able to actually enforce the provisions of the Accords in place, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

Besides, even if the UN has a standing army. This isn't an argument against it, but rather that it should be a "last resort" basis for the UNSC. Which I would agree with, the UN ought to indeed use peace, negotiations, and diplomatic tact to try and cease genocides. However, should that fail, I assert that the UN should have a standing army capable of enforcing those in which needs enforcing for international law, and protecting those in which most need protection.

A UN Standing Army Would Be Expensive, But the End Result Is Priceless and Good For the Economy:

My opponent asserts here that the UN standing army alone would be costly. This is undoubtedly true, but ignores several fundamental issues aside from costs.

First of all, the member states involved in the UN already pay membership fee's for the benefits of joining the UN. Part of that fee is being able to support or withdrawal troops from the UN's peacekeeping forces, and --hopefully the time will never come -- the UN would be there for you should order and justice be void within your given territories for any reason. If the member states find this desirable, and are willing to pay for it, why not allow them to get what they want?

Secondly, it would be far more beneficial to have a UN standing army than not. Let's note, that according to learning liberty, that wars are not indeed profitable, and if that is the case, and a UN standing army would surely cut down acts of genocide (which are indeed war like in their nature) then it would be beneficial to the global economy as a result. Cutting down the costs of humanitarian issues caused by genocides would no doubt assist the global economy, along with eliminating refugee costs with it. (
( video)

Now that I have refuted my opponents case, I shall add in a few new arguments along with it:

-The goal of the UN was to promote international security as well. This legislation allows the UN to do it's duty with regards to that goal.

- A UN army has a distinct advantage: it belongs to not any one country and therefore cannot be accused of "playing favourites" like the case of Rwanda and the US's inaction.

- Finally, this does not absolve the UN of also trying to take this legislation in combination with other legislation's to try and prevent and punish acts against humanity. Or more simply put: this is one step the UN ought to take to uphold international law, and justice for all, others can and should be taken into consideration, however the current system is undoubtedly unstable and in a huge need of a fix.

Thank you

Over to my opponent!



1. Nationalism

" Indeed, what this legislation is asking for, is for countries to be forced into donating an equal amount of troops for a shared goal of being able to enforce it's legislation's against those parties that agreed to them in the first place."

This is an ideal goal that will never come to fruition. Sure, everyone is fine with peacekeepers, but when we are talking about a formidable, permanent, large, international standing army, their will be fights, and squabbles over which country get's the most soldiers. Most of the reason for this is that one country may pay more into the U.N than another, and decide that they should get more troops. Also, a unanimous vote is not required. If two superpowers disagree, a standing army to fight over can only spell war and disaster for everyone.

2. The goals of the U.N

The outcome would have been different in that war and civilian casulties would have plagued the nation. Any advancement in infrastructure would have been halted, the Rwanda government would have taken minorities hostage, and we would have a situation like Syria in which war and strife destroys the foundation of the nation.

3. Finances

For a new legislation to create a world wide, permanant military, the funding would need to come from somewhere. The membership fees simply aren't enough. Whether it is through increasing the membership fee, or taking a sum of money from every country, creating this army would unfairly affect those countries that cannot afford the rise in fees and mandatory contributons to the U.N.

4. Security

Turning an already bad situation into a war zone is not security.

5. Favorites

It does not matter how a country could logically be accused of favoritism, because countries will always try to shift the blame off of themselves and onto other, more powerful countries.

6. International Law is an agreement between two or more countries. If the agreement is broken, their are other ways to punish beligerents

Over to you, Pro.
Debate Round No. 3


Notice: I recently found out my mother is once again in the hospital. She has been diagnosed with bowel cancer a second time, and thus I have been at the hospital a majority of the time.So needless to say, my argument may be admittedly weak here, but I shall see through to the end to finish this debate, and wish my opponent best of luck. I just wanted to bring notice of my personal distress here if my arguments look abnormally weak here. With that being said, thank you to my opponent for her rebuttals.

Nationalism Is Irrelevant Through Strength in Numbers:

My opponent commits a reductio ad absurdum here, claiming that fighting over the army would ensure as a result of it's formation. Just because two sides do not agree does not excuse them in the light of international law to completely engage in inaction. This legislation forces them to uphold international law in a non-self interested political way, with the troops of the collective UN. My opponent completely dropped my argument about 4 countries giving 100 troops total. The idea simply works even if one does not agree. We universially agree that swift action must be taken in the face of a humanitarian/military action or face defeat, and the fact of the matter is as we see in both Rwanda (in which the lacking of swift action causes genocides, and countless deaths) along with the theoretical workings of the Art of War. Indeed as pointed out before both the UN already has an army, it's just a matter of enforcing the legislations with a UN standing army and the need is clearly shown. Again with my example, it shows that a manditory equal amount of troops would be donated, and even if it were not, it wouldn't matter due to strength in numbers. I say again, my opponent completely dropped this argument.

