United Nations peacekeepers should have the power to engage in offensive operations.
r4: rebuttals / conclusion
sorry it took me so long to challenge you
I affirm the resolution which states resolved: UN peacekeepers should have the power to engage in offensive operations.
Observation: The power bestowed upon peacekeepers to use offensive operations is not a power that is necessarily used in all cases; it is a tool in the toolbox. Peacekeepers would obviously not use offensive operations in every situation, only when needed. Thus, pro’s burden is simply to show why having offensive operations is legitimate in certain situations.
Peacekeepers - provide security and political and peacebuilding support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace. They are guided via three basic principles: impartiality, consent of parties, and only use of defensive operations (what the debate is over)
Power - legal or official authority, capacity, or right
Offensive - more robust mandates that go beyond self defense or defense of the mandate given to peacekeepers
C1: Military peacekeeping requires offense.
The ultimate goal of peacekeeping operations is to help both parties in a conflict obtain stability through the transition from conflict to peace, whether that means a cease-fire or a peace talk. Under the status quo, peacekeepers use force in self defense or in defense of their current mandate. Mandates involve the protection of "safe zones" in which peacekeepers do what they can to protect civilians within said zones. The problem is, rebel groups go unpunished for violence committed outside of safe zones. This is exactly what happened in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Gerard Prunier, an African scholar and journalist, describes the peacekeepers as "the powerless UN military force" who watched the genocide without being able to lift a finger (1). Peacekeepers should be striving to convince armed groups that the last two options are futile by attaching a cost to violence. If peacekeepers are limited to acting in self defense and defending safe zones, the rebel groups will likely continue the conflict because little cost will be attached to their violent actions. Matt explains, "Being able to stop and combat the groups that led to the need for a UN mission will make for a more lasting peace than when the groups are ignored or government forces are relied on to stop them. This will go a long way in ensuring that a tragedy like the Rwandan genocide does not happen simply because the peacekeeping forces hands are tied by red tape (2)." Thus, offensive operations are necessary to ensure peace in many situations. The success of the most recent offensive operation by the UN in Congo helps justify their future use. Beehner records that a brigade of 3,000 people was sent to neutralize armed groups in DRC. The peacekeeping mission was considered successful as the M23 rebels laid down their arms (3). Using the situation in congo as a template for future conflicts, the UN should have the power to engage in offensive operations when necessary to truly deal with rebel groups.
C2: The authorization of offensive operations leads to peace.
Point A: Efficacy
The efficacy of offensive operations can be measured by how well they achieve peace enforcement (one of the four basic tenets of UN peacekeeping). Findlay provides a standard: “The goal is not to defeat the particular armed group, but rather to “enforce the peace” by coercing the particular rebel group to comply with the will of the international community and with its previously agreed commitments (4).” When evaluating the efficacy of the Congo offensive operation, Beehner “Peace talks stalled as of mid-feburary. After the brigade, talks resumed. The brigade brings a threat to the rebel position and one that cannot be ignored (3).” Finally, in December 12 in Nirobi, Kenya, a peace agreement was signed. The peacekeepers were able to successfully coerce the armed group to comply with the wishes of the international community, thus justifying the use of offensive force. Green explains in a meta-analysis of offensive operations that, “peace enforcement operations are most successful when they utilize the appropriate spoiler management strategy and maintain impartiality and legitimacy through close cooperation with UN peacekeepers (5).” He documents that peace enforcement has a “318% to 369% hazard ratio of civil war termination controlling for force capability (6),” meaning that the risk of a country being able to prevent a civil war is 3 times more likely. Thus, it is safe to conclude that offensive operations can coerce a rebel group into resuming peace talks and terminate current conflicts.
Point B: Deterrence
Paul Collier explains in his book Wars, Guns, and Votes that France issued a security guarantee to its former colonies in Africa which provided protection against armed groups. The guarantee was called an "over the horizon guarantee" which can be defined as providing reliable commitment to dispatch peacekeepers to disarm armed groups in a particular area. The French only had to assist its colonies a few times in disarming rebels before rebel groups realized that continued efforts to prolong conflict were futile. Collier documents a huge deterrent effect: a 75% decrease in armed conflict in former French colonies. Giving the UN peacekeepers the power to engage in offensive operations will have a similar effect because the UN will be able to provide an over the horizon guarantee like France did to its colonies, only the UN can do this to all countries. Armed groups will understand the greater cost attached to violence by looking to successful offensive operations in the past such as Congo, thus making them understand that instigating conflict is futile (7).
C3: The UN is the best organization to be able to perform such operations.
