Instigator / Con
3
1483
rating
1
debates
0.0%
won
Topic

This House Would allow soldiers to opt out of military operations or missions on the basis of their conscience

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
6
Sources points
2
4
Spelling and grammar points
1
2
Conduct points
0
2

With 2 votes and 11 points ahead, the winner is ...

Pilot
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Politics
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Pro
14
1518
rating
3
debates
66.67%
won
Description
~ 484 / 5,000

Definitions :

- conscience : conformity to what one considers to be correct, right, or morally good
- Broadly 2 reasons why soldiers opt out of military operations

A)Religious reasons
This looks like Muslim soldiers Opting out of a mission to raid terrorist hideouts in the Middle East and kill them because they believe that that would be unislamic

B)Political reasons
This looks like soldiers refusing to be deployed in Colombia because they sympathise with communist rebels

Round 1
Con
  • Argument 1 on why military operations are compromised on their side of the house
  • Argument 2 on why diversity in the military reduces on their side of the house 
  • Argument 3 on how conflict becomes worse on their side of the house 





Stance 
  • we’re not going to allow soldiers to opt out of military operations on our side of the house
    • We think that there are 2 big reasons as to why people opt out of military operations 
      • Religious reasons 
        • This looks like Muslim soldiers Opting out of a mission to raid terrorist hideouts in the Middle East and kill them because they believe that that would be unislamic 
      • Political reasons 
        • This looks like soldiers refusing to be deployed in Colombia because they sympathise with communist rebels 
  • What is the comparative we envision?
    • We prefer a world where soldiers have to follow through with the orders of military generals and carry on with the operations they’re allotted to as they do in status Quo 
    • We would also strongly support efforts to 
      • Hold generals accountable for bad orders 
        • Having them tried in regular courts as opposed to military courts
        • Encouraging and incentivising soldiers reporting their generals for abusive orders the same way they can report generals for abusive behaviour in status quo 
Argument 1
Note that military generals don’t want to send Sikh soldiers into gurudwara’s or Muslim soldiers into madrassas -- because of all the reasons pro will tell you and because they recognise that that makes the soldiers who’s lives they’re responsible for uncomfortable and ineffective.

Note : however, that there are then 2 reasons why they need to enlist the kinds of people who would be uncomfortable doing a mission 
  1. These specific soldiers have context and information that’s vital for the operation 
    • Sikh soldiers are sent to disrupt terrorist activity in the golden temple because they have knowledge of the terrain and routes around the region 
  2. Because The military doesn’t have a lot of choice when committing teams to an operation because of : 
    1. Proximity 
      1. In response to time-sensitive intel about an ISIS leader’s location -- American soldiers in middle eastern bases are close enough to Syria to be mobilised whereas US troops in the Balkans are too far away to act on the time sensitive information and intercept
    2. Number of soldiers they have with the specific skills and training required for specific operations is limited 
      1. The military Is stretched thin because Missions often happen in the context of bigger conflicts and that means they only have a limited amount of soldiers with the special forces training to infiltrate a terrorist training camp that aren’t already being used 

What happens when soldiers opt out of operations on their side of the house?
  1. Militaries  Don’t do the mission 
    1. Which means threats to national security aren’t apprehended and are allowed to continue terrorising their state and the mission is compromised 
  2. The Military Goes ahead with a team that isn’t fully functional owing to the fact that they’re missing vital parts of their team 
    1. The parts of their teams that are trained to serve specific functions such as negotiation, infiltration or flying extraction vehicles aren’t present which is a recipe for disaster and puts the lives of each and every soldier who’s a part of the operation in danger 
  3. Military brings in new people as replacements for the soldiers who opt out 
    1. These New replacements haven’t spent months training with the team that’s participating in the operation 
    2. The replacements have barely spent any time in the region where the mission is taking place as a product of which they have very limited context of the region
As a product of which missions are further compromised 



Argument 2 on why diversity in the military reduces on their side of the house 

Reasons 

  1. The military Picks the most nationalistic and distant soldiers to go on missions - filtering for them and making the composition of your army like a regimented echo chamber 
    1. What this also means is that on their side of the house The sympathetic and kind soldiers who could have kept the check on the operation are never enlisted for important missions 
2.militaries hire fewer women because they’re viewed as soft and emotional as a product of which they’re likely to use conscience based opt outs 
Generals make the decision that proposition wants them to make - - not deploying any Muslim soldiers in conflicts in the Middle East or Sikh soldiers in operations infiltrating gurudwaras


Here’s what this means : it means that militaries on their side of the house are made up of 
  1. The most nationalistic soldiers
  2. Predominantly men
  3. Only members of the privileged majority as opposed to members of minorities who may have a stake in the conflict 

Here are the consequences of that 
  1. The nationalistic soldiers on the frontline’s are likely to be exceptionally brutal
  2. The lack of women in the military
    1. Makes the abuse of women in war zones more likely because there’s less accountability on the part of male soldiers 
    2. Enables the abuse of women in the military because they don’t have the strength in numbers to call out abusive soldiers
  3. The lack of Muslim soldiers makes the spread of  hatred and vitriol within the military easy 
    1. soldiers rather than thinking that jihad  is an extreme version of Islam think that islam is a violent religion that’s oppositional to and threatens them 

Why are we better on the comparative 
  • the soldiers opting out of missions on their side of the house are the good soldiers - who’re sensitive and have a moral compass 
    • On our side of the house they’re active parts of missions which means they can 
      • Hold other troops and the military accountable during these missions 
        • Ensure that abuses such as sexual assault don’t happen on their watch 
      • During the missions they can prevent the use of excessive force and put pressure on their teammates to be sensitive as opposed to viewing every Muslim civilian in Iraq as a threat and being trigger happy around them 
  • The presence of more minorities such as Muslims in the military makes it easier to break stereotypes and stop the spread of vitriol because when troops are friends with Muslim soldiers they recognise that most Muslims are good people can be friends with them and view terror groups as the extreme exception


Argument 3 on why conflict becomes worse on their side of the house 

Problems 
  • The military replaces “volatile” humans who may opt out of operations/disobey orders with drones and lethal autonomous weapons 
    • Drone strikes which have huge amounts of collateral damage in the form of civilian casualties 
  • The military starts hiring Mercenaries and private military contractors who are there only for the money and will not opt out of any missions on the grounds of conscience who are 
    • Less accountable and far More brutal than soldiers 
  • There’s a ripple effect on their side of the house because when You need to take out certain soldiers who opt out on the basis of conscience from missions — for the mission to be completed — you need soldiers deployed in other missions to be reallocated to this mission 
    • Compromises other missions — and more often than not missions like soldiers delivering humanitarian aid packages,medical supplies and food have soldiers pulled out of them because that isn’t of as much strategic objective for the military as taking over an enemy base


On the comparative, why are we far better?
  • the soldiers opting out of missions on their side of the house are the good soldiers - who’re sensitive and have a moral compass 
    • On our side of the house they’re active parts of missions which means they can 
      • Hold other troops and the military accountable during these missions 
        • Ensure that abuses such as sexual assault don’t happen on their watch 
      • During the missions they can prevent the use of excessive force and put pressure on their teammates to be sensitive as opposed to viewing every Muslim civilian in Iraq as a threat and being trigger happy around them 
  • We prevent soldiers being pulled out of humanitarian missions because the military has sufficient soldiers for the objectives they deem strategically more important 




Pro
The US constitution has specific rules regarding when a soldier should be allowed to take command of their own decisions in battle, and even disobey an order given them by a superior officer, and the US is not the only country with rules regarding acceptable insubordination. 

If it is the duty of every soldier to have as well of an understanding of their mission as possible, then not allowing for some leeway on a soldiers individual decision making during battle may compromise their ability to fulfil their mission properly. 

There are at least four circumstances that I can think of when a soldier should not only be allowed to opt out of military operations (or an order given them by a superior), they should also be allowed to disobey or disregard those orders, or even attempt to take command of the mission themselves.

1. If a soldier is given an order that they objectively know for a fact is an order derived from inaccurate or totally unreliable information, there should be some leeway allowed for the soldier to at least alter, but also disregard that command should they need to, and do so based on their own decision making capability.    

2. If a superior officer is suffering from duress because of an injury, or a breakdown in their mental capacity to function as a proper officer should during battle, subordinate soldiers must be allowed to take command of the mission. If a superior officers mental health has compromised their ability to make proper decisions during battle, it not only should be allowed for subordinate soldiers to relieve their superior of their duty and take command themselves, it should be those soldiers duty to do so. 

3. If a soldier objectively knows their superior is an enemy agent implanted within the ranks, and that enemy agent will purposely doom the mission to aid the enemy, then being forced to always obey by orders even if the superior giving them is an enemy agent would be very unwise. The subordinates must be allowed to take command of the mission and neutralize the threat posed by their superior.

4. If an order directly violates military/civil/international law, a soldier should be allowed to opt out based on their conscience. Granted, some countries may disregard international law, or even any civil law that governs the non-enlisted citizens of their country. But even those most ardent of military forces who heavily frown upon insubordination tend to have a strict military law that may put the military career, or even the soldiers life in danger should they follow an order that they know directly violates their military code of operations. It will severely compromise the soldiers morale if they know they will be asked to carry out an order that violates laws and puts them in jeopardy off of the battlefield. I know it certainly would damper my spirits a little if I were forced to obey an order that will land me in prison.  

My argument will be framed around those circumstances of when it is acceptable for a soldier to disregard an order, or opt out of military operations and missions based on their conscience.           
    
I will now send it back to Con.
Round 2
Con
Forfeited
Pro
Extend. 
Round 3
Con
Forfeited
Pro
Vote Pro.