[eDebate] CSIS Policy Debates

Josh Branson harobran
Wed Nov 8 10:10:42 CST 2006


The CSIS is hosting a debate event for young interns and research assistants 
from all over Washington on the evening of November 30. Essentially, young 
professionals in the policy field (along with some graduate students from 
DC-area universities) are being brought together at the CSIS to debate each 
other. Most of these people have very little formal debate experience; some 
of them may have done forensics on high school, but none have had any 
significant collegiate debate experience.

The debates will be short, about 10 minutes (total) a piece, and the 
resolutions will rotate with each debate. The idea is to give these people a 
chance to debate against a variety of other teams on a variety of topics, 
but to fit it into one night. There won't be much evidence read, as the 
teams won't know the topics in advance and don't have much time to prepare, 
and they won't talk fast. But these are all pretty smart people, who are 
(generally) planning to go into careers in the policy field, so the 
higher-up folks at CSIS and the other think tanks participating in this 
event feel that at least one night of formal debate would be beneficial for 
everyone involved. Essentially, the structure will be more like extemp, with 
little prep time and rotating resolutions. But the resolutions will all 
definitely be policy oriented (Resolved: that the USFG should immediately 
enact a short-term time-table for complete troop withdrawal from Iraq) etc.

I'm posting this as an open invitation to anybody in the Washington DC area 
who would like to come help out by judging. We would love to have people 
(junior or senior debaters, and especially any coaches or former 
coaches/debaters who are here in the area) to come judge these debates. 
There will be some CSIS fellows and senior personnel judging some of the 
debates, but we'd also like to get some people with actual debate experience 
to provide input. The debates (total) will take about 2 hours, and you would 
be judging 5 short debates and provide feedback and advice to the debaters.

There are three reasons I can think of for people to come help out. For one, 
it should be fun. There will be a variety of real timely foreign policy 
issues (you can be sure that the topics will include Iraq, North Korea, 
Iran, etc), a lot of ideas being thrown around, and some cool senior CSIS 
fellows providing their opinions about a lot of it. There won't be any dumb 
agent or consultation CPs, generic Ks, or Aspec arguments at this event.

Secondly, its a great way to spread the word about our great activity. These 
people don't really have a lot of exposure to debate, and this night is a 
great opportunity both to impart the lessons that we've all learned from our 
participation in debate, along with just generally generating publicity for 
competitive debate among some of the major foreign policy think tanks in 

Finally, there will be free dinner, and it will be nice catered stuff.

Anyone who's interested, drop me a backchannel.


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