The Instigator
Andrew.Cerean
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
shockwave188
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

United States should keep a military presence I'm the Middle East.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,638 times Debate No: 46082
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

Andrew.Cerean

Pro

I believe the United States should keep a military presence in the Middle East. This view is adopted based on military tactics, and the notion that the United Stated will remain the dominant military superpower. No country could possibly sustain any military against the United States if we maintain military forces in that particular region. Global markets also require stability in that particular region, and cargo ships should be able to travel freely in those regions. A military presence will also be able to provide security for cargo vessels passing through the waters near those areas.

Lastly, I believe a presence should be maintained, but it must be tactical. I do believe our presence there is too great, and there are ways to still maintain forces in that region in reduced numbers.
shockwave188

Con

T0 start off I'd like to say that I actually agree that the U.S should stay in the middle east however under radically different tactics. However there are some gaps in my thinking and I think presenting those will give you a decent debate. Also I saw that you took up the challenge against miles-pro-liberate on his foreign policy debate. You're braver than me and your presentation was very good. I look forward to see you two continue the debate.

1.) A unjust war/presence due to it being immoral

That being said I should probably get back to our debate. I think the main issue with the U.S having a large military presence in the middle east is the morality of it. The first question that I think needs to be answered is,"Why is the U.S in the middle east and what is the tangible goal and effect that the U.S hopes to achieve in their intervention and presence"? In your initial presentation you mentioned that one of the reasons the U.S is there is because, "Global markets also require stability in that particular region, and cargo ships should be able to travel freely in those regions". Assuming that you think that this a reason for the U.S presence, I am postulating that the reason for the U.S presence is economic, and that the effect in mind is to stabilize the region in order for the continued trading with the region primarily for oil and other natural resources. I believe that assuming these are the reasons for U.S involvement that according to the principles of a just war as declared by the constitution, the U.S does not meet the requirements. I am using source 1 as my source for the principles. In order for a war to be justified the envisioned war must meet all of the requirements listed in the source. I do not believe that the U.S presence in the middle east (including the wars fought there and the forceful U.S intervention in middle eastern events) does not meet the requirements of, "A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified" and, "A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient--see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with "right" intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury". The U.S involvement does not meet the first mentioned requirement because the U.S, "Half assed" the attempts at diplomacy. The U.S attempted negotiations only to check off that requirement of a just war. The U.S used a number of impossible demands to justify their intervention. For example demanding that Pakistan hand over all Taliban and Al Quaeda personnel. Even the UN and all of its power could not find let alone capture all of the radicals. The thought of a government of which is Muslim and has plenty of reasons to hate the U.S and love the radicals is an absurd one. The second principle that the interventions have not met is that there justification of involvement is impure. Going to war to get material gains is not a valid reason to kill thousands and disturb millions which coincides with the principle that the end must justify the mean.

My first and main point went on a lot longer than I thought it would have. In the interest of keeping my side of the debate bearable I am going to end my side of round 1 here. I think I have presented enough points to keep the debate strong and give you something good to respond to. In your response or in a comment/message you can let me know if you want me to further develop my argument and I can do so in later rounds which should make reading my side more tangible or you can tell me to keep it short and simple stupid.

Regardless I look forward to seeing your response and wish you luck in your foreign policy debate.

Sources:
Source 1:https://www.mtholyoke.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Andrew.Cerean

Pro

"A unjust war/presence due to it being immoral"

The invasion in Afghanistan was in response to the attacks on September 11th. What we also have to understand is that foreign fighters from other Middle Eastern countries flocked to Afghanistan to fight the United States. That being said, we have no idea what intelligence the United States received in regards to the war. I know that we invaded Iraq, and one of the reasons for the invasion included Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Saddam has been known to use Chemical Weapons against his people and Chemical Weapons are classified as WMD's. I know that no WMD's were found, but Iraq was a breading ground for terrorist organizations. Who do you think we fought after Saddam's regime fell, terrorists right, where did they come from? I disagree with you in regards to our invasion to be unjust and immoral. Is our strategy working, not really. Our initial invasion in Afghanistan did not have the political correctness it has today. It did not take us long to take over Iraq, fighting terrorist however is a totally different war. We almost won in Afghanistan, but the enemy got stronger as we changed our rules of engagement.

"Why is the U.S. in the Middle East and what is the tangible goal and effect that the U.S. hopes to achieve in their intervention and presence?"

