The Instigator
katelyn
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

War in Afghanistan

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/13/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,779 times Debate No: 13651
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

katelyn

Pro

The war in Afghanistan is not solving anything but we do need to stay in the country. Now you ask yourselves, ok but how? Well by leaving drones or unmanned aerial vehicles in and removing all ground or combat forces we can truly solve the war in Afghanistan.
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

My opponent must prove that continuing war with Afghanistan is in the best interest of the U.S. She suggests removing troops, and simply using drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles to secure the area. However unfortunately the goal of having troops overseas is not so much to go to war (after all, al Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan -- there are only about 100 of them remaining in the country, and bin Ladin is most likely gone as well - 1) but to help train the Afghan military to sustain peace when the U.S. leaves. Indeed it has been reviewed and agreed that troops are needed there, which is why both the American, Canadian and other governments have chosen to send more troops instead of taking many back [2].

At this point, we can expect two explanations from Pro. First, Pro must explain why drones and the like are necessary with such a tiny Taliban population. Surely she doesn't expect the U.S. to bomb random innocent Afghan people for no reason? At this point, it seems unnecessary in this region. Second, because the military goals at this point mandate troops, then Pro must either explain why (a) this should not be the goal, and what SHOULD be the goal of the war; or (b) why I'd have to argue this debate against war not considering U.S. casualties (troops) when in fact the war necessitates them to be a part of the discussion. I eagerly await my opponent's responses, but for now I will continue by presenting some contentions of my own. However, take note that Pro is the instigator of this debate affirming a positive position; therefore, she has the burden of proof yet chose to make no substantial opening argument.

One anti-war contention is that of peace. Why not give diplomacy a chance? Ambassador Holbrooke should be engaging with the locals with the goal of achieving cooperation on addressing ongoing conflicts, strengthening civilian rule of law, and promoting economic development. These are all things that would empower Afghans and improve the conditions of their lives. Meanwhile, perpetuating a war only accomplishes targeting innocent Afghan civilians and tarnishing America's reputation. It also encourages the locals to support the Taliban rather than the U.S. While we may have good intentions, in the end they'd rather be ruled by fundamentalists than be dead.

Another consideration is that of bribery, however shameful that might seem. Sure, it's immoral, but then again so is killing... but we engage in it if it's for the overall greater good. Attempting to "buy out" our enemies may be one way to win this on-going conflict. "The central problem in Afghanistan is that the Pashtuns, who make up 45 percent of the country and almost 100 percent of the Taliban, do not feel empowered. We need to start talking to them, whether they are nominally Taliban or not. Buying, renting, or bribing Pashtun tribes should become the centerpiece of America's stabilization strategy, as it was Britain's when it ruled Afghanistan... if we make the right deals, it will be ruled by leaders who keep the country inhospitable to Al Qaeda and terrorist groups like it [3]."

Moreover, even if this war is fought only with technology, it will still be received with concern and anger in the Islamic world. This will make it more difficult for Western and Middle Eastern countries to work together toward mutual objectives, such as peace between Israel and Palestine [4]. Additionally, Peter Navarro correctly points out that Afghanistan is now just one of many possible staging areas for al-Qaida. In fact, it is now much easier for al-Qaida's decentralized networks to conduct operations in numerous other places, with Algeria, Somalia, and Yemen emerging as the newest strongholds. Why aren't we invading them? [5].

== Conclusion ==

While Afghanistan poses somewhat of a threat to the US, there are other countries that are far more dangerous the lives and well-being of Americans, i.e. Mexico. The war in Afghanistan has already gone on 50% longer than America's involvement in two other world wars. Throughout history, many countries (like Britain) have tried to 'save' Afghanistan and have failed with military force. The best way to go about "winning" this war is via bribery and/or diplomacy as history suggests. By increasing military force, it's also subseqently increasing Islamic hostility toward the U.S. and hurting our side (negating our objectives) and costing us far more resources than we can afford. While we certainly should feel pressure to wrap up some of our goals and help the Afghan people, using excessive military violence is not the best way to go about it. The resolution has been negated; we should not perpetuate war in Afghanistan.

