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

U.S. Aid to Pakistan should be continued

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/16/2012 Category: News
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,517 times Debate No: 24300
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (2)




The United States has provided more than $20 billion in aid to Pakistan in recent years. Recently a move was made in the Senate to terminate aid, but the cut off was blocked. [1.] It's an issue that cuts across Party lines, with prominent Republicans and prominent Democrats on both sides.

The resolution for this debate is that aid should not be terminated in the near future unless entirely new and unforeseen events occur. Some reduction of aid is permitted within the scope of the resolution, but not a complete termination nor a reduction to significant as to amount to a cut off.

This debate is part of the second round of MIG's Tournament. My opponent and I are in agreement on 80% of the Big Issues, so finding a suitable topic was difficult. Thanks to Con for persisting in working out the topic and accepting this debate.


The burden of proof in this debate is shared, meaning that the better case should prevail. In legal terms, it is the preponderance of evidence that determines the outcome. The Pro position in this debate is essentially to continue preset policy, with some variation allowed. That's somewhat unusual for a debate, where Pro is usually the side that favors changing the status quo.

This opening round is for definitions and acceptance only. The Pro case will be given at the start of the second round.

Standard debate conventions apply. I list them here for the benefit of new debaters and readers. I believe there is nothing tricky or eccentric. Both sides agree to the following rules, and that violating the rules is a conduct violation, with anything contrary to the rules to be ignored by readers judging the debate:

DR 1. All arguments must be made in the debate. Evidence may be cited or linked from the debate, but only in support of arguments made in the debate. Arguments made in Comments are to be ignored.

DR 2. Source links or references must be included within the 8000 characters per round limit of the debate. No links or sources are permitted in comments.

DR 3 Any term not specifically defined before use is to be taken with the ordinary dictionary definition of the term that best fits the context of the debate. The definitions given in the challenge stand as a condition of acceptance.

DR 4. No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. Arguments and evidence may be presented in R4 in rebuttal to any previous argument, but no new arguments.

DR 5. DDO site rules always apply. Neither side may add or modify rules for the debate once the challenge is accepted.

DR 6. Dropped arguments are not counted as concessions. They may be taken up again or left to be judged as part of the case.


I accept this challenge.

Good luck to both of us in Mig's tournament :D
Debate Round No. 1


1. Past aid cuts failed

Pakistan is provides the only land route to Afghanistan, over which 80% of the NATO troop supplies enter the country. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. It teeters between support for democracy and the fight against terrorism and the alternative of supporting theocratic fanaticism and terrorism. It is large country, population 190 million, but poor overall. Per capita GDP is $2800, ranked 174th of 228 countries. [1. ] the poverty is mainly de to political instability, and because it is a poor country relatively small amounts of U.S. aid can potentially have a large impact.

In the 1990s, U.S. aid to Pakistan was cut in an attempt to discourage them from developing nuclear weapons. As a consequence, they allied with China to obtain nuclear technology and successfully tested nuclear weapons in 1998. Pakistani government officials sold nuclear secrets to North Korea after 9/11. [2.]. Last year, military aid to Pakistan was cut, lowering total aid from about $2 billion to $1.3 billion. Pakistan subsequently raised the transit fee for NATO supplies to Afghanistan from $250 to $5000 per truck. [2. ]

U.S. aid to Pakistan is now mainly going to health, humanitarian relief, education, and debt relief. [3. ] The purpose is to reinforce the institutions supporting democracy so that radical movements are less likely to take hold as an alternative.

Total U.S. foreign aid is $53.3 billion, [4.] and total U.S. expenditures are $ 3796 billion. [5.] Current yearly costs of Iraq ad Afghanistan wars is about $171 billion. [6.] The cost of aid to Pakistan is modest compared to the total war effort.

2. Diplomats favor continuing aid

The issue of aid crosses Party and ideological lines. Progressive Sen. Leahy and conservative Sen. Graham agree that Pakistan is "a schizophrenic ally" in the war against terrorism. [2. op cit ] Dr. Shakil Afridi was imprisoned with a sentence of 33 years for allegedly helping the CIA locate Osama bin Laden, but he was not allowed to defend himself and it's not clear that he even knew that bin Laden was the object of search. It's unlike that bin Laden, living a mile from Pakistan's military academy. was unknown to some in the Pakistani government. The Senate has initiated reducing the $1 billion in aid to Pakistan by $33 million in retaliation for Afridi's imprisonment.

Top Obama Administration diplomats and top former Bush Administration diplomats agree that continuing aid to Pakistan is in the U.S. national interest.

Former Bush U.N. ambassador John Bolton, said aid must be continued to help "Prevent the Taliban or Al-Qaeda return to power in Afghanistan and ensuring that the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan never falls into the hands of terrorists or radicals." [7.] In a message to Congress supporting continued aid to Pakistan, Secretary of State Clinton cited the need for civilian aid to stabilize the economy of Pakistan, and to maintain “a positive and productive relationship with Pakistan” necessary to achieving the “core goal of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda.” [8.]

