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The Instigator
Pro (for)
28 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
21 Points

The Bowe Bergdahl exchange was a good decision.

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Post Voting Period
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after 7 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 7/16/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,873 times Debate No: 59034
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (7)




This is the first in a series of redo debates. Or debates that never were finished do to forfeits. Accept and I'll leave off where I did last time.

R1 is for Acceptance


Challenge accepted.

Debate Round No. 1


I. POW: Now or Later

A lot of people innocently forget that Bergdahl isn't the only prisoner of war. According to the Geneva Convention on human rights, all POW's in American possession must be released at the end, or detente, of conflict between two armies. The Afghanistan war was officially over, which means the US was liable to be tried in international court, which WILL happen following every conflict. By holding POW's after Obama's call to end the war, we could be at risk of paying serious reparations to the international community.

Will GOP Heads Explode? At War's End, by Law, Gitmo Detainees Must Be Released & Repatriated

Since at least 1648's "Peace of Westphalia" which ended the Thirty Year's War, both sides of a conflict release POWs at the end of a conflict and/or war. WWII ended in 1945, ten years before the United States ratified III Geneva Convention in 1955. In spite of not having a ratified Treaty, the United States attributes the release and repatriation Japanese POWs at the end of WWII to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

But, I have a feeling that today's Republican's heads would have exploded and they would have screamed like stuck pigs when the United States released and repatriated "terrorist" Japanese POWs who were some of the most ruthless, barbaric enemies the United States has ever fought against.

Just how much "terrorism" and "evil" did the Japanese inflict during WWII?

Were the Japanese we fought in WWII a more gentler and kinder enemy than today's "terrorists?"

It was now or never. Even though we are not approving of the Third Convention, we are still liable in court for the things in it. Lets not be a sore loser like Turkey, who refuses to acknowledge it broke international law simply because it refuses to recognize it.

II. Other Violations of the Geneva Convention

There is one reason why the "Gitmo" problem hasn't been solved. In any normal scenario, one could just take the prisoners to international court, have them tried there, and let the UN deal with them. The reason why we can't do this, is because we did so much wacked up $hit to these prisoners, they can no longer be tried in court.

Its the Gitmo problem, and its the only reason that hell hole is opened. Prisoners were tortured, starved, and deprived of basic human freedoms. They can not be tried, or can they continue to be smoked up in Cuba. This was the only solution, and I believe its the only one that will not screw us over in the long run. I contend the following....

P1: We have broken the Geneva Convention dozens of times with Gitmo prisoners.
P2: Gitmo prisoners can not be tried or kept in Guatanomo Bay.
C1: Gitmo prisoners should be released.

My opponent will be required to provide a justifable burden to defeat this premise. In the form of telling me a alternative option that isn't more or equally ugly to the one we went with. Good luck to him on doing that.

III. The Frenemie of my Frenemie

A lot of people are under the misconception that the Taliban are "terrorists". This is unbelievably laughable, and our movement to pressure nations in to ratifying the state departments recognition was coercion in my eyes. The truth is, the Taliban are little more than a civil millitant movement with aspirations to run a country.

They are an opposing army, not a terrorist group within itself. The US can easily refute all blame in Afghanistan by reffering to them as terrorists. Fighting a war on terror, sounds a lot better than picking sides in a civil war. Which is exactly what were doing. We have chosen to help the government fight a civil war, that in reality, doesn't involve us.

I am a military interventionalist, granted, but its one thing to overthrow a dictator, and another to help the man who replaces him rule and consolidate his power. That's exactly the point I'm trying so hard to make.

We are not the Taliban's primary enemy!

We are the frenemie of their enemy. Only a target as long as we continue to support the Afghan government. The Taliban doesn't blow up buildings in America. They don't attack US army bases in Germany. They attack us, in their territory. We are calamity in a civil war. As long as we continue to remain active combat operations. they will attack us.

P1: The Taliban would not be our enemy if we didn't fight with the Afghan government
P2: We are no longer fighting with the Afghan government
C1: We are at no risk to release Taliban prisoners of war.