[1] http://www.nypost.com...
[2] http://winnipeg.ctv.ca...
[3] http://www.newsweek.com...
[4] http://www.fcnl.org...
[5] http://www.ocregister.com...
Debate Round No. 1
katelyn

Pro

1.Now I think you misunderstood the usage of drones from passing the plan. The war in Afghanistan will not be continued. The drones will be there for terrorism and Pakistan stability. The drones will not be there 24/7 they will be there if any reports are written in.
2.As I stated above in my last argument the war in Afghanistan has gotten nowhere but we do need to stay in the country for stability issues. I agree with you on that. I am new to debating online so not sure how to use cards and sources but below is a card and advocate for the plan saying exactly what I am.
Withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and focusing on security efforts in Afghanistan would have numerous benefits to the United States.
Steven Clemons directs the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation
http://www.newamerica.net... / September 8, 2010 Page Online
Title: Rethinking U.S. War in Afghanistan
The group's core recommendations do not include full, immediate troop withdrawal but rather a decrease in the military footprint in Afghanistan. The five key recommendations are: 1. Emphasize power-sharing and political inclusion. Washington should fast-track a peace process designed to decentralize power within Afghanistan and encourage a power-sharing balance among the principal parties. 2. Downsize and eventually end military operations in southern Afghanistan, and reduce the U.S. military footprint. The United States should draw down its military presence — which radicalizes Pashtuns and aids Taliban recruitment. 3. Focus security efforts on Al Qaeda and Domestic Security. Special forces, intelligence assets and other U.S. capabilities should continue to seek out and target known Al Qaeda cells in the region. They can be ready to act should Al Qaeda attempt to relocate elsewhere or build new training facilities. In addition, part of the savings from our drawdown should be reallocated to bolster U.S. domestic security efforts and to track nuclear weapons globally. 4. Encourage economic development. Because destitute states can become incubators for terrorism, drug and human trafficking and other illicit activities, efforts at reconciliation should be paired with an internationally led effort to develop Afghanistan's economy. 5. Engage regional and global stakeholders in a diplomatic effort designed to guarantee Afghan neutrality and foster regional stability. Despite their considerable differences, neighboring states such as India, Pakistan, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia share a common interest in preventing Afghanistan from being dominated by any single power or being a permanently failed state that exports instability. One of the most disturbing quick zingers that illustrates this war's massive management mess is that the price tag to U.S. taxpayers has soared to nearly $100 billion annually. Compare that to the astonishing fact that Afghanistan's gross national product is only one-seventh of this -- $14 billion. Washington is now spending more on Afghanistan – and failing in its efforts – than the entire annual cost of the new U.S. health insurance program. This is money that could be used to better counter global terrorist threats far away from Afghanistan, reduce the $1.4 trillion annual deficit, repair and modernize a large portion of U.S. infrastructure, radically enhance U.S. educational investment, launch a massive new Manhattan Project-like effort for energy alternatives research -- or put approximately 2 million Americans back to work. Thousands of American and allied personnel have been killed or gravely wounded. Too many innocent Afghans and Pakistanis have become victims – assuring unpredictable blowback in the years ahead. The U.S. interests at stake in Afghanistan do not warrant this level of sacrifice. Obama had justified expanding the military commitment by saying the goal was eradicating Al Qaeda. Yet Al Qaeda is no longer a significant presence in Afghanistan. The government's own analysts now estimate that somewhere between a few dozen to a few hundred hard-core Al Qaeda members remain in the entire Af/Pak theater, largely hiding in Pakistan's northwest provinces. U.S. armed forces have fought bravely and well. Their dedication is unquestioned. But we should not ask them to make sacrifices unnecessary to our core national interests -- particularly when doing so threatens long-term needs and priorities both at home and abroad. America and its allies are mired in a civil war in Afghanistan and are struggling to establish an effective central government in a country that has long been fragmented and decentralized. No matter how desirable this objective might be in the abstract, it is not essential to U.S. security and it is not a goal for which the U.S. military is well suited. There is no clear definition of what would comprise "success" in this endeavor. Creating a unified Afghan state would require committing many more American lives and many hundreds of billions of additional U.S. dollars for many years to come. Prospects for success are dim. As former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger recently warned, "Afghanistan has never been pacified by foreign forces." The 2010 winter offensive in Marjah was inconclusive, and a supposedly "decisive" summer offensive in Kandahar has been delayed and the expectations downgraded. U.S. and allied casualties reached an all-time high in July, and several NATO allies have announced plans to withdraw their forces. The Afghanistan conflict has now grown disproportionally large in the global portfolio of U.S. national security concerns, outweighing and tilting attention and resources away from other troubles in the Middle East, from Iran, from North Korea, from the global consequences of an ascending and more powerful China. Though Obama is more likeable, and often more inspiring, than the fictional captain in the Melville novel, Afghanistan has now become the Moby Dick to Obama's Ahab.

The presence of military in Afghanistan is bad for the citizens of the United States, and the nation.
Benjamin L. Landis Retired military server for 27 years. And Director of Administration and Finance at several major law firms.
http://www.unc.edu... / September 6, 2010 Page Online
Title: Afghanistan: An American Tragedy
The second benefit to be derived by a withdrawal of United States armed forces from Afghanistan would be the enormous savings of the human and financial resources of the American people. The American government has a mandate imposed upon it by the Preamble to the Constitution to serve and act in the best interests of the American people. It has an obligation to ensure the safety, the liberty, the wellbeing, and the prosperity of the American society. The war in Afghanistan contributes nothing to the accomplishment of these mandates. In fact, it has a deleterious effect upon them, not only by wasting the finite resources of the American society, but also by diverting the government's attention from actions to accomplish them.
This card says that we have to withdraw our presence but it is necessary to keep the drones in for the reason I listed earlier.

Sorry about the mess still trying to get the hang of this.
Danielle

Con

Thanks for your quick response, Katelyn!

***

1. Pro begins by contending that drones and other aerial missiles will be used to secure Pakistan. However, what I pointed out in the last round has still gone unanswered. First of all, Pakistan is not Afghanistan. Wanting to have drones for Pakistan is NOT a contention in favor of war with AFGHANISTAN. Second, she says that the drones will only be used if "reports are sent in" instructing that this would be useful. May I ask who will be filing the reports without troops on the ground to help locate the enemy? More importantly, Pro hasn't answered why it's not important to keep troops on the ground if that's in fact the primary goal of having soldiers be sent there today (to train the Afghan soldiers). Once again I asked Pro if this shouldn't be the major aim at this point, then what SHOULD be the major aim. So far she's only come up with drones for Pakistan, which as I explained does nothing to uphold the resolution.

2. Keeping that in mind, we go to my opponent's next statement. She writes, "As I stated above in my last argument the war in Afghanistan has gotten nowhere but we do need to stay in the country for stability issues." May I ask what "stability issues" Pro is referring to if not training troops and keeping troops on the ground to secure the area? Moreover I'd like an answer to another question I asked in the last round pertaining to this topic: If there are only 100 al Qaeda members left in Afghanistan, then why perpetuate war in Afghanistan?

2 CONTD. The rest of Pro's round is seemingly copy and pasted from one source, which is not necessarily bad conduct (because she didn't plagiarize) but at the same time feels like I am debating journalist Steven Clemons on this issue instead of Katelyn. Nevertheless, the bulk of this assessment was essentially the idea that the U.S. ought to decrease troops, downsize military operations, focus on security measures, promote economic growth, etc. Pro even concluded her round with a quote noting that the war was not helping but actually hurting Americans. Still, Pro maintains that drone warfare is necessary "for aforementioned reasons" which to the best of my knowledge was merely "securing Pakistan."

One is left to wonder why my opponent hasn't responded to most of my arguments at all. In the last round I suggested diplomacy, for example, and Pro never responded. I also suggested addressing ongoing conflicts, strengthening civilian rule of law, and promoting economic development in addition to straight up bribery - also unrefuted. While Pro's article did mention some of those things, it becomes obvious that I'm wondering why military violence specifically should be continued instead of those non-violent measures, which Pro's source agrees will be helpful. Remember that Pro has to support WAR (defined as: a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air - 1) in AFGHANISTAN, not Pakistan or anywhere else. Why would continued violence be best for Afghanistan? What could we gain from it, with only 100 al Qaeda members left in the region? Why wouldn't the other peaceful alternatives be more effective, or why do they mandate violent force to go along with it?

Finally, I pointed out that even if this war is fought only with technology, it will still be received with concern and anger in the Islamic world. This will make it more difficult for Western and Middle Eastern countries to work together toward mutual objectives, such as peace between Israel and Palestine. This was also left unanswered. I concluded with the observation that it is now much easier for al-Qaida's decentralized networks to conduct operations in numerous other places, with Algeria, Somalia, and Yemen emerging as the newest strongholds. Yet once again, these countries aren't in question - Afghanistan is.

