[eDebate] Russia v. Arms Control

Dylan Keenan dylan.keenan
Sun Apr 20 20:59:00 CDT 2008


Calum Says:"Dylan doesn't want to hear "stupid Medvedev disads."  He then
said we should debate health care or agriculture so we can have good
politics links.  I think silence on this issue is an adequate response."

Yes, domestic politics disads are good, foreign politics disads tend to be
bad. Why? The literature on domestic politics uniqueness is more conclusive
and detailed. Also the links involve less speculation and the stories much
greater specificity. This is important not because it makes politics a
"good" argument in the abstract, although it sure is fun to debate, but
because if we are going to debate bad contrived disadvantages it is better
to do it with quality evidence and at least some plausibility to the claims.
Silence isn't an adequate response to a basic claim: Russia = 2 bad types of
politics DA, Ag/Healthcare = 1 good type.


Calum Says: "Some of them are the same, but the issue of US-Russian
cooperation contains much more room for creativity?although it has some
common negative ground, and probably more so than arms control.  There are
not only US-Russian relations disads, but NATO cohesion and credibility,
third-party disads like China and Japan, and a huge, vibrant debate about
Russian internal politics."

I'm not crazy about arms control so I'm thinking in comparison to ag or
healthcare. Here's the problem I see with these arguments
a) Third party/triangle disads tend to be pretty generic and frankly kind of
stupid. Since the links are generic, often to the level of "cooperation" or
"relations" they are especially vulnerable to the link uniqueness issues, eg
the "We're engaging now" sort of 1AC underview. I'll admit with Russia this
lit does to tend to be a bit better than with other country third party
politics but not by much. Seeing the low quality of the Russia-China DA on
the China topic makes me skeptical
b) Is Russia really only going to be military cooperation. Even if it is, I
think things like expanded peacekeeping or cooperative threat reduction or
airlift that are cited in the paper have a hard time making anything
approximating a credible link to generics like these. If the topic goes
broader to shit like the environment then clearly relations and russian
internal politics lack a good link story.



Calum Says: "a) There's not enough.  There most certainly is.  I feel that
the four of us did well in providing cites for various proposals to
cooperate with Russia over military issues.  Here are some examples:  develop
joint or interoperable forces for peacekeeping, increase funding for
Cooperative Threat Reduction, develop joint missile defenses, joint space
initiatives, and logistical cooperation."

Indeed you did provide some cites. one of things about debating "the
literature" is that I can't reasonably expect you to provide all the cites
that would be necessary to show there truly is depth to these proposals.
Some of them like CTR do have a huge lit base. Interoperable peacekeeping is
more questionable as are lots of logistics and stuff like that. Regardless I
do not think you can match the depth of the lit written about healthcare or
agriculture. Especially since almost all the relevant cards will be written
in English and will be comparative because there is robust debate about
this. A major concern is that even if there are specific aff proposals you
will definitely run across the issue of someone suggesting it, maybe  card
or two on the neg. I think a good topic crafting should make sure everything
the aff can topically  do has a good lit base on it. The Russia topic paper
isolates some proposals that meet the "there is a card" test. I'm reluctant
to say that many of them go that much further.

b)      b) There are too many, and they are small.  The Russia area does
provide quite a bit of aff flexibility.  Even small affs, however, much
increase cooperation with Russia in a military area, and as discussed above,
there are a number of disads here.  Link uniqueness is not generally a
problem?although the US does cooperate with Russia in some areas now, the
trend is markedly downward, the political situation in Russia has changed
greatly since the bulk of these initiatives began, and the doubters have not
provided many examples here of affs that are large enough to have good
advantages, but small enough to dodge the core negative arguments.  I will
concede that you will have to cut some cards.  Alexei Stakhanov would have
cut fifty in the time it took you to read this sentence.
OK, this remains a really really serious issue that I don't think Calum
addresses. My nightmare is affs that show up with "X military base will be
attacked by terrorists we should enforce it", or "submarines risk collision
in this one part of the artcitc, lets set up an agreement about it" or
"Let's cooperate on a military base in one random country.". I could go on
but the point is that people will prevent generics from applying by reading
tiny stuff. One of the areas where the community is not neg bias is that
small affirmative scan easily spike links. As I posted on the topic blog,
small affs that are built around not linking are the zero point. They are
literally the worst part of this activity. And Russia, as far as I can tell,
is the most vulnerable topic to this sort of problem at least given the
wording presently being discussed.

As for link uniqueness, it is magnified as an issue against small affs or
with neg hyper-generics which will be prevalant on this topic. Yes, you can
cut some coop decreasing but that still indicates it was high and that sort
of empirically disproves the link. This is especially a nightmare for stuff
like expanded CTR cooperation.

