[eDebate] missions

Malcolm Gordon malgor.debate
Thu Jul 9 17:50:08 CDT 2009


I agree with Jim.  The word missions is problematic.  Its best, most
limiting interpretations (the ones that exclude specific country/region
affs) are met by the word roles.  In fact, the only distinction i can find
between missions and roles is that you can misinterpret mission to include
hyperspecific tasks for nuclear weapons.

Fortunately, that interpretation of missions is so underlimiting I am hard
pressed to think of a scenario in which teams don't consistently win against
said hyperspecific affs.  This harps back to my original sentiments on 2 vs
3-it is a robust T debate that will dictate the direction of the topic.
Those topics are always fun (on fossil fuels 'must have a cap' won the
battle, and on middle east qpq won the battle for the most part).

It is a poor word choice (that conclusion is based on all the evidence i
have compiled, there could certainly be some as-yet-unfound distinctions
between mission and role), but one we can survive.  It is not a deal
breaker.

Think of it this way-if your rationale for rejecting 2 is that there are
some terms that maybe interpreted in ways that are completely unlimiting and
unmanageable, you have just made the justification for judges rejecting that
interpretation.  The assertion that "judges are defaulting to reasonability"
seems strange given this topic, where the limits arg for the neg on missions
is going to make it very difficult for the aff to win "reasonability."  the
questionably topical affirmatives that might cause negs to lose T debates on
reasonability (ps, if you are neg and keep losing T on reasonability when
you go for it.....do more practice debates) are most likely reasonable and
predictable (CTBT is a good example of this:  sure, there are some decent
reasons it might not be topical under 2, but this isn't an aff that is going
to jack your neg ground, or create an unfair burden).

Also, your fear of and/or T debates....well i judged over 100 debates on the
middle east topic, i can't recall one that was decided on and/or.  Inclusive
is exclusive was the dumb one that some teams (see: WFU) actually won
debates on.

The notion that because advantage areas are largely the same makes three
manageable is funny to me.  If advantage area was the only way we needed to
limit topics, then why have mechanisms?  Community consensus seems to be
decidedly against the idea that advantage area is a better limiter than
mechanisms. But if advantage areas are the way you want to limit the topic,
you have to reject 3.  The inclusion of a bilateral treaty with russia that,
as worded, explicitly allows things not related to nuclear policy is not a
good thing for the neg:

"Negotiation and implementation of a bilateral agreement with Russia that at
least includes a substantial reduction in nuclear weapons"

As long as the outcome of the negotiation changes posture AND the
negotiation includes a reduction in numbers, the aff is topical.  There is
no word the neg can rely on to limit the aff from offering completely
non-nuclear incentives to achieve Russia's saying yes, or asking Russia for
non-nuclear related items to complete the treaty.  Then the aff gets new
advantage areas, which you claim is the best way to limit a topic.  You
might be able to win that these affs are checked by at least, if you
interpret at least to mean only....

Under 2 this is not a problem because, first off, affs might not be able to
do multilateral action.  Making an offer would run the risk that the aff
does not reduce the role and/or mission.  This could be a deal breaker for
some people, but I am only talking about specific affs.  Any aff that
implemented an already negotiated agreement would be topical (for instance,
CTBT we have negotiated but not ratified.  Ratification, however, ensures
the aff has an immediate reduction).

So, multilateralism is likely allowed, but not negotiations.  I don't think
this is a major concern.  Modeling is not an unwinnable argument for me, and
if you don't think you can win modeling, there are very strong unilateral
affs that teams will have no problem defending.

Second, if you do think all multilat agreements are topical under 2, the neg
has more flexibility to prevent extraneuous offers because the resolution
does not explicitly contain the term "at least."

My views on multilateralism also point to another problem i have with some
of your justifications for rejecting 2-i think we are taking the topic blog
comments as gospel truth, when in fact they may not be.  Even since the
meeting there has been a lot of research done.  As of right now we are all
just talking about potential ways the aff could be topical.  Here is a good
example, a quote you used:

Plank three ?and/or missions of its nuclear weapons?, allows for the smaller

disarm cases, as the topic committee discussed ?MANCUSO: cutting warheads
would reduce the number of missions? with the same modifier as plank one.
Plank three also allows for the Russia concern to be topical under the blog
discussion ?MANCUSO: SORT and treaties that required negotiation would limit

the mission of the arsenal if it includes development and production of
weapons?. It also means that the same bilateral discussion would be topical
under two. The CTBT part of topic three is arguably topical under topic
two?s 2nd and third planks, depending on how you look at it which, which may

support the ?T, is good you should debate it out claims?, but in large part
the community will likely determine that CTBT is topical.

I don't agree that negotiations inherently limit the mission of the
weapons-the outcome of negotiations do.  I don't think the only way CTBT can
be topical is to argue it reduces our credibility.  In fact, if that's the
only way to be topical affs will likely lose to the deterrence DA.

My suggestion is that people assume that mission and role are synonyms when
they are thinking about 2, until someone produces conclusive evidence that
provides a distinction between them.

Ok, my 15 minutes of typing are done, got another wave of lab evidence to
sort through.  Sorry i didn't get into the "line by line" points you had on
why three was kickass, but most of what I said gets to these concerns.

malgor
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