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  • Name
    Andrew Beddow
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    St. Ignatius High School
  1. For the most part, people I've been judging are reading a cyber advantage and either Internet of Things k2 warming and/or some a competitiveness advantage (either heg or econ impact). I don't understand why teams don't just advantage CP warming/heg+econ, and read an Internet of Things disad (IoT cause cyberterror - ev is fairly good on this, and it isn't hard to win u/q no cyberterror now for the turn) as a net benefit. NB to the CP is straight-turned cyberterror adv, which I doubt the aff has link defense to other than backdoors solves (protip: it doesn't). Overall - this isn't unique to this year - it's just the amount of garbage advs not intrinsic to affs that make me wish people deployed advantage CPs more. 90% of the time, the specificity of the aff's internal link doesn't matter.
  2. EU offshoring is quite good. Other offshoring scenarios (I know links exist for Australia) may be worth researching as well.
  3. Export controls is total garbage, imo. Have judged far too many backdoors/encryption affs, and I don't think they're very good either.
  4. I don't understand why we're predicting people won't run neolib/cap variants next year (or why they won't be common). Yes, Latin America was a particularly fertile ground for neolib, but not markedly more than oceans. Next year's high school topic is US development (and/or exploration... that might be problematic for neolib, idk) of the oceans. Wind farm affs, oil affs, affs that bolster shipping routes/the navy... basically every aff on the topic I can think of has some sort of plausible link to neolib. I didn't run neolib much, but I had some success by running a framework-heavy K. I say this because most of my experience debating neolib comes from being a 2A answering the K, and partly because I don't like dealing with the complexities of a framework debate and partly because I was running an aff very susceptible to neolib (a trade aff with a heg impact), I just impact-turned the K to avoid what I think can quickly become an uphill battle for the aff. So, on the Latin American topic, many teams ran the standard "neolib DA" - Neolib collapsing now (Pineo), aff revives it, that's bad. I think that a more strategic way of running neolib (especially on this topic, where you don't have Latin America specific UQ ev, and you'll have to go for "world revolution" nonsense to win the DA) is as a K of the aff's method and assumptions - the DA scenario is problematic because: (1) Your uniqueness is going to be garbage (Latin America was different because of the Pink Tide and US SOI/retrenchment scenarios - oceans are not) (2) The internal link threshold is difficult to quantify (neolib collapsing and aff is neoliberal - that doesn't prove that the aff is significantly neoliberal enough to actually make a difference between neolib's structural decline or survival. It will be incredibly difficult to find any sort of internal link differential specific to an aff/advantage on this topic - maybe sea routes/shipping lanes k2 global capitalism? - which pretty much kills the neolib DA). The more successful strat that I've used occasionally and that I found more difficult to answer (not really, because impact turns, but it can become a fuzzy framework debate) is: - Aff relies on neoliberal way of thinking (insert markets, heg, state link) - Neoliberalism is bad, the neoliberal mindset is bad, (the aff's agent is bad...), etc. - Utopian thought good Read indicts of state engagement and turn this into a role of the ballot debate - alternative is to think about counter-neoliberal intellectual strategies, aff is a neoliberal intellectual strategy (this sets up clear competition for the perm debate, if you can refocus the debate from competing policies to competing methodologies). Clearly, fiat is illusory + policy roleplaying fails (evidence on state engagement ceding the political if you want) which takes out the aff's offense on the framework debate, which means the only productive use of the ballot is to reward speech acts that produce the better form of pedagogy in the round. This alt is intentionally ambiguous because it renounces fiat - it's essentially an indict of the aff's presuppositions and a desire for "something else". You shouldn't be required to clearly articulate what that "something else" is if you can make a case that either: (a) neolib is fundamentally immoral, that's a d-rule - the judge has a prima facia obligation to reject it or ( neolib is really terrible and we can probably figure out something that's better (The analogy when asked "what does the alternative look like" that I always gave is that "we could never possibly predict what the alternative looks like - we just know that neolib is bad. If I were an American in 1830, I wouldn't know what the alternative to slavery looks like, but that doesn't mean slavery isn't wrong and should not be rejected. asking 'how will the world function' in the absence of neoliberalism is like asking 'who will pick the cotton' in the absence of slavery". It's a good way of rhetorically demonstrating how the d-rule should override alt solvency and why utopian thought is good - that is, why ethics/the impact debate should form the basis of the judge's endorsement of the alternative) An alternative that endorses an intellectual approach is probably most strategic, unless, again, you have a very specific neolib DA to the aff (squo collapse of shipping lanes kills global trade kills global capitalism, aff props them up - neg controls uq, alternative is decentralized economic socialism, w/e). It insulates you fairly well from the standard "alternatives fail - Mao and Stalin" impact turns, UQ debate ("slavery's happening now" isn't a reason why it's inevitable - thinking about counterstrategies is more important in the long term than imagining hypothetical scenarios for making slavery more efficient, a la the plan), and aff impacts (via the framework debate and Role of Ballot) - you really only have to win the link and impact, which should not be hard given that both of these could conceivably be the same for every topic (USFG bad, causes poverty).