Pakistan originally obtained nuclear weapons with aid from China to establish détente with India. Currently the stockpile of weapons appears to be secure, protected by the Pakistani army. The Pakistani government contains terrorist sympathizers, however, as witnessed by the protection of bin Laden. "Pakistan is again facing the possibility of instability, raising concerns that its nuclear weapons are not in safe hands. Once again the ability of Pakistan’s army to secure the weapons is in doubt. The big powers of the world often ask whether Pakistan will be able to overcome this new danger or not. " [9.]

3. Withdrawing aid would make Pakistan an enemy

A former Pakistani diplomat, Maleeha Lodhi, who served twice as ambassador to the United States, said of the military aid cuts, “It will be repeating a historic blunder and hurting itself in the bargain by using a blunt instrument of policy at a time when it needs Pakistan’s help to defeat Al Qaeda and make an honorable retreat from Afghanistan,” Ms. Lodhi said of the United States.
Washington imposed sanctions on Pakistan in the 1990s, and in the process lost influence with the Pakistani military, Ms. Lodhi said. Similarly, the Obama administration would find itself out in the cold with the Pakistani Army if it held up funds, she said." [10.]

Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative, writes, "As tensions escalate between the two countries, demands across the United States are growing for Washington to cut off aid to Pakistan. However, history reminds us of the dangers of walking away. Deeply concerned about Pakistan's clandestine nuclear program, we did that in the 1990s. 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." [11.]

Secretary Clinton addressed Congress and "reminded US lawmakers that this strategy was rooted in a lesson 'we have learned over and over again — lasting stability and security go hand in hand with economic opportunity'.

That’s why, she added, it was critical that civilian assistance continued in both Afghanistan and Pakistan as 'disengaging now would undermine our military and political efforts and the national security interests of the United States'." [8. op cit]

Diplomacy is subtle craft. It's difficult to precisely predict outcomes because of the many factors involved in appraising a situation. When Ambassador Bolton and Secretary Clinton agree, that is as good an assurance as we can reasonably expect.

Bolton is quoted from a recent interview with Greta Van Susteren, in the context of aid to Pakistan:

Tensions between the two countries [India and Pakistan] continue to grow, and Bolton said the situation is made worse by the instability of the government in Pakistan. Bolton said he worries it could become a “grave” issue if the country’s nuclear weapons fall into the wrong hands.

“Its ability to hold together in the face of Islamic radical infiltration is very much in question these days,” Bolton said. “The security of its nuclear weapons and the capability on the ballistic missile front are not just abstract issues and confined to India. This is a global problem.”

“That’s why,” he added, “the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, and how we deal with the al-Qaida and [the] Taliban, both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, remains extremely important for the United States directly.”


Military aid has already been cut to very low levels. That negative effect, because Pakistan simply raised the "fees" for using the land route to Afghanistan. The U.S. cannot influence where the fees go, as opposed to directing military aid to anti-terrorist training. What's left is aimed at stabilizing the government and promoting democracy. That aid should be continued.



Good luck!
C1: Foreign aid hurts the USFG.
Throughout the past, aid workers have been kidnapped, killed, and disappeared while working in foreign lands. In just 2008 alone, 150 western aid workers were attacked [1].

In fact, many humanitarian aid groups have found it increasingly hard to deliver aid due to the risks and rising security issues [1].

Furthermore, we are spending billions of dollars every year. In 2008, the USFG spent 49.1 billion dollars in total on foreign aid, which eventually reduced to 44.9 billion dollars in 2009 [5].

For countries such as Pakistan, the USFG has sent nearly 30 billion dollars alone to, since 1948, when we began delivering aid [6]. Even with this aid Pakistan still in a horrible state after decades of aid.

Since 1950, Western nations have sent around 2.3 trillion dollars, intending to help improve the situation and lives of people [7]. There have been no changes in living standards, in places in Africa, even though $600 billion dollars has been poured in [7].
In places like Ghana, where the World Bank calls an aid success, half of the babies with diarrhea never receive re-hydration care.
Theft, bribery and corruption in the health care industry worldwide deprive millions of people of proper care and especially undermine the global fight against HIV/AIDS [8].

USAID has failed in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq [9].

The NY times wrote
"The foreign assistance arm of the U.S. government, the United States Agency for International Development, increasingly has been politicized, gutted of expertise and made subservient to short- term U.S. foreign policy interests."[10]
They also suggest that the US government should instead focus on improving and solving issues at home, and let future leaders to work on the international level.

USAID is horribly managed. The agency's monetary and personal resources are too thinly spread around the globe. Currently, it maintains a presence, with at least 1 permanent member, in 99 different countries, and in 26, there is no permanent staff [11]. Furthermore, their are too many layers of management between the Administrator and field programs, along with a lack of a strong and consistent leadership [11]. The design and implementation of plans within USAID is uncoordinated and confusing [11].

USAID also has overwhelming high prices and needs transparency. The agency requires overhead costs of up to 35%, compared to 3% for Global Fund [12]. Furthermore, USAID doesn't force its programs to report in quantitative amounts, allowing workers to only report on some health factors, empowering workers to hide failing areas [12].

C2: Pakistan is 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 [13]. Pakistan has tried to perhaps even accelerate the building of the IPI pipeline, while the US have demonstrated their obvious opposition to the pipelines [13].

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 [14].

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 [15].

However, it is not only Pakistan that has been 'unfaithful'. Pakistani leaders have grown angry at America's support of the quickly growing India. Other accounts include the "sale of U.S. military hardware and provision of civilian nuclear technology assistance to India" [13] 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% [15].

==My opponent's arguments==

Past aid cuts have failed

My opponent gives examples such as how Pakistan still continued and carried out actions, even when we cut aid in response. I agree that cutting aid might be ineffective in changing the governments opinions, but the main reason to as why, is because the government does not see itself as an ally of the US. I'm not advocating for the motion to cut aid in order to change the government's opinion, but rather simply because there is no logical reason why aid should continue. Cutting aid isn't a response to any of Pakistan's actions but a response to its failure in helping out the people - aid has only so far helped the government that is our enemy gain power, not to mention further anger the people of Pakistan.

Pro also claims that the current cost of aid is meager compared to current costs in war. This is outweighed by the fact that aid will in fact eventually lead to war. Aid can eventually fill up or appear to fill up so many of a the average civilian's needs such as food, shelter, medical resources, etc, that many local resources are then open for the government to use on war.
Mary Anderson writes that "When external aid agencies assume responsibility for civilian survival, warlords tend to define their responsibility and accountability only in terms of military control." [16]

Aid can also increase social hostility, lead to bad policies, reduce the accountability of the government to its people, and further prevents people from meeting their basic needs, and therefore gives power to corrupt leaders who exploit their people.[17] This means that continuing to give aid will increase the unstable, hostile government's control over its people and cause more disputes that can involve the United States.

With little to no space left, I'll just give a brief reason to as why my opponent's second and third arguments are invalid.
In Pro's second argument, he claims that several politicians and diplomats favor more aid. This doesn't amount to anything, since they will eventually be replaced.
In his third argument, he explains how eliminating aid will create an enemy. However, Pakistan's government currently already probably sees the US as an enemy. Cutting aid can only lead to more instability in the current government, and hopefully eventually lead to a more stable situation where the US then can pursue its interests with the people.

Although currently Pakistan and the US may be enemies, the hostility can quickly be reduced through further decreasing the current government's power, transitioning the country probably into a more positive environment. Aid at this rate can only hurt both parties.


[9] Laurence Jarvik, international relations professor, Johns Hopkins
[16] Mary Anderson, President of the Collaborative for Development Action, Inc, DO NO HARM: HOW AID CAN SUPPORT PEACE OR WAR, 1999, p. 49-50

Debate Round No. 2


C1: Generalities about foreign aid do not argue the specifics of Pakistan

My opponent devotes much of his space to arguing that in general U.S. foreign aid is unsuccessful. Even if that argument is true, it doesn't say whether foreign aid to Pakistan is a net benefit or not. We would still need to resolve the specifics of the Pakistan situation. Even if the generality is true, Pakistan might be one of the exceptions, so the attempt o establish the generality is irrelevant to the debate.

Not every foreign aid program is successful, but Con wrongly contends that aid is a failure in unless total success is achieve. For example, Con claims that despite aid to Ghana, infant mortality is still high. Sure, but it's unreasonable to demand that aid provide complete solutions. Aid is worthwhile if the incremental benefit is worth the cost. For example, the U.S. contributes to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The fund has saved nearly 5 million lives have through it's programs. [13. One can argue that there are still health problems in the world, so in that sense it is not a success, but saving 5 million lives is nonetheless a benefit worth the expense.

Con continues with boilerplate claims of inefficiencies in government aid programs. No doubt some of those criticisms are true, and there are good reasons for examining aid programs carefully. An in-depth study performed by Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh [14.] found U.S. aid programs to have a positive effective. It found "the positive impact is such that $10 million of USAID DG funding would produce an increase of more than one-quarter of a point (.29 units) on the 13-point Freedom House democracy index in a given year— or about a five-fold increase in the amount of democratic change that the average country would be expected to achieve, ceteris paribus, in any given year." Aid was found to be most effective in poor countries like Pakistan.

Con makes no claim about net benefit to the United States from aid to Pakistan. The specifics must be considered, and I gave expert opinion from professional diplomats as widely diverse as Josh Bolton and Hillary Clinton that the net benefit is positive.

Aid is a year-by-year matter to consider as an element of foreign policy. In WWII the U.S. gave massive aid to Stalin, because defeating Hitler was a higher priority than replacing Stalin's totalitarian regime. The Soviet Union emerged as a Cold War adversary, but that doesn't mean the aid was a mistake. Starting in 1979, as part of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, the U.S. has provided significant aid to Egypt. That has worked for 30 years to help preserve peace in the Middle East. [15. ] It may be that now the tide has turned and a radical pro-terrorist regime may take over in Egypt. If so, that doesn't mean that the aid was a failure. It worked for 30 years, and that justifies the cost. Aid is one element of foreign policy that works in broader policies.