Deil explains, "non-UN operations are often percieved to suffer from partiality, bias, logistical issues, and vulnerability to domestic politics (8)." As C1 has established, there is a need for offensive operations because under the status quo, violence outside of safe zones is permissible. The flaws within other systems that have peacekeeping forces shows that the UN is the best group to allow to perform offensive operations. Collier explains that the UN has been extremely effective in promoting peace in the past: "An annual expenditure of 100 million on peacekeepers reduces the cumulative ten year risk of reversion to conflict very substantially from about 38% to 17%. The ratio of benefits to costs is four to one. Peacekeeping looks to be very good value (7)." Given that the UN has been able to reduce conflict in it's current state, it should be able to use force beyond defense of the mandate when needed. The UN was making no progress in Congo until they utilized offensive operations, thus bringing light to the UN's need to authorize such operations in order to put yet another tool in the UN's toolbox to help them coerce armed groups into complying with the will of the international community.
Since my sources were already saved as screenshots on my computer for easy access in irl debate rounds, I uploaded my sources to debate.org and put them in an album. All the URL's should be seen at the top of the source and I have the link to each screenshot below.
I stand opposed to the resolution which states resolved: UN peacekeepers should have the power to engage in offensive operations.
Observation: Pro has accepted burden of proof to “to show why having offensive operations is legitimate in certain situations.”
I accept the definitions put forth by Pro.
C1: Offensive action by U.N. peacekeepers is contrary to their purpose
“Since 1948, the UN has helped end conflicts and foster reconciliation by conducting successful peacekeeping operations in dozens of countries, including Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mozambique, Namibia and Tajikistan.”(4)“UN peacekeeping has also made a real difference in other places with recently completed or on-going operations such as Sierra Leone, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Haiti and Kosovo. By providing basic security guarantees and responding to crises, these UN operations have supported political transitions and helped buttress fragile new state institutions. They have helped countries to close the chapter of conflict and open a path to normal development, even if major peacebuilding challenges remain.” (4)
It is clear that while U.N. peacekeeper acknowledge that “success is never guaranteed,”(4) much has been accomplished by this organization excluding offensive operations.
C4: Offensive action increases animosity in International Relations.(IR)
The exclusion of offensive action limits peacekeeping to actions of reciprocity and identity. Offensive action is inherently domineering, which in turn creates animosity. The Table below taken from a current IR college textbook illustrates these three approaches, their advantages and drawbacks.
“Principle Advantages Drawbacks
Dominance Order, Stability, Oppression,
Reciprocity Incentives for Downward Spirals;
Mutual Cooperation Complex Accounting
Identity Sacrifice for Group, Demonizing an
Redefine Interests Out-Group”(5)
While reciprocity and Identity do have drawbacks they are not as extreme as the drawback of oppression or
I'll use this round to attack my opponent's case, as specified earlier.
C1: Offensive action by the UN peacekeepers is contrary to their purpose.
POINT A: Con's first point essentially explains that offensive action perpetuates a state of war, thus making offensive action counter productive. This simply isn't the case. Firstly, offensive operations have been successful in creating peace in the past. Look to the most recent example: Congo. Verini explains that, "On December 12, in Nairobi, the M23 and Congolese and Rwandan officials signed a peace agreement. After more than a year and a half of fighting from the government, the rebellion disarmed." There are two things that can be observed here. Firstly, the peacekeepers were present in Congo for a year and a half and the situation was not getting better. Secondly, the use of force coerced the rebels into complying with the will of the international community. This is because the goal of offensive operations is not to "defeat" the rebel group, rather the goal is to aid the transition from conflict to peace by whatever means necessary. Also reference my constructive where I noted a deterrence effect through the use of offensive operations. Once enough rebel groups are defeated, violence will decrease. Thus, even if offensive operations create peace through undesirable means, the overall need for peacekeeping will decrease.
POINT B: Con lists examples of UN goals that are compromised by the use of offensive action. However, con gives absolutely no examples of offensive action that has inhibited the UN from achieving such goals. Con specifically talks about civilians. Non use of force except in defense of the mandate actually perpetuates violence against civilians because a rebel group's use of violence out of safe zones is permissible under the status quo. Civilians outside of safe zones are more likely to be harmed by the rebel groups in the absence of offensive action. Look back to my constructive in which I discussed the Rwandan genocide; this is an ideal example of how the UN's unwillingness to use force hurts civilians. In fact, offensive action actually assists the UN in achieving some of the goals listed by con, such as the disarmament of rebel groups, as I have shown earlier. Do not buy con's argument about how offensive action destroys existing political systems, as he has given no examples of this actually happening. If anything, offensive action helps governments get back on their feet since rebel groups are more likely to comply with the will of the international community under such an agenda.