The Goals of the UN Would be Further Upheld With an Army:

I have no idea what my opponent is talking about. This is a strawman argument. First, I was talking about the Genocide of Rwanda, not a war which is what he was clearly trying to rebuttal. Secondly, it seems as though he agrees with me the outcomes would have been different if allowed to invade the weapons cashe's Romeo was given from an unnamed source to prevent the genocide. The UN however ordered him to halt, to not invade, and ergo the genocide began. I agree with my opponent here, the UN ought to have a standing army, it would have certainly prevented genocide in Rwanda. Which is what the UN's purpose was (to promote peace and security in the world). ( This legislation clearly would have contributed to a peace process in the case of Rwanda, my opponent never refuted this and simply claims the outcome would have been different.

An Army is No Doubt Costly, But Makes Up for it Economically:

First of all, I agree with my opponent a little extra cash is needed to uphold this legislation. However, he completely dropped my point about how the effects once implimented (less need for humanitarian aid for example) would be needed saving the UN money elsewhere. Furthermore, even if the country cannot afford it, most countries that are poorly developed are due to them being chronically cimmitting acts against humanity, and thus wouldn't have to pay anything because they would ideally be the targets the UN army would attack anyways. He even ignores my source noted in debatapedia about this.

Peace Processes Coupled With Enforcement Mechanisms Would Deter Parties From Committing Acts of Genocide:

I never advocated turning a violent situation into a war zone, I advocated that a UN standing army would defend those being persecuted, and force the parties to negotiate a peace process to prevent genocides. We already enforce this anyways via the genocide conventions from the UN, this would simply uphold it's origional intent which my opponent once again completely drops. (

UN Army Cannot Play Favouritism:

The UN army as a whole unti would be unable to play favourites due to the amount of contries contributing to it. Furthermore, even if host countries played it off on the UN, this has nothing to do with the argument of a UN standing army. This is simply a rogue state being unable to take personal responsibility, which Saddam did, along with Hitler, Pol Pot, etc... Indedd this is the standard victim blaming nonsense employed in Rwanda which would be ceased via a UN standing army. The only favor it would play is punishing those who are enemies to humanity.

Finally, International Law Already Works on a Voluntary Basis, Recommendations are not Enough:

Again, in Dallaires book, the UN was aweful. The UN actually hands off cases to other tribunals or the ICC because it cannot enforce it's legislations unless another country chooses to do so. Simply put, these policies of "other punishments" are not quick enough (Rwanda again, they didn't do anything and caused a genocide) nor is that even a guarentee they get punished (US in Guatamala, Iran-Contra Affair, Grenada Campagins, Etc...) This legislation corrects all of that, by the threat of coercion as a last resort to incentivize peace and deter humanitarian crisis.

I thank my opponent for his arguments, and wish him the best of luck in future debates. Furthermore, I have given examples, international conventions, and arguments supporting a UN standing army while successfully rebutting my oppoents arguments. I think I have met my BOP, and negated my opponents.

Best of luck in your future endeavors
Thank you and Vote Pro.


Fictional_Truths1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by TN05 3 years ago
I'm interested in this debate. I need a few clarifications before I would accept, however. First, how big would this army be? Second, where would this army be situated (i.e. one location, all of the world, etc.)? Third, who would this army answer to? Fourth, what would its aim and principle use be for?
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
Very very tempted. Can we form it as a UN resolution though? The UN army procedure currently is quite complicated, and I am wondering what you'd propose. Its current state can be arguably not very different from a standing army at all anyway.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
I'm afraid I don't meet your criteria. :P

I want to do this, though.
Posted by TheHitchslap 3 years ago

Posted by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
Who/what is the single authority in charge of the standing army? The UNSC? Secretary general? General Assembly?
Posted by TheHitchslap 3 years ago
what would you like to clarifiy?
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
If I accept... Which I probably will. Haha.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
Question: Should I try and clarify things before the round? Or will we do it during the round?
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
Ooooooh. I like this one....

I'm tempted to accept.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF is a drag