C2: Pakistan is a schizophrenic ally

My opponent argues that Pakistan is not a U.S. ally. I think he implies that nothing is to be potentially lost by further alienating them, but that's not true. Pakistan is reluctantly permitting drone strikes launched from within Pakistan, they are not fighting on the side of enemy forces, and they are not allowing nuclear weapons to go to terrorists.

In the past, Pakistan permitted supplies to be transported across their borders to Afghanistan. Pakistan suspended use of their supply routes to Afghanistan in retaliation for the Bin Laden strike, thereby forcing the U.S. to use longer, more expensive, northern routes through central Asia. There are now signs that the Pakistan routes will resume. “Analysts believe Islamabad has no choice but to reopen the border when US back-payments for fighting Taliban in the northwest are needed to help boost state coffers ahead of the next budget.” [16.] Even if Pakistan is not an ally, they are willing to cooperate in return for aid.

The Pakistani intelligence service (the ISI) is an asset in the war on terror, despite their having a pro-Taliban faction. The Pentagon acknowledged the factional split, but defended ISI role overall. [17.]

Pakistani troops fight the Taliban in the northwest. About 35,000 Pakistanis have died in the fight against terrorism. The situation for the U.S. would be much worse if the Pakistan military instead fought against the U.S.

It's the norm that allies do not provide 100% support of U.S. policy, and it's not unusual for an ally to have deep divergences from U.S. policy. The alliance with Stalin is the classic example, but in recent times there have been uneasy alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It's the job of diplomats to do the best they can in complex situations.

Con cites polls showing rising support for terrorism and increasing anti-American sentiment. The primary purpose of current aid is to stabilize the government so that a pro-terrorist regime does not take control. It would be nice if public opinion was for an enthusiastic alliance, but that's not going to happen in the short term. The purpose of foreign policy is to realize the interests of the United States, and aid is one aspect of foreign policy. A stable democracy will be far better for Pakistan in the long run than a terrorist regime.

Cons reference reiterates that total foreign aid is about 1% of the Federal budget, but what is at issue in this debate is only about $1 billion for Pakistan. That's 0.028% of Federal spending. It's a good investment.

Past aid cuts to Pakistan have failed

Cons agrees cutting aid will not make Pakistani policies more favorable. Con claims "aid has only so far helped the government that is our enemy gain power." If Pakistan were an enemy they would not have provided the assistance to the U.S. that I have sited. The government of Pakistan has been more in accord with U.S. policies than the general population. What our aid accomplishes is lowering the chances of a terrorist takeover of the country.

Con argues that if aid provides for basic human needs, it frees government resources "for use on war." To support that, Con needs to provide evidence that al Qaeda and the Taliban puts human needs at that higher value, or that the government of Pakistan has been redirecting resources to fighting the U.S. There is no such evidence.

I argued that past aid cuts produced stronger ties with China and resulted in nuclear secrets going to North Korea. Con didn't dispute either claim.

Cons sources

C1 says aid workers are facing increased threat from terrorists. That means that terrorists believe aid is contrary to their interests. C2, C3. and C4 were not referenced. C5 and C6 verifies my aid numbers. C7 links to a page of links, apparently mostly random opinion opposed to foreign aid. C8 says some money intended to fight AIDS was siphoned off; that's a reason to tighten controls, not end aid. C9 names a an academic that says ai is failure, without a quotation or any supporting analysis. C10 is an opinion that aid policy should in general be more broadly focused on development. that doesn't support ending aid anywhere. C11, written in 1994, suggests shifts in aid post Cold War. Yeah, for sure. C13 recommends the Global Fund be increased and that more technical assistance be included. Yup. C14 says Pakistan wants more money in return for their cooperation. That shows aid can be useful. C15 is Pakistani opinion poll. I have no copy of C16. C17 suggests aid to Afghanistan be better coordinated. Okay.



==My arguments==

C1: Generalities about aid

My arguments about foreign aid itself still applies, since if we come to the conclusion that foreign aid generally fails, then determining to continue to send aid to Pakistan is illogical. Besides, my opponent doesn't give much reason to as why Pakistan is different or should be treated differently then other countries in which aid has failed.

