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Iraq Inherency

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/world/middleeast/19withdrawal.html?emc=na

 

Breaking News Alert

The New York Times

Wed, August 18, 2010 -- 8:26 PM ET

-----

 

U.S. Plans to Double Private Security Force in Iraq After 2011 Military Pullout

 

As the United States military prepares to leave Iraq by the

end of 2011, the Obama administration is planning a

remarkable civilian effort, buttressed by a small army of

contractors, to fill the void.

 

By October 2011, the State Department will assume

responsibility for training the Iraqi police, a task that

will largely be carried out by contractors. With no American

soldiers to defuse sectarian tensions in northern Iraq, it

will be up to American diplomats in two new $100 million

outposts.

 

To protect the civilians in a country that is still home to

insurgents with Al Qaeda and Iranian-backed militias, the

State Department is planning to more than double its private

security guards, up to about 7,000, according to

administration officials who disclosed new details of the

plan.

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This evidence could also potentially serve as a solvency attack for affs that just remove the troops, and that will solve racist practices or imperialism. Along with helping out the questionably topical PMC affs.

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This evidence could also potentially serve as a solvency attack for affs that just remove the troops, and that will solve racist practices or imperialism. Along with helping out the questionably topical PMC affs.

 

I think this has a lot more potential than a basic solvency attack. PMC Shift is a great generic DA from any Iraq or Afghanistan aff. You can generally access a lot of the advantages (especially things like terrorism or stability) through the disadvantage and claim external impacts off of the PMC increase.

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I think this has a lot more potential than a basic solvency attack. PMC Shift is a great generic DA from any Iraq or Afghanistan aff. You can generally access a lot of the advantages (especially things like terrorism or stability) through the disadvantage and claim external impacts off of the PMC increase.
Agreed.

 

I think kevin is saying you can read it impacts to PMCs and read it as a disad pod to create case turns. For instance,

 

A. Empirically Obama fills troop pullouts with PMCs

 

B. PMCs = military failure & regional instability & terrorism

 

C. optional: terrorism = US nuclear strikes

 

Its probably best to get those cards from a decent PMCs aff, but the PMC Disad (Berkley) may also help--or at least provide a possible model of sorts. (I don't remember their link ev. being super--but its been a while since I read it)

Edited by nathan_debate

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How is a PMC disad unique?

 

Its a linear case turn. Its a unique & significant INCREASE over the status quo.

 

Presumably for each troop/battalion the impact of PMCs is worse.

 

Also, if you win its a question of ethics/rejection--you don't don't even need to be linear.

Edited by nathan_debate

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I think really what it shows is that on this topic we have to suspend the usual belief in normal means. Add this evidence with other strong ev for normal means = funding/troops get diverted to Afghanistan and it is hard for any withdraw to avoid being bi-directional (PMC/Afganistan increased presence as a result of being withdrawn from another topic area) as long as they don't specify what happens to the troops and money funding those troops.

 

Of course, if they do specify it is extra-topical (for example, they could specify sending the troops home and potentially claim unpredictable advantages based off of an increased domestic troop presence)

 

I think the most equitable way to defend this topic that ensures basic reduction links to the neg is to defend something like a funding cut and the discharge of all troops withdrawn. Normal Means on this topic doesn't really ensure the best possible debates. Defending a funding cut would keep out PMCs and discharges would keep the troops from going to Afghanistan.

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I think the most equitable way to defend this topic that ensures basic reduction links to the neg is to defend something like a funding cut and the discharge of all troops withdrawn.

 

I don't understand how a troop specification is any more unpredictable than a funding cut. (although this interp might be nice for K teams)

 

Even in the world of a funding cut--I think we'd resort to deficit spending to fund both Afghanistan & Iraq. In other words, we'd use PMCs (especially given their influence in Washington DC).

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and a funding cut is also questionably effects topical making it just as much of a disadvantage for the aff...it's also a solvency problem too because, like was mentioned above, we could just deficit spend. This also makes getting away with a remove PMC aff easier b/c the argument could be made that they just fill the void of US troops, and thus should be removed too...key to the topic yadda yadda yadda.

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and a funding cut is also questionably effects topical

 

I assume its effects based on the phrase "remove pressence" T, which you would probably define as troops.

 

It may be that we generally agree. However, I think that:

1) Its smart to run this in conjunction with extra-topicality as part of the standards or violation.

 

2) the problem with both of these is it becomes a question of does the affirmative get to pick the mechanism--is this an enabling solvency mechanism for the affirmative to solve.

 

In reply to #2 is it required? I think not. It isn't required--you can just remove the troops without specifying.

 

Predictability and fairness are best assured by reading evidence as to what constitutes normal means rather than the aff getting to pick.

 

Also it might not be strategic--you still open yourself up to counter plans which do your affirmative, but don't defund. I'm pretty sure all your perms to those counter plans would be:

1) illegitimate/unfair

2) link to the disadvantage--so basically all the neg. has to do is win risk of a link and theory arguments and its pretty much game over for you.

 

Why not just research

1) past reductions in troops (during wartime)

2) past reductions in troops in a country-specific fashion and see what the federal government did to reduce troops.

 

I noted that in Sherry's speech (who coaches at Harvard) about Hegemony at UNT--in the outline she pointed out that whomever controls what happens post pullout/how pullout happens will win far more debates this year, because its critical to the hegemony question (but also the solvency question). (it also sets up DA, K, and counter plan ground) So research in this area is incredibly important.

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Nathan, I'm not saying what I've suggested is really what is -best- for debate, but considering that the topic has neglected to include that the mechanism of withdrawal should be, I think funding cut/discharge is the best way for the most fair and predictable debate.

 

Lets look at it this way. The aff closes a base in south korea. Normal means says those troops and that funding will be sent to afghanistan which is clearly bidirecitonal and allows the aff to claim advantages off of increased presence operations in Afghanistan being a good thing which is core negative ground. This is what is normal means, which means it is what happens if the affirmative does not specify. This could also be bad for general DA links. For example, I run a politics DA with the link "Democrats like withdrawing troops" and you can get a link turn with "Yeah, but democrats don't like more troops going to Afghanistan."

 

The story is similar with the PMC evidence, which now also gives a normal means scenario for what would happen in an afganistan withdrawal.

 

It isn't so much that the affirmative gets to 'pick' their mechanism, I'm saying this should be the -only- mechanism.

 

Additionally, having the mechanism being discharges/funding cuts allows the debate to actually be centered on the topic- the idea of decreasing military presence, while defending normal means is anything but that.

 

Basically- if you do not discharge troops and you do not cut funding, those troops and that funding leftover from withdrawals will go to Afghanistan or be used for other presence operations in other non-topic areas (lets say, a peace keeping mission in Somalia) which are even more abusive and impossible for the negative to predict.

 

Yes, normal means is what usually directs these issues. However, when the topic does not include a mechanism for how withdrawal should happen, it puts us between two bad choices. One bad choice allows for bidirectionality which is about the worst thing an affirmative can ever be.

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Thanks for explaining.

 

As for the Bi-directionality of the resolution:

1) Its an effect of the plan--not the plan action itself. Plan on its face or plan in a vacuum is consistently the standard in FX debates.

 

2) Specific links seems to check that back (ie specific to the countries in question) Also may just point to strategic "problems" with the politics & hege disads. For instance, I would think running a country.

 

Although, I will admit that Afghanistan affs that might end up sending troops to Iraq or Iraq troops that might send troops to Afghanistan is certainly more dicey.

 

Seems like this twist could make debates more exciting--because you can have additional levels of link turns.

 

Lets look at it this way. The aff closes a base in south korea. Normal means says those troops and that funding will be sent to afghanistan which is clearly bidirecitonal and allows the aff to claim advantages off of increased presence operations in Afghanistan being a good thing which is core negative ground.
The real way to solve this is an advantage counterplan to increase troops in Afghanistan. So, counterplans check abuse.

 

Plus this is the fundamental nature of troop movements in the military--its real world.

 

Additionally, having the mechanism being discharges/funding cuts allows the debate to actually be centered on the topic- the idea of decreasing military presence, while defending normal means is anything but that.
If policy debates happen in the context of bi directionality--why shouldn't we mirror them?

 

I don't think its bi-directionality in an abusive way because every aff gets the opportunity to do so.

 

Analogy--if decrease SO2 actually increases long term SO2 I don't see how that should be muted from a topic based on "reductions in pollution." Its not the best of examples.

 

Or how about an aff that decreases military presence, but the neg runs a politics disad that in the long run you actually increase it. We don't shift our interpretation of normal means to accommodate this seeming bi-directional nature of this argument. And at least in the case of the affirmatives in the military presence topic, the troops are going to another place--so there is flexibility.

 

Moreover, arguably, it means that everybody has to learn more about Iraq and Afghanistan--which might just be a good thing moving forward.

 

Also, your interpretation gives the negative access to an unemployment/poverty disadvantage via discharge. That seems particularly unpredictable. You also get into debates over overseas contingency funds (which is one way we are funding Iraq and Afghanistan)--which sound terribly exciting & educational. (realistically the later is arguably inevitable--just a question of focus/amount)

 

You're still left with the question--what happens with the money? Which is a question of normal means? I don't see how that solves any questions.

 

Alternatively, if you are looking to support your interpretation, I ran across this article which points out how military leaders in Washington are eyeing reductions in defense spending & making programs more efficient. I think reading 2 or 3 lines would effectively communicate the argument. The question is--what is top of mind for military strategist these days (troops in our two theatres or budget cuts)....I honestly don't know.

 

In addition--this is an interesting way Kuwait relates to the topic in ways that might effect wins and losses. Although, I think re-route to Afghanistan is more common in the literature than re-route to Iraq.

 

Update: And arguably Iraq & Afghanistan aren't presence.

 

Quinn Zemel and Akshay Bhushan,

 

Thanks for your interest!

 

Presence is often thought to include forces engaged in specific combat operations. While there is some sense to that concept, the narrower military definition excludes such forces from doing presence, as does the definition I offered in the paper "Transforming US Oversea Military presence."

 

By the defn in my paper, US forces in Korea, for example, ARE doing presence; US forces in Afghan are doing a specific "named" operation, e.g., Operation Enduring Freedom, and thus are NOT doing presence.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Good luck in your debates!

 

Best,

 

Dr. Jim Thomason

Edited by nathan_debate

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1. This isn't about FX, though, bidirectionality doesn't always have to do with the plan in a vacuum. To give an example of this, a few years ago the college topic was that the USFG should increase it's constructive engagement with various middle eastern countries. The standard definition for 'constructive engagement' that year was "CE = engagement that is first conditioned on a demand" So, UNLV wrote an aff where the plantext was that the USFG should condition it's engagement with Iran on a subject that they would never agree to.

 

In a vacuum, this condition was still topical. However, since they read evidence saying that Iran would say no the conditioned agreement, the advantage of the aff was the US invasion of Iran- clearly bidirectional when the topic involves constructive engagement towards Iran.

 

2. Specific links always solve everything back, but if you're breaking a new aff should at least have a shot with my generic reduction links.

 

 

I agree, there is an interesting discussion to have on how the withdraw happens. I think there is a lot of fun literature there, but I think it opens the possibility for unfair and unpredictable debates in a way that funding cap/discharges does not. As for advantage counterplans, they may solve the issue but that means a debater has to run a counterplan simply to solve what is functionally a flaw in the resolution- when we're talking about mandating a counterplan every round that you want a generic link in, we're getting ridiculous.

 

 

On the point of "policy debates are bi-directional, why shouldn't we be?" is that real world policy debates don't -have- to be bidirectional. They don't have their hands tied by a topic that doesn't mandate a withdraw with no withdraw mechanism specified. Real policy makers get to choose how that withdraw happens, rather than going along with normal means.