I do support the endeavors of the Afghan government, but we can do that without sending men to die. We should sign bi lateral agreements, and allow Afghanistan to start fending for itself. They have the capibilities to fight their own battles at this point.

IV. A sign of detente

I would of thought, my opponent more than anyone else, would know that you can't fight a insurgency of this magnitude by killing leadership and capturing Taliban divisions. As I stated earlier, the Taliban are a civil millitant group. For the same reason Syria can't defeat Kurdistan, Iraq can't eliminate Isis, and China wont crush East Turkemenastan . They are a movement, not a collective fighting force.

You can kill a man, but not a idea. The only way to end bloodshed, is with reason and logic. Sorry, but I'm going to get a little philosophical. Why do people fight? Why do they spill blood? What makes them risk everything? From a utilitarrian POV, I would assume its to gain net benefit in their lives.

The Taliban fighters are of the opinion that the gains of war outweigh the risks. With that said, the only way to defeat a movement, is to appease those within it. The Taliban will return in waves, their leadership will replenish, and even if these scum bags died, they would soon be replaced. The Taliban are obviously unpleased with their life if they are willing to kill during it.

Its time for diplomacy. Cease fire. Detente. They wish to live happier lives, like all men. There is no reason why we can't reason with them like civilized humans. Its time to end our little experiment in international wars on terror. We need to treat the taliban like any other armed group. A collection of people with a set of demands.

I thank my opponent and the audience for their time. Best of luck in the following rounds.


Contention 1: Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter.

We traded a desserted who got up and walked away from his unit to go to the Taliban for several Taliban terrorists. Even one of his fellow troops, Sergeant Korder, has even stated that he has walked away, "They were never nationally televised for their sacrifices in the way that he is and he pretty much voluntarily walked away and in turn, caused, you know, the actions that may have killed them." Another soldier, Officer Nathan Bertha who was in Bergdahl's platoon, reported that, "There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted. I've talked to members of Bergdahl's platoon - including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I've reviewed the relevant documents. That's what happened." To make things worse 6 other soldiers died searching for that man. (

In Bowe Bergdahl's hostage video he stated that he was captured behind in a patrol. As I answeredd already his superior officer had stated that there were no patrols the day he walked off. The Taliban website stated that a drunk soldier walked out of his garrision to the Taliban. This confirms that he did indeed walk off. (

Contention 2: Who we traded for.

Now you might be asking what did we have to give up to aquire Mr.Bergdahl. I will now go over each individual we had to give up.

Mohammad Fazi

No it's not Fozzi Bear. He was the former Taliban Defense minister during the invasion of Afghanistan. He was wanted by the UN for massacre of hundreds of thousands of Shittes. He is rated as a HIGH risk detainee. He is most likely to rejoin the Taliban and the ACM.

Mullah Norullah Noori

Former Taliban military comander and govenor of two Afghanistan provinces. He is also wanted for the same war crimes as Fazi. He is also a member of Al-Qaeda in Uzebekistan and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. HIGH Risk Detainee.

Khairullah Khairkhwa,

This man was a direct associate of Bin Ladin. Served as Taliban Ministry of the Interior. He is also one of the major Opium Drug loards in Afghanistan and saught Irianian help to fight the US after 9/11. HIGH Risk detainee.

Mohammed Nabi

Al-Qaeda Affilated. Involved in several attacks against US and coalition forces. HIGH risk detainee.

Abdul Haq Wasiq

Former Department of Intelligence for Taliban. Gathered other extremeist groups to fight against US. Connected to Al-Qaeda. (

Contention 3: US still at war in Afghanistan

The US is currently withdrawling troops from Afghanistan, but the War in Afghanistan is still going until later this year in December and US troops are to remain until 2016. Thus meaning that the release that is required at the War's end is not yet required. ( Also the Taliban have announced that they do not wish to end the war yet. They have announced that they would kill and continue to fight US and UN forces. ( They acknowledged that the war is not over. Taliban is also no longer the Afghanistan government as the Taliban are also fighting Afghani forces. (
Debate Round No. 2


I. Bowe Bergdahl is a deserter

This point is irrelevant to any of the contentions I made. Who he was doesn't matter. And by the US military code of law, he is required to recieve a trial before he can be punished for being a deserter. He has yet to stand trial nor have you provided any evidence or sources that he was. This point should be disregarded for an absence of evidence and sources.

If you're going to make a claim like this, provide infallible evidence and a non-partisian source confirming your claim.

II. The "bad" guys

You completely dropped my contention this round. I said that the US can't hold these prisoners, because we broke international law in detaining them.

My contention was dropped. Keeping gitmo prisoners violates international laws, and we can't turn them into the ICJ no matter how many crimes we commited, because then they will testify against us. Letting them go was better than being liable for war crimes.

Not to mention that 3 out of the 5 people Con named weren't guilty of a single war crime. Drug running and weapons supplying is something the CIA does monday through sunday. These people are a liabillity to the US in our detention. The Afghan talliban aren't even labeled as terrorists by the US government. Nor are we officially at war with the Taliban, because if we were, the war statutes would be in effect. By international law, we are hosting civilian targets illegally. If someone were to interpret us as actually being in war with them, then we would be violating several war statutes.

III. We're still at war with Afghanistan

We were never at war with Afghanistan. We were at war with a civilian millitant group within the nation known as Afghanistan. The problem is we were already violating international law by bypassing the UN war statutes mandate. A set of requirements for the waging of war. By violating them, we were technically breaking international law. The only thing that saved us was a "loose" interpretation on the definition "War". The Taliban are still protected under international law. We have working diplomatic relations with the Taliban in Qatar, and they have not launched one attack against the US since 2011, in agreement with our peace talks.

Which means there's not enough evidence or support to claim the Taliban are working against the US. Can my opponent name one terrorist attack that the Afghan Taliban have launched since 2011? The international community and the US identifies them as rebels. We could be sued and hurt greatly with economic fines if we had continued to host illegal POW's.

The fact will always remain. The USFG is trading one war crime to cover another. The US can be interpreted to have "left" war by ICJ authorities following the withdraw, meaning we will be at extreme risk. At least we're manning up and taking responcibillity by releasing these people.

Dropped points this round

- Fighting the taliban doesn't solve the problem.
- Violations of the Geneva Convention
- The Afghan Taliban ( not the Tenrik-I-Taliban) have not launched an attack or funded an attack in the US for years. "Not our enemies".
- The Taliban aren't listed as terrorists, but a civil millitant group
- Keeping illegal POW's slows down peace talks (this exchange was as much diplomatic as symbolic)
- Since we are no longer fighting with the Pashtuni congress, the Taliban have no reason to fight us

^ All the above points are affirmed as they haven't been countered


Contention 1: Bowe Bergdahl is a Deserter.

My opponent said that I have not provided valid evidence, but this is incorrect as I have given you quotes from his commanding officer, the Taliban themselves, and his fellow soldiers. It's obvious that this is important and my opponent has dropped this contention so please extend this across the board. Why is this important you may ask? It is simply because our trade, on balance, did not come anywhere close to our favors as we released these dangerous terrorists back to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. All whom of which are HIGH risk detainees at Gitmo for a traitor. Thus showing that it wasn't a good decision and thus disproving the resolution of which we are debating.

Contention 2: The 'bad' guys

Keeping Prisoners of War during War time is legal! So the US has yet to violate any law unlike the men who we had to give up. The only rules are that we have to return them when the war is over and as my opponent has dropped. We are still at war. Thus meaning we are still Justified at keeping prisoners in Gitmo until the War on Terror has ended. Which it has not as I proved last round and my opponent has dropped. All 5 men are associated with both the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda is guilty of several war crimes and crimes against humanity. My opponent is also incorrect again. The White House has labeled the Afghanistan Taliban as a terrorist organization. Early June, White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden stated that the Afghanistan Taliban was added to the Specially Designated Global Terrorist by Executive Order in 2002. Thus showing that my opponent is again incorrect and we have indeed released terrorists. (

Contention 3: Still at War

According to the United Nations, the Taliban is responsible for 76% of causalities in Afghanistan. (Kegley, Charles W.; Shannon L Blanton.World Politics: Trend and Transformation. Cengage. p. 230.) The Taliban are also targeting health workers trying to eradicate Polio in Afghanistan in 2012, causing Afghanistan government officials to suspend vaccinations just because of the Taliban forces in the area. ( The US started the War on Terror on September 20th, 2001. It still goes on today and has yet to end. The War in Afghanistan can be defined as the US and NATO forces engaged in the Afghan Civil War fighting against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. ( NATO has acknowledged the war and is fighting with us. The war is still going on.

In conclusion we can see that my opponent has dropped my first contention and much of the rest. We can see that the Taliban is a terrorist organization and we are still at war in Afghanistan and against the Taliban. We gave up a 5 dangerous HIGH risk terrorists to acquire a traitor who got up and deserted US forces in Afghanistan. So you can see that it was not a good decision.

With that I thank you. Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by ChosenWolff 7 years ago
Sorry, I sent you the wrong link
Posted by LogicalLunatic 7 years ago
This debate seems very familiar for some reason. Is Pro recycling old arguments?
Posted by lannan13 7 years ago
Posted by Max.Wallace 7 years ago
The trade was one of our least loyal for 5 of their most loyal. Do you think the Taliban will suddenly love us, or just have more devoted Jihadists? Thanks for being American Lannan!
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Daltonian 7 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro won with his geneva convention contention (I love rhymes), but only by a very slim distance, as I was also persuaded by Con's arguments regarding the Al-Qaeda prisoners. Everything else was really so-so and not clearly in favour of either side. Basically, the decision comes to being whether Pro's argument of the Geneva Convention or Con's arguments relating to the dangerousness of the captives involved was more convincing. In this case, I was more convinced by pro.
Vote Placed by Preston 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Sources goto con, conduct would be tied, gosh chosen making it an all pick. however Con effectively showed the prisoners released were dangerous, he values Bowe as a deserter which goes unrefuted by aff. so I had to weigh terrible people and a deserter.
Vote Placed by Mikal 7 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I can go into great detail with this RFD if need be. I had it wrote out before but it kept getting deleted, but pros strongest contention was the geneva convention. Most of the other points both were swayed and both debaters talked past each other. Con chose not to respond to alot of pros arguments and pro dropped a few of cons. The one that won the debate for me was the geneva convention and it went widely unrefuted
Vote Placed by Astal3 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Though a lot of what pro said is true, pro uses the Geneva conventions and international law to back their arguments. International law regarding terrorism is a different beast. Geneva conventions was ment for large scale official wars. The war on terrorism is far from over so the technical war ending in Afghanistan is irrelevant. The people traded were high ranking terrorist officials. We let them go for a traitor. There are instances where following Geneva conventions is not a good idea. Since the debate was if it was a good decision pro did not convince me outside of legal technicalities. I too wish this debate was broken down into seven points. Great job to both sides I enjoyed it.
Vote Placed by KhalifV 7 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins by virtue of invoking the Geneva convention. Con does however bring up valid contentions, especially in regard to the individuals we traded, however pro's facts were stronger. Con also had a misconception in regards to the participants in the conflict.. Con's argument from desertion was irrelevant.
Vote Placed by NathanDuclos 7 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I wish this was a 7 points argument . . . I have military in my family and Con made really good points, however the main point, and the most important was wars over and it doesn't matter if bergdahl was a traiter or not, we get back are own. . . better arguments were made by con on the fringes but not the main crux of the argument. . . But awesome debate . . .
Vote Placed by Phoenix61397 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments trumped pro's. Pro's only contention was that gitmo prisoners were not allowed to be held, and therefore should be released. Unfortunately, he provided no sources that actually affirmed this claim (all of his sources concerned torture and not legality) and these points were refuted by con with solid sources. Con wins.

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