[eDebate] Kernoff on Khalilzad
Mon Jul 6 20:14:48 CDT 2009
>From Josh Kernoff:
SHORT SUMMARY FOR 99% WHO DON?T REALLY CARE:
Who cares its from 1995. Only thing that changed was details. Not overall
?structure? of international system ? which is what Kzad is about. He says
?US Leadership solves security dilemmas?. And he gives examples to support
that. Some details of those examples has changed ? but not changed
sufficiently to change the fact that, US leadership solves security
ONE FOOTNOTE FIRST:
The main problem is nobody has an internal link to ?Khalilzad?? That?s
noted, and yes, I agree there are many times the card is used
?inappropriately? because the aff/neg didn?t prove they got to ?US
withdrawal? or ?end of US engagement?.
ONE SECOND FOOTNOTE FINALLY:
I probably misspelled and ungrammaticalized something here? whatever.. read
one of Kade?s posts?. His are worse?
I might get bored and not respond to responses to this? sorry? I?m sure
there?s only about 3 of you out there who?ve gotten this far anyway.
LONG VERSION FOR 1% WHO CARE:
Most people I speak to about this get really upset about how old the
Khalilzad card is.
I think that misses the point.
YES ? it is correct to say that some details have changed and are outdated.
Yes, it doesn?t account for the Iraq War, when describing what Iraq would
do. But that article, and the card, are not about specific policy details
or even specific outcomes. The 1995 article was a general defense of a
grand strategy of leadership and engagement. It was not so interested in
particular policy instruments in particular situations, as an overall
posture of global engagement, rather than offshore balancing or
isolationism. Consequentially, it was also not so interested in any one
particular outcome of the US withdrawing from the world, as the overall
trend of events. I doubt Khalilzad would say he was even 90% sure that
every single scenario would come to fruition. Rather, it was using examples
to demonstrate a general theory of the consequences of global withdrawal.
It is said that the geopolitical landscape of the world has CHANGED
DRAMATICALLY ? well, sort of. Yes, there have been significant events in
Iran, North Korea, Russia, and all over the world, that matter for millions
of peoples lives.
BUT ? has the balance of power (particularly, with regard to the US, as a
consequences of its power or engagement with the world) substantially
changed? No ? not in the terms that Khalilzad is really interested in. Yes,
some countries have risen and fallen in incremental measures ? but the US is
still far and away the global hegemon ? and it is still heavily engaged,
globally. And nobody has waged a serious challenge on US leadership.
(If you want to argue ?US is no longer the hegemon? ? I?ll refer you to the
Brooks/Wohlforth cards? if you still aren?t convinced, our differences may
The point ? is that although specifics have changed (leaders, small
countries capabilities, etc), the main things Khalilzad focuses on (that US
engagement provides a public good of security, that solves security dilemmas
by allowing other states to free ride, and avoid militarizing, starting arms
races, creating security vacuums, blah blah ) ? that stuff hasn?t changed.
Or ? There has yet to be an argument about what about it has changed? or
maybe it has, and I?ll address it here:
PJ Says: ?Moreover, many of the fundamental scenarios it describes have
happened. The US has "exercised leadership" in the Middle East. ?
That?s why the Israel Disad hasn?t happened (except the Netanyahu part) and
we haven?t seem rapid arms racing or pre-emptive/preventive attacks in the
middle east. The argument would go, US withdrawal would cause the security
fears surrounding Iran, Israel, etc to prompt arms racing and conflict.
PJ: ?Many security analysts now believe thinking in terms of "hostile global
rivals" is an outmoded sentiment that needs updating for an increasingly
globalized and fragmented world.?
Well ? some do. Mabye most/all do. But that?s more an issue of focus than
of descriptive accuracy. Most security analysis say that?s because the main
threat America faces isn?t from nation states, because, they just don?t have
the capacity to mess with us?. Which is why we ought focus on under
privileged issues such as ?soft? or ?human? security threats, or
non-traditional ?security? threats (eg: terrorism, proliferation). AND that
all is occurring in a world of US leadership ? the counterfactual of ?how
would we think of these things in a world where the US withdrew from the
world? has yet to be tested since the end of the Cold War.
PJ: ?In 1994, it was still unclear whether or not the collapse of Communism
would take in Russia.
We were only fifteen years out from the LAST uprising in Iran.
We had just fought a very successful war in the Middle East, instead of a
couple iffy ones.
NATO was still considered the most important of all international
Details that all may be true, but don?t undermine his ?security dilemma?
argument which still holds true in Europe, the Middle East, Asia. There are
PLENTY of scholars who think US withdrawal would be devastating for EU
unity, Asian stability, and Middle East stability.
PJ: ?Its easy to find evidence that the United States needs to maintain a
position of leadership in the world at large. Moreover, this evidence is
plentiful even from dates AFTER 1994.?
1995? but true.
I agree ? all the debaters should continue cutting heg cards. And they do.
But ? I still think they should read Khalilzad instead of Kagan or whatever
other card-of-the-week they found.
The short card (copied below) is just an abbreviation of the larger card
(copied below). It?s a quick reference, to arguments that are still true,
because they were not about details, but about generalities. And although
some details that are a part of those general theories/principles may have
changed, they have NOT changed sufficiently to explain why ?US ENGAGEMENT
DOESN?T SOLVE SECURITY DILEMMA??.