Well, we need to look into military strategy. What fuels any modern military? Oil is an extremely valuable resource especially when fighting a war. We were at war with Afghanistan, and we needed to ensure we can fuel the war at a lower cost. As for an end game strategy, what do you think would happen if we pulled all military out of the region? Another super-power, maybe China or Russia, will wiggle their way in, install their own dictators, and establish a presence there. Russia already relies on Syria to sell military weaponry and technology. The United States understands there is a global interest in the region, and it is in our best interest to also be involved. That pretty much sheds some light on why we keep installing dictatorships in that region. Its simply a military strategy.

"A just war can only be waged as a last resort"

We were attacked on 9/11. I believe you disagree with the way we engaged in the war. The United States could have beefed up its Clandestine operations and just dropped bombs on all the enemies. We could have dismantled much of their capabilities using our advanced technology, but civilian casualties would also rise. Terrorism is a real threat, there are plenty of other countries around the world that are attacked. The United States has been attacked numerous times by terrorist organizations, and Benghazi is a recent example. You need to understand our enemy and their end game. Terrorist organizations constantly recruit, they have extremely radical ideologies, and they in some sects, believe they need to start WWIII for their God to come to this world. We are at war with terrorism, there is no doubt about that. If other countries would unify (China and Russia), then this would would be a must lesser burden on the United States. But, superpowers are so busy fighting proxy wars with each other. Do you think Russia will forget our involvement in Afghanistan when they tried to invade? As for additional strategy, if the United States has control over the main oil supply to the world, we maintain ourselves as the dominant military superpower in the world. No country can sustain a war with the United States without large quantities of fuel.

"The US. used a number of impossible demands to justify their intervention. For example demanding that Pakistan hand over all Taliban and Al Quaeda personnel"

In all honesty, Pakistan could have done a much better job cooperating with the United States. Nearly all military supplies are transported through Pakistan, and it is unbelievable how much stuff they have stolen from the United States. The United States has numerous ongoing investigations into the theft of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military supplies. We also pay their government so much money. Pakistan is a training ground and rally point for most of the forces the United States fights in Afghanistan.

In conclusion, I would just like to point out that we should keep a Military Presence in the Middle East, so I will briefly explain my position. There is constant turmoil in the Middle East, I hope we can agree with that. Since the Middle East supplies much of the worlds oil, that turmoil can impact oil markets which could affect a countries economy. Not all countries have the oil reserves the United States has. The United States spread wealth around the world through globalization, and we rely on other nations and their markets to keep our market strong. If the Middle East decided to hold oil ransom from the rest of the world, what do you think would happen? Think about that for a second! Price of fuel will skyrocket. Shipping would cost more, therefore the prices of goods would skyrocket. Wages would remain the same, yet people will need to pay much more for goods, and to travel too and from work. This could actually cripple any economy. I believe that alone is a valid reason to keep a presence there. Armed forces is not the only way you can destroy a country. Economic war is probably the single biggest threat to the United States. The best way to fight the United States is by disrupting its economy, what better way to do that then through oil. Our nation consumes so much oil, and I believe as we come closer to energy independence, we can start pulling out of the Middle East, but we should still maintain some form of presence for the sake of other countries around the world. If you need more, I will gladly bring forth more reasons. By the way, did I mention that most of the worlds terrorism and extreme ideology spawns out of that particular region?

Take care.
shockwave188

Con

First off I would like to apologize for my lateness in posting my round 2 argument. I'm in school and even though it is only high school it does take time. I will do my best to respond sooner. Also this debate has so far been very stimulating, I think that the topics we are hitting on in our debate would be good topics of future debates and you are presenting a well formulated argument.

