While there are potentially many arguments to cover in this debate, in actuality, each side is dependent on one by the end.
In Pro’s world, the most important issue is taking the fight back to those groups that are already using cyber operations offensively with a focus on punishing bad actors, whether that’s criminal groups or whole countries. His argument largely rests upon two distinct points under this heading: 1) that these groups are regularly advancing and utilizing cyber technologies and, thus, that we must intercede in their machinations to prevent them from getting out of hand, and 2) that these parties recognizing that they could be the targets of offensive cyber operations yields a deterrent effect by putting them on notice.
Both of these points are hampered by a lack of empirical evidence, though the same holds true for Con’s case, so it doesn’t really give him a leg up. The deterrent effect, however, is more difficult to buy when it’s pretty clear that actors like Iran and Russia are still engaging in the same behaviors. Maybe that will change some point down the line, but the existing evidence suggests that any such deterrence is more aspirational than anything else. Still, I end up buying a lot of what Pro is selling from the first point, especially as it relates to criminal groups, since that aspect of the argument goes largely dropped. Con does try to cut the legs out from under this by arguing that we’re better able to retaliate against governments under his case, but this looks to me like trying to have his cake and eat it, too. I don’t doubt that there are benefits to defensive operations and harms to escalation, but it seems like the issue of advancing cyber technologies doesn’t really favor a side, and defenses can (and by both sides’ arguments, always do) become predictable. Maybe defensive operations would be better early on, but I’m not convinced this is a long term solution, whereas interceding, particularly in efforts going on within the US but also outside of it, is likelier to yield longer term compliance by keeping bad actors on their toes.
In Con’s world, escalation rules the day. This is broken down to three distinct points: 1) that offensive operations are also limited by advancing cyber technologies and thus are consistently limited in their effectiveness to punish bad actors, 2) that said offensive cyber operations also tend to increase the degree to which other actors feel threatened and, thus, result in those actors lashing out in response, and 3) that defensive operations do not incur the same harms while offering a unique opportunity to better address attacks while simultaneously providing improved opportunities to hit back.
I largely buy the point that a good defense can be very strategic, particularly if you can draw bad actors to attack places of strength, though I see that as a short-term benefit, as I said above. If being outstripped technologically is a problem for offensive operations, then the same is true for defensive ones, particularly if I’m unclear (as I am by the end) what placing more resources into defensive operations actually does to advance them. That largely just leaves the escalation point, which is a stronger argument that is somewhat hampered by the very arguments Con is making about these bad actors engaging in the same activities before offensive operations went into effect. The threat of offensive cyber operations from other countries exists regardless, so it’s really a question of how much that threat increases with the US pushing for more of its own operations, and whether Con’s case also results in escalation. That’s another mitigating factor for this point, as while defensive operations may indeed bring down the temperature, the continued existence of some offensive operations may still keep the pot simmering. We may be better prepared to do those offensives, which increases their effectiveness, but therein lies the problem: if I fully buy that, then the effectiveness of cyber operations doesn’t go down with Con’s case, which means escalation still happens to the same degree because they feel just as (if not more) threatened; meanwhile, if I don’t buy that, then escalation goes down, but so does the effectiveness of defensive operations, making Con entirely reliant on escalations as an impact.
I can see what both sides were trying to do here, but I think Pro is more consistent and effective with his points than Con is. Maybe if it was clearer precisely how defensive operations give the US a greater technological advantage in the long term, or perhaps if Con had steered entirely clear of offensive operations and simply argued that our offensive capacities should be kept entirely outside of the cyber realm, refusing to play into a game of tit-for-tat with Russia, China and Iran, I could have seen this swinging differently. As it is, though, the benefits of Pro’s case appear more durable and less mitigated, so I vote Pro.
Funnily enough I thought Pro was talking a little slow, usually whenever I competed my opponent's sped read... jeez that took some time to get used to, so I definitely get not keeping up.
Well, maybe it's just my experience with live debates at similar speeds, but I don't find either of them to be exceptionally fast.
That being said, for a general audience, I'd agree with you that it would be better to slow down. Two reasons why I would still encourage sticking with these times:
First, I think it's an important skill to develop to fit your speech to a specific length of time. You can argue that that would be true of any length, but if you can extend and contract that length of time as suits your argument, I'd say that takes away from the value of it. Being more concise and, yes, speeding up where necessary can help to accomplish that, and I don't see either of them as necessarily problematic, though they can both be taken to problematic extremes.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, this debate isn't just meant to be something voted on by lay voters on the site. It's also meant to be practice. We're doing these kinds of debate because we either are doing or would like to be doing live debates. This is a common format for live debates, including the specific times. It might be best to advocate for changes to how these times are structured, but they've been this way for a long time, and I suspect jockeying for changes would be a long and grueling process that likely wouldn't end in success. So, we prepare for the style of debate, and yes, sometimes that means using common tactics like speeding up. Again, there are limits, but that's neither an uncommon nor a frowned upon tactic in LD.
Con talks at the maximum before 'too fast' in fact maybe also too fast. This is such a huge flaw I hear in live debates. Why not just make it longer time if you both don't wanna cut down content?
