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Zaradi's Prized Debate Tournament Quarterfinal - TN05 vs. 9spaceking

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/11/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,925 times Debate No: 69817
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (3)




This is one of the four debates in the Quarterfinal Round of Zaradi's Prized Debate Tournament ( The debate is between myself (#6) and 9spaceking (#12). I look forward to this debate, and I thank 9spaceking in advance for accepting.

The resolution for the debate is "The United States should no longer be considered a world power". The burden of proof in this debate is split - that means that both Pro and Con must present a positive case as to why their side is correct, while also attempting to negate the arguments of their opponent.

1. No forfeiture.
2. No plaragism.
3. All citations must be presented in the text of the debate.
4. First round is for acceptance only; no new arguments are allowed in the final round.
5. Voting uses the select winner system; a minimum of 2,500 ELO is required to vote.
6. As this is a tournament offering real monetary reward to the top finishers, it is preferred that judges be either members of the Supreme Council of Determination or volunteers registered to vote in the tournament (full list of voters here: It is not prohibited for others to vote, but please do not vote unless you are willing to take the time to give a great vote.

R1: Acceptance
R2: Opening arguments
R3: Rebuttals
R4: Rebuttals/closing statements


I accept the epic challenge.
Debate Round No. 1



Before we begin to debate, we must first establish what it means to be a 'world power'. The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'world power' as "a country that is powerful enough to affect the entire world by its influence or actions".[1] The Cambridge Academic Conent Dictionary defines 'world power' as "a country that has enough economic, military, and political strength to influence events in many other countries".[2] The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'world power' as "a country that has significant influence in international affairs".[3]

Therefore, I posit that my burden of proof is as follows:
*Establish the United States as a major economic power
*Establish the United States as a major millitary power
*Establish the United States as a major political power

If I do so, and refute my opponents arguments, I will have fufilled my burden of proof. In this round, my primary focus will be on establishing these points.

Contention 1 - The United States is a major economic power

The first criteria to being a world power is economic strength - is the United States a major economic power? The answer is yes. The United States has the largest nominal GDP in the world at roughly $16.8 trillion (nearly 25% of the world's total nominal GDP). That's over $7.5 trillion more than second-place China and nearly as much as the entire European Union.[4] The United States has a per capita GDP of over $53,000, the tenth-highest in the World and by far the largest among counties with over 100 million people,[5] and it is also sixth in median GDP with over $45,000.[6] American boasts a workforce that is among the most efficient in the world[7] and a large manufacturing sector,[8] and it leads the world in scientific research.[9] By all accounts, the United States is not just any economic power - it is the largest economic power in the world.

Contention 2 - The United States is a major military power

Not only does the United States rank as the leading economic power, it is also the leading military power. In 2013, the United States spent $640 billion (37% of the world's total military spending) on the military - as the pie chart shows, that's three times as much as China and nearly as much as the rest of the top 10 spent combined.[10] The US spends over $2,000 per capita on the military - that's the most in the world.[11] The United States has the world's third-largest active military and eighth-largest reserve military.[12] Not only does the United States have a strong military budget and active-duty personnel, it also has among the most military equipment in the world; the United States ranks very highly in the following groups:[13]

*Battle tanks (3rd)
*Aircraft carriers (1st)
*Amphibious ships (3rd)
*Cruisers (1st)
*Destroyers (1st)
*Frigates (4th)
*Nuclear submarines (1st)
*Combat aircraft (2nd)
*Attack helicopters (1st)
*Nuclear weapons (2nd)

And that's just the start. That doesn't count the high quality firearms and explosives that the United States uses, for instance. However, it is worth noting that the large stockpile of nuclear weapons makes it very difficuly for any country to justify a direct attack on the United States; one could make a reasonable argument that, in that regard, any country with even a moderate stockpile of nuclear weapons is a world power.

In addition to this blunt force, the United States has a number of key allies throughout the world that help establish it as a world leader. The United States is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),[14] a military alliance between 28 nations throughout the North Atlantic.[15] As a member of NATO, the United States is not only obliged to come to the aid of other countries in the event of an attack, but, more importantly, is also entitled to that protection.[16] NATO collectively accounts for 70% of the world's defense spending,[17] over half of which comes from the United States.[10] As the largest member of NATO, the United States wields considerable global influence throughout not only the North Atlantic area, but also throughout the entire world. In short, the United States military is second to none in terms of spending, has one of the largest groups of active and reserve military personnel in the world, has one of the most impressive stockpiles of military weapons (including hundreds of naval and air force craft) in the world, and is bolstered by its NATO alliance that ensures the full weight of 27 others nations would fall upon anyone who attacks it. To say the United States is the single largest military power in the world would actually be understating how powerful it is.

Contention 3 - The United States is a major political power

Political power is a tricky thing to discuss. For the purposes of this debate, I will define it as "the ability of influence the actions of other states or the international community". In that regard, the US is undoubtably politically powerful. The United States is closely aligned with the Australia, Canada, Isreal, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the Phillippines, and the United Kingdom.[17] Additionally, the United States is a strong ally of the European Union and a member of NATO, and has established free trade agreements with many countries.[17] Moreover, the US is completely in charge of the defense of three nations in the South Pacific - Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.[17] The United States is the single-largest funder of the United Nations, and spends more than twice as much on the UN as any other country.[18] The UN headquarters are located in New York City,[19] and the United States is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the single most powerful body of the UN. As a permanent member, the United States can veto any action it disapproves of, and that veto cannot be overriden. In other words, any major world action must have US consent in order to happen.[20] United States political power is so strong it is often considered to be the world's policeman.[21]


In short, the United States is most certainly a world power. It has the world's largest economy, best military, and is one of the most influental nations policially. It is almost silly to suggest otherwise - how can a nation with a GDP of nearly $17 trillion, a large, well-funded and well-equipped standing army, and vast connections to other countries and international organizations notbe a superpower, let alone a world power? I look forward to see how my opponent argues his case, but I think it is fairly clear that that United States meets the criteria of 'world power'.