Unjust war

Pro, everything you said in your unjust war paragraph I believe to be true. I believe that if we look into the issue deeper we will find some surprising facts that may change your mind. September 11th was a atrocity that needed to be responded to swiftly and ferociously. A full scale invasion although it meets said requirements of swiftness and ferocity it does not meet the principles of war and is not an appropriate way to deal with 9/11. The U.S declared war on terrorism, an idea. I have not found any evidence to suggest that any idea has ever been forcefully extinguished least of all by a massive armed force. Especially when said armed force is going around bludgeoning everything it can find in relation to terrorism. I believe that instead of a massive invasion the UN especially the U.S should have used more discreet tactics. I think that using covert C.I.A and black ops operatives to discretely kill terrorists and other personnel would have been a much better plan. The goal would be to get the operations so secretive that the targets would simply disappear one day. Afghanistan is such a violent place that the cause of the disappearances could be pinned on different religious groups such as the Sunnis or Shi'ite among other extremely aggressive groups religious and not. This way the targets would not become marters or raise the anger and dissent against the U.S. To put it into a metaphor, there used to be a mole problem on our property. They dug holes in the ground that one of our horses could step into and break its leg so we had to get rid of them. Our first attempt at getting rid of the moles was using a pickax to annihilate their holes and the surrounding area in hopes of killing or scaring them away. After a week all we had was a lawn that had been chopped to pieces and nothing to show for it. This is like the U.S invading Afghanistan except with slightly better results. Next we tried using bait and traps to get them. We only got one out of the many. This is like the U.S trying to goad terrorists into attacking certain targets then catching them when they tried. As we found out online the best way to kill them was getting a snake and putting it on your property. The snake chases the moles into their holes and tunnels and swallows them hole leaving no trace. The snake leaves none alive and typically the snake will not be able to survive in the new environment and will die or if you really care about the snake you can bait and trap it and sell it back or something. This is like my C.I.A, black ops, assassins idea. The operatives can openly follow the targets into their villages and discreetly take them out. Minimal collateral damage and far more cost effective. It is also more ethical because instead of having a squad or more of soldiers come into your town and publicly hunt down the target the target merely disappears. With this idea being a possible solution yet continuing with the mass invasion plan means that the U.S willingly put more resources, more manpower and hurt many more people than necessary making the invasion of Afghanistan and concurrently the presence of a mass of troops immoral, unjust and unethical. I think the Iraq Iran topic would be a great one for a future debate. In short I believe my operative idea would also work in this situation and similarly to Afghanistan makes the U.S presence unjust, immoral and wasteful. Doubly so considering that the U.S supplied Suddam and Iraq thus making that whole situation kind of if not mostly our fault.

Goals and effects

As in your first paragraph I agree with everything you say. However I disagree with the way the U.S is going about it. I agree that oil is an extremely valuable resource and that if given the chance another country would attempt to take over. I agree that it is a good military strategy to put in place the dictators. I believe that we should try to capture the peoples hearts and minds and convince them that we are on their side and it is in their best interests to trade with us and follow our customs and suggestions. I think this is the goal and effect with installing a sympathetic dictator. This does not require an army to occupy their country and put a metaphorical gun to their head and force them to trade with and like us.

Last resort

I think the U.S did just drop bombs on all the enemies which is partly why I think it was a bad idea. From a purely economic point of view dropping a $25, 000 bomb on some huts that cost a fraction of that amount not even including the money it takes to get that bomb over to the region and then put a platform in place to deliver said bomb is just not legalistically sound. I think what the U.S needs to do is try and fix or at least slow the problem. I agree that the U.S has been attacked numerous times and that when that happens scenarios such as Benghazi and worse happen. However I think that it is a better idea to instead of even though I fully support shooting everyone that tries to harm America or its citizens to instead convince them whether it be through force or more peaceful measures, to not attempt to harm us. As to peaceful ways of convincing them to not try to kill us, I think that although I love America, we have given the middle east more than enough reasons to hate us. Everything from splitting and stealing their territory without thinking about religious and geographical barriers to installing puppet leaders and taking their natural resources. I think that there is a lot of progress that the U.S, U.N and other regions could make in those terms. As to the U.S seizing control of the oil fields, as blissful as a world under the continued control of the U.S how is it on any level morally ok? Which is a majority of why I think the continued mass presence of the U.S military should be discontinued. After reading your round two presentation I think that your main reasoning for the U.S being in the middle east is to seize another countries assets , which although I want the U.S to continue to be the foremost superpower, is completely unethical and immoral.

Impossible demands

I semi-agree with what you say in this paragraph. I think that although on paper it seems Pakistan could have done more however I think it is the same mistake that the west made after ww1 when they divided the Ottoman empire into the middle east. The middle east is an extremely complex area that involves a large amount of variables that are difficult to understand from a western point of view. The fact that Pakistan wasn't out rightly attacking the and inhibiting the U.S was just about as much as we could expect from them. Although at times it seemed like they were. The population of Pakistan on the majority dislikes to hates the U.S. We have given them plenty of reasons to and they aren't letting our past insults slide which in their position I wouldn't either.

Thank you for accepting my friendship request. Again I'm sorry for the late reply and my intentions on this debate are civil although it may not seem like it at times. Have a good day I look forward to seeing your response.
Debate Round No. 2
Andrew.Cerean

Pro

I think that it is great you're in High School and doing this type of stuff.

