[eDebate] topic wording trasncripts

Steve Mancuso spmancuso
Fri Jul 10 11:27:43 CDT 2009

I wanted to remind everyone of the valuable resource of the transcripts from the topic committee meetings. The Wake Forest debaters who produced them did an outstanding job. They are virtually verbatim. You will find there answers to some of your questions about why certain words were chosen, what we thought certain words meant etc.? 

The link is: http://topic.cedadebate.org/

Briefly: I like the term "missions" the best, by a considerable margin. It refers to the specific tasks undertaken by nuclear weapons. It is tangible and measurable. Banning counterforce targeting restricts the specific tasks of the nuclear arsenal, quantitative reductions proportionately cut the tasks as well. One of the missions is "survival from a first strike" so plans that lower the alert status would restrict this mission, as would declarations of no first use.

To me, the problem with "roles" is that it has several kinds of meanings. Some are very broad, like "deterrence" or "defend the nation" which the affirmative might have a difficult time they substantially reduce. There are other definitions of "role" that equate it to specific tasks - which means "missions".? No one at the committee meetings seemed willing to defend the former, broader defintions as viable.? We included both "roles" and "missions" as a compromise.? We spent quite a bit of time hashing this out in detail, so the transcripts should be very enlightening. 

The initial resolution that I proposed was: The USFG should substantially restrict the missions of its nuclear arsenal.? 

If you have any additional questions feel free to backchannel me. 

Steve Mancuso
NDT Topic Rep.
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