Extend all my arguments, and good luck in the final round, Pro!

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 2
katelyn

Pro

"Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make." Robert Fulghum. That is exactly what you will get from passing the affirmative plan, peace.

1.The Con has neglected my point from the last couple rounds that we will not be continuing the war in Afghanistan. When looking over the last couple speeches con has missed some of the key points.

2.Con must not have understood my Pakistan advantage which says that by doing the affirmative plan we stabilize Pakistan. The con has also neglected my second advantage which is terrorism so say you don't totally believe the aff can solve Pakistan stability because con did not argue terrorism in the last round you cannot let them bring it back up in their next speech. This will be abusive to us as the affirmative side because con gets the last speech and gives you the last impression. So even if we don't solve for Pakistan stability which we do, we still solve for terrorism. Which is still a huge deal, for every terrorist killed 500 civilians are saved! The following piece of evidence is from the Pakistan advantage that will explain it a little more.

Withdrawing from Afghanistan would strengthen relations with Pakistan and help to stabilize Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Benjamin L. Landis Retired military server for 27 years. 2010

The fourth benefit to be gained by a military withdrawal would be the opportunity for the government of Pakistan to erase the stigma of being a United States pawn. It would give the government of Pakistan more freedom of action and the opportunity to play the primary role in the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan and in its own border territories. At the same time, it would free the United States to work with all factions of Pakistani society without the stigma of intervening militarily in Pakistani-Afghan affairs. As a matter of fact, Pakistan is far more significant geopolitically than Afghanistan, especially in view of its nuclear capability and its relations with India. If Afghanistan were to fall again under the yoke of a Taliban government, the geopolitical effect would be nil, on the same level as would be a coup d'�tat in the Republic of the Congo.

3.Also the negative side has not given any evidence or someone with the right credentials that says anything about this Islamic religion argument. Because of this issue the negative team MUST be voted down and these arguments must be disregarded. For the fairness of this debate and debates to follow.
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

1. My opponent says I have neglected her point that we will not be continuing war in Afghanistan, and also says that I have skipped over some of her "key points." First, I specifically addressed and clarified that Pro's proposition - using drones and other missiles - is, by definition, continuing WAR. In fact, in the last round I specifically defined war and explained exactly why her proposition counted as warfare. She chose not to respond to this argument at all and instead said I ignored this point, when in fact I responded to it and she is the one who did not make a sufficient argument against my rebuttal. Once again, for the audience, Pro believes we should use tactical missiles and other forces to fight - which by definition is considered war (see last round's citation). Additionally, Pro has not pointed out one argument that I dropped (because I haven't dropped any) whereas I have specifically singled out the arguments that Pro did not address. I welcome the audience to find any "key points" that I may have missed to post along with their RFD.

2. Pro writes, "Con must not have understood my Pakistan advantage which says that by doing the affirmative plan we stabilize Pakistan." However, you'll notice that Pro never clarifies what her point really did mean, so we have no reason to accept that I misunderstood it instead of Pro not just being able to defend it. What I said under this point in the last round was:

"Pro writes, 'As I stated above in my last argument the war in Afghanistan has gotten nowhere but we do need to stay in the country for stability issues.' May I ask what stability issues Pro is referring to if not training troops and keeping troops on the ground to secure the area? Moreover I'd like an answer to another question I asked in the last round pertaining to this topic: If there are only 100 al Qaeda members left in Afghanistan, then why perpetuate war in Afghanistan?"

Pro chose to ignore both of those questions, indicating that I did not misunderstand anything and she simply chose not to respond.

Pro continues in this second point saying, "The con has also neglected my second advantage which is terrorism so say you don't totally believe the aff can solve Pakistan stability because con did not argue terrorism in the last round you cannot let them bring it back up in their next speech..."

Nowhere in the last round did my opponent ever mention thwarting terrorism specifically, ergo there was nothing for me to respond to -- so I have no intention of discussing it in this round either. Moreover the fact that Pro never emphasized this as being even remotely relevant, and then having the audacity to condemn me for not responding to something she mentioned (when in fact I have pointed out all of her dropped arguments all along, and she continued to ignore them) is nothing short of bad conduct. Clearly her last round was a last ditch effort to discredit my arguments, though nothing she says is accurate if you look back over the course of this debate.

