[eDebate] grand strategy

Dr Arthur Kyriazis MScE akbiotech
Tue Dec 23 12:25:58 CST 2008


regarding the topic post on "grand strategy," the last time I read the 
words "grand strategy" was in association with the plans of Catherine 
the Great's "grand strategy" to partition the Ottoman Empire as part of 
her secret alliance with the Austro-Hungarian Empire towards the end of 
the 18th century;  Austria would get the upper Balkans, including Bosnia 
Herzogovina, etc. while Turkish Asia Minor and the Caucasus would go to 
Russia, and Catherine was going to install her grandson Constantine on 
the throne of a new Greek Byzantine Empire (as a Russian Protectorate) 
encompassing Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Rumania with Constantinople as 
its capital. 

Technically, with the rollback of the Communist government, all of those 
treaties with the Ottoman Empire from the 1700s and 1800s made by the 
Tsarist regime would technically now be back in force.

Maybe Putin can drive Russia back to Constantinople.  There's a "Grand 
Strategy" for you. 

Or Napoleon could conquer Europe again. 

Or the Dutch could flood their land to stop Louis XIV's "Grand Strategy".

I think the problem with "Grand Strategy" is that it's inherently an 
imperialistic and conquest intended phrase both by context and exegesis 
and hermeneutic analysis.  I've rarely seen the phrase apart from the 
designs of rapacious conquerors.  As such, it's susceptible to negative 
attacks along these lines. 

--art kyriazis

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> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. still have 12 to sell at SC and 6 at Fullerton if anyone
>       wants them (Ian Beier)
>    2. Possible Topic Area (Calum Matheson)
>    3. Re: Possible Topic Area (David Glass)
>    4. Re: Possible Topic Area (Calum Matheson)
>    5. Re: Possible Topic Area (Dylan Keenan)
>    6. Re: Possible Topic Area (Calum Matheson)
>    7. Debates in Second Life (Alfred Snider)
>    8. Re: Possible Topic Area (bandana martin)
>    9. Question for Tuna About Second Life Debates (James Maritato)
>   10. "Grand Strategy" definitions (J T)
>   11. Re: Possible Topic Area (J T)
>   12. Re: Possible Topic Area (Calum Matheson)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 14:44:18 -0600
> From: "Ian Beier" <ianedebate at gmail.com>
> Subject: [eDebate] still have 12 to sell at SC and 6 at Fullerton if
> 	anyone	wants them
> To: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Message-ID:
> 	<93ac16710812221244h51c036cev7ec74bbf7bae5fd7 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> ya i know. waited til the last minute and reposted. the vegas staff is poor
> though. cant even afford capslock.
>
>
> Ian
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 16:14:02 -0600
> From: "Calum Matheson" <u.hrair at gmail.com>
> Subject: [eDebate] Possible Topic Area
> To: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Message-ID:
> 	<a4fda780812221414v2b6ab4fboa7345cff646d7378 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> I may or may not work on a Russia topic, but I'm interested in another one
> too, about US military policy.
>
> I'm thinking about something like this:
> Resolved: The United States Federal Government should adopt a grand strategy
> significantly reducing its overseas military deployment.
>
> Topical affs would include offshore balancing, various incarnations of
> selective engagement, strict isolationism, and more radical options like
> discontinue the war on terrorism, disband the military, and so on. Policy
> advantage areas would include terrorism and proliferation of course, but
> also (in my opinion) a much more nuanced discussion of military power than
> that to which we have recently been accustomed.
>
> The advantages wouldn't all be about hegemony, but it has bothered me for
> some time now how often we talk about that, and how rarely actual strategy
> is involved, and how shallow our discussions must necessarily be when
> neither side can actually change the way military force is used, as opposed
> to the simple level of its power.
>
> I'd like to include a version with a non-US actor, something like this:
> Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should substantially change
> one or more of its operational doctrines.
>
> "Operational doctrine" is a term of art that would create a somewhat
> different focus for the topic than the US-only resolution above. I'm not
> sure what I think about international actor resolutions yet, but there seems
> to be some interest.  I like the idea of NATO as an actor: the c/p ground is
> particularly interesting (US or EU, with multilateralism, burden sharing,
> and EU defense as extremely well-developed net benefits/disads), and it
> avoids the most common objection that I've heard to these topics, namely
> that there is insufficient advocacy literature in English.
>
> I've already done a fair amount of research on this, especially the terms
> that might be included, although the resolutions above are very much
> preliminary ones. Anyone who is interested in
> helping/criticizing/questioning/attacking me without clogging the electronic
> tubes should feel free to contact me at u.hrair at gmail.com.
>
> Calum
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 22:44:19 -0500
> From: "David Glass" <gacggc at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [eDebate] Possible Topic Area
> To: "Calum Matheson" <u.hrair at gmail.com>
> Cc: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Message-ID:
> 	<8371758b0812221944o5b2b5eb0p89625a7f137f19ca at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> hmm I'd just get rid of the words "grand strategy to"
>
> grand is obv problematic
> a strategy need not be implement even if its purpose is to do something
>
>
> so consider:
>
> Resolved: The United States Federal Government should  significantly
> reduce its overseas military deployment.
>
>
> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 5:14 PM, Calum Matheson <u.hrair at gmail.com> wrote:
>   
>> I may or may not work on a Russia topic, but I'm interested in another one
>> too, about US military policy.
>>
>> I'm thinking about something like this:
>> Resolved: The United States Federal Government should adopt a grand strategy
>> significantly reducing its overseas military deployment.
>>
>> Topical affs would include offshore balancing, various incarnations of
>> selective engagement, strict isolationism, and more radical options like
>> discontinue the war on terrorism, disband the military, and so on. Policy
>> advantage areas would include terrorism and proliferation of course, but
>> also (in my opinion) a much more nuanced discussion of military power than
>> that to which we have recently been accustomed.
>>
>> The advantages wouldn't all be about hegemony, but it has bothered me for
>> some time now how often we talk about that, and how rarely actual strategy
>> is involved, and how shallow our discussions must necessarily be when
>> neither side can actually change the way military force is used, as opposed
>> to the simple level of its power.
>>
>> I'd like to include a version with a non-US actor, something like this:
>> Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should substantially change
>> one or more of its operational doctrines.
>>
>> "Operational doctrine" is a term of art that would create a somewhat
>> different focus for the topic than the US-only resolution above. I'm not
>> sure what I think about international actor resolutions yet, but there seems
>> to be some interest.  I like the idea of NATO as an actor: the c/p ground is
>> particularly interesting (US or EU, with multilateralism, burden sharing,
>> and EU defense as extremely well-developed net benefits/disads), and it
>> avoids the most common objection that I've heard to these topics, namely
>> that there is insufficient advocacy literature in English.
>>
>> I've already done a fair amount of research on this, especially the terms
>> that might be included, although the resolutions above are very much
>> preliminary ones. Anyone who is interested in
>> helping/criticizing/questioning/attacking me without clogging the electronic
>> tubes should feel free to contact me at u.hrair at gmail.com.
>>
>> Calum
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> eDebate mailing list
>> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
>> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>>
>>     
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 22:28:39 -0600
> From: "Calum Matheson" <u.hrair at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [eDebate] Possible Topic Area
> Cc: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Message-ID:
> 	<a4fda780812222028m38e4f544pd8b23958de9dcf06 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
>
> This isn't really a reply to Dr. Glass, but just an explanation of why I
> suggested the phrase "grand strategy."  I'm certainly open to alternative
> suggestions.
>
> "Strategy" can be defined to narrowly--a military strategy, as opposed to a
> grand strategy, may be defined as a plan to accomplish a particular military
> objective.  Grand strategy can be defined as a broader policy, by the
> civilian leadership, fitting the use of force into an overall plan to
> achieve American objectives.  I want the aff to be able to do things other
> than simply reduce US deployed forces--offshore balancing for example--and
> be able to make the requisite changes in force structure, etc.  The phrase
> "military strategy" is properly used (according to some narrow definitions)
> only to describe land forces (so JFC Fuller was a military strategist, for
> example, as opposed to Alfred Thayer Mahan, a naval strategist).
>
> "Doctrine" was also not what I was looking for, although I intend to explore
> it as a separate area within the broader topic. It is my understanding that
> this describes a set of rules or procedures governing the conduct of the
> military.  So Operation Gericht (the WWI German operation around Verdun,
> 1916) was an "operation," the "strategy" was attrition, but the "grand
> strategy" was the overall German plan to dominate continental Europe
> (presumably for the purposes of evil, knowing them).  I could certainly be
> wrong about this (the terms, not the intent of Germany to do evil).
>
> Is anyone interested in this topic willing to suggest (directly to me, if
> you wish) alternate terms?  "Grand strategy" is not meant to be the primary
> limiting term, but rather to allow the aff to include broad changes in force
> deployment.  The "reduce deployment" part is supposed to be the primary
> limit.
>
> Some examples of how "grand strategy" is used:
>
> Christopher Layne uses it to describe a policy of offshore balancing,
> including the end of large-scale forward deployment (in "The Peace of
> Illusions," for example).
>
> This is Robert Art, in "A Grand Strategy for America:"
> "Grand strategy, like foreign policy, deals with the momentous choices that
> a nation makes in foreign affairs, but it differs from foreign policy in one
> fundamental respect.  To define a nation's foreign policy is to lay out the
> full range of goals that a state should seek in the world and then determine
> how all the instruments of statecraft?political power, military power,
> economic power, ideological power?should be integrated and employed with one
> another to achieve those goals.  Grand strategy, too, deals with the full
> range of goals that a state should seek, but it concentrates primarily on
> how the military instrument should be employed to achieve them.  It
> prescribes how a nation should wield its military instrument to realize its
> foreign policy goals."
>
>
> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 9:44 PM, David Glass <gacggc at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>   
>> hmm I'd just get rid of the words "grand strategy to"
>>
>> grand is obv problematic
>> a strategy need not be implement even if its purpose is to do something
>>
>>
>> so consider:
>>
>> Resolved: The United States Federal Government should  significantly
>> reduce its overseas military deployment.
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 5:14 PM, Calum Matheson <u.hrair at gmail.com> wrote:
>>     
>>> I may or may not work on a Russia topic, but I'm interested in another
>>>       
>> one
>>     
>>> too, about US military policy.
>>>
>>> I'm thinking about something like this:
>>> Resolved: The United States Federal Government should adopt a grand
>>>       
>> strategy
>>     
>>> significantly reducing its overseas military deployment.
>>>
>>> Topical affs would include offshore balancing, various incarnations of
>>> selective engagement, strict isolationism, and more radical options like
>>> discontinue the war on terrorism, disband the military, and so on. Policy
>>> advantage areas would include terrorism and proliferation of course, but
>>> also (in my opinion) a much more nuanced discussion of military power
>>>       
>> than
>>     
>>> that to which we have recently been accustomed.
>>>
>>> The advantages wouldn't all be about hegemony, but it has bothered me for
>>> some time now how often we talk about that, and how rarely actual
>>>       
>> strategy
>>     
>>> is involved, and how shallow our discussions must necessarily be when
>>> neither side can actually change the way military force is used, as
>>>       
>> opposed
>>     
>>> to the simple level of its power.
>>>
>>> I'd like to include a version with a non-US actor, something like this:
>>> Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should substantially
>>>       
>> change
>>     
>>> one or more of its operational doctrines.
>>>
>>> "Operational doctrine" is a term of art that would create a somewhat
>>> different focus for the topic than the US-only resolution above. I'm not
>>> sure what I think about international actor resolutions yet, but there
>>>       
>> seems
>>     
>>> to be some interest.  I like the idea of NATO as an actor: the c/p ground
>>>       
>> is
>>     
>>> particularly interesting (US or EU, with multilateralism, burden sharing,
>>> and EU defense as extremely well-developed net benefits/disads), and it
>>> avoids the most common objection that I've heard to these topics, namely
>>> that there is insufficient advocacy literature in English.
>>>
>>> I've already done a fair amount of research on this, especially the terms
>>> that might be included, although the resolutions above are very much
>>> preliminary ones. Anyone who is interested in
>>> helping/criticizing/questioning/attacking me without clogging the
>>>       
>> electronic
>>     
>>> tubes should feel free to contact me at u.hrair at gmail.com.
>>>
>>> Calum
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> eDebate mailing list
>>> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
>>> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>>>
>>>       
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>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 00:11:16 -0500
> From: "Dylan Keenan" <dylan.keenan at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [eDebate] Possible Topic Area
> To: "Calum Matheson" <u.hrair at gmail.com>
> Cc: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Message-ID:
> 	<db49cab0812222111v3fafbf0fofd155a78e91df714 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
>
> I like this topic idea ---- the impact lit is already fun, and would be made
> better when it central to the topic (although ME seems to disprove this a
> bit. How were people still getting away with Steinbach generic ME war goes
> nuclear when it was pre Iraq). I agree with Calum that a lot of heg debates
> are kind of shallow. Part of the problem is that the debate often ends with
> "heg inevitable ? we just make the US good at it/make the world hate us
> less" ---- this topic seems like, if well debated, it could avoid some of
> that.
>
>
>
> I do have a few thoughts/concerns
>
>
>
> 1)      Can we stick the term grand strategy with any enforceable meaning?
> That is, what is to stop the aff from say getting US security out of Nigeria
> (not sure if we actually have military personel there) or withdrawing from
> the Arctic, or stopping coast guard good will missions to X country and
> nothing else. I get that the term grand strategy is a term of art, and is
> designed to deal with this. I also know that terms like "energy policy" or
> "constructive engagement" which are designed to make affs do something
> significant frequently devolve to the minimum and nothing more. Given the
> idiocy the neg gets away with these days something like that is perhaps
> necessary but still, it is a concern because small affs ALWAYS reduce the
> quality of debate.
>
>
>
> 2)      Conversely, I think we should center a lot of the topic discussion
> around how the neg will try to cheat and write the topic to prevent that. Is
> it possible people will have a counterplan to redeploy without changing
> grand strategy (basically do the plan under a different name). To have host
> countries force the US out? Use temporary redeployment to other areas?
> Consult CP is a concern that always arises. Since the supreme court doesn't
> set grand strategy a courts CP may be used with some stupid self serving
> justification like "tests grand strategy" ? or con/con or amendment ? all
> that trash. And some possibly legit PICS (offshore balancing except one
> brigade at one port which is at risk of terrorism).
>
>
>
> 3)      Global link U questions will come up. Obama is gonna wind down in
> Iraq. I don't want to hear a year of "drawdown now" = no link uniqueness.
>
>
>
> 4)      Is the topic a bit too expansive on the mechanisms besides military
> power. That Layne def. mentions economic power. Is this basically sanctions
> or trade policy as well?
>
>
>
> A few pluses:
>
> 1) Advantage innovation. I think that is a big problem this year. I doubt it
> would be when you have the whole military, planet, and economy to play with
>
>
>
> 2) I bet there are cards about the importance of a public statement shifting
> US strategy for states as well as non-state actors. That might help deal
> with negative BS counterplans
>
>
>
> 3) Big impact debates on a lot of different impacts = good for outweighing
> disads.
>
>
> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 11:28 PM, Calum Matheson <u.hrair at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>   
>> This isn't really a reply to Dr. Glass, but just an explanation of why I
>> suggested the phrase "grand strategy."  I'm certainly open to alternative
>> suggestions.
>>
>> "Strategy" can be defined to narrowly--a military strategy, as opposed to a
>> grand strategy, may be defined as a plan to accomplish a particular military
>> objective.  Grand strategy can be defined as a broader policy, by the
>> civilian leadership, fitting the use of force into an overall plan to
>> achieve American objectives.  I want the aff to be able to do things other
>> than simply reduce US deployed forces--offshore balancing for example--and
>> be able to make the requisite changes in force structure, etc.  The phrase
>> "military strategy" is properly used (according to some narrow definitions)
>> only to describe land forces (so JFC Fuller was a military strategist, for
>> example, as opposed to Alfred Thayer Mahan, a naval strategist).
>>
>> "Doctrine" was also not what I was looking for, although I intend to
>> explore it as a separate area within the broader topic. It is my
>> understanding that this describes a set of rules or procedures governing the
>> conduct of the military.  So Operation Gericht (the WWI German operation
>> around Verdun, 1916) was an "operation," the "strategy" was attrition, but
>> the "grand strategy" was the overall German plan to dominate continental
>> Europe (presumably for the purposes of evil, knowing them).  I could
>> certainly be wrong about this (the terms, not the intent of Germany to do
>> evil).
>>
>> Is anyone interested in this topic willing to suggest (directly to me, if
>> you wish) alternate terms?  "Grand strategy" is not meant to be the primary
>> limiting term, but rather to allow the aff to include broad changes in force
>> deployment.  The "reduce deployment" part is supposed to be the primary
>> limit.
>>
>> Some examples of how "grand strategy" is used:
>>
>> Christopher Layne uses it to describe a policy of offshore balancing,
>> including the end of large-scale forward deployment (in "The Peace of
>> Illusions," for example).
>>
>> This is Robert Art, in "A Grand Strategy for America:"
>> "Grand strategy, like foreign policy, deals with the momentous choices that
>> a nation makes in foreign affairs, but it differs from foreign policy in one
>> fundamental respect.  To define a nation's foreign policy is to lay out
>> the full range of goals that a state should seek in the world and then
>> determine how all the instruments of statecraft?political power, military
>> power, economic power, ideological power?should be integrated and employed
>> with one another to achieve those goals.  Grand strategy, too, deals with
>> the full range of goals that a state should seek, but it concentrates
>> primarily on how the military instrument should be employed to achieve them.
>> It prescribes how a nation should wield its military instrument to realize
>> its foreign policy goals."
>>
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 9:44 PM, David Glass <gacggc at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>     
>>> hmm I'd just get rid of the words "grand strategy to"
>>>
>>> grand is obv problematic
>>> a strategy need not be implement even if its purpose is to do something
>>>
>>>
>>> so consider:
>>>
>>> Resolved: The United States Federal Government should  significantly
>>> reduce its overseas military deployment.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 5:14 PM, Calum Matheson <u.hrair at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>       
>>>> I may or may not work on a Russia topic, but I'm interested in another
>>>>         
>>> one
>>>       
>>>> too, about US military policy.
>>>>
>>>> I'm thinking about something like this:
>>>> Resolved: The United States Federal Government should adopt a grand
>>>>         
>>> strategy
>>>       
>>>> significantly reducing its overseas military deployment.
>>>>
>>>> Topical affs would include offshore balancing, various incarnations of
>>>> selective engagement, strict isolationism, and more radical options like
>>>> discontinue the war on terrorism, disband the military, and so on.
>>>>         
>>> Policy
>>>       
>>>> advantage areas would include terrorism and proliferation of course, but
>>>> also (in my opinion) a much more nuanced discussion of military power
>>>>         
>>> than
>>>       
>>>> that to which we have recently been accustomed.
>>>>
>>>> The advantages wouldn't all be about hegemony, but it has bothered me
>>>>         
>>> for
>>>       
>>>> some time now how often we talk about that, and how rarely actual
>>>>         
>>> strategy
>>>       
>>>> is involved, and how shallow our discussions must necessarily be when
>>>> neither side can actually change the way military force is used, as
>>>>         
>>> opposed
>>>       
>>>> to the simple level of its power.
>>>>
>>>> I'd like to include a version with a non-US actor, something like this:
>>>> Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should substantially
>>>>         
>>> change
>>>       
>>>> one or more of its operational doctrines.
>>>>
>>>> "Operational doctrine" is a term of art that would create a somewhat
>>>> different focus for the topic than the US-only resolution above. I'm not
>>>> sure what I think about international actor resolutions yet, but there
>>>>         
>>> seems
>>>       
>>>> to be some interest.  I like the idea of NATO as an actor: the c/p
>>>>         
>>> ground is
>>>       
>>>> particularly interesting (US or EU, with multilateralism, burden
>>>>         
>>> sharing,
>>>       
>>>> and EU defense as extremely well-developed net benefits/disads), and it
>>>> avoids the most common objection that I've heard to these topics, namely
>>>> that there is insufficient advocacy literature in English.
>>>>
>>>> I've already done a fair amount of research on this, especially the
>>>>         
>>> terms
>>>       
>>>> that might be included, although the resolutions above are very much
>>>> preliminary ones. Anyone who is interested in
>>>> helping/criticizing/questioning/attacking me without clogging the
>>>>         
>>> electronic
>>>       
>>>> tubes should feel free to contact me at u.hrair at gmail.com.
>>>>
>>>> Calum
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> eDebate mailing list
>>>> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
>>>> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>>>>
>>>>         
>> _______________________________________________
>> eDebate mailing list
>> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
>> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>>
>>     
>
>
>
>   




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