POINT C: Firstly, observe that offensive operations have been authorized for around 60 years under mandate VII. The UN is still hesitant to use offensive action, but observe that such action is permissible. Con's own evidence even states, "but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under chapter VII." Basically con's evidence notes that offensive action shall be applied when needed.
Even if offensive operations weren't permissible under the status quo, this argument is still flawed. Arguing that the UN doesn't allow offensive action (and therefore they shouldn't do so in the future) is uncompelling because no actual reasons are given as to why the law *shouldn't* be changed.
C2: Peacekeepers guiding principles oppose the use of offensive action.
Cross apply what I talked about when attacking con's subpoint c. Also reference my constructive; peace enforcements is one of the four basic tenets of peacekeeping and ought to be used when needed.
Con talks about impartiality being violated through offensive action. Firstly, con is confusing neutrality with impartiality. Peacekeeping is inherently a violation of neutrality as the goal is to deter rebel groups from perpetuating conflict. Impartiality is different because it actually penalizes violent acts. Impartiality can be compared to a good referee. A good referee will penalize infractions when one side violates the rules, but a good referee will not favor any particular side. The is what offensive operations do because they simply attach a greater cost to violent crimes committed by any group. Thus, such operations are not biased or unequal.
C3: Status quo has been effective.
Firstly, since offensive operations have been permissible for awhile now; con's defense of the state of the UN actually hurts his case. Effective offensive operations have helped in the past; specifically benefiting the civil war termination ratio in countries by tripling the likelihood that conflict will be terminated.
Secondly, even if the status quo is *good,* the UN could still benefit from the use of offensive operations. Again look to my Rwanda example. Multiple sources argue that use of offensive action could have lessened the effects of the tragedy.
C4: International relations.
Con cannot effectively argue that offensive operations hurt international relations without giving an example of offensive operations actually hurting international relations. The impacts of the UN's inability to perform offensive action (such as Rwanda, and Congo before the operation) result in heightened oppression and resentment. Remember that offensive operations are a tool in the toolbox. They are only used when absolutely needed to create peace.
The resolution has been affirmed.
Rebuttals: In this round I will address my opponents Round 2 constuctive.
To simplify my rebuttals I will sum up Pro’s contentions in syllogism form. I do not intend to misrepresent or oversimplify my opponent’s arguments. Rather, make clear the rebuttals that I am making.
Point A: Efficacy
Point B: Deterrence
(a) “The French only had to assist its colonies a few times in disarming rebels before rebel groups realized that continued efforts to prolong conflict were futile.”
Again, the argumentation is reasonable however, France has the sovereignty to act in such a manner within their own territories. Whereas U.N. Peacekeepers have no such authority. In fact to give the U.N. Peacekeepers such authority undermines individual state’s, like France, sovereignty. To undermine the sovereignty of nation states is contrary to the principles that guide the U.N. as prescribed in the U.N. Charter.
I'll use my final round to defend my case and present some voting issues.
I was expecting con to not only attack my case, but also rebut my attacks on his case. Con did not do this; he may rebut these claims during the final round, but I would like to remind voters that con may not use new evidence. With that, I would like to extend these attacks because some very important points I made during my last round have gone unanswered.
Before I begin with my rebuttal, I would like to address what has probably become the most important issue in the round.
The status quo:
Under the status quo, offensive operations have been allowed for the past 60 years or so under mandate VII. Con's continual defense of the status quo should be turned to my side. As I pointed out during the previous round, con's evidence actually supports the use of mandate VII. His source explains: "...but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII." It is worth noting that the UN hasn't utilized the mandate as much as they should have, but there have been offensive operations used in the past.
Moving on to rebut con's attacks:
C1: Military peacekeeping requires offense.
Con explains that the goal of the UN is *not* to punish violence, and he would be absolutely correct. However, the goal of the UN peacekeepers is to assist in the transition from conflict to peace and attaching a cost to violence is necessary to accomplish this goal in many situations. Specifically, Rwanda and Congo.
Con then moves on to put my example of the successful offensive operation in Congo up against the lack of success with ISIS. There are a few reasons why this comparison doesn't work. Firstly, con never talks about *un peacekeeper* involvement with ISIS. Secondly, con never talks about *offensive operations* being used to deter ISIS. This is a red herring because con is basically saying, "Successful un peacekeeping operations don't necessitate their authorization because ISIS is a problem." Yet these two things are entirely unrelated.