Her main point here is, "So even if we don't solve for Pakistan stability which we do, we still solve for terrorism. Which is still a huge deal...." However, nowhere did I ever say Pakistan couldn't be stabilized, nor did I ever say anything about terrorism not being an issue. Instead, the questions I brought up were how creating stability in Pakistan had anything to do with war in Afghanistan. My opponent chose not to respond. However, she did mention that withdrawing from Afghanistan would help strengthen relations with Pakistan, though this ignores my original question and was not backed up with any evidence other than a random quote.

Pro continues to give a fourth benefit - which is not only bad conduct because you're not supposed to introduce new arguments in the final round - but she completely plagiarized it which is most definitely bad conduct. Indeed I figured it must be so considering it was the only aspect of her argument that did not have bad spelling and grammar. Her paragraph beginning, "The fourth benefit to be gained by a military withdrawal would be the opportunity for the government of Pakistan to erase the stigma of being a United States pawn..." and the following sentences thereafter can be found written word for word on another other website [1].

As such, I don't think I am obligated to respond to this contention in any way; however, my quick response to this would be reiterating the fact that it has nothing to do with continuing war in AFGHANISTAN. That article supports a significant decrease in American military action from the Middle East, whereas my opponent is advocating military action -- just not in the form of troops.

3. Pro says that I "MUST" be voted down because I have not given any evidence in my favor from someone with the "right credentials." I apologize to Pro if she expected me to plagiarize like she did or take my argument word for word by copy and pasting other people instead of doing the proper thing like making my own argument. I much prefer to use reliable sources to back up my case. Nonetheless this is a terrible suggestion; nothing about it is relevant or even true -- that's not how voting on debates works. Moreover I've been polite and cordial throughout this whole debate whereas my opponent has not. Ahh, I digress.

== CONCLUSION ==

I specifically asked Pro what stabilizing Pakistan had to do with perpetuating war in Afghanistan. Pro responded by saying it would help their foreign relations, etc. However as I pointed out, the source that affirms this conclusion supports military withdrawal from the region -- not just troop withdrawal. It wouldn't be effective if we removed our troops but still kept bombing the area; our violent presence would still be felt and still have the same impact. In the last round I also pointed out how she said reports would be filed, etc., regarding knowing when and where to bomb, and I asked who would be doing the reporting without troop informants on the ground. Pro never responded. I also asked why it wouldn't be beneficial to keep troops there if training Afghan troops was among our primary goals. Even though I had brought this up even earlier in the first round (and again in the second), Pro still never responded. This was important for her to respond to, considering I asked if it was specifically referring to equipping Afghan troops with the wherewithal to secure their grounds without American troops.

Most importantly, I asked Pro why it was important to perpetuate war in Afghanistan when there were only about 100 al Qaeda members left there. Once again, Pro never responded. This was of course my main contention and argument; Pro chose to completely drop it. Another huge contention of mine was promoting diplomacy -- of course Pro never responded. I mentioned bribery; Pro never responded. I pointed out that even without troops, our presence in the Middle East (violent, as Pro suggests) would still perpetuate conflict and take away from other pressing issues in the region. Pro never responded. I concluded by pointing out that the terrorists are likely to just move to another country, and surprisingly Pro agreed even highlighting that in her final round. However, this is certainly in my favor -- If the terrorists are likely gone already, then I see no reason to perpetuate war in Afghanistan. Instead, our aims there should be non-violent, and if we are using violence or other military means, it should be in the place where the bad guys actually are and not where they were.

***

In short, Pro dropped every single one of my arguments and plagiarized hers. Vote CON.

[1] http://www.unc.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
[ Conduct - CON ]

- Pro plagiarized
- Pro made false accusations
- Con was more cordial

[ Spelling and Grammar - CON ]

- Self-evident

[ Sources - CON ]

- Pro not only had less, but referenced places she didn't source

[ Arguments - CON ]

Con defeated all of Pro's arguments, and Pro dropped every single one of Con's arguments.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 6 years ago
Vi_Veri
katelynDanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by katelyn 6 years ago
katelyn
katelynDanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Zilla2112 6 years ago
Zilla2112
katelynDanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by LilWayneisGod 6 years ago
LilWayneisGod
katelynDanielleTied
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
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:24 
Vote Placed by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
katelynDanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07