[eDebate] grand strategy

Calum Matheson u.hrair
Thu Dec 25 18:50:37 CST 2008

I'm going to get back to doing research--my original intent was just to
gauge interest and see if anyone was willing to help or offer constructive
suggestions, which I think I've accomplished. So I apologize for the number
of messages I've written.  This will probably be the last for awhile (I know
everyone says that, so I could be wrong).  If anyone is interested in
helping or offering further criticism, however, please feel free to email


--I'm sorry if the tone of my original response didn't please you (that I
didn't "cut you slack" on UAVs, for example).  I thought that this was a
genuine misunderstanding of the topic I was proposing.  Same with the parts
about "grand" as an adjective, or the capitalization of "National Security
Strategy"--that wasn't really directed at you, but rather comments others
had made, and for the purpose of clarification for those who may not have
been aware of the difference.  I'm trying to explain the idea I had in
general, not just to you, despite the fact that edebate posts do end up in
your inbox.

--I'll do more work on "National Security Strategy."  From my preliminary
work, I haven't found a lot of good solvency advocates that suggest these
changes should be done through changing the National Security Strategy.
This does seem like it would be a consequence of changing grand strategy,
but I'm not convinced that the aff should be forced to fiat it, and still
think that "grand strategy" is probably a better term.  My concern is that
the counterplans you're talking about put too much of a limit on the aff,
and even the big core affs might not have a defense of changing the NSS (I
think you mentioned this concern about offshore balancing).  So I think that
forcing the aff to modify the NSS would not "deter," but that it would
"force" debates about process.  My concern is that it would look like the
courts topic, where many, many debates became about ammendments, and the aff
didn't have much to say.  Changing the National Military Strategy might be
more promising.  I'll probably discuss all three in the wording paper.

--I think "grand strategy" combined with the "PIC out of troop reduction" is
sufficient to beat most of the affs you seem scared of.  The "withdraw
covert troops or stop their operations" aff, for example, would have to be
"withdraw covert troops," as the second one the neg can obviously
counterplan out of.  "Accelerate withdrawal" from anything is not a change
in strategy, and yes, I think the neg can win that.  Also, I do think that
"multiple theaters" is one part of "grand strategy" that there isn't much
dispute about.  As for "withdraw one type of personnel," what types are you
thinking of here?  Any ev for this?  That it constitutes "grand strategy"
and not, say, operations or even tactics?  The bit about not navigating
between Scylla and Charybdis is cute, but I think it might we worthwhile to
navigate the ol' internet and see if you can find evidence to support any of
these positions.  Any ev that compares Congress to modifications in the
National Security Strategy?  Any ev that we could do these various things
covertly?  I'm not trying to be argumentative--I'm genuinely curious because
if you've actually done research for any of this I'll certainly have to take
it seriously when I'm recommending various wording options.

--"This plan text would bungle the distinction between a contraction and a
possessive apostrophe, and probably deserves to lose on that basis."  I
thought about mentioning your misspellings and gramatical mistakes, but that
would be petty and mean.  I'lljust admit that I did insert an apostrophe
where it didn't belong and note that in my opinion this is the smartest
thing you've ever written.

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