Now back to studying game theory.

-dylan



On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 8:05 PM, bandana martin <drmosbornesq at gmail.com>
wrote:

> "arms control writers have yet to die from collective irrelevance" - calum
> matheson
>
> that is awesome
>
>
>
> On 4/20/08, Calum Matheson <u.hrair at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I actually think the arms control topic is okay.  If there was no Russia
> > topic, it would be alright.  There is, though, and arms control is no
> > match.
> >
> > The central controversy of the Russia area is whether Russia should be
> > treated as a military partner of the United States, or as a competitor.
> > I feel that the reasons why this topic are timely have been explained
> > extensively in the topic paper (Stone: read the one that advocates the
> > Russia topic, not the one about a bunch of phrases that we didn't use), and
> > that the doubters have done little to respond.
> >
> > Stone wonders whether anything will really change, and concludes, with
> > no apparent research, that it won't.  This is quite possible, but it's
> > also part of the argument advanced already in the discussion:  there is
> > a debate about whether Russian policy will change or not, which I analogized
> > to previous debates about Gorbachev and Putin.  Stone's opinion merely
> > proves that there is a debate over that.  Good.  There should be.
> >
> > Some people think that Russia's policy will indeed change, or at least
> > could, in response to United States initiatives.  The Christian Science
> > Monitor, on the second of February, for example, argues that although Putin
> > has promised continuity, there will have to be a "system of balances,"
> > because the country "could be destabilized if the two men quarrel."  There's
> > an article in Newsweek on 2-25 about the fights Medvedev will face
> > distancing himself from Putin's siloviki allies.  There's a good article
> > in the Financial Times, 3-3, about the possibility that this will change
> > Russia's course by creating opportunities to increase cooperation with the
> > US.  Steven Sestanovich wrote something similar, arguing that behind the
> > placid exterior, there is already a fight for control over Russia's future
> > that could split the leadership.  In fact, although Medvedev seems
> > willing to continue many of Putin's policies, the area of biggest
> > uncertainty is relations with the United States and Europe.  I can
> > provide dozens more articles here.  The point is that there is a healthy
> > debate:  one that is unlikely to repeat itself for some time.  No
> > Russian leader (ever) has voluntarily stepped down from power?to suggest
> > that there will not be timely literature about Russia's future direction is
> > uninformed.
> >
> > Yes, there will be new literature about the NPT.  Time advances
> > inexorably forwards, and the old arms control writers have yet to die from
> > collective irrelevance, so there will be stuff published.  The coming of
> > the next review in 2010 is an argument for debating arms control in
> > 2009-2010, however.  It may be timely, but not in the way Russia is?the
> > Russian leadership is going through an unprecedented change.  The NPT is
> > going through another damn review that will produce the same set of
> > complaints and suggestions that all the other ones did.
> >
> > There are some problems with the "timeliness" of the NPT, as well.  The
> > 2000 recommendations include things like "implement START III."  This
> > treaty not only doesn't exist, it never will?it was replaced by the Moscow
> > Treaty of 2002, which has been ratified already, and implemented (to some
> > degree).  Other suggestions, like the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty,
> > exist, but have been largely dormant for some time.  Much of the aff
> > literature for the CTBT gets updated, but the neg literature less so.  The
> > point is not that this makes the topic bad, it's just that you are defending
> > the timeliness of suggestions made eight years ago.  Russia literature
> > is more dynamic.
> >
> > Does arms control access Russia?  Yes.  Does Russia access arms control?
> > Also yes.  Which is better?  Russia.  Cooperation with Russia allows
> > discussion of more than just nuclear weapons?some areas Gannon, Lamballe,
> > Rubaie, and I suggested include space, naval cooperation, peacekeeping, and
> > counterterrorism.  Arms control provides a number of plans, but a great
> > many of them have the same advantage?proliferation.  There are certainly
> > a few more, but while there are different advantages to the various Russia
> > areas, there are relatively few for arms control.  Some of them are the
> > same, but the issue of US-Russian cooperation contains much more room for
> > creativity?although it has some common negative ground, and probably more so
> > than arms control.  There are not only US-Russian relations disads, but
> > NATO cohesion and credibility, third-party disads like China and Japan, and
> > a huge, vibrant debate about Russian internal politics.  Dylan doesn't
> > want to hear "stupid Medvedev disads."  He then said we should debate
> > health care or agriculture so we can have good politics links.  I think
