Massive nuclear retaliation
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Death23 is PRO - Death23 is arguing in favor of massive nuclear retaliation.
Hypothetical: The United States has just been nuked to ashes by the Chinese. 300+ million are dead. To retaliate, or not to retaliate.
Massive retaliation would result in the deaths of over a billion Chinese civilians who, arguably, didn't have anything to do with the decision to launch a first strike. Further, it may very well lead to the extinction of the human race through nuclear winter and the spread of fallout. On the other hand, we must have our revenge.
- PRO fails to provide a coherent resolution. CON will provide a de facto resolution to work with:
- CON further observes that this resolution does not concern what the United States CAN do or WILL do, but what it SHOULD do. It is assumed, therefore, that the US has capability to respond. It is also assumed that, should you negate, the US will not nuke over a billion Chinese civilians.
1. Winning the war, or, at least, preventing our demise
- Cross-apply CON's Contention 2.
- China would have no incentive to invade the US after leveling the entire continent with nukes and destroying 300+ million people, effectively making the land too deadly to inhabit and de facto winning the war. The Soviets aimed to nuke tactical locations, not level the entire continent.
- "We must prevent extermination of our people." What people? In the scenario you create, all of those that are left that will survive for any length of time are likely those in remote, government owned locations.
2. Mutually assured destructionShould we fail to massively retaliate, we would be inviting future attacks. The fact that an attack had already happened would make the necessity of deterring future attacks all the more imperative. Never again would be a must. Massive nuclear retaliation would help to ensure that.
- PRO argues that we need to preserve the future, yet in the same breath admits that the world could easily go extinct in a PRO world.
- PRO's proposed scenario is a glaring failure of MAD that the world would not soon forget. RECALL: "it’s safe to say that the world will be thrust into a new Dark Age unlike anything we’ve seen before. The world economy would tank, and many states (likely including China themselves) would ultimately shatter into small, decentralized states or in some cases devolve to the point that there is no real government left." Nuclear weapons would be demonized and there will be a global movement to revert back to primitive technologies.
3. Love of country
4. Even if it's wrong, this house would do it anyway
PRO argues that we need to preserve the future,yet in the same breath admits that the world could easily go extinct in a PRO world.
The world economy would tank, and many states(likely including China themselves) would ultimately shatter into small,decentralized states or in some cases devolve to the point that there is noreal government left." Nuclear weapons would be demonized and there willbe a global movement to revert back to primitive technologies.
RECALL CON's observation: "this resolutiondoes not concern what the United States CAN do or WILL do, but what it SHOULDdo."
“I reject Con's proposed resolution on the grounds that it implicates a foreign rather than American perspective, and also that it assumes that Con's burden is merely to convince you of moral superiority.”
- PRO’s objections don’t amount to much even if we adopt his frame because CON never argued from the perspective of any other nation. Choices can & should be made through moral frameworks, and if the US is considering launching an attack on billions and spiraling the world into oblivion, it is reasonable for the US to factor in both the morality & practicality of their actions regardless of whose perspective we are talking about. Even if we didn’t factor in morality, RECALL & EXTEND CON’s Contention 2. There is no practical utility in this course of action either.
- Regardless, there is no good reason to assume a US exclusive perspective. RECALL CON’s proposed resolution: “RESOLVED: In response to the Chinese nuking of over 300 million American civilians, the United States should nuke over a billion Chinese civilians.” This follows the description of the debate perfectly. CON challenges PRO to find one part of this resolution which contradicts it.
- “Should” does not shift the goalpost to examining morality exclusively: It is simply used to denote the correct course of action, exactly what we are debating here. CON agrees that impacts should be weighed on both the moral and practical fronts.
AN UNJUST ATROCITY
- PRO admits to the unjust murder of 1,395,200,000 people, not counting the 5,974,000,000 others we may kill due to inadvertently causing the extinction of the human race.
- PRO drops half of CON’s contention. RECALL & EXTEND:
- PRO’s objection to the ICC treaty ignores that these War Crimes definitions are directly pulled from the Geneva Convention, to which the US is a signatory. Regardless of whether the US recognizes them, though, these actions are internationally recognized as egregious and appalling.
A SIGNED DEATH WARRANT
“Con's contention that there would be "an endless cycle of repeated bombings" is not supported by the facts. China would run out of nukes.”
- CON concedes that China would repeatedly bomb the US in response until they ran out of nuclear weapons, of which they would have about 150 left (200 of which would be used up) undoubtedly resulting in the absolute destruction of the United States as a nation.
- China would certainly produce nukes at a higher rate leading to the breakout of conflict. It is reasonable to assume they would be planning this pre-emptive strike for some time, as such a strike requires technology superior to the US.
- PRO agrees with CON that the world would be thrust into a Dark Age regardless of a response from the US. PRO never claimed otherwise.
- CON’s evidence that China won’t invade the US requires only common sense: the continent would be leveled and uninhabitable. The land would be worthless, and likely result in the deaths of the millions of soldiers sent to inhabit the land.
- If CON can not presuppose that China wouldn’t want to invade, PRO can not presuppose that they would. For PRO to claim otherwise is abusive and Special Pleading.
- CON didn’t say the remaining Americans aren’t worth saving. CON said there were likely no remaining Americans left to save. Even if there were Americans left, and even if the Chinese DID invade, why would we nuke the Chinese in that scenario? Survivors have a better chance of surviving Chinese occupation than of surviving another Chinese nuclear retaliation. If whatever is left of the US wants to preserve itself, it should completely surrender.
“I admit that extinction may result, but I don't consider it very likely.”
- CON’s response is largely a non-response. RECALL & EXTEND that the extinction of humanity is a bad way to preserve it. CON himself describes this as likely in his description: “Further, it may very well lead to the extinction of the human race through nuclear winter and the spread of fallout.”
- CON’s argument is based on logically, historically, and psychologically valid evidence. For ex: after WWII, wars of aggression became taboo and led to the longest world peace in history, despite the victors gaining concessions. The war was so costly to the world, the world changed culturally. It is reasonable to assume the same thing would happen here, except on a much more extreme scale.
“This debate is a giant trolley problem with the American population on one side, and the Chinese population on the other. That is war. We choose to do what is in the best interests of our people, our families, ourfriends, etc. Con presents no argument in opposition to this.”
- “our families and friends” are dead already making this largely non-unique, and if they aren’t dead, nuking would result in a retaliation that would kill them.
- Even if this WERE in their best interest, this assumes that the solution of the trolley problem is to mow over billions of people for the sake of a handful. It would be the biggest war crime in history while violating all commonly understood norms of ethics. No biggie.
So, what are the odds? Well, this credible expert - https://acd-ext.gsfc.nasa.gov/People/Oman/ - says that it's "in the rangeof 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 100,000." ( https://www.overcomingbias.com/2012/11/nuclear-winter-and-human-extinction-qa-with-luke-oman.html ) He's an expert because he wrote this paper on nuclear exchanges http://web.kaust.edu.sa/faculty/GeorgiyStenchikov/nwinter/RobockJgr2006JD008235.pdf .OK. Not very likely to have extinction. This is not a big impact.
And reading more on these scenarios, it looks likeit would take thousands upon thousands of nukes to get "300+ million"dead Americans from a first strike. (This is known because if you add up theAmerican population by county, starting with the most populous counties, youwouldn't reach 300 million until you got to county 1,215, and it would be morethan one bomb per county, probably) https://pdfhost.io/v/EZkyjG0n9_Book2pdf.pdfThis would result in nuclear winter anddestruction of the ozone layer. The bottom of the food chain would get knockedout and it would result in a global nuclear famine, but a few would surviveunderground and in bunkers, etc. Basically, agriculture wouldn't work anymore,and fishing would get bad, too. The overwhelming majority of the human population(e.g. 90%-99%) would be doomed from the first strike, perhaps to die within 2years. They're basically the walking dead and on borrowed time.Well, what's it all mean? It means that the overwhelmingmajority of the Chinese population is going to perish as a naturalresult of the Chinese first strike, even if we do not retaliate.What's the impact of this? The impact is thatCon's gripe about the loss of Chinese lives being oh so bad is substantially mitigatedbecause the Chinese are mostly going to die in under 2 years anyway.
RECALL & EXTEND:
This is an argument of authority which would carrylittle weight. China would have broken the treaty. There is not much sense inholding yourself to agreements that your adversaries are violating in the mostextreme ways imaginable. This would not be very significant in the scenariocontemplated in this debate. We're not going to be worrying about the GenevaConvention when the bombs have just fallen.
Con's assumption that the Chinese would retaliatein tit-for-tat isn't realistic. They've gone all out in this scenario. To get300+ million dead they would have had to use so many bombs - Thousands.Probably nuking villages in Montana at that point. It would show an extremeprejudice and signify a desire to exterminate. Massive nuclear retaliationwouldn't kill friends and family. It would much more likely save them, as itwould prevent the Chinese from finishing what they started.