So, (a) attaching a cost to violence *does* lead to the achievement of UN peacekeeping goals in some cases and (b) offensive operations have been successful in the present (and the past, which I will elaborate more on later). Obviously offensive operations don't guarantee peace. Absolutely no operation can guarantee success. However, after looking at past "robust" mandates, it isn't hard to come to the conclusion that offensive operations can increase the likelihood of success.
C2: The authorization of offensive operations lead to peace.
POINT A: Efficacy
Con has entirely dropped one of my most important pieces of evidence.
I'll go ahead and extend it: Green explains in a meta-analysis of offensive operations that, “peace enforcement operations are most successful when they utilize the appropriate spoiler management strategy and maintain impartiality and legitimacy through close cooperation with UN peacekeepers(5).” He documents that peace enforcement has a “318% to 369% hazard ratio of civil war termination controlling for force capability (6),” meaning that the risk of a country being able to prevent a civil war is 3 times more likely.
This meta analysis encompasses all of the offensive operations used in the past and shows that they have decreased conflict significantly. Con is strawmanning my argument when he sums up my terminology as "offensive operations can rather than offensive operations do." My argument explains that offensive operations *have done* well in the past and *can* do well in the future. Congo was a success, as were less recent operations encompassed in Green's analysis. Whether or not defensive operations are effective is almost entirely irrelevant because all I have to show it that offensive operations can be more effective, which I have done. Remember, the UN didn't use force in Congo for a year and a half, and the situation only got worse.
POINT B: Deterrence
Con explains that such operations undermine the sovereignty of nation states, which contradicts the principles of the UN. Firstly, observe that peace enforcement can act as an exception to the general need for consent of the parties (and this is stated by the UN). Even then, offensive operations are usually preformed with the consent of the government in the particular area. For example, the Congolese government supported the UN's brigade that disarmed the M23 rebels. Con says that this only worked because France had the authority to act in such a manner (and by extension, it won't work for the UN because they don't have such power). I'll make three points:
(a) Con essentially concedes that a deterrence effect *would* kick in if the UN had the power the France has.
(b) If the UN continues to be given the power to engage in offensive operations, they *can* extend an over the horizon guarantee to other countries, thus the deterrence effect will kick in.
(c) Even if the UN doesn't issue a formal agreement like France did, deterrence will still be seen. Look again to Congo. Since the M23 rebels have laid down their arms and signed a peace treaty, this spreads a message of how futile continued conflict is to other rebel groups.
I'd also like to extend a point I made during the previous round.
UN Goals and Principles:
In my rebuttal, I explained that con has no empirical evidence supporting the idea that the UN's goals and principles are violated by offensive action. He explains all these negative impacts, but never shows how offensive operations have caused such problems or why they could cause such problems. Thus, as a reader, you should not buy his arguments pertaining to the dangers of offensive operations.
C3: UN is the best organization to be able to perform such operations.
I'd like to start by touching on the status quo yet again. Since offensive operations *are* being utilized currently, and *have* been utilized in the past, con cannot legitimately argue that their use causes the UN to lose credibility. In fact, the only actual evidence that talks about the UN losing credibility that has been brought up in the round is the Rwandan genocide, where offensive action was needed, yet the UN did nothing. Con has not substantiated the claim that UN operations are preferred due to absence of aggression, most likely because this isn't true.
As I cannot bring up new evidence, I will not be able to further my point about non-UN operations being *worse.* It will be up to the voters to decide whether or not they buy the UN's current level of credibility, when compared with other organizations like NATO and the EU. However, I have clearly shown that the UN peacekeepers are an effective organization, furthering the idea that they have been capable and still are capable of using offensive operations.
This contention doesn't contradict my third contention because my observation explains that such operations are a tool in the toolbox. They won't be used in every circumstance because they won't be needed in other circumstance. However, the fact that peacekeepers are an effective force furthers the idea that they can handle offensive operations when needed. Just because the UN peacekeepers have done well with defensive operations doesn't mean they don't need to use offensive operations occasionally.
Now, I'll present some voters. They will be short because I'm tired af
Here's why you should vote pro:
1. Offensive operations are needed: Rwandan Genocide, 1.5 years in Congo of continually worsening conflict
2. Offensive operations are good: 3 times more likely to reduce the risk of civil war (as shown by past operations VIA THE UN)
3. Offensive operations lead to less conflict long term: deterrence effect of 75% by French peacekeepers utilizing offensive operations
4: The UN can do this shiznit well: shown by my green meta analysis, peacekeepers are an effective force, thus making them more capable to engage in offensive operations
I apologize that I did not rebut the attacks made on my case