 

As for the unemployment DAs, I think they would be unpredictable, yes, but remember that I'm saying my interpretation is the lesser of two evils. I think PMC and Increased Afghan Presence Bad DAs are even more unpredictable and abusive.

 

As for your update to your post, I think this is a bad interpretation for the resolution simply because it excludes Afganistan and Iraq from the scope of the topic, even though they are clearly marked as topic countries. Using that as an interpretation would be like saying "Learn and Serve America isn't a national service program" on the national service topic back in 06-07

 

 

I think the real enemy of both of us is a resolution that gives no suggestion for what the mechanism of withdrawal should be. Without any kind of guidelines, we're stuck in a weird place of what is fair and unfair. Anyway, at this point we've probably made most of our arguments about this, I'll exit this topic after this post. This type of issue will probably be resolved one way or another after a few tournaments happen and everyone more or less agrees on how the topic should look.

Edited by -JD

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Agreed. The resolution is "flawed." Thanks for the discussion. I hope my response helps clarify in some way.

 

First, the fact that the link exists isn't abuse. You get to debate that out. I don't understand how thats abuse at all.

--In your example of the constructive engagement resolution--I seem to remember there were relations disads. I don't understand how having a legitimate and predictable interpretation of normal means plus a link = either bi-directionality or abuse .

 

Second, PMCs shift is an inevitable part of the topic--calling them bidirectional is far, far more controversial. (There is also some debate on the topicality of PMCs under "its" & "military" because they are civilian--so the bi-directionality would be less of an issue). You shouldn't be able to cry "abuse" because the aff read a link that the Obama administration.

 

Third, the issue of it not being truly bi-directional. Its only effectually bi-directional, not bi-directional on its face. (Your interpretation mutes a lot of solvency debates....and it mutes lots of "x shifts" arguments in debate--which are critical to negative ground--given their ground is already questionable enough).

 

Fourth, its an issue of parametrics--once the aff has chosen their ground in terms of the resolution (ie South Korea or Japan)--they aren't advocating troop decreases in Afghanistan--they aren't forced to defend that.

 

Third alternatives:

On the affirmative--Your ground in both of these cases that seems to involve far less curfluffle (and argument) is a non-intrinsicness answer to the disad. (or various versions of perming the disadvantage).

 

On the negative--advantage counterplans solve. (sorry I didn't understand your response here earlier.)

 

Third--impact turn whichever side of the debate you're not on. Afghanistan good/bad--you should be even more ready for that debate than any random politics or relations impact stories.

 

Also, I think without you reading a piece of evidence that relates this to normal means--your interp is kinda dead in that water--because thats the standard gut check for predictable interpretations of normal means.

 

The Examples:

Lets say the resolution requires you to decrease pollution--however almost any action including enforcement is going to require you pollute (but only in an FX kind of way). For instance, the production of solar cells creates toxics--and electric car & fuel cells production isn't pollution free. Under your interpretation solar & these car cases are unpredictable because like every other action under the resolution they result in shifts.

 

Thats an example of a questionable & shady topicality violation that really does double the size of the topic. However, it doesn't make it bi-directional (perhaps bi-directional-esque).

 

As for the unemployment DAs, I think they would be unpredictable, yes, but remember that I'm saying my interpretation is the lesser of two evils. I think PMC and Increased Afghan Presence Bad DAs are even more unpredictable and abusive.
I think you have an interesting interpretation of normal means--I just don't think its the one that 99% of students, coaches, and camps prepared for. To that extent its unpredictable. It also doesn't have the literature base that these shift arguments have.

 

Semi-Relevant Side note:

I think there is some merit to this mechanism notion I spoke to earlier and you developed--but I think all of the above trump those concerns.

 

Notice, I think the respective framing of these debates is arguably political. For instance, CATO authors (libertarian think tank) assume the bases are closed & not shifted (hence Japan, South Korea would be savings to the taxpayers). (I don't know if Cato authors speak to any shift to Afghanistan--to be honest I haven't read them all).

Edited by nathan_debate

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