Furthermore, I never tried to say that aid fails without total success. Instead, aid usually doesn't create enough of an impact. As I stated before, even places where aid has so called been successful, the area still seems to be struggling. Pro tries to justify aid through programs such as The Global Fund, but this organization isn't government controlled.
My opponent also gives a source that states generally US Aid programs have positive democratic change in countries.
However, from the same sources, it states:
"Democracy assistance, however, is less effective when the U.S. provides larger amounts of military assistance. Our model suggests that, as countries receive larger amounts of US military aid, the impact of USAID democracy assistance matters less and less, and among the few countries that receive larger than 1.1% of US military outlays, the effect of USAID DG assistance is statistically indistinguishable from zero." [2]

Since most of our aid since 2002 has been military aid (over two-thirds out of the 20.7 billion) [1], it seems like US aid has had no effect in Pakistan specifically.
Aid can be used in foreign policy as a tool, as demonstrated by my opponent's example of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. However, that only worked due to mutual consent between Egypt and the US to deliver aid. However, in Pakistan, the majority of the population do not wish to receive American aid, meaning that they will likely not be influenced by our aid [3].

C2: Is Pakistan an ally or enemy?

Even if Pakistan is not an enemy, that just makes it more vital for us to follow their wishes. Many Pakistanis want the US to reduce their involvement in Pakistan, meaning that the US should just get out of Pakistan for now [4].

Criminal networks are also drawn towards areas with low security, law enforcement, weak regulatory systems, etc [5]. Statistically, aid can worsen democracy, bureaucratic quality, the rule of law, and corruption, since it reduces government accountability [6]. States that are financed through aid are able to stay in power even with mismanagement and have lowered responsibility because leaders no longer need to care for the public as much [6].
Stopping aid will create a more efficient, productive government that benefits the people of Pakistan and further allows them to fight terrorists.

The Pakistani government has shown signs of possibly supporting the Taliban [7], however the people of Pakistan disprove of the Taliban, along with several extremist groups [8]. The current government in Pakistan fails to recognize the popular opinion within Pakistan, hinting towards possible corruption.
This would best be solved through the reduction of aid. Eventually, the entire government will hopefully be anti-Taliban and eventually support the US's fight on the Taliban.

My opponent also claims that eventually a pro-terrorist regime will take control of Pakistan. This can't be true, since stopping aid will possibly lead to more democracy, meaning that the popular opinion which is anti-terrorist can prevail.

==My opponent's arguments==

Past aid cuts

I stated that cutting aid would likely not change a corrupt government's opinion, not that the policies in Pakistan would not improve. Instead, government change will be beneficial in changing Pakistan's policies. Even if Pakistan's current positions may present some benefits for the US, positive change through cutting aid can bring even more benefits.

My opponent also states that the government of Pakistan is actually more supportive of the US then the population (which doesn't really represent a well developed democratic state that the aid supposedly lead to). The issue is that government inefficiencies reduce any benefit that our aid can have on the people of Pakistan, getting rid of the benefit the average citizen would get. Allowing improvement in the government develop would better allow future aid reach the people. Perhaps then, we could gain an ally with both the government and the people supporting us.

Also, my argument on the possibilities of war and violence breaking out due to aid means that there is always a possibility for the government to start becoming overly aggressive. Although currently Pakistan may not be engaging in heavy warfare, the possibility is open if we continue to pour aid into the government. Prevention is key.
Pakistan has already shown that it feels threatened by India and may decide to attack the country of India. With China behind Pakistan and the US behind India, major war can break out between these countries. Stopping the possibility of aggression is vital when considering that Pakistan has the ability to start WW3, with Pakistan and China attacking India and the US. Tension is already growing between China and India [9].

Diplomats favor continuing aid

I don't think this argument is as important as the rest, since diplomats opinions are not as valuable as solid expert opinions. Many of the arguments provided by the diplomats themselves have already been answered in my other responses. Also, an important thing to point out is that I don't support stopping aid forever. It is only necessary to stop aid and allow Pakistan to recover and develop, and then perhaps send aid if needed.

Would withdrawing aid would make Pakistan an enemy

My opponent cites evidence that only shows the Pakistan military becoming more and more angry as we reduce aid for them. However, currently the same NY Times article that my opponent used also states..

"rising anger from midlevel Pakistani officers and the Pakistani public that senior military leaders, including Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the powerful army chief of staff, are too accommodating to the Americans."

Furthermore, although Pakistan has demonstrated that it can ally with the Taliban to achieve its goals, this is unlikely through the fact that Pakistan now currently has a negative view on the Taliban and even sees it as a threat instead of a possible ally [8]. About 79% of Pakistan see political corruption as a major issue that needs to be solved [10].


Although I haven't addressed the issue of sources yet, I will touch upon the credibility of my sources. Anyways, the current negative influences in Pakistan can be solved through the US leaving and allowing the people to fix the situation. Perhaps then, a more prosperous relationship may be pursued. Clearly I have shown that continuing to provide aid at this rate can result in many bad outcomes including war.



Debate Round No. 3


In World War II, the U.S. provided enormous amounts of aid to Stalin. Few thought we were promoting democracy or promoting economic development or curing disease or that Stalin as our friend. It was a wartime deal aimed at defeating an enemy. Pakistan has pro-terrorist and anti-terrorist factions. We have provided aid to the Pakistani government, and in return we have gotten military intelligence, Pakistani troops sometimes fighting the Taliban, a shorter land supply route to Afghanistan, and bases for drone strikes. The Pakistanis have not allowed their nuclear weapons to fall into terrorist hands, and they have not fought Americans on the side of the terrorists. In the past hen the US suspended aid, Pakistan moved to closer ties with China and provided nuclear technology to North Korea. The amount of Pakistan aid is small, 0.028% of spending. I don't think my opponent has denied any of this.