> > silence on this issue is an adequate response.  Let's debate "Resolved:
> > the USFG should burn flags to celebrate sexual deviance" every year.  Russia
> > has good, unique disads.  No matter what wins, the oily stain of the
> > politics disad will never be cleansed from debate.  The common ground of
> > arms control is?prolif good?  Opaque prolif?  Deterrence (although it
> > only links to a few affs)?  Oh, wait, no.  It's politics.  Issue
> > resolved.
> >
> > Stone also tries to "throw something out for the hippies."  Perhaps some
> > people have been taking 4/20 celebrations too far.  Here's his offer:
> > nuclearism.  Our discussion of critical ground for Russia is not just "I
> > can haz nuklearizm?"  I may not have conveyed this eloquently, but there
> > is much more to US-Russian interaction than nuclearism?Russia has been
> > presented in the "West" as a nightmarish, inhuman enemy, often described in
> > the language of racial inferiority, mixed with trepidation over its military
> > might and the threat that Russian/Soviet ideologies have presented to the
> > liberal capitalist countries that dominate the world order.  Nuclearism
> > is just better on a Russia topic?fear of US-Soviet war is the context for
> > much of the work done in that field.  Russian history is a rich source
> > of comparison with the United States?my discussion of contiguous colonies in
> > the first post, for example.  There's a body of literature that
> > critiques the focus on US-Russian politics as an elitist mechanism to
> > suppress debates over humanitarian issues in "non-strategic" areas of the
> > world.  Even urban policy in the US that has disenfranchised Blacks has
> > a connection to the Cold War.  The discipline of urban planning got a
> > boost from the countervalue-counterforce debates of the 1950s and later,
> > where white American planners suggested that we bait the Soviets into
> > targeting inner cities while whites fled to the suburbs.  Disaffected,
> > beret-wearing Marxists love to complain about the modern Russia.  The
> > literature about Cold War representations of the US-Soviet conflict applies
> > to modern Russia, too?this is a well-developed, highly specific critique of
> > enemy construction.  You can totally haz more than nuklearizm.  YA RLY.
> > I'll bow to the superior K knowledge of Kansas JS though.  Who wouldn't.
> >
> >
> > There seems to be concern over solvency mechanisms.  Read our paper.  There
> > is plenty of advocacy for change in US policy toward Russia.  I will try
> > to respond to some specific concerns:
> >
> > a)      a) There's not enough.  There most certainly is.  I feel that
> > the four of us did well in providing cites for various proposals to
> > cooperate with Russia over military issues.  Here are some examples:  develop
> > joint or interoperable forces for peacekeeping, increase funding for
> > Cooperative Threat Reduction, develop joint missile defenses, joint space
> > initiatives, and logistical cooperation.
> >
> > b)      b) There are too many, and they are small.  The Russia area does
> > provide quite a bit of aff flexibility.  Even small affs, however, much
> > increase cooperation with Russia in a military area, and as discussed above,
> > there are a number of disads here.  Link uniqueness is not generally a
> > problem?although the US does cooperate with Russia in some areas now, the
> > trend is markedly downward, the political situation in Russia has changed
> > greatly since the bulk of these initiatives began, and the doubters have not
> > provided many examples here of affs that are large enough to have good
> > advantages, but small enough to dodge the core negative arguments.  I
> > will concede that you will have to cut some cards.  Alexei Stakhanov
> > would have cut fifty in the time it took you to read this sentence.
> >
> > c)  "What is bilateral cooperation anyway?" This is my personal
> > favorite.  The word "bilateral" has been added here because it limits
> > the forums in which the US and Russia could cooperate?it excludes
> > potentially large areas like the United Nations, Nato-Russia Council, OECD,
> > and so forth.  Maybe these are potential counterplans?that would be nice
> > since each one wouldn't apply to every area of cooperation, so preparing for
> > them would not be unmanageable.  The phrase "bilateral cooperation"
> > obviously limits the aff to joint projects with Russian participation, but
> > the real limit here comes from the areas?nonproliferation, counterterrorism,
> > et cetera.
> >
> > Scott Elliot:  you lived in Russia.  I have genes.  We're even.  I read
> > a lot about genetics.  It is a good topic...for a PBS documentary.  I would
> > watch the hell out of that.  Russia is a country assembled from the left
> > over scraps of nightmares and shattered dreams of a new society.  The choice
> > seems clear to me.
> >
> > My almost pathological love of the Soviet Union should be obvious by
> > now, and I have lots more to say, but this is already pretty long.  I
> > need to see if Putin/Stalin slashfic exists somewhere on the internet.
> >
> > And by the way, the refs cheated in that 1980 hockey game.  Miracle my
> > ass.
> >
> > Calum
> >
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>
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