You agreed with a lot of information I posted in the second round, however you did mention you believe the U.S. Is going about it all wrong.

So I take it we both agree a military presence should be kept, but a different strategy should be used.

Conclusion:

In conclusion I wanted to point out regional stability is extremely important as a lot of the global economy requires stable oil prices. When we came to the defense of Kuwait during Desert Storm, we helped stabilize oil markets around the world.

Lastly we must remember one of our closest allies, Israel is always under constant threat. Our presence in the Middle East gives us tactical advantages to come to the defense of our allies.

Thanks for the debate!
shockwave188

Con

In round 2 the first thing I do is apologize for my tardiness. Now here I am being even later. I am very sorry and thank you for the support! I think I have a long way journey ahead of me to become a good debater though. Great debates like this I think are the best way to continue on that quest though, thank you for the great challenge!

In conclusion I think that the military presence in the middle east apart from the lawful occupation of the U.S and U.N bases such as in Saudi Arabia is unlawful. Unlawful being defined as, "not conforming to, permitted by, or recognized by law or rules". This is do to the fact that the justification of the mass amount of troops in the middle east is due to the wars that the U.S has engaged in, do not adhere to the principles of a just war as set in the constitution of the United States. Therefore the mass presence of the U.S troops in the middle east is illegal by law.

As to the presence of small contingents of troops in the middle east I believe they should be restricted to observation and a skeleton crew of essential operating bases, essentially removing the military presence in the middle east. I believe this because on the whole, the military by direction of the U.S government has made the situation of middle easterners in particular Iraqis, Iranians, and Pakistani people, worse. The military presence is unlikely to change its ways to the effect that it provides more good than harm to the majority of the middle eastern people and should therefore be removed except for the above mentioned personnel thus essentially negating the U.S military presence in the middle east.

I would like to thank my fellow debater Andrew.Cerean. He has put up a good opposition and helped hone my debating skills. Whether I win or lose this debate I will be happy because the true purpose and happiness is knowledge which I have attained.

P.S thank you to ararmer1919 for the tip

Sources:
https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by shockwave188 3 years ago
shockwave188
If you challenge me to a debate I will happily accept
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
Sure ill debate you on it.
Posted by shockwave188 3 years ago
shockwave188
The wars did not meet the principles of a just war as set down in the constitution. Wars waged by the U.S must meet these requirements and the Iraq war among others only meet the guidelines on paper. Once one actually looked into the causes or went to Iraq, it is clear that the justification did not meet the standards. That's my quick summary but as I'm sure you know its a big topic. If you would like to debate on it I think I would be willing
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
You wouldn't be the first person to make the contention that the wars were "unconstitutional". However I have heard various reasons as to why. I'm curious, what is your reasoning behind this claim?
Posted by shockwave188 3 years ago
shockwave188
I think that if you believe in upholding the constitution than you should vote for me
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
Hmm. This shall be difficult to vote on.
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
So far pretty good arguments from both sides. Con a little constructive criticism if I may. You've done a decent job arguing over the moral issues of the US wars in both Iraq and Afghan and of course many of these issues are true. However. Morality is more so in the eye of the beholder and not a globally accepted ideology. What you define as just morals to you may not be the same or even remotely close to what Pro views as just morals. Everyone has that different opinion on morality so trying to argue the legitimacy of the wars from a moral stand point IMHO isnt a very convincing argument as it lacks strong connection from person to person. I would very much like to see any arguments you may have on the realistic it legal
Legitimacy of the wars. If you would so kindly.

And pro there are several points you have yet to bring up that would strongly enforce your position. I won't tell you what they are directly but I will say that something you and con are both doing is focusing on a very small area of a larger picture. The contention is wether or not the US should have a military presence in the Middle East. Not just Iraq and afghan.
Posted by shockwave188 3 years ago
shockwave188
Hahaha I'm sensing a good debate topic, how about you guys?
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
Oh I have points I want to bring up so bad about this, particularly cons first main point, but I'll hold off for now as to not screw with the debate.
Posted by Andrew.Cerean 3 years ago
Andrew.Cerean
Actionsspeak, I completely agree, but we have to take location in into consideration. A small security detail can work in non-hostile countries (like places in Europe). A place like Benghazi should of had at least a platoon sized element armed to the teeth. They just finished a civil war for crying out loud, and it's a nation filled with extremist with terrorist ties.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
Andrew.Cereanshockwave188Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had sources but weak ones, pro was more convincing in the first three rounds, but in round 4 I just felt like an argument was missing. TIE