How much aid we supply in the future and how it is supplied is debatable, but taking aid off the table with a flat prohibition is an unwise choice. It would remove an important tool in managing the relationship with Pakistan. It's perfectly fair to pay for things that we want Pakistan to do that helps us and costs money. Foreign policy experts as diverse as President Obama's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bush's Ambassador to the U.N. Josh Bolton agree that aid should be continued so that we have that leverage. The resolution is therefore affirmed.

1. Generalities about foreign aid do not argue the specifics of Pakistan

My opponent began with a broad attack on foreign aid. It turns out his sources generally recommended only changes in policy, with virtually no support for discontinuing all foreign aid. His application of the broad claim of "no foreign aid" to the case of Pakistan only made sense if each application of foreign aid was a failure, and that was clearly not the case. We therefore must determine if aid to Pakistan is worthwhile on it's merits, not as a consequence of all foreign aid being a mistake.

In any case, not all foreign aid is pointless or detrimental.

Con did not respond to the example of aid to Stalin in World War II.

Con cites the Pittsburgh Study that showed aid to be successful overall, but statistically least successful in improving democracy when the military aid component was much larger than the non-military component. The study was confined to increasing democracy within a country, not with getting wartime support, our objective in Pakistan. The statistics on democracy improvement reflect that a great deal of U.S. military aid goes to allies that are already democratic. We don't expect Israel and South Korea to become more democratic as a consequence of U.S. military aid because they are already democracies. Consequently, it's not surprising that the statistics don't show it.

Con cites a paper [C6] from an uncredentialed source who claims his review of the literature shows development aid to be unsuccessful as a whole, so he recommends other types of aid. The purpose of US aid to Pakistan is not development, it is to stabilize the government to resist terrorist takeover and to obtain government support in fighting terrorism. It succeeds in what it is supposed to accomplish.

Con argues that the Global Fund success comes from having civilian administration. That's the method of delivering the aid. Much of US aid is delivered through non-governmental organizations (NGOs). That's no reason to end all aid, it's a reason to favor NGOs for administration of it.

Con accepts that aid to Egypt succeeded in maintaining peace with Israel, but says that's only because, both sides wanted it. Was there ever a popular poll in Egypt that showed the public wanted peace with Israel? Con didn't cite one, but claimed that a poll showing public support for terrorists should determine U.S. policy. No, we gave aid to the undemocratic government of Egypt in order to promote he U.S. interest in maintaining peace in the region. Popular support in Egypt resulted in bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power. It remains to be seen what will follow from that, but whatever it is, it doesn't validate complying with popular opinion at every turn. U.S. foreign policy is to oppose terrorism, and that's the purpose of subordinate instruments of policy like aid.

2. Diplomats favor continuing aid

There are multiple purposes for the aid, various ways of administering it, and multiple forms of aid. That's why expert opinion on the likely effects of cuts is critical. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the foremost diplomat in the current Administration and as such an expert on the subject. Former UN Ambassador Josh Bolton under the Bush Administration is well-known as an expert and as a hardliner with a different perspective. When both agree, as they do, that aid should not be cut, we should weigh it heavily.

Con makes the claim, "I don't think this argument is as important as the rest, since diplomats opinions are not as valuable as solid expert opinions." If a Secretary of State and a UN Ambassador are not experts on foreign policy, who does Con claim to be an expert? Con cited general critiques that aid policies could be improved. I saw no expert opinion that said aid to Pakistan ought to be eliminated. It's possible to find a college professor or writer who advocates ending aid, although I don't see that Con has found one, but apparently impossible to find anyone with actual experience in foreign policy or military affairs.

3. Con's "efficiency" argument

Con says "The issue is that government inefficiencies reduce any benefit that our aid can have on the people of Pakistan, getting rid of the benefit the average citizen would get." That seems to be supposing that the purpose of the aid to is improve the health or living standards of the population of Pakistan, and that is the government of Pakistan is given aid they will then provide less efficient services.

The purpose of U.S. aid is to support the war against terrorism and to stabilize the Pakistani government as part of that effort. Stabilize means to keep the government from being overthrown by terrorists. Fighting terrorism is of benefit in the long run, because fanatical governments do not preserve human rights, but efficiency is not forced by lack of resources. For example, North Korea is a terrible inefficient government; but lack of success has not given them any reason to become more efficient. I challenged Con to provide examples, and he did not.


I challenged the quality of Con's sources in the last round, and he did not defend them. Con provided opinions of the general effectiveness of foreign aid as tools to promote democracy and economic development. None claimed that all foreign aid should be stopped, and none claimed aid in support of a war effort was ineffective. None said that aid to Pakistan should cease. con devoted sources to proving that Pakistan had factions supporting terrorism, but that was pointless because I had already granted such is the case.