PJ: ?As a community we pride ourself on rigorously testing arguments,
examining the quality of their argumentation, and refining them as we go
along. Perhaps we can begin to read a different piece of evidence in the
1AC--one that, you know, assumes the world we live in, and not one that we
need to fire our DeLorean up to 88 mph to see??
Who needs a time machine!?!?!??!
Cards ? for reference (not sure if something got cut out of the long one?) I
apologize in advance if it did?
Zalmay Khalilzad, (Former Assist Prof of Poli Sci at Columbia), 1995 Spring,
The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 2; P. 84
Under the third option, the United States would seek to retain global
leadership and to preclude the rise of a global rival or a return to
multipolarity for the indefinite future. On balance, this is the best
long-term guiding principle and vision. Such a vision is desirable not as an
end in itself, but because a world in which the United States exercises
leadership would have tremendous advantages. First, the global environment
would be more open and more receptive to American values -- democracy, free
markets, and the rule of law. Second, such a world would have a better
chance of dealing cooperatively with the world's major problems, such as
nuclear proliferation, threats of regional hegemony by renegade states, and
low-level conflicts. Finally, U.S. leadership would help preclude the rise
of another hostile global rival, enabling the United States and the world to
avoid another global cold or hot war and all the attendant dangers,
including a global nuclear exchange. U.S. leadership would therefore be more
conducive to global stability than a bipolar or a multipolar balance of
Zalmay Khalilzad, (Former Assist Prof of Poli Sci at Columbia), 1995 Spring,
The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 2; Pg. 84
What might happen to the world if the United States turned inward? Without
the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), rather
than cooperating with each other, the West European nations might compete
with each other for domination of East-Central Europe and the Middle East.
In Western and Central Europe, Germany -- especially since unification --
would be the natural leading power.
Either in cooperation or competition with Russia, Germany might seek
influence over the territories located between them. German efforts are
likely to be aimed at filling the vacuum, stabilizing the region, and
precluding its domination by rival powers. Britain and France fear such a
development. Given the strength of democracy in Germany and its
preoccupation with absorbing the former East Germany, European concerns
about Germany appear exaggerated. But it would be a mistake to assume that
U.S. withdrawal could not, in the long run, result in the renationalization
of Germany's security policy.
The same is also true of Japan. Given a U.S. withdrawal from the world,
Japan would have to look after its own security and build up its military
capabilities. China, Korea, and the nations of Southeast Asia already fear
Japanese hegemony. Without U.S. protection, Japan is likely to increase its
military capability dramatically -- to balance the growing Chinese forces
and still-significant Russian forces. This could result in arms races,
including the possible acquisition by Japan of nuclear weapons. Given
Japanese technological prowess, to say nothing of the plutonium stockpile
Japan has acquired in the development of its nuclear power industry, it
could obviously become a nuclear weapon state relatively quickly, if it
should so decide. It could also build long-range missiles and carrier task
With the shifting balance of power among Japan, China, Russia, and potential
new regional powers such as India, Indonesia, and a united Korea could come
significant risks of preventive or proeruptive war. Similarly, European
competition for regional dominance could lead to major wars in Europe or
East Asia. If the United States stayed out of such a war -- an unlikely
prospect -- Europe or East Asia could become dominated by a hostile power.
Such a development would threaten U.S. interests. A power that achieved such
dominance would seek to exclude the United States from the area and threaten
and political -- in the region. Besides, with the domination of Europe or
East Asia, such a power might seek global hegemony and the United States
would face another global Cold War and the risk of a world war even more
catastrophic than the last.
In the Persian Gulf, U.S. withdrawal is likely to lead to an intensified
struggle for regional domination. Iran and Iraq have, in the past, both
sought regional hegemony. Without U.S. protection, the weak oil-rich states
of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would be unlikely to retain their
independence. To preclude this development, the Saudis might seek to
acquire, perhaps by purchase, their own nuclear weapons. If either Iraq or
Iran controlled the region that dominates the world supply of oil, it could
gain a significant capability to damage the U.S. and world economies. Any
country that gained hegemony would have vast
economic resources at its disposal that could be used to build military
capability as well as gain leverage over the United States and other
oilimporting nations. Hegemony over the Persian Gulf by either Iran or Iraq
would bring the rest of the Arab Middle East under its influence and
domination because of the shift in the balance of power. Israeli security
problems would multiply and the peace process would be fundamentally
undermined, increasing the risk of war between the Arabs and the Israelis.
The extension of instability, conflict, and hostile hegemony in East Asia,
Europe, and the Persian Gulf would harm the economy of the United States
even in the unlikely event that it was able to avoid involvement in major
wars and conflicts. Higher oil prices would reduce the U.S. standard of
living. Turmoil in Asia and Europe would force major economic readjustment
in the United States, perhaps reducing U.S. exports and imports and
jeopardizing U.S. investments in these regions. Given that total imports and
exports are equal to a quarter of U.S. gross domestic product, the cost of
necessary adjustments might be high.
The higher level of turmoil in the world would also increase the likelihood
of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and means for
their delivery. Already several rogue states such as North Korea and Iran
are seeking nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. That danger would only
increase if the United States withdrew from the world. The result would be a
much more dangerous world in which many states possessed WMD capabilities;
the likelihood of their actual use would increase accordingly. If this
happened, the security of every nation in the world, including the United
States, would be harmed.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Mailman