  5. Just to be clear, Paul Craig Roberts is by no means a legitimate heg impact author. He's a conspiratorial crackpot. There are way better (even more recent) heg impact turns for you to read that do not involve a guy who writes for Lew Rockwell.
  6. This is a possible impact of the oil DA. Scotland is a major oil-producting nation (well, oil constitutes a major part of the Scottish economy). Low oil prices tank the Scottish economy, results in nationalism, Scotland secedes from the UK. Impact-level, I've heard that most of the UK's nukes are in Scotland. Scotland is also very anti-nuke. I've heard some people say that there's ev that independent Scotland would dismantle UK's nuclear arsenal and trigger a global move against proliferation ----> prolif good, prevents conventional war. But I don't see why you'd want to run this unless you want to catch someone off-guard with a weird internal link scenario, but the impact is so conventional and impact-turnable that there's no real point. Ultimately I think Scottish nationalism is a no-go DA.
  7. Midterms. I was doing research a while ago and there was a pretty awesome IMF reform politics DA during May, but I'm not sure what the uniqueness will look like come nationals. It had amazing globalization impacts, though. Other than that... idk. Maybe another immigration push? What happened to that transportation bill?
  8. Here's my version of the Guterl card. Reposting because the formatting is prettier: Best methodology shows positive feedbacks will push us past the tipping point – causes extinction.Guterl 12 – Executive Editor of Scientific American, expert in Climate and Environment, Science Policy, citing James Hanson, a NASA scientist (Fred, “Climate Armageddon: How the World’s Weather Could Quickly Run Amokâ€, 5/25/12; < http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-worlds-weather-could-quickly-run-amok>)//Beddow The world has warmed since those heady days of Gaia, and scientists have grown gloomier in their assessment of the state of the world's climate. NASA climate scientist James Hanson has warned of a "Venus effect," in which runaway warming turns Earth into an uninhabitable desert, with a surface temperature high enough to melt lead, sometime in the next few centuries. Even Hanson, though, is beginning to look downright optimistic compared to a new crop of climate scientists, who fret that things could head south as quickly as a handful of years, or even months, if we're particularly unlucky. Ironically, some of them are intellectual offspring of Lovelock, the original optimist gone sour. The true gloomsters are scientists who look at climate through the lens of "dynamical systems," a mathematics that describes things that tend to change suddenly and are difficult to predict. It is the mathematics of the tipping point—the moment at which a "system" that has been changing slowly and predictably will suddenly "flip." The colloquial example is the straw that breaks that camel's back. Or you can also think of it as a ship that is stable until it tips too far in one direction and then capsizes. In this view, Earth's climate is, or could soon be, ready to capsize, causing sudden, perhaps catastrophic, changes. And once it capsizes, it could be next to impossible to right it again. The idea that climate behaves like a dynamical system addresses some of the key shortcomings of the conventional view of climate change—the view that looks at the planet as a whole, in terms of averages. A dynamical systems approach, by contrast, consider climate as a sum of many different parts, each with its own properties, all of them interdependent in ways that are hard to predict. One of the most productive scientists in applying dynamical systems theory to climate is Tim Lenton at the University of East Anglia in England. Lenton is a Lovelockian two generations removed— his mentors were mentored by Lovelock. "We are looking quite hard at past data and observational data that can tell us something," says Lenton. "Classical case studies in which you've seen abrupt changes in climate data. For example, in the Greenland ice-core records, you're seeing climate jump. And the end of the Younger Dryas," about fifteen thousand years ago, "you get a striking climate change." So far, he says, nobody has found a big reason for such an abrupt change in these past events—no meteorite or volcano or other event that is an obvious cause—which suggests that perhaps something about the way these climate shifts occur simply makes them sudden. Lenton is mainly interested in the future. He has tried to look for things that could possibly change suddenly and drastically even though nothing obvious may trigger them. He's come up with a short list of nine tipping points—nine weather systems, regional in scope, that could make a rapid transition from one state to another. I haven't actually cut many positive feedback cards - you can go through old warming files or, better yet, do more research of your own if you want to run warming (I have very rarely, if ever, gone for warming - all my affs are heg). Here's an answer to adaptation, though, that implicitly refers to positive feedbacks: it should provide some weight when answering the impact turns/defense: Adaptation fails – warming is just too extreme. Stabinsky 12 – Professor at College of the Atlantic USA, compiled for WWF International Global Climate and Energy Initiative (Doreen, “Tackling the Limits to Adaptation: An International Framework to Address ‘Loss and Damage’ From Climate Change Impactsâ€, November 2012; < http://www.careclimatechange.org/files/Doha_COP_18/tackling_the_limits_lr.pdf>)//Beddow When mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions by responsible countries is insufficient to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate systemâ€, 22 countries are forced to undertake disaster risk reduction and adaptation measures to prevent permanent loss and damage. There are, however, limits to how far disaster risk reduction and adaptation can reduce loss and damage. In the case of disaster risk reduction, some types of disasters will increase in frequency and severity (see Box 1 on the latest intergovernmental panel on climate Change (IPCC) findings regarding extreme events), overwhelming both risk reduction measures and generally the ability of most developing countries to cope with the impacts of those disasters. Moreover, loss and damage from extreme events extend beyond immediate losses of property and life. In St. Lucia, damage from hurricane Tomas was estimated at about 34% of total gdp. 23 Such devastating impact has a serious effect on long-term prospects for sustainable development. 24 Adaptation to 2°C of warming will be more difficult than for 1.5° c . Adapting to 4° c or 6° c of warming may be impossible. Moreover, given the changing nature of the global climate, adaptation will always be insufficient, requiring a continuous learning process towards a constantly moving boundary. The greater the warming, the more loss and damage that can be anticipated from the adverse effects of climate change. Similarly, the less support for adaptation in terms of finance, technology and capacity, the more loss and damage will result. A country’s level of development will also affect how its population experiences loss and damage, as poverty and related socio-economic and infrastructure weaknesses exacerbate the impacts and adverse effects of climate change. But a country’s lack of development or status of development is not an excuse for inaction by the global community to help them respond to severe climate loss and damage. There are very real limits to how far human systems and ecosystems can adapt to most of the slow-onset processes identified in UNFCCC decision 1/CP.16. This is true particularly for rises in temperature and sea levels, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, salinization and desertification. Because such processes progress and increase their impact over time – and often at large scale, adaptation gradually becomes less possible. As temperatures and sea levels rise, territory will become uninhabitable and unproductive. s oil moisture levels will decrease to the point that cultivation of crops is no longer viable in entire regions. Groundwater sources in coastal areas will become too saline to be used as drinking water. Adaptation will become impossible on low-lying islands, in settlements close to sea level, and in the most arid regions. This will lead to permanent loss of lands, livelihoods and cultural resources. 26 Permanent loss and damage from slow-onset disasters will go far beyond economic loss – livelihoods will be lost, territory will have to be abandoned, and migrants from non-productive lands will lose their homes, culture and community.
  9. I don't remember the specifics of the article (so it might not function as an impact), but this article by Zakaria ( http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/63394/fareed-zakaria/the-future-of-american-power?nocache=1 ) seems to impact partisanship in heg. Then again, this is probably extremely non-unique, especially because Zakaria is making a predictive claim about status quo partisanship's effect on American grand strategy. Still, if you're able to find warrants for a sufficient internal link threshold that ocean policy triggers, heg seems like a legitimate impact. If you're able to generate that degree of internal link uniqueness for a partisanship disad, that's probably better than a politics disad, tbh (way more intrinsic to the plan, so averts annoying theory debate altogether).
  10. 1) Negative feedbacks are natural phenomena that warming causes that, in turn, reduce the actual effect of warming. Here's a common one: Warming increases heat/sunlight hitting earth. That increases the amount of water vapor in the earth's atmosphere (because of accelerated evaporation). That increased water vapor (cloud cover) is very reflective. That increased reflection of sunlight reduces the effect of warming. This is essentially a resiliency argument - as warming increases, negative feedbacks check the effects of warming, so each new marginal amount of warming actually impacts the environment in incrementally smaller ways. 2) I'd answer both by claiming that there exists a difference in the hypothetical magnitude of warming that their authors fail to take into account (read, like, Guterl 12. Guterl uses a different method for calculating warming impacts than do most authors, and this method lends itself to very inflated impacts that occur very rapidly). This sounds silly, but essentially just say "no, warming is very, very big". Resiliency authors are answering claim that warming will be harmful, but not that it will be an extinction-level event. Provide reasons for why warming will be devastating - positive feedbacks, for example (things that warming triggers that, in turn, accelerate warming. Ex: warming melts arctic ice caps, causes release of methane, which ramps up warming). As for effect distribution, the above sort of answers that (they say warming occurs mostly in cold climates, we say warming is so devastating that any distribution of its effects is unacceptable... even if cold climates are disproportionately effected, we're all gonna melt anyway). But I'd also indict their studies with the opposite claim (there are authors who claim that the effects are mostly concentrated in warm areas with a gradient running the opposite way - this means it'll be extremely devastating to the places where most people live). And say that warming in cold areas is just as bad (due to global flooding, etc.).
  11. Side note: I actually think biodiversity/other environmental impact scenarios will be way better on this topic than warming. At least, better than the 1 advantage warming aff. A 1 advantage biodiversity aff can probably defend a specific internal link chain (that X plan is the only way to ensure environmental stability in the Indian Ocean, Caribbean, etc.) that advantage counterplans don't take out. It might be a 'smaller' impact than warming (oceans bio-d probably only accesses a couple internal links to extinction - maybe you can access some fishing/resource war scenarios?), but that shouldn't be a problem, because it's insulated enough from advantage counterplans that your no war contention should be enough to beat the DA/'any risk' framing.
  12. No war – great powers are responsible, nukes deter, and conflicts remain local. Kennedy 13 - Dilworth Professor of History and director of International Security Studies at Yale University (Paul, “The Great Powers, Then and Nowâ€, 8/13/13; < http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/opinion/global/the-great-powers-then-and-now.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>)//Beddow All of these Great Powers are egoistic, more or less blinkered, with governments chiefly bent upon surviving a few more years. But none of them are troublemakers; nor are they, in any really significant sense, a source of trouble. Would they but realize it, they all have a substantial interest in preserving the international status quo, since they do not know what negative consequences would follow a changed world order. The troublemakers, and the sources of trouble, lie elsewhere: in the unpredictable, overmilitarized lunatic asylum that is North Korea; in an Iran that sometimes seems to be daring an Israeli air strike; in a brutal and autistic Syrian regime; in a Yemen that both houses terrorists and pretends to be killing them off; and, far less purposefully, in the conflict-torn, crumbling polities of Central Africa, Egypt and Afghanistan, and many nations in between. Here are the world’s problem cases. If there are neurotic Kaiser Wilhelms or bullying Mussolinis or murderous Stalins around today, they are not — thank heavens — to be found in Beijing, Moscow or New Delhi. If this thesis is correct, and the Great Powers, while sometimes complaining about one another’s actions, generally act in a restrained manner, then perhaps we may look forward to a long period without a major war, rather like the unprecedented peace among the Great Powers that existed after 1815 under the Concert of Europe. Many wars would still take place, but they would be local conflicts, not cause enough, despite their atrocities and inhumanity, to drag a major actor directly into the fighting. The Great Powers, in turn, would set aside their own differences to keep the bloodshed local, putting pressure upon their own client states if necessary to stop them from upsetting the international apple cart. In no way would this be a “democratic peace.†Rather, it would continue to be an Old Boys’ club, even if it has new members like India and Brazil. The myth of the equality of all nation-states would indeed remain a myth. Such is the price that liberal internationalists would have to pay to ensure the avoidance of a Third World War. The price the Great Powers have to pay is self-restraint, year after year, decade after decade. If this is forgotten, then another 1914-like crisis could occur. At that time, it will be remembered, Russia failed to rein in its “trouble-making†satellite, Serbia. Austria-Hungary recklessly sent Belgrade an impossible-to-accept ultimatum. Berlin, forgetting Bismarck’s cautions, foolishly supported Vienna. A weak czar lost control of his country’s military plans. The Prussian army struck westwards, occupying Belgium, and bringing in the British Empire. Are we sure some equivalent follies will never happen again, even though nuclear weapons surely help keep governments from going over the brink? When you say your prayers, spare one for the leaders of the Great Powers. They may not be attractive individuals — some are nasty, blinkered and devious. But so long as they realize their responsibilities to prevent any actions that might lead to a world war, we should all be happy. Their job is simply to hold firm the iron frame that keeps the international system secure. It is our job, not theirs, to work within that frame, to advance the dignity and prosperity of humanity. But that will never be achieved without the Great Powers acting reasonably well.
  13. I still can't find any damn militarization ev for this topic though
  14. Yup. If you have a robust defense of your solvency mechanism that somehow kills counterplan solvency then, by all means, go ahead. I'd just caution this route if you don't 1) Right, but these are long-term scenarios, and it is more of a case of warming "subsuming" than "turning" the impact. Take, for example, a heg aff that hits a Ukrainian dipcap disad (impact is a Ukrainian civil war). The aff (assuming we "get" the benefits of heg prior to the DA's link being triggered) can use heg to effectively mitigate the neg's offense. The US could leverage its various sources of influence to deescalate a DA, and military heg raises the cost of going to war through deterrence which solves the terminal impact to the DA (I'm not really in hegemony's batting corner, here, I'm just saying that it has a lot of utility in this regard). Whereas, a big laundry list warming impact (like the Takacks 96 environment impact) mentions a lot of impact scenarios that result from warming, but there's no reverse causal relationship that the aff can wield against the neg's offense. While a Ukrainian civil war might be a long-term consequence of warming, solving warming does not prevent that scenario from occuring as a result of the DA. So warming might be a very "big" impact (in that it will subsume the negative's offense), but it doesn't "turn" the neg's scenarios because it doesn't mitigate the risk of the DA's terminal impact. 2) Yeah, this is a definitely a strategic benefit of the 1 adv warming aff. If you're good at defending no war and you have up-to-date evidence, then go for it. But this has diminishing utility when not hitting novices. A good team will have yes war prepped decently well (with answers to specific warrants - i.e., nuclear deterrence fails, liberal ir wrong, etc.), and they won't have to win a tremendous risk of the DA in order to justify voting for the advantage counterplan (again, if you have adv cps figured out, it's another story - warming+no war suddenly becomes way more of a downhill debate). And idk about Ks. I always impact turned ks with imperialism good when I was the 2a, so I guess this is a consideration if you don't want to, lol. 7) squo solves (natural gas) 8) Negative feedbacks check 9) No warming (modelling fails, cooling now, no tipping point,etc.) 10) Not anthro 11) Effect distribution 12) Resiliency/Decreased sensitivity 13) You covered this with "warming good", but remember just how many impact turn scenarios there are (ice age, russia econ, canada econ, arctic resources good, desertification/greening, agriculture, etc. etc.) Probably other no warming args, but I can't science I'm sure every warming debater is prepped against all of those (well... probably not, but most of them), but that's not the point. The point is that, contrary to what OP would lead us to believe, negs don't just roll over when they hit warming advantages. There are a variety of arguments to be read against warming - that doesn't make it a weak impact, but my point is that there's nothing special about warming that makes it a particularly strong impact. Relations scenarios, for example, are not easily impact turnable (credible authors generally don't write things like "Russia relations bad" or "EU relations bad"). As I explained in the previous section, there's not a huge amount of offensive utility against DAs for warming (you can inflate your impact all you want - e.g. warming subsumes Arctic war et al -, but that doesn't mitigate the risk of the DA very much. You don't get to really "turn" the disad by taking out the internal link chain escalation to war). And it's not something 'surprising' that negs won't know how to answer (I read a European centralization scenario this year - European economic decline causes political integration, leads to hegemonic security competition in Eurasia, intercivilizational nuclear war. Good teams obviously don't just give up against this, but they don't really have the evidence to attack this advantage on the terminal impact level. The point being, this advantage had strategic utility because it was something nobody had any substantive defense to - warming doesn't have that utility). The point is not that warming's a garbage impact and everyone should be running heg (but, seriously though, you all should be running heg). The point is that there's no overwhelming strategic benefit to warming as an impact. The real benefit is the ability to "no war" all the neg's offense away, but that doesn't pay off when you A) hit a good team hit an advantage CP you aren't prepared for Now, if you can competently beat every conceivable advantage counterplan (then you've found a good aff...) and you are very good on the no war debate, then you get to reap the benefits of the 1 advantage warming aff (you get to lazily disregard the technics of the disad debate and basically win rounds based on impact-heavy overviews... not a bad thing at all: also the main benefit of the heg adv!). I'd just caution against this route if you don't think this is the case of your aff, because then you leave yourself open to a few critical vulnerabilities. It's not so simple as OP suggests: "Just pick a technology that is developed in the ocean and reduces or reverses global warming. Cut a few cards saying the technology works, attach your favorite GW cards from camp. Boom, you have a throwaway 1AC for quarterfinals against that team that sucks at warming debates." The fact that, as OP reminds us, "There are dozens of reasonable cases to choose" is probably reason to be very concerned with these vulnerabilities - there are dozens upon dozens of advantage counterplans you're susceptible to. Rambling done, I'd basically sum up my objections to the warming aff with: 1) Advantage counterplan problems 2) Disutility against DAs If you're prepped for these, then you're good to go.
  15. Stirner

    Ocean DA's/CP's

    1-up'ing the oil da ANY reduction in current oil prices will crash Russian economy, triggers state collapse and expansionism – brink is now.Blackwill and O’Sullivan 14 – International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs/Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (Robert D. and Meghan L., “America’s Energy Edgeâ€, March/April 2014; < http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140750/robert-d-blackwill-and-meghan-l-osullivan/americas-energy-edge>)//Beddow A sustained drop in the price of oil, meanwhile, could destabilize Russia’s political system. Even with the current price near $100 per barrel, the Kremlin has scaled back its official expectations of annual economic growth over the coming decade to around 1.8 percent and begun to make budget cuts. If prices fall further, Russia could exhaust its stabilization fund, which would force it to make draconian budget reductions. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s influence could diminish, creating new openings for his political opponents at home and making Moscow look weak abroad. Although the West might welcome the thought of Russia under such strain, a weaker Russia will not necessarily mean a less challenging Russia. Moscow is already trying to compensate for losses in Europe by making stronger inroads into Asia and the global LNG market, and it will have every reason to actively counter Europe’s efforts to develop its own resources. Indeed, Russia’s state-run media, the state-owned gas company Gazprom, and even Putin himself have warned of the environmental dangers of fracking in Europe -- which is, as The Guardian has put it, “an odd phenomenon in a country that usually keeps ecological concerns at the bottom of its agenda.†To discourage European investment in the infrastructure needed to import LNG, Russia may also preemptively offer its European customers more favorable gas deals, as it did for Ukraine at the end of 2013. More dramatically, should low energy prices undermine Putin and empower more nationalist forces in the country, Russia could seek to secure its regional influence in more direct ways -- even through the projection of military power. <LINK – PLAN REDUCES PRICES> A weakened Russia lashes out – triggers war.Karatnycky and Motyl 09 ­– Senior fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, Managing Partner of the Myrmidon Group LCC, contributor to Foreign Affairs and Council on Foreign Relations / Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and contributor to the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs (Adrian and Alexander J., “The Key to Kiev: Ukraine’s Security Means Europe’s Stabilityâ€, May/June 2009; <http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64953/adrian-karatnycky-and-alexander-j-motyl/the-key-to-kiev>)//Beddow Under another scenario, a weak Russia with a flagging economy, a decrepit military, and a brittle state would become aggressive either because it believed it was stronger than it really was or because it thought that a quick little crisis might enhance the government's popular legitimacy at home. Russia would then run the very serious risk of engaging in imperial overreach. Despite Putin's bluster and the Russian army's quick victory over tiny Georgia last summer, Russia is at root a flawed, corrupt, and potentially unstable petrostate. And with its propensity for belligerent and nationalist propaganda, such a Russia may continue to engage in militaristic adventurism and experience internal turmoil. Russia resembles more a Third World country that has a nuclear bomb and raw materials than a mature postindustrial state. The more it extends its reach, the more it will get embroiled in military adventures -- and the greater the likelihood of economic, military, or political disaster. If nothing else, more adventurism on Russia's part would be an invitation to its own repressed minorities, such as the Chechens, to reactivate their struggles.
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