In this round C3 says, "Pakistan has provided critical support to NATO troops in the Afghan war – drones are launched from here, NATO supplies are sent through this country, and Pakistani troops have helped recapture terrorist strongholds along the volatile Afghan border. ..." but distrust of the U.S. is growing, in large part for killing Bin Laden inside Pakistan. that was taken as "interfering with internal affairs." Like other sources Con cites, it identifies a problem, but it doesn't suggest that cutting off aid is the solution. In fact, C4 claims "Analysts call the cuts the strongest indicator yet of the deteriorating nature of the relationship between the two countries and say it could cause the Pakistani military to retreat to a more hostile anti-US position."

The resolution is affirmed.


Thanks to Con for a good debate. It explored an important subject in depth.



==My Arguments==

C1: Generalities about foreign aid

Aid should be discontinued, if no apparent change in policy is approaching. Currently, USAID is inefficient and foreign aid itself can have negative effects. Even general effects can be applied to Pakistan if they are more likely than not. Taking chances and hoping Pakistan won't be one of the countries that aid eventually ruins isn't very smart for the US.

Concerning my opponent's example of aid to Stalin, it was ultimately a bad decision since Stalin's regime killed more than Hitler's [1].

I doubt that the study done by Pittsburgh didn't take into account how some nations that receive aid already are democracies. It states
"Democracy assistance is less effective in countries that receive a large percentage of 
U.S. military assistance... Because Iraq represented a foreign policy priority mainly for
security reasons in 2004 (e.g., it received 23 percent of all security assistance in 2004,
vis-à-vis 0.6 percent for the average eligible country) and it was also the largest recipient
of democracy assistance (31 percent of all USAID DG funds spent in 2004), the overall
impact of USAID DG was depressed when compared to a model including data for 1990-
2003. In fact, once we allow the effect of USAID DG to be conditional on the U.S.
security priority variable, the impact of the Iraq effect loses its statistical significance,
indicating that it is in fact an extreme manifestation of a more general pattern by which
democracy assistance is less powerful when the overall policy towards the recipient
country is driven by security concerns.
Our analysis also found that democracy assistance is less effective when investment is
unstable, that is when funds are allocated to the recipient country in a volatile way. The
findings suggest that in about half of the recipient countries the level of uncertainty in
democracy investment may be high enough to compromise its impact. "

My 6th source was a paper written by William Easterly, Prof of Economics at New York University. Development aid is another term to identify aid given by foreign governments/organization to support the economic, social, or political development in countries [2]. Most of this sort of aid is given by governments.

I don't really see why my opponent believes most US aid is delivered through NGOs. US controlled aid is sent through the governmental agency USAID as seen here -->

My opponent also misunderstood when I made the argument that both sides wanted aid in the Egypt/Israel treaty. I was referring to the fact that Egypt accepted aid from the US, and hence it would agree to the treaty under the conditions that it received aid. On the other hand, popular opinion in Pakistan wants the US out and gone, as my previous arguments and past rounds have shown.

C2: Pakistan is an enemy or ally?

As of now, suspicions have been casted on the Pakistani government supporting the Taliban, even though polls show that people view extremist groups and the Taliban as a threat to their safety. Why is this? Foreign aid has been deteriorating their system, and the fact that the government isn't representing the people is supporting the theory that aid has failed in Pakistan. Aid is worsening their government and only reducing the ability of Pakistan to fight terrorists and help the US.

==My opponent's arguments==

Past aid cuts

My opponent hasn't really responded to my argument about the possibility of war between Pakistan and India growing into a major war between the US and China and perhaps World War 3. Too much foreign aid can lead to war, and Pakistan is likely to wage war against India. Pakistan would have China backing it up, since China already dislikes India. The US is allies with India and many citizens see China as an enemy.
The possibility of a major war breaking out between China and the US is too big to ignore.

Diplomats favor continuing aid

Once again, the opinion of diplomats isn't as important as the arguments to as why they have that opinion. Simply stating that they support foreign aid isn't enough, because we can't understand why. Congress has already cut off a chunk of aid to Pakistan, seeminly implying that some members of Congress want to stop aid.

Also, being a diplomat doesn't seem to elevate them to a higher status then some other experts on foreign aid. This entire argument seemed to say that "diplomats have the most reliable opinion on foreign aid, which is why this argument is important."

Generally, my sources agree that foreign aid can have negative effects. However, they might have differing views on how to solve the problem. My opponent hasn't really advocated for reform in USAID nor has he mentioned why/how the government will improve its aid policies. The solution I presented where we simply cut off aid now, then analyze the situation in the future and finally decide whether or not Pakistan truly needs aid when aid has the potential of actually helping the people instead of being abused by a corrupt government.

