Resolved: The US government should end the War on Terror
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 3 votes and with 6 points ahead, the winner is...
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Con skips first post
Pro posts constructive
Con posts constructive
Pro waives last round
Neg’s source x says that bananas are the best fruit. However, the author bases this on the texture.  This is subjective, and many people actually dislike the texture of bananas.
Our support of Saudi-backed groups in Yemen is directly leading to civilian deaths. As of the article Neg uses as his second source, which is from October 2016, Saudi Arabia had killed an estimated 2,000 civilians.  For reference, this conflict began in January 2015, and Saudi Arabia became involved two months later, in March. That means that in only 19 months, Saudi airstrikes in this conflict (backed by and often paid for by the US) are responsible for the murder of 2,000. This averages out to over 1,200 annually, and nearly 3.5 civilians killed per day. This is simply unacceptable and not worth the potential for marginal economic benefits. Keep in mind that my opponent mentioned the hundred or so terrorists killed, and contrast that with the 2,000 civilians. I implore you to weigh this when judging. Is each terrorist worth the lives of 20 civilians? Especially when killing a terrorist leads to more being recruited, the answer is a resounding no.
Neg’s third source says that we import 19% of our oil.  However, according to the same source, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US will be a net exporter of oil by next year.  We don’t need to waste time, money, and resources protecting a source of oil on which we will not be dependent within a year. If there is any impact to this point, it is minimal since my opponent’s source argues against the relevance of oil imports in the very near future.
If we are going to evaluate the monetary value of this oil, we can base it off a few assumptions. If we take the average cost of an imported barrel of oil in 2018, which was $61.32  and multiply it by the average number of barrels that pass through the Bab-el-Mandeb, which was 3-4 million  (we’ll assume 4), then multiply it by the 2017 rate of import (19%) given by my opponent  we get our spending on imported oil per day. (The numbers from source 14 are given on the right-hand side of the page in the tables)
According to the Harvard report used by my opponent, the most recent estimate had the probability of a nuclear terrorist attack at between one in a million and one in three billion.  The threat is pretty much nonexistent.
My opponent essentially lists all the reasons why nuclear terrorism is a threat. He doesn’t, however, provide any link to how our war on terror has reduced this threat other than ISIS’ loss of land. This is irrelevant when you consider the bigger picture: terrorists are gaining members and terrorist groups are becoming more numerous.  Refer back to my case. Terrorists are actually seeing these gains because of the war on terror.  It logically follows, then, that the link my opponent uses actually means that nuclear terrorism is a greater threat if we perpetuate the war on terror. Therefore, even if you don’t buy my previous argument about how the nuclear threat is nonexistent, you should still realize that Neg is actually making things worse. Flow this to the affirmative side of the debate.
The other logical problem with my opponent’s argument is that he offers no solution to the issue. Despite the fact we’ve been fighting this war since 2001, Neg has not indicated that the threat has been reduced or that the theft attempts have become less frequent. Therefore, even if you buy neither of my past two arguments, since Neg has not offered a real solution, this should be flowed out of the debate if not to my side.
Neg also talks about the frequent anti-Muslim rhetoric of politicians and how this damages our efforts by creating an us vs. them mentality and making people believe Islam is cannot coexist with western values. This is not exclusive to the affirmative world. It actually exists in the status quo, which is what my opponent is defending. There is no reason to assume this will worsen in the affirmative world, and my opponent has given no reason to do believe as much either.
When netted against the cost of the war as a whole, the soon to be irrelevant source of oil is not a relevant cost. Ending the war would allow us to buy that oil 19 times over. Nuclear terrorism is not a threat, and even if it were, Neg is making it worse. Neither of the negative contentions hold weight in this debate; we must affirm. Thank you.
I have 3 responses:
I already show how our withdrawals encouraged AQAP to expand. In Afghanistan as well, the Taliban capitalized on the temporary reprieve from US influence when we withdrew from Afghanistan in 2014. The transition eliminated half of a million jobs for young Afghanis, allowing the Taliban to offer positions as fighters to fill in the gap and offer more regular payments than the Afghani security forces, which is an attractive position for many who need work (4).
a. Civilian Casualties
The EIA card provided by Pro seems compelling, but recent evidence suggests that oil output might decrease. Oilprice reports in January of 2019 how shale companies have had trouble staying as productive as they previously were. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found that companies slipped in their business activity index, measuring how active businesses were, from 43.3 in the third quarter to 2.3 in the fourth. Schlumberger and Haliburton both warned of “budget exhaustion” and well productivity problems in the third quarter of 2018 too (12). The EIA has been wrong before when it comes to their forecasts. In 2018, for example, they ended up changing their predictions to represent lower oil production because the Permian basin reaped less oil than expected (13). With the shale companies driving much of the oil production which the US consumes being slowed, the importance of oil imports cannot be understated.
Second, cross-apply my evidence suggesting that the shale boom is slowing. This could mean that imports become more important as our ability to produce oil is eroded, so the $17 billion may not sound like much to you now, but if shale continues to slow, we may need it more than ever.
“In 2006, John Mueller argued that the odds of any particular terrorist attempt at nuclear terrorism succeeding were between one in a million and one in three billion… But given that the actual chance of nuclear terrorism is unknown, it may be more helpful to assess whether or not the conditions necessary for nuclear terrorists to succeed exist, or may develop in the future, and if so, what can be done to redress them.”
Not only did the report cite other estimates suggesting that the chance was 50-50 per research done by Graham Allison, but the report emphasizes that the risk in unknown but anecdotal evidence suggests that the possibility of nuclear terrorism still exists.
As the report points out, even if the risk is small:
“…given the scale of the consequences—which would be almost unimaginably catastrophic—even a small risk of the occurrence should be mitigated.”
I already gave anecdotal evidence showing events which should show how easy it is to acquire fissile material, so cross-apply that here. Also, cross-apply evidence suggesting that Al Qaeda can make a nuke.
By limiting their land and continuing the War on Terror, we starve ISIS of funds so that they can’t make a nuke. The solution, then, is continuing the efforts to starve them of money so that they eventually dissolve. Withdrawing would have the inverse effect: ISIS gets stronger and acquires a nuke.
My opponent has conceded that our drone strikes are at least partially responsible for increased recruitment, we are a large part of the reason the reason is politically unstable, and his final argument, poverty, is simply false.
As far as deaths, my opponent is cherry-picking data. First, we’ve still seen a massive net increase in terrorist attacks and deaths due to such attacks. Second, Neg is now using global data despite previously disregarding civilian deaths caused by the War on Terror. Neg cannot have it both ways.
My comparison of climate change to terrorism is a rhetorical device which I used to prove that just because we will never eradicate either, it does not mean that we surrender to either. Pro suggests that giving up the War on Terror we would not cause as many casualties as would pulling out on our fight against C02. Their expansion puts the US at risk due to nuclear desires, which could still cause casualties for the US.