Resolved: The benefits of the United States federal government’s use of offensive cyber operations outweigh the harms.
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 1 vote and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...
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I, PRO, believe that the benefits of the US federal government using offensive cyber operations outweigh the harms. As CON, you believe that the harms of the US federal government using offensive cyber operations outweigh the benefits.
In accordance with the harms-benefit analysis built into the resolution, BoP is shared.
I’m defining offensive cyber operations as any cyber operation that involves the willful invasion of the cyberspace of another party aside from the US federal government. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute furthers:
“In both UK and US military doctrine, offensive operations are a distinct subset of cyberspace operations that also include defensive actions; intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance and operational preparation of the environment”
R1- PRO Constructive & CON Constructive
R2-3- Fluid attack/defense. No set structure here.
1. No new arguments made in final round
2. No trolling
3. You must follow the debate structure
4. No plagiarism
5. Must follow debate definitions.
If the ruleset is broken, the penalty will be the loss of a conduct point. By accepting the debate, the contender accepts the RULESET and the RULESET PENALTY.
- RECALL that PRO is defining offensive cyber operations as any cyber operation that involves the willful invasion of the cyberspace of another party aside from the US federal government.
- PRO observes that the resolution is a dichotomy between the status quo, a world in which the US is seeking to use offensive cyber operations more often, and a world in which offensive cyber operations are not in use by the US federal government at all.
Voters should note carefully how every country pro lists only enhances the "paranoid" thought set, undermining international relationships and causing distrust among our people, and the foreign countries' people. After all, how can we trust the US government to respect ourselves if they don't respect other peaceful countries?
An author from Harvard Kennedy school knows what's up with our Paranoid Android here. We're exaggerating the Chinese threat (and to an extent, the Russian threat) and treating them as enemies, but they have no reason to attack us unless we provoke them. In summary, Jon advocates for the US's standard democratic ideals: "To ensure the continued high performance of information technology firms and the mutual benefits of globalization, the United States should preserve liberal norms of open interconnection and the multi-stakeholder system—the loose network of academic, corporate, and governmental actors managing global technical protocols."  Also, China is rational and wants its mutually beneficial growth with the US. Both countries are major trade partners, and cutting that off would just destroy the two from the inside slowly.
The further we investigate, the more it's unclear who is the bully and victim here. The US's significant advantage makes me feel like China is unnecessarily suffering here. My expert continues, "The United States conducts its cyber espionage against China, as the Edward Snowden leaks dramatized, which can indirectly aid U.S. firms (e.g., in government trade negotiations). China's uneven industrial development, fragmented cyber defenses, erratic cyber tradecraft, and the market dominance of U.S. technology firms provide considerable advantages to the United States".
Now Pro's probably like, "That's great! China is zero threat, proving our cyber offense success!" Yet China was already ineffective in essence before the US struck in the first place. Merely our defenses holding in place were enough. Pro claims “Chinese hacking groups have stolen U.S. intellectual property from industrial manufacturers and military contractors.” Yet the amount of this is incredibly insignificant and has no reasoning. The logistics behind the hacking are far more complex than Pro realizes. As Jon furthers: " there is little evidence of skill or subtlety in China's military cyber operations. Although Chinese strategists describe cyberspace as a highly asymmetric and decisive domain of warfare, China's military cyber capacity does not live up to its doctrinal aspirations... the Chinese military is rigidly hierarchical and has no wartime experience with complex information systems. Further, China's pursuit of military "informatization" increases its dependence on vulnerable networks and exposure to foreign cyberattacks." Yet the US's defenses are plenty strong. His news is incredibly ambiguous and illogical as a result.
Now US implements its PARANOID ANDROID plan, undermining the trust we may have had for each other, causing unnecessary tension. Now China is getting its revenge in other ways-- "China moves to exclude U.S. firms such as IBM, Oracle, EMC, and Microsoft from its domestic markets and attempts to persuade other states to support governance reforms at odds with U.S. values and interests". And we can't just keep pressuring with the cyber offense when we have economics at stake, something on a completely different battlefield.
So clearly, the US is a Paranoid Android against China and blurs the line of warfare. What's preventing us from being the terrorists, hacking China's private information, and holding it above their head? Not anything. You could argue from self-defense that China's attempt to strike back was perfectly reasonable. We have spent billions of dollars on cyber operations and only ended up with a squabble that lost us the potential of a globalized economy. The net loss must be somewhere in the hundreds of billions of dollars, not to mention we reduce the people's trust.
The Paranoid Android swings the opposite way for the powerful adversary Russia. We must forgive and forget what has been done to us. Russia holds a significant advantage in cyber warfare. If we continue being angry and vengeful, we are well on our way to a losing war, rather than discouragement. As Wired notes, "the US economy and infrastructure is far more reliant on digitization and automation than Russia's, giving the Kremlin an inherent advantage in any future no-holds-barred cyberwar".  But I guess, the correct word is more of "insecure" than "paranoid". Regardless, we haven't tried hard enough with diplomatic power or economic incentives. The idea of "eye for an eye" to stop Russia is ridiculous. Russia would happily tango with us as unlike China, trading is not essential, and the escalation for war is far more costly for both. As soon as we escalate, Russia can do the same. There is no unique benefit we hold over here. And we're just gonna keep building and building up the reasons for warfare, and I'm afraid it won't end as neatly as The Cold War.
Indeed, as an expert analyzes, even the UK has problems especially with ethics and international relations as it tries to deter Russia . Remember that any of Russia's offenses can also apply to the US -- there is no clear standard or line to determine the true intentions or label for the cyber operation. The research admits that Russia's attacks "can certainly be looked upon from Moscow’s point of view as a necessary ‘defense’ mechanism with the general aim of destabilizing potential adversaries and, in particular, of warding off a regime-destroying ‘color revolution’. Such Russian measures can, of course, also be seen in another light: as aggressive and designed to weaken Russia’s Western opponents so that, in a zero-sum sense, they create latitude for Russia, as a revisionist state, to be a more powerful global player (Adamsky 2018)". From Russia's point of view, they see the same thing as the US sees. So we are stuck in an eternal loop. Some people will be forced to suffer as someone's self-defense. We claim that Russia is bad, but return punch for punch and ironically justify their self-defense in return.
As an extension, other sources suggest that the US may also unintentionally violate the international rules. Edwin notes, "The United States is only entitled to respond to economic cyber intrusions with countermeasures if it can establish that the intrusions undertook against it breach international law."  Yet the economic intrusions often fall into a grey line that is very hard to truly determine. Not to mention that it likely does not violate sovereignty, as it doesn't prevent the US government from executing major functions. By contrast, the US's violation is far more obvious. We are obtaining exact data from China government. We admit to preventing their cyber technology from advancing. It would be much easier to convict us than them.
Thornton wisely realizes that we don't know if the US's true intentions are good or not. While stopping hackers seems good, the extent to our offensive operations has reached too far. Two senior officers in a journal remarked that "the US political and military leaders view the worldwide information environment as a domain of its vital interests and control over it as a way to achieve their strategic objectives of global domination’ (Vorobyov and Kiselyov 2014, 52)". In this essence, we are no more human than our opponents. We think of any means to achieve our desired ends, rather than our upholding of values. The US thinks that Russia is the country that started this, but it is impossible to know for sure. "Heather Dinniss notes, it is ‘difficult to state with any certainty that the entity that appears to be the perpetrator of the attack is, in fact, the ultimate attacker’ (Dinniss 2012, 100). "
So not only does this destroy any certainty in pro's self-defense idea, this reinforces the problem of "paranoid android". Yes, perhaps Russia is also a paranoid android. But we are no better than them. Pro claims we do not arbitrarily attack them, yet provides no clear rules to determine whether someone truly holds threat, or is merely defending themselves like our own justifications. And the US also runs the risk of falling into the trap of accused of launching a "retaliatory attack", which violates established laws. Soon enough it'll be our allies against ourselves, not just our enemies. Let Russia crumble on their own and expose them for what they're doing. Don't be the same as them and be also confused as a power-hungry country that wants to dominate the world.
Quick Rebuttal: Military Necessity
We are talking about utilitarian benefits. As such, any Kantian "necessary virtue/ideal/practice" is useless. We aren't talking about "what if Cyber offensive operations did not exist". There is no such thing as a "Con world". There is only this world, and arguing about benefits vs detriments. Pro might say: if the US is a paranoid android, we can never use cyber offensive operations. However, it's also entirely possible that all US targets have been wrong thus far and we must patiently wait for the right opportunity. As a result, this argument has almost zero impact whatsoever. Pro says it *could* bring an advantage. I'll buy that. But the premise is not "COULD" the US Cyber Offensive Operation benefits outweigh the harms. So this argument's only practicality is stopping Iran. But this is also meaningless since pro never mentioned any justification for stopping Iran in the first place. Unfortunately, this argument comes down to a big fat zero.
III. Target of Innocents
We have a famous idea in the US: better let ten guilty men go free than one innocent man jailed. Yet the violation of innocent civilians is very clear in cyber operations, especially linking back to international law and personal trusts. Remember: When we harm civilians, we lose our credibility. When we harm bystanders, we become the villain. As ICRC introduces, "Apart from causing substantial economic loss, cyber operations can cause physical damage and affect the delivery of essential services to civilians. Cyber attacks against electrical grids and the health-care sector have underscored the vulnerability of these services."  With the lack of clear standards for rules of war, there is little preventing the US from targeting civilians, as we did in the Vietnam War -- with no less than 4 million civilian deaths .
In the state of true war, the cyber offensive operations would extend these problems to a widespread rate that would be even harder to detect and make the US responsible for endless deaths. Even if that were decades, the problems continue in areas that are difficult to monitor. Specifically, even Afghanistan had 132 civilians killed last year alone.  This may not seem like much, but imagine it was 130 power plants shut down instead. Or electrical grids. In more developing countries near Iraq and Iran, the problem would multiply tenfold as the citizens who already have difficulty accessing resources would be denied all services. If two wars alone aren't enough, just take a look at the Somalia wars. We didn't even care about the airstrike, and only focused on winning the war.  All our past examples highlight that we cannot trust the US in wars. This is worse in that it inherently blurs lines and has ambiguous rules. And our ruthlessness would far exceed any mere "stolen personal information" as presented by a pro. If even a handful of innocents die with no true justification, then the war's negatives outweigh the positives. Nothing is more important than one's own life. Not to mention that our proclaimed "deterrence" had arbitrary reasoning, to begin with.
- CON drops & concedes PRO’s R1 observation of the dichotomous nature of the resolution. Extend.
“We're exaggerating the Chinese threat (and to an extent, the Russian threat) and treating them as enemies, but they have no reason to attack us unless we provoke them.”
- The source never says that China won’t attack (in fact it says that they have been and will continue to attack), only that it doesn’t cause any “real harm,” to which PRO disagrees.
- PRO (& most experts) disagree with CON’s source on the scope of the issue. While certainly not a “catastrophe,” China is a larger problem than the source acknowledges according to those working in the field of national cyberdefense.
- Even if CON’s source is correct that severe harm won’t be caused, there is still harm being caused and China is pushing for it to be acceptable internationally. This means that in the long run, smaller harms will compound & amount to larger impacts.
- The idea that, given no retaliation from the US, the Chinese would stop their barrage of cyberattacks on their own is foolish. The entire appeal to cyberattacks is that they are so cheap to create and use that it doesn’t matter how good a nation’s cyberdefenses are: one breach yields a net profit.
- Even if China weren’t attacking anyone of their own volition, RECALL & EXTEND that “the US will be hacking willy-nilly. In fact, the new “defend-forward” strategy is largely self-defensive” If China isn’t attacking, we won’t respond under the strategy, negating CON’s impacts.
“Jon advocates for the US's standard democratic ideals"
- VOTER, turn this point in PRO’s favor. RECALL & EXTEND PRO's Contention 2: CON makes enforcing international norms and upholding democratic ideals impossible as they promote free violation of those ideals.
“China is zero threat/weak”
- China’s weakness has not stopped them from attacking the US and doing plenty of damage because it continues to be profitable for them. Until we make it unprofitable, nothing will change.
- This is actually a reason to vote PRO. If China is weak that means an offensive strategy will be even more effective because the US is the strongest power of the two and can more easily deter China.
- Even if you don’t buy any of that, China will be a greater threat in the future as their technology develops. We forget that in 1980 China had an economy about the size of Mexico. Their development has been astoundingly fast-paced.
“China was already ineffective in essence before the US struck in the first place. Merely our defenses holding in place were enough.”
- The US is adopting offensive operations as a retaliation to Chinese & Russian aggression. Remember that this strategy only first appeared in 2018. China is the aggressor in this relationship, and they won’t stop until we stop being complacent.
“The logistics behind the hacking are far more complex than Pro realizes. As Jon furthers…”
- Turn this point. If China is weak and unable to respond well to American retaliation, then PRO’s case is made even stronger.
- PRO’s source only establishes that the Chinese military has kinks to work out, not that this data isn’t useful or able to be manipulated to the Chinese advantage as nearly all cybersecurity experts acknowledge (If it weren’t, China wouldn’t be targeting the US).
- RECALL & EXTEND: “China will be a greater threat in the future as their technology develops. We forget that in 1980 China had an economy about the size of Mexico. Their development has been astoundingly fast-paced.”
“Now China is getting its revenge in other ways-- "China moves to exclude U.S. firms.”
- CON openly concedes that China is pushing a global agenda counter to US interests, backing up PRO’s 2nd Contention.
- There is no link. China was the aggressor, undermining the notion that this is a retaliation instead of a move to garner more soft power as his source indicates. These moves need to be shown to be the direct result of US offensive cyber operations. CON can not demonstrate this.
- Even if this was a direct retaliation to cyber operations, CON has openly conceded that China is not in the same cyber league as the US and thus it follows that China would back off should the US apply sufficient pressure.
“We have spent billions of dollars on cyber operations and only ended up with a squabble that lost us the potential of a globalized economy.”
- Cyber operations protect a globalized economy from sabotage, they do not shut it down.
- There is no warrant for this impact. That which is asserted without evidence can similarly be dismissed without it.
“Russia holds a significant advantage in cyber warfare...As Wired notes, "the US economy and infrastructure is far more reliant on digitization and automation than Russia's, giving the Kremlin an inherent advantage in any future no-holds-barred cyberwar"
- First, you can turn this point. CON assumes that an offensive posture leads to a full on cyberwar. In reality, if cyberwar with Russia is to be avoided, you should prefer a PRO case because our posture is exclusively retaliatory, preventing escalation to that point.
- Even if you buy none of that and agree with CON that tensions will rise further in a PRO world, this is nonunique because on the CON side, CON allows Russia to attack freely and violate international norms, escalating tensions further as well. Even worse, Russia is actually directly incentivized to attack in the CON world because:
“From Russia's point of view, they see the same thing as the US sees. So we are stuck in an eternal loop.”
- We can trace back who the instigator was: the US hasn’t introduced an offensive cyber posture until 2018 directly in response to the attacks China and Russia have been instigating upon the US. With Russia targeting first, this shatters CON’s claim that Russia sees this as a means of self-defense. From their point of view it is a means to the end of weakening the US, as CON’s source even concedes is a good possibility. This is also backed up by the fact that most of Russia’s attacks have been made with the clear goal of eroding democracy in the US and inciting instability, such manipulating our election’s outcome on multiple occasions. This has no use in self-defense, only in the self-destruction of a rival.
- Regardless, this can not be an eternal loop because all decisions made by any nation include a cost-benefit analysis. If the US makes it more costly to be aggressive than to not, Russia will alter its behavior.
“Edwin notes, "The United States is only entitled to respond to economic cyber intrusions with countermeasures if it can establish that the intrusions undertook against it breach international law.”
- First, it is extremely easy to show that China and Russia’s behavior violate international norms, legitimizing a US response RECALL & EXTEND that China is costing the US billions with their hacks and Russia is undermining the democracy of the US and both are undermining US national security.
- Second, realize that if their offensive actions do not constitute a use of force or violate international law, neither do ours (especially given that they are a response to previous attacks). This is backed up by many scholars:
- Third, turn this point in PRO’s favor. RECALL & EXTEND PRO’s Contention 2: China & Russia are eroding international law & norms, and without an enforcement mechanism they will disintegrate.
“Thornton wisely realizes that we don't know if the US's true intentions are good or not.”
“The US thinks that Russia is the country that started this, but it is impossible to know for sure. "Heather Dinniss notes, it is ‘difficult to state with any certainty that the entity that appears to be the perpetrator of the attack is, in fact, the ultimate attacker’ (Dinniss 2012, 100).”
- We know for a fact this was not initiated by the United States.
- Turn this point because PRO allows us to better identify perpetrators by scouting their networks for nefarious activity.
- CON’s argument here falls flat on its face. Nothing said invalidates this contention, as it includes numerous utilitarian benefits.
- Innocents will not be targeted by the very nature of the strategy. RECALL & EXTEND that the US is not hacking willy-nilly.
- We aren’t going to start killing people because it’s not tenable as a strategy for deterrence. There are extensive hoops to jump through in order to authorize a cyberattack. No one will authorize the US to murder civilians because it will destroy any possibility for slow but steady coercion.
- Non-unique. The US already has great cyber defenses as conceded by CON.
- If a defense only strategy was enough, then for the past 20 years the US would’ve had no issues. Only until around 2018 did we have a comprehensive offensive strategy, so before that we had plenty of time to try out CON’s defense strategy. In sum: it doesn’t work. Hacks cost the US billions a year, and whenever we increase our defensive capabilities China & Russia find workarounds.
- What we need is a mix of both offensive & defensive capabilities. James Andrew Lewis writes:
- A union of defensive capability & offensive operations allow us to gather intel on our opponent’s weapons to then counter them.
- Pro presents another country that rivals the US's cybersecurity
- Pro justifies our attack on a moral basis, which we both agree on
- Pro doesn't say anything about our actual successes or deterrence
- Ironically, Pro lists more attacks from the opposing countries to prove that they won't stop
- Pro thinks escalating further will eventually lead to a breaking point. But even if we accept his 2018 timeline, two years seems absurdly long for such tension.
- Continuing this tension will only lead to further lost finances. It seems illogical that foolish China and relentless Russia will stop. Under Pro's world, we won't stop. Why will they?
"Yet another source that proves the US is harming its own citizen's trust and security."
“Similarly, Equifax seems to be a severe case but has no logic for us to strike back in advance, nor retaliate at all. The Senate itself was forced to admit our security holes...we are neglecting our security system, any of our enemies could access our systems.”
“1. US Defenses is Weak if we focus only on Attack (Proved by Equifax)”
“2. Arbitrary country X continues attacking the US (Pro thinks China is the sole problem, while it is not)”
“3. We hinder only country X from attacking the US (Why solve problem 2, rather than solve problem 1)?”
“Pro's adherence to solving P2 makes P1 continue. And hence P2 will merely continue with even more enemies of the US.”
“even if we accept that the US spends billions of dollars fighting China, we haven't seen any actual results. With this ridiculous back-and-forth, we are going nowhere. Despite our power, we have nothing to show for it.”
“Notice how the second point is not sourced and thus can be dropped.”
“Pro claims our COO's begun in 2018, but this is not the case. We had already declared our right to use it in 2011”
“Next, Pro commits the fallacy of composition, saying that merely because the US has caused a significant change in the world, that each action it does is by default justified and reasonable.”
“1).... In other words, US hegemony is not necessarily the same as democracy, nor identical. Pro also assumes that democracy is by default good. But this is also backed by no sources.”
- Democracy prevents oppression by giving all citizens a voice in the governing system, whereas autocracies allow the free oppression of groups of minorities.
- Democracies are much less likely to wage war because the citizens outweigh the power hungry elite.
- Democracies are inherently interested in lowering poverty and increasing quality of life because the will of the people always is oriented towards such goals.
- Freedom House notes:
“2) Norms are often contested and weakly enforced for the most part ”
“3) China is ironically regaining power and contesting to replace the US as the leader in economic growth ”
“4) Even Wiki says… Nothing about the US being the sole cause or upholding.”
- We tried the defense only strategy but it failed miserably.
- If we can gather intel ahead of time, our opponents will be that much easier to defend against.
“Notice how Pro dropped the point about Iran. This is because it was not a success.”
“Making COO's a national priority can increase instabilities in international relations and worsen national vulnerabilities to attack”
“If we wait for them to strike -- like in Equifax -- we also give them a chance to fix their problems as well. If we focus most of our efforts on a concentrated defense, we can create far more benefits overall.”
“The US's budget is severely disproportionate with regards to the offense. Currently, we spend twice to even three times the amount on offense on defense.”
“At the cost of our security, we try to gain an information advantage.”
“Yes, the US must enforce a cyber norm. But why is retaliating against attacks the norm?”
- The previous attacks were negligible on our security as a whole -- we can forgive them. This negates pro’s entire case, and thus, the attack/revenge was not necessary. Pro somehow defeated his argument with a single source.
- We have to keep attacking the other countries, even though our data security is excellent. Apparently punishment is Pro’s true goal, rather than protecting our country.
- Pro concedes this source and dismisses it for similar reasons I consider it too ambiguous.
- Chinese hacks cost the US billions and will cost more in the future due to compounding harms.
- The PRO strategy is exclusively retaliatory, meaning if China is truly pacifist the US simply won’t attack.
- China is unlikely to stop these attacks even if defense were the focus of all our efforts, because not only has China attacked all throughout our defense-only strategy, their attacks are so cheap to create and use that it doesn’t matter if 99 out of 100 fail. This is an extremely important point that CON has dropped. VOTER, don’t let CON try and address this now, as this is PRO’s final round.
- Offensive operations have a deterrence effect, showing enemies of the US that attacking the US is too costly to be profitable and preventing further attack instead of instigating it.
- The Equifax breach happened when the US was solely focused on defense, illustrating the inefficacy of his own counterplan. His sources demonstrate that much of the cyber defense standards established in the US and in Equifax simply weren’t followed, showing that human error can sabotage even the most focused of defense efforts. CON even reaffirms this in his R3, telling us that “Equifax did not enforce its security.” If the expectations were in place but not followed then the burden of proof is on CON to show why they would be followed now.
- The US owns 60% of cyberdefense firms, and Equifax spends hundreds of millions on cybersecurity a year. RECALL: “Yet China freely breached them. Just one bug, just one improper implementation of protocol, just one vulnerability, and we can be exploited at massive costs.” How much more do we spend before our cyberdefenses are “good enough?” When do we simply admit our strategy is failing?
- CON never showed a tradeoff. The US spending more effort in the offensive sector does not necessarily mean less effort in the defensive one. RECALL: “as the importance of cyber security increases, it is basically a given that funding for increased cyber security capabilities will coincide with increased offensive capabilities. There is no reason the two can’t coexist.” CON tries to argue a tradeoff in R3 by saying multiple fronts of attack will be too expensive to maintain, yet CON ignores PRO’s evidence that attacks are ultra cheap and efficient and are getting better as time goes on. CON also ignores PRO’s case evidence that the US will not be in this alone, the entire deterrent force of NATO is on our side.
- RECALL & EXTEND PRO’s R2 responses to the Defense CP.
- There is no need for increased defense spending if deterrence prevents attacks from happening in the first place. CON concedes all the warrants for this but still says in R3: “Recall that Pro has listed 0 actual examples of successfully deterring foreign threats, while I already have the huge example of Equifax easily deterred by enforcing security and defensive measures (CDO).” CON’s “example” is nonsensical. As for a lack of examples on a PRO side, this is no problem for PRO to address. Again, the US hasn’t actually been following through on its 2018 cyber strategy as of yet. If you affirm, they will actually make use of the strategy as they will now be “using offensive cyber operations.” CON tries to say this reflects the US being evil somehow, PRO says this instead shows that a fundamental, groundbreaking strategy shift takes time to implement. Second, while PRO doesn’t have too many examples to its name, CON doesn’t have any either (and as PRO has been repeatedly saying, CON has hundreds of examples of their strategy failing throughout its reign). VOTER, don’t let CON introduce a new example now, as this is PRO’s final round.
- The PRO strategy causes a reduction of escalation due to making attacks costlier for the aggressor, meaning we can turn the contention to PRO’s favor. This point is extensively warranted and all warrants are fully dropped by CON. VOTER, don’t let CON try and refute this now, as this is PRO’s final round. This is absolutely critical, as CON’s entire case falls due to this concession. More on this later.
- Even if the VOTER didn’t buy the above, escalation is non-unique because “CON allows Russia to attack freely and violate international norms, escalating tensions further as well.”
- The Russian attacks easily constitute a breach in international law, warranting a US response.
- PRO can turn CON’s international law point in their favor. RECALL & EXTEND PRO’s Contention 2: China & Russia are eroding international law & norms, and without an enforcement mechanism they will disintegrate.
- Democratic hegemony is to be preferred over authoritarian hegemony on all fronts.
- Target of Innocents:
- Defense CP:
- The US already owns more than half of the world’s cyberdefense firms and we already have been entirely focused on defense for the past 20 years, and we can see the effects. RECALL:“If a defense only strategy was enough, then for the past 20 years the US would’ve had no issues...Hacks cost the US billions a year, and whenever we increase our defensive capabilities China & Russia find workarounds.” CON never addresses this point. VOTER, don’t let CON try and address it now, as this is PRO’s final round.
- CON doesn’t give us concrete examples of what could actually be improved in his world, and even if he could, why didn’t the US fix them during the 20 year trial of his CP? RECALL & EXTEND: “James Andrew Lewis writes: “All cyber defence usually means is a bigger Computer Emergency Response Team, more technicians, essentially a Maginot line approach” VOTER, don’t let CON introduce a new example now, as this is PRO’s final round.
- A union of defensive capability & offensive operations allow us to gather intel on our opponent’s weapons to then counter them. On the CON side, no such intel is available and the US can only sit and hope enemies don’t find vulnerabilities.
- RECALL: Countries will continue attacking because the cost is negligible to them.
- RECALL: “CON does not demonstrate any meaningful tradeoff between offensive and defensive capabilities, he only says it exists. The US already has about 60% of cyber defense firms under its belt, and as the importance of cyber security increases, it is basically a given that funding for increased cyber security capabilities will coincide with increased offensive capabilities. There is no reason the two can’t coexist.”
- RECALL the human error effect: “just one bug, just one improper implementation of protocol, just one vulnerability, and we can be exploited at massive costs. How much more do we spend before our cyberdefenses are “good enough?” When do we simply admit our strategy is failing?”
- The deterrence effect from offensive cyber operations prevents the need of enhanced defensive capability in the first place, as foreign actors realize attacking the US is too costly and are deterred from even hacking to begin with. Again, this absolutely critical point is dropped by CON completely. And once again, VOTER, don’t let CON try and address this now, as this is PRO’s final round.
- “COO's are necessary for this day and age. (Pro and Con both agree with this).”
- “Must I repeat that we are only throwing away the unnecessary excess in the offensive side?”
- “Con's world is one where the US carefully decides [whether to use OCOs]”)
- Crime & Terror:
- Enforcing Cyber Norms:
- Military Necessity:
- CON makes our soldiers more vulnerable to attack
- CON makes the US have to rely on primitive, kinetic means that infuriate enemies and make combat bloodier
- CON would allow terrorist organizations to evade military action and attack their targets more efficiently, yielding economic destruction and death in their wake.
- The US won't be taken seriously as a world power when it comes to diplomacy due to their military ineptitude.
- Increased nuclear proliferation, even despite CON’s protest on Stuxnet OCOs are a useful tool to deal with troublesome nuclear programs.
- Many others….
- con affirms that defense, in the long run, outweighs offense for reasons of escalation, over the distribution of resources, and sacrificing of our defensive capabilities.
- con affirms that defense enhancement encourages fixing of problems within security, unlike pro who encourages us to ignore enforcing standards and focus more on attacking other countries.
- con argues that military necessity becomes less and less dependent on offensive measures, thus making the benefits lowered by following a defensive approach
- con notices that regardless of example, it is impossible to tell who is truly moral and who is not.US hegemony is not a good idea to determine the benefits of a technological policy.
- politics should be judged on a utilitarian basis and not on a philosophical idea like democracy. Democracy has vague standards and cannot be directly measured unlike lives lost or investing money in a war.
- even if voters do not buy the above idea, pro has failed to tackle why weakening our standards of security is more democratic than attacking the enemy.
- thus, we should follow what we know is moral -- enhancing computer security for all countries in general.
- con and pro both realize that a BALANCE of offense and defense is currently desired, defeating US's current over-investment and use of cyber offensive operations
- con and pro both admit that the us should be the leader on telling countries what is right and what is wrong to do. So con advocates for less bloodshed, careful action, and relying on international law. pro argues we should just become a democratic version of Russia.
- con has big impacts on the eventual escalation with the continued offense, showing past examples of us ruthlessness in a war that directly counters pro weak argument that the us will act kindly and rationally
- pro has listed zero examples of actual successful deterrence. His statistics starting from 2018 onwards show that it has not saved us any money, or any secrets prevented from being stolen.
Thanks! It won't last for long unfortunately... Ragnar is about to beat Mairj23 in a debate, so he'll pass me up again. Good to finally reach this milestone though.
Congratulations on getting boosted to second place in the leaderboard for beating me!
Just gonna say what WF said: it's difficult to compare live and writing. I feel that this debate was more difficult in the sense of raw effort I had to put into it, but that's just because a live debate takes about 45 mins and you're done lol
I think that would be comparing apples to oranges. You both had arguments, but one was presented live and the other via writing. Also, though MisterChris's case is much the same, he definitely added a bit to this, clearly at least partially in preparation for arguments that Speed made against him. That being said, I think Speed's case was stronger (largely because CX helped elucidate it), but the arguments themselves had similar heft. Speed probably did a better job on impact analysis, though I think you did better at addressing some of the issues with Chris's case.
(also, I should've probably brought the debate into a more technical focused sphere, because I doubt you know more about computer science than me, which would've given me an advantage, instead of politics which was your forte)
damn, I suspected my argument wasn't good enough. Well played, Mr. Chris.
Did I do better than Speedrace in your opinion?
Started reading it today.
bumping this early since it's a long one. May take some time for people to vote...
also I think the official public forum debate framework is a little bit weird to say China is zero threat because it's very hard to find anything beyond the handful of sources. So you're just slinging mud back and forth. I had to try to step back and see what it shared with Russia and culminate into an overarching idea. The Public Forum advice seems a little strange given the amount of evidence presented. I just ignored that in the end and decided to focus on US destroying itself since it seemed central to the entertaining "Paranoid" idea.
Don't write yourself off yet. You have unlimited stamina, so even if I squeeze out a few victories you could catch up soon enough. I appreciate the compliment though. It helps that I've debated this topic multiple times now
If I lose this one, congratulations Mr Chris you are officially a better debater than me XD. I probably said the same thing in three different ways but I couldn't think of what else to do
that makes sense. I might have lost, but I'll repeat points as much as I can to muddle the debate and make it a tie.
Debating live is harder in every way. You have a limited time to think, you have the pressure causing your brain to fart during what little time you have, and you only have your previous knowledge and prepped materials to help you. You can't research your opponent's argument during the debate either. The biggest kicker is the limited speaking time though. It's the bane of my existence. If you're someone like me who likes to ramble and be meticulous instead of quick and concise, you'd hate it too until you got used to it.
That said, live debating has its own joys. The difficulty of it is what makes it a great sport
just curious, whose case did you find tougher to counter, my case, or Speedrace's?
Well that's a wrap. I'm gonna take a small break from debating just to recover some stamina. Looking forward to seeing what Whiteflame and others think of this one though.
are you purposefully framing my arguments in a weird way? I'm trying my best to put them in an extremely clear and concise manner, repeating ideas with comparisons and analogies. If they are too confusing, do say so.
I'm a little over halfway through this.
"You're doing this last minute!"
Yeah, I know.
I intended for a more Jordan Peterson approach where I showed where we agreed and moved on from there, but I ran out of space. Jordan must have time trouble in regular debates where he isn't trying to win, lol.
Generally I do like to wait. It's best to read the arguments, marinate on them for a few days, and then see what you have come up with.
This is more difficult than I thought. I'll have to consult your debate with Speedrace for further potential responses.
Also, I may add another rule to my set of standards: Post only when you have half the time or less. If there's more time to use, the better right?
good to know. I hope you'll allow me to rephrase my counter to the military if you waive. I don't think the way I stated it is 100% crystal clear.
worse case scenario, we could both waive R2 and I'd have a bit more time but I think I'll have it done
I will be posting my R2 a bit last minute tomorrow. I'd work on it more tonight but I am braindead
Yes, I feel like I'll hit 20k and then have to whittle it down to 15k
I feel like this kind of topic might be best with 20k character count. 30k Seems absurd; even my Systemic Racism debate just managed to reach it in R1 and I lost motivation to continue the same level of analysis the next few rounds.
About 25% through the rebuttal... Gotta say, I'm starting to wish we had a higher character count here. Oh well
ok, here's the actual copy pasted full article for easy access (couldn't be bothered to create a google account) https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/5640-cyber-offense-full-article
ah... this will be fun. Glad I gave myself 2 weeks lol
with "target of innocents" I meant "even if that were decades ago..."
re-upload of source 3 ( valid for 14 days) : https://smallpdf.com/shared#st=116f24ff-d981-4296-a945-c6e0a8c28d49&fn=Deterring+Russian+cyber+warfare+the+practical+legal+and+ethical+constraints+faced+by+the+United+Kingdom.pdf&ct=1612070241867&tl=share-document&rf=link
3. full article: smallpdf.com/result#r=2d79c0c85a30c2c072dec37724a50f00&t=share-document
Heads up: I will probably not be publishing my R1 until next weekend due to my debate with Speedrace on Thursday
fine w/ me. Offensive & Defensive contentions are both welcome.
Also is it fine to have my constructive be basically a counter attack on your framework (ex. Same countries and whatnot)? It’s rather hard to build a case independent of what Pro thinks is important
Well... you'll see. I have several args in mind
I can already sense your self-defense argument brewing in the background from supporting Violent Revolutions... I won't let you get away with it this time!