My efficency argument

My opponent claims that the purpose of aid in Pakistan is not to improve health/livin gstandards but to suppor the war against terrorism and stabilize the government.
However, US Ambassador Patterson states, "The people of the United States have seen the plight of Pakistan's internally displaced and are committed to providing relief and aid [3]."
Furthermore, since 2002, 3.4 billion has went to supporting economic growth, education and health in Pakistan. It seems like the US is trying to help the average person in Pakistan.

Also, the threat of terrorists overthrowing the government in Pakistan doesn't exist, since popular opinion sees extremists as a threat. Unless terrorists can convince the people that they are not as bad as they sound, it doesn't seem practical to think that the terrorists have a chance at taking over the government.

My sources

Sorry for not adressing this argument last round, as I was running out of room.

Round 2 sources:
C1 does in fact state that aid workers are being attacking by terrorists. My opponent claims that this means terrorists think aid is 'contrary to their interests'. I would say attacking aid workers is part of their interest - to hurt America and Western nations as much as possible. Stopping aid would make it harder for terrorists achieve their goal of...well terrorizing people =/.
I apologize for sources 2, 3, and 4 since I didn't use them. I think I was intending to use them for some arguments and then deleted the arguments. Not sure what reallly happened there....
C5 and C6 does in fact agree with your aid numbers but also give more detail to the amount of aid.
C7 does indeed have a bunch of links when you first look at it, but scroll down and you'll find a podcast that I was using as evidence.
C8 shows the existance of corruption when using foreign aid. How would one tighten controls? Send more aid workers to their death in Pakistan, hoping to end some corruption?
C9 shows the opinion of an expert on aid. Ignore it if you want, since this source doesn't really amount to anything in my case.
C10 happens to be a professor critizing how US foreign aid no longer concentrates on its actual goal of helping people anymore.
C11 has many pages about foreign aid ( my opponent might have not noticed how you have to click on the next page ). It barely mentions anything about the Cold War on the first page.
My opponent didn't mention anything about C12
C13 may in fact recommend that the Global Fund be increased and etc, but also gives examples of how the US-Pakistan relations are worsening
C14 concerns about how Pakistan is getting more and more angry at the US
C15 is in fact a poll about opinions in Pakistan.
C16 can be found on google books.
C17 analyzes the effect of aid


Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
I changed the sources points to a conduct point.
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago

I gave sources to Roy because I found Vamp's use of sources abusive. I found them abusive because a lot of times he would give the premise of an argument without the warrants and then site the source. thus, I had to go look through all the sources to find the warrants which took up a decent amount of time. So a tip to vamp, dont just label the arguments and then expect the judges to do the work.


Now for the meat of the debate. I would first like to point out that most of vamp's case lacked offensive arguments and were strictly defensive in nature. For instance, the argument from generalities tells the judge that there are some problems with aid in general but that leaves Roy the opportunity to simply prove one benefit which outweighs. But more importantly I think Roy is right in his analysis that Pakistan could be the exception which I think he does fairly well especially the links to terrorism and nuclear weapons.

This is where Roy wins - on terrorism/destabilization and nuclear weapons. I could easily vote on nuclear weapons itself since Vamp, you never really address this issue. We give aid as a bribe in order to prevent the sale of nuclear weapons to various groups. This issue will outweigh all because even the slightest risk of pissing the Pakistani's off and having them aid our enemies, like they did in the past with China and North Korea, gives sufficient reason to continue at least some aid.

On terrorism Vamp you have two main claims first, that aid actually decreases demo accountability and second that popular opinion is against terrorism. The popular opinion argument isnt sufficient because Roy is making the claim of forceful/compelled overthrow. On demo accountability that would be true if the US was looking to institute *more* democracy, but Roy's claim is that aid is needed for simply keeping the SQ afloat and from preventing the sale of nukes.

The debate could have been better, but you guys did ok. :)
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
An exciting debate like this one is sure to attract one, maybe two, votes.
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
i wonder if i should go advertising >:D
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
i wonder if i should go advertising >:D
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
Ill be voting in the next day
Posted by zytyxx 5 years ago
Thanks for the tip. The browser I'm using is Maxthon 3. Hope vmpire321 posts his argument soon. :)
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
Sorry! To magnify the font, hit Cntrl + on your keyboard. Repeat to enlarge further.

The font still looks OK with Firefox, but I see it's tiny with Explorer. I don't know what happened. Probably something to do with copying from OpenOffice. Interesting that browsers interpret the html differently.
Posted by zytyxx 5 years ago
@ Roy, your font size for Round 4 made me put on my glasses for the first time in half a year.

Interesting debate. Good luck to everyone!
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
its a bit small on my computer...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argued that aid should be cut when positive results weren't forthcoming. Unfortunately, even if that were true, it didn't really show that Pro was wrong. After all, even if aid to Pakistan is a total mistake, Pro aptly showed that a complete end to aid was an even bigger one. I agree that Con's method of sourcing was aggravating, but I don't see that as misconduct. Pro had a lot more noticeable typos that required me to reread sentences on several occasions.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments