The Instigator
Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
4 Points

What is better, a strong army(pro) or strong navy(con)?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 515 times Debate No: 65798
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




round 1:acception and reasoning

round 2,3:main arguments

round 4: rebuttal

a navy is better


First of all, I'd like to thank my opponent for this debate.
I must remind the audience that I must prove that a strong army is better than a strong navy.

My first argument is from logical reasoning.
Take, for example, the country of Poland. If Poland was to enter a war with its neighbor, the Russian Federation, which would be better for Poland to have beforehand? A strong army, or a strong navy? Because Poland shares such a large land border with its opponent, a strong army would be the logical choice. At the most, a strong Polish navy might be able to provide fire support, but if it had a weak army, the country would be conquered in weeks, or perhaps even days. Given the context, a strong Polish army would be the best choice here.

But obviously, there are many more countries than just Poland and the Russian Federation. For the United States, specifically, a navy might be better, yes, but for many countries the ground war will be far more important. The United States is an example because it is isolated by two oceans and shares land borders with some of its closest Allies, Canada and Mexico. Yes, a navy is better for the United States. But it isn't for all countries in the world. You can't just drop bombs on a populace, you have to also get boots on the ground to clear it out. Therefore, you must also need a strong army, especially against an enemy who is fighting in their homeland, like we have seen in the Middle Eastern conflicts the US has intervened in.
Debate Round No. 1


first thanks for accepting this debate

ok you make a good point with nations like poland don't need a strong navy but a nation like japan or cuba has more of a need for a navy


Your examples, Japan and Cuba, are very interesting.
First, let's talk about Cuba.

Cuba is a dictatorship under Fidel Castro, embargoed by the United States. If Cuba ever attempted to create a strong navy and use it, say, against other Caribbean nations there is no doubt the superior United States navy would eventually intervene. Why do I say it's superior? Because Cuba does not have the resources or technology to build a fleet to rival the United States.

Now let's talk about Japan.
After WWII, much of Japan's navy was destroyed, dismantled, or taken as reparations. In the 1947 Japanese Constitution, Article 9 specifically states "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes." This still means they can operate a self-defense force, which they do, seeing as they have the seventh largest exclusive economic zone in the world. Today, they run 124 active vessels, of theses 24 are anti-submarine destroyers and 28 are minesweepers. Japan's navy currently operates purely as a defensive measure, and it has no real offensive capabilities, since it is not allowed legally to carry ICBMs in its fleet. Japan also does not have any nuclear weapons.

Let's compare Japan's JMSDF to China's PLAN (The People's Liberation Army Navy):
JMSDF ships: 124
PLAN ships: 484

JMSDF sailors: 50,000
PLAN sailors: 255,000 (2012)

JMSDF aircraft: 339
PLAN aircraft: 650

If these two nations, alone, were to go to war again in the near future, the Chinese would probably win because of their significant numerical advantage, as well as nuclear capability. So really, Japan doesn't need a strong navy, because like Cuba, it would probably lose anyway.
Debate Round No. 2


ok you make good points. however in history nations like the US and the British only became a superpower because they had a strong navy

Also compare two ancient Greek cities-states Athens and Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. Sparta had a clear military advantage on land, but the Athenian navy surpassed Sparta’s capabilities at sea; neither side was able to seize and maintain the upper hand. Then Sparta had beg to Persia to get help. otherwise Athens may have won


I must return to my original point of contention when you bring up the United States and the UK. As I have already explained, it is more prudent for countries isolated by ocean, such as these, to have navies over armies.

The Peloponnesian War, as you yourself pointed out, had no clear victory, and both were unable to take the upper hand in the conflict. We must remember Sparta had no real need for a navy in the first place. It did not deal with much trade, especially not sea trade. Instead, it mainly, as you also have pointed out, kept to its clear talent- land-based trade and conflict.

Sparta didn't have to "beg" for the Persians' help, either. The Persians were glad to help. They would love to see their former enemies, the Athenians, fall. All the Persians did was support rebellions across the Athenian empire. They did not openly contribute to the war.

Either way, the Peloponnesian War didn't have a clear victor. Overall, it is not a piece of evidence for either of us. It is utterly irrelevant to the argument.
Debate Round No. 3


volcan forfeited this round.


I'd like to say thank you, opponent, for this debate.

I'm just going to reiterate my point: for the majority of nations, a strong army is better because they share large land borders, or their navy is already hopelessly outclassed by a neighbor.

Thank you for your time.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by smlburridge 2 years ago
Honestly, this depends on the nation. The United States is relatively isolated from the land wars it has participated in (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the conflicts in the Middle East). Therefore, it would be more applicable for the United States to have a better navy than army, but for a country such as Poland, who shares a large land border with the Russian Federation, an army would probably be more applicable than a navy.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture