Archive | Military

Resolved, that the United States remove its military bases from Europe.

Since the end of World War II in 1945 and the fall of the Soviet Bloc at the close of the Cold War in the early 1990’s, the United States has held a strong military presence in Europe, a continent which America has a fairly good relationship with. The United States currently has over 80,000 personnel stationed on the continent, over 55,000 of them stationed in Germany, according to a recent Defense Department report. Many of the installations within Europe serve as a vital connect point between the Middle East and the United States, as well with much of Asia. Over recent years, deployments to the continent have been cut drastically, by tens of thousands over the past decade. Many have advocated for the ending of the US involvement in the region, ultimately closing many of the bases within the continent, with more and more military personnel being directed to the Middle East, in order to alleviate the number of troops who are being sent back into wartime combat time and time again, after multiple tours of duty. Also, many feel that lesser military presence in Europe is the key to closing a huge budget shortfall in the United States military. But, to the contrary, proponents of an expanded U.S. military that the bases are vital to America’s security and continued prominence in the world. Should the United States close its military bases in Europe?

KS/APR/11

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Military0 Comments

Resolved, that extraordinary rendition is necessary in the fight against terrorism.

The practice of extraordinary rendition is the process by which a person who is suspected of being a terrorist is forcibly removed from one country and sent to another. This practice is done for the sole purpose of extracting information by foreign operatives in a country where laws regarding treatment of persons are less strict and well-defined. This practice has become especially commonplace in recent times as the United States and her allies conduct battle on multiple fronts. It is suspected that the CIA has conducted 1200+ renditions of various foreign nationals and combatants. Many argue that in this unconventional age of warfare, unconventional means of information gathering are necessary to protect troops and civilians alike. On the other hand, the United States has long sought to be a moral compass in the world, but actions taken by American operatives undercuts that moral stance. Do extraordinary times really call for extraordinary measures, or are there other more effective and moral ways of gathering information to promote national security?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Military3 Comments

Resolved, that military recruiting be prohibited in public schools

The military is a dangerous place to be employed, especially in a time of war. Currently, the military is permitted to recruit teenagers at public schools across the country, and many members say that this is one of the main ways to recruit new enrollees. Proponents of this resolution may say that having the military at public schools in essence promotes violence in these areas, and establishes an easy way in which teens may be caught up in a fallacy of joining. However, opponents of the resolution may easily retort by saying that the military needs these recruits, as they do need new people to replace the retired and the fallen. It becomes clear that service men and women are necessary to the protection of our liberty and freedom, and if we are all to share the benefits of democracy, then we should all have to pay its price as all. So should the military be allowed to recruit at public schools? Or should they be prohibited from entering public school grounds, and instead just recruit at their recruiting stations?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Military1 Comment

Resolved, that female soldiers be permitted to fight on the front line.

Throughout the history of the U.S., women have fought constantly for equal rights, yet they are still banned from fighting for their own country. Even though 20% of the U.S. armed forces military personnel are women, females are barred from fighting on the front lines. Many would argue that there is no logical reason to prevent physically capable female soldiers from engaging in combat, since ability in modern warfare is equal to that of men. But many who are opposed to women in the front lines claim that introducing the female element could harm the cohesion that is necessary among soldiers to operate effectively. Should women be allowed to fight in the front lines, or would they be detrimental to the male soldiers already fighting there?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Military2 Comments

Resolved, that the Department of Defense budget be reduced by 25%.

The budget of the Department of Defense has long been a subject of debate, thanks not only to its enormous size, but also the growth of debt owed by the federal government. In 2009, Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts called for a reduction in the defense budget by 25%, stating that without such measures, it would become “impossible to continue to fund an adequate level of domestic activity.” However, opponents of Congressman Frank’s state that cutting defense spending would make America more susceptible to an attack on our interests, whether those interests be domestic or foreign. In addition, they also feel that such a large cut in the defense budget would undermine our nation’s ability to help strengthen other peaceful across the globe, while allowing competing nations such as China and India to see our nation as one that is in a state of decay and decline. With over ten trillion dollars worth of debt owed by our federal government, in addition to the trillions of dollars needed to keep programs seen as essential by most, namely Social Security and Medicare, many feel that our nation must make a twenty five percent cut to the Department of Defense budget, but will this cut make America more vulnerable?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Military2 Comments

Thought Talk: Is the War on Terror winnable?