Pro talks too fast
thanks for the the quick and concise RFD & feedback. I agree on a lot of points you make. Live debating is tufff ;-;
Clarification/feedback: when I say pros anti Russia case was weak, I meant that even if con says to turn it against him (because we become no different from our enemies), the cyber security issue was muddled over due to pro’s oversight. It’s not as strong as his first argument. Con needs to realize that even if pro is fighting himself, he is not outweighing himself until you tell me it is equal or worse than the actual hackers rather than the Russia/China entities. I know pro didn’t say that independent hackers would keep attacking regardless. But you also said it. So you’re basically doing a “eye for eye makes world blind” route, which is fine, but tell us that US would also be violating information and other problems that pro says is unique to China. Yes, you said this about our offense being equivalent to the opponent offense. But pros framing of it shows that we have reasoning. Turn that against pro and highlight that the countries reasoning may also be equally justified. Make the stalemate impossible to break through on all sides. Then, I would vote for you.
As for pro... you should have had a generalizing statement for rebuttal in my opinion. For example: “when we do nothing but defend, the enemy is too powerful. But if we attack, we gain a unique advantage that the opponent can’t get past quickly.” The contrast would greatly help especially as you sidetracked to Econ sanctions which is not really a big impact in cons case.
Con leans heavily, heavily on the war-related type of arguments. He performs decently well, but I don't know how it compares to the benefits generated by taking down hackers, a huge benefit given by pro and still fulfilling the safety framework that Con depends on. I buy that Pro's argument is self contradictory regarding international relations -- if other countries' retaliation is difficult to manage, why does the US have a significant advantage? Similarly, even though Pro tries to say that other countries are causing problems, Con shot through the core by saying that cyber offensive operations are not actually doing anything, and increasing the effects of war. Yes, I know that warfare is devastating, but how devastating is this war going to be? Con needs to compare it to Pro's world and note how it's equal or even worse-- a simple few sentences would suffice, saying that a full blown WW3 with new information system worries resulting would pull his case back to match footing with Pro's ideals. But Con does not do this. I SEE that he is winning the reasoning, but he is not winning the impacts. Pro's arguments of "what if we did not have cybersecurity" are nearly useless, but nevertheless, I clearly am able to tell that the hackers' attacks are indeed problematic. Pro manages to pull back to this in the conclusion and prove his point. As such, arguments to Pro.
1. That criminals will cause cyber crime, causing problems in emergency service sectors.
2. He also notes that FBI uses wiretapper to gather intel and take down hackers (especially with gain of private information).
3. He asserts that hackers' attacks are quite dangerous and the cyber offensive operations have caused crimes to fall greatly as a result.
4. He lists the trillions of dollars and many lives lost, with a huge impact if cyber op's didn't exist.
5. He then says it enforces the norm, and Russian hackers' interference caused problems with cybersecurity, along with China.
6. He states that China is pushing UN to take its own norms (thus wrecking havoc as a result).
7. US fed. is building a different kind of ruleset to push against these problems.
Pro admits in CE that he cannot know precise impacts actually prevented. Let's see if Con can break through that.
1. he talks of safety violated, which he puts as framework
2. he notes that security is problematic with US strategy
3. he talks about how the cyber op. only escalates the attack and makes it impossible to differentiate from other kinds of war
4. he notes that the retaliatory efforts would be greater on the opposing countries due to the problems with cyber operation
5. he values defense over offense (only 2% are working on it), to prevent attacks, because it is best at deception and not destroying organizations
6. he further says that defense is a good alternative to offense since it doesn't escalate the battle
7. he declines the cyber op. uniquely deterring terrorists since it is already occurring
8. he notes that using the cyber op. caused problem with Russia and caused immediate threats, furthering his retaliation point
9. he says it is not a permanent solution especially that China's prowess still remains an issue
He partially dropped PRO 1, but that's not incredibly significant in my opinion.
1. He says the self-defense is justified especially since intelligence is reliable
2. He says retaliation is very expensive and difficult to accomplish due to our info. advantage
3. More effective than Economic Sanctions since they are public [no idea how this relates to Con's case...]
4. He notes that there have been actual no attacks from NATO as Con tried to note
5. He reminds that other countries will still hack US and our counter would be similar to Con's problems
6. He tells us that countries' stealing of our tech would cause defense to become useless (Is this *actually* happening?)
1. US already caused escalation without the justified self-defense
2. US's action on Iran were greatly ineffective
3. the countries are not just trying to save face
4. Notes Pro didn't contest Russia's hacking of the electrical grid
5. Reminds that defense is not escalatory
6. Says again that defense would work better combined with the counter-attack side, rather than pre-emptive strike
7. Reminds of only short term solution which was dropped by pro (this is true)
8. Tells us that defense is still less attacks overall which is good for the US (good in the long term)
1. The allocation of the economy is still best for offense because we exploit network technologies (noted to be dropped by Con)
2. says that defense is useless since it doesn't really stop the probing and finding weaknesses
3. Rebuts that attacks are costless.. (I don't know who to buy on this, since they contradict with no sources)
4. Tells us that Cyber ops must need more time to know for sure, since not enough info