I just realized that my part of the resolution is nearly impossible due to my research, which has found nothing but:
-China has surpassed US (so what? US still has a very strong economy of over 17$ billion in its budget)
-US has too much debt?

[60-70 % is pretty bad, but even then US has a good budge to remain, not to mention US can just keep on paying off the debt]

-US is struggling to keep peace/defeat Iraq in the war on terror (this does not meant that US is a weak military power; the war has lasted hundreds of years without success, even with the best military and allies that does not mean US will be able to immediately stop the war on terror)
-When US had the recession, all the countries in the world went down too, with the exception of China

-"Now the money is gone and the wars have not generated any benefits. Meanwhile, Europe's and Asia's reservations are bigger than ever. For this reason, it is likely that Obama will not only go down in history as the first black president and founder of a new welfare system, but also as the first president forced to deal with the US' downgrading from biggest superpower to co-player on the world stage...."
From a website concerning about how the US is losing power over other regions and Obama is not doing a good job

The above website was pretty much the singular source that supported the opinion the US is no longer worthy of being a world superpower. But it does not negate my opponent's arguments, regardless of the possible pull of the combination of US's debt as well as US's lost of power over these certain regions. There is not a hint in the website that infers the possibility of US losing its allies, or NATO perhaps helping US regain these areas (maybe they just did not have enough time to react back). And my opponent seems also to be correct within the US's military influence, on a side note, and even if there are convincing sites telling us how the US failed in the war on terror--

"America’s intellectuals bear an urgent responsibility to question failed policies and move beyond a self-satisfied monologue about the problems of Islam — and to open a productive dialogue that includes Muslim voices speaking uncomfortable truths. Our common security depends on it."

--as well as many statistics of rising terrorism-- all don't really address the fact that terrorism was a problem everywhere, even before US was the sole superpower, and does not show the lack of influence the US has.

Therefore, I concede this debate.
I am aware I could have tried to make some points about the US's debt, and China's economic superiority, attempting to counter my opponent's point about GDP, and US's failure in the war on terror, but ultimately the facts are the facts. Barack Obama may have weakend the US within his terms (especially his second term), but US still remains one of the super-powers, even if not the most super of the super-powers. It turns out that it would have been a much more fair and superior resolution to debate "US is the superior country above all (Politically, military-wise, and economically)", because at least then I can try to assert that China is surpassing US. But through this research, I find that even if US has its power declining, and with China on the rise, even if China surpasses our so-called "sole superpower", that does not make US a non-super power (because its major weakness, economy, still has a pretty high GDP even with the US's debt).

Thus I surrender. I regret not having researched more thoroughly before beginning this debate. I wish my opponent luck in his further rounds in the tournament.

Just for fun, some (lame) rebuttals I could have made if I had not surrendered: [rebut to these if you like; I already refuted them myself above but feel free to be creative]

-Economic power? Puh-lease. The US is in this amount of debt when I typed up my rebuttals:
$ 1 8 , 1 2 5 , 4 1 1 , 4 5 5 , 1 9 6 . 8 1

-Plus, China is surpassing US and is definitely becoming more of an economic superpower than the US.
-Military spending? Even if you spend a ton of money, it's the strategy that matters. There's a reason the US is losing the war on terror.
-My opponent talks about US's "political power"; yet even so, terrorists are growing stronger and stronger? If US had true influence and power the terrorists would interfere and harm the US less, no?
Debate Round No. 2


I appreciate and respect my opponent's gracious concession.


Vote TN05.
Debate Round No. 3


Good lesson.
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TN05 3 years ago
Hope you don't mind. :P
Posted by TN05 3 years ago
Ha, thanks. I really liked that set-up you used in our Intervention debate, so I've been lifting it to use here.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
@TN05 - Loving that R1 set-up ;)
Posted by TN05 3 years ago
Same here, Beginner. I was expecting him to argue the US lost it's moral and political power (ie. intervention hasn't been effective).
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
I'm sorry: I mean to say: That the US should not be given the status of world power, not superpower. Not that I think it doesn't deserve it, but that you could possibly argue that it doesn't deserve it. :P
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
That was a well-researched concession round. Most are simply "Blahblahblah has forfeited this round"
"I concede."
Major props. <3

For the record, I would have argued that the U.S. should lose its status as a superpower based on MORAL not DEFINITIONAL considerations. I would have argued that the US as a nation is bad and shouldn't be given the status of "Superpower".
Posted by 9spaceking 3 years ago
lol, the way I format round two is so troll-ish.
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
This resolution.. yikes!
Posted by 9spaceking 3 years ago
This is going to be so hard not to forfeit/surrender.
Posted by 9spaceking 3 years ago
"The US economy is big, but relatively speaking, not as big as it once was. Thirty years ago, America accounted for one-quarter of world output. Today it"s down to one-fifth. That"s a meaningful change. Back then we were rich, and everyone else was much less so. Now those countries " especially China " have gotten better off. (In fact, China, with a 15 percent share of global output, is now the second biggest economy in the world.)

Some might see this as a sign of failure, of other nations getting the best of America, of the United States in decline. In truth, it"s a tale of success, a story of nations and people coming out of poverty, being able to live better, longer, and more productive lives. And much of that can be credited to US efforts to encourage free trade and local economic development through institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the World Trade Organization."

Oh come on, seriously?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by Beginner 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Concession. Oh well.