[eDebate] First Kentucky Fellows Debate

JW Patterson jwpatt00
Mon Jul 2 09:41:12 CDT 2007

Lexington, KY, July 2nd, 2007


In the first 2007 Kentucky Fellows Debate, Fellows Jason Wright of Lakeland
and Mike Carlotti of
Cathedral Prep on the affirmative debated Matt Zeitlin, Head-Royce and Evans
Foster, Caddo Magnet on the negative. Following the debate, Instructor Dan
Davis, University of Georgia, filed the following report:

" The first Fellows debate at the 2007 Kentucky Debate Institute took place
at 1:30 on Saturday, June 30, 2007 and it was a barn burner!  The Kentucky
Institute is one of the oldest in the country having run continuously since
1961. Judging from the quality of this debate, it is easy to see why so many
students choose Kentucky!

Alumni of the Kentucky Institute, at one time or another, have won every
major invitational tournament as well as the national Tournament of
Champions and the Forensic League National Tournament. We have no doubts
that this year?s participants in the first Fellows debate will be no
exception to this historical trend. The affirmative team was composed of
Jason Wright (1A) from Lakeland HS and Mike Carlotti (2A) from Cathedral
Prep. The negative team consisted of Matt Zeitlin (1N) from the Head Royce
School and Evans Foster (2N) from Caddo Magnet.

?The affirmative plan advocated increasing MEDFLAG operations to Ethiopia,
Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. MEDFLAGs are a form of military to military
joint exercise with recipient countries in sub Saharan Africa, where the US
military provides 8-10 days of medical personnel training, disaster response
training, immunization campaigns and medical civic action plans.

The affirmative had three advantages. First, extending US influence in
Africa would crowd China off the continent, thereby preserving US hegemony.
Why? Their internal links where two fold: first, China would use oil
resources from the continent to increase their strategic freedom of action
and second, that money generated from economic contacts with Africa will be
used for conventional military modernization. Second, they argued that
replacing the problematic Chinese model for economic development (classic
economic colonialism where Africa is used for raw resources and only value
added under Chinese state and/or corporate control) would provide better
economic development for the region. Third, the affirmative argued that
MEDFLAGs would increase military to military contacts with some of the
pivotal countries East, West and South Africa, thus promoting stability in
each of these regions and by default throughout the whole subcontinent.

The 1NC had two off case arguments:
First, the negative had a Topicality argument that the affirmative must give
public health assistance to ALL of sub Saharan Africa. They defined ?to? as
?towards? and sub Saharan Africa as 42 continental countries and six island
countries. The plan did not meet this interpretation of the topic because
they only advocated military medical assistance to four countries. The
standards articulated were limits and the argument it is harder for the
negative to win DA links if affirmatives can pick and choose the countries
they provide assistance to.
Second, the negative had a threat construction critique. The negative argued
that China is not a rational and unitary (and thus malleable) actor and is
largely content with the status quo. Chinese military modernization is a
response to US hegemony, and reading intent into burgeoning capability
confuses cause and effect in the bilateral relationship. US paranoia about
the natural rise of Chinese military and economic power will create a
self-fulfilling prophecy where we will adopt policies that aggravate their
fears and start arms races, etc.
The negative had a variety of case arguments, but focused their offensive
arguments for the African economic development advantage, where they had two

1.    China improves African economic development through investment and

2.    Neo-liberalism bad- the Chinese development model is better for
African socio-economics than the ?Western consensus?/Structural Adjustment
Projects + the global neo-liberal project ? human extinction

Of course, the affirmative came right back with some arguments of their own!
2AC AT: T:
1.    To = towards, not throughout

2.    W/m: toward part = toward whole

3.    Counter-interpretation: affirmatives must give PHA to all of SSA
unless they have specific evidence advocating PHA to a particular countries
or a set of particular countries

4.    Classic defense as to why they were not abusive and T was not a voting
issue, etc. 

5.    [The affirmative did NOT make the argument, noted by many
commentators, as one of the better responses to this T violation. If the
affirmative has to defend all of sub Saharan Africa, the negative will be
able to run plan-inclusive CPs that target individual countries, which
creates just as much research for both teams on the topic.]

2AC AT: Threat Construction
1.    The case impact is bigger than the critique impact

2.    Ditto

3.    Ditto

4.    Ditto

5.    Realism is a product of human nature ?it is an unavoidable cognitive

6.    The unimagined alternative is worse

7.    We need a  military for defensive reasons

8.    Representations which perfectly mirror reality are impossible- we
should be realistic and accept the inevitable limits of language, etc.

9.    China constructs the US as a threat

10.  Then, basically, a US/Chinese war is inevitable (Chinese energy grabs,
Chinese military modernization and aggression and a US preventive war).
Also, delay is bad because Chinese military modernization is increasing.  If
threat construction starts a US/Chinese war, that?d be better than having
one inevitably in 2025 when the Chinese military was bigger.

11.  Also, they argued that a US/Chinese war would stop a Chinese nuclear
test, which would crack the Earth in half.

As you can see, public health was not an especially large part of the
debate! Of course, the military medical assistance has the strategic
advantage on this topic of being almost completely immune from international
agent CPs. For that reason, you can probably expect to debate this
affirmative a few times over the course of the year! The two big solvency
cites for this affirmative are:

Col. Carroll, US Army, 2001 (Terry, ?Engagement or Marriage: The Case for an
Expanded Military Medical Role in Africa,? March 27,
GeTRDoc.pdf> ) 
Lt. Col. Fox,  M.D. , 1997
(C. William, June 24, ?Military Medical Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa:
The DoD ?Point of the Spear? for a New Century,?

The 2NC went exclusively for their critique argument. The 1NR focused
primarily on the neo-liberalism argument on the case. Both these arguments
seem to function well against the affirmative?s overwhelming emphasis on US
hegemony (military and economic primacy) being so nifty.

As perhaps you may have anticipated given the nature of the affirmative
itself, the 2AC answers and the emphasis of the negative block, the last two
rebuttals came down to the threat construction critique, as well as other
associated issues such as the desirability of realism and the validity of
the epistemological claims made by the affirmative about the intent and
future direction of the Chinese political and military establishments.
The negative was the clear winner in the camp wide balloting, garnering a
super majority of votes from the student body.

Please stay posted for forthcoming updates about future Fellows debate and
we hope to see you next year at the 2008 Kentucky National Debate Institute!
For more information about the camp, please visit:

JW Patterson
KNDI Director 

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