The War on Terror has been waging for many years now as a response to the attack on the World Trade Center by a terrorist group known as Al Qaeda. The War on Terror has been called a war of ideals, because the fight isn’t against a specific country or group. Al Qaeda has been named, among other groups, as a target of this war, but the real fight is one against the idea of terror. It is fought in the hearts and minds of people. Some believe that this war is an impossible one to win. They believe that there are too many people who hate America for too many varied reasons for them all to be converted to peace. Others believe that we must keep fighting, that we are making headway, and that giving up now would be a grave mistake. In this new kind of war, can we ever hope to really win?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in International Affairs, Military0 Comments

Resolved, that the United States cease the usage of predator drones in Pakistan.

The Predator drone, also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV for short), is one of the latest newly created military technology devices used in the war on terror.  Since the early 2000s, they have been primarily deployed into Iraq and Pakistan. Supporters of the UAVs explain that they are extremely beneficial in winning the War on Terror. However, the opponents argue that they cost more than they do. Those against the continuing use of predator drones believe that these new mechanical weapons are doing more harm than good. Also, these UAV’s can cause vast amounts a damage, it is responsible for countless civilian deaths, but at the same time has saved countless American soldiers, due to the fact that if the aircraft is destroyed, it will not directly injure someone in combat. So does the usage of predator drones have a positive impact on winning the war on terror, or are they a waste of the military budget?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in International Affairs, Military2 Comments

Resolved, that a set exit date for U.S. troops from Afghanistan benefits Al Qaeda.

Nearly ten years after the 9/11 attacks of 2001, President Obama pledged to end the war in Afghanistan and bring home the majority of the American troops. While there is currently no set exit date, this war has not been positively supported by most Americans, who fear that the U.S.’s presence in Afghanistan will only generate more anger towards the American people. However, beginning in 1999, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were working closely together and terrorizing the population, and there is strong evidence that without the presence of the U.S. military, Al Qaeda will quickly claim the power and continue their operations. It would proceed that Al Qaeda’s presence would be strengthened, dispiriting Afghans and making it less likely that they will risk their lives to take our side in the war. Should we make plans to withdraw, or focus on rebuilding Afghanistan?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Military1 Comment

Resolved, that cyberwar is more of a threat to U.S. security than physical war.

As modern technology continues to define us as a global people, the threat of terrorists using this technology to inflict harm on our nation continues to grow by the day. While our federal government has increased its funding towards programs dealing with cyber security at a torrid pace in the last decade, this increased vigilance has not deterred terrorists from seeking to bring cyberwar onto America’s shores. The threat of cyber war does not just come from rogue terrorist groups, but also from rogue states. In the last year alone, the security of our nation’s defense and military computer systems has been compromised by hackers traced back to nations such as China and Russia. While one would not associate these states with war as they would Iran or North Korea, they are just as prepared to inflict harm on Americans. Instead of using nuclear weapons or rifles, though, these nations can simply use cyber war as a means to devastate our nation’s economy and the welfare of its citizens. Even as the threat from physical war is as great as ever for our nation, the threat from cyber war is increasing by the minute in both scope and size. This newfound threat from cyber war forces us to ask ourselves: we reached the point where cyber war is more of a threat to U.S. security than physical war?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Military4 Comments

Resolved, that private military contractors are a negative factor in American foreign policy.

While the United States has always used contractors to support its military, the level of private military support and security forces currently in Iraq is unprecedented. According to the Congressional Budget Office, there is currently one contractor employee in Iraq for each American soldier fighting. In an already expensive war, it may be simply more cost-beneficial to use contractors as providers of services ranging from food, laundry, and other basic needs to military operations. Critics maintain that the use of private personnel reduces military flexibility and unit control.  These critics also point to previous allegations of corruption and instances of unrestrained force, such as the Nisoor Massacre, where employees of the Blackwater contracting company killed over a dozen civilians without being threatened. Are these contractors a negative presence in Iraq?  Should they ever be used anywhere to advance American foreign-policy interests?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, International Affairs, Military1 Comment