[eDebate] Topic Three is problematic to me

Guido Randazzo luaghingagain
Tue Jul 7 12:03:25 CDT 2009

I think I am in favor of resolution #3, although admittedly I haven't done
much research into the specific wordings (i.e. all our "disarmament

At first glance, however, resolution #1 is unappealing. It seems very vague.
The disarmament pillar of the NPT seems like the most obvious example, but
is it the only? Is there a list? I don't really know.

My greater concern is that it is overly limiting. Would taking our weapons
off hair trigger alert be consistent with our *disarmament* commitment?
Would no-first use? Would CTBT? I don't understand how it could, seeing as
how those policies are not disarmament policies (since they don't decrease
the number of nukes). I think those are important affs to have; to have a
nuclear weapons topic that can't discuss Declaratory Policy/Operational
Policy seems like a waste.

However it is also broad. For example, if we stop researching nanotech
nuclear triggers or hafnium bombs, we've become more consistent with our
disarmament commitments. The weapons possibly considered nuclear that the
U.S. has and is developing is rather large. To me, this resolution makes
these affs T. I believe both resolution #2 and #3 solve this concern.

My reading of resolution #2 solves some of these concerns. It allows changes
in declaratory policy (no first use, etc.) but does not allow changes in
Operational policy. Admittedly I am also confused by the two "and/or"
splices. It seems very confusingly worded.

I don't completely get some of the objections to resolution #3. First, the
list does not seem like a random hodge-podge at all. Ratification of CTBT is
advocated by pretty much everyone who favors nuclear disarm. Adoption of
declaratory policies are also huge parts of the lit (No first use, etc.).
Same with operational readiness. All of this stuff is super-duper related,
since its all about nuclear weapons. Moreover, most people who talk in the
context of reducing our nukes talk in the context of doing it with Russia.
To not allow the aff to do this would be lame.

For the aff's under res #3 the advantage areas for all the affs are pretty
much the same. Prolif advantage, accidental launch, terrorists stole my
nukes, I mean the list is not very long. This is in large part where the
generic ground comes from. The generic ground is pretty similar for all the
affs -- for instance,  almost every DA against a substantial unilateral
reduction is a DA against reducing along with Russia. Many DAs (i.e. "allied
prolif") apply to all the affs. There is obviously an absurd number of CPs,
most of them with highly similar themes/actions, to all the affs. I don't
think there is a case that has nothing to do with the rest of the cases. Of
course there will certainly be Black Swan cases that we simply can't
predict, but resolution #3 is no more vulnerable to that than resolution #1
or 2.

Uniqueness problems with Russia? Perhaps. I have seen at least 10 articles
that say "if we go any lower than what we just agreed to, we're in big
trouble." And there's always the uniqueness CP and the unilat CP. In my mind
there's a big difference in capping the number of nukes at 1600 and capping
the number of nukes at less than 1,000, and I believe there is plenty of ev
in the lit to back that up.

I'm not worried about the number of affs when I'm neg any more than I'm
worried about the obscene number of neg positions when I'm aff. That being
said I support resolution 3.

Nick Brown
Vandy Debate

On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 2:49 PM, Josh <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am traditionally a list lover, however, I have to admit to having a TON
> of problems with this topic the more I do research on the area.
> **
> *Resolution 3: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should
> substantially change its nuclear posture in one or more of the following
> ways:
> -- Ratification and implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban
> Treaty
> -- Adoption of a nuclear declaratory policy substantially reducing and
> restricting the use of its nuclear weapons
> --A substantial reduction in the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal
> --Negotiation and implementation of a bilateral agreement with Russia that
> at least includes a substantial reduction in nuclear weapons
> --A substantial decrease in the operational readiness of its nuclear
> weapons.*
> **
> My first objection is that parts are accidental (the list isnt bound by a
> common generic theme) and certain parts of this topic are different enough
> to make a squad looking for common generics to have problems.  I have always
> believed that lists are good when they are unified and debate out poorly
> when they are an attempt to shoe horn "cases" into a list.  This is the
> latter IMHO.  I supect you will say Deterrence DA applies to all of these
> things and thats probably so although I suspect operational readiness might
> have some interesting holes to expose in that one.
> **
> Second, the declartory policy arm arguably makes sense but is kind of
> confusing and certainly not using a term of art
> **
> *Adoption of a nuclear declaratory policy substantially reducing and
> restricting the use of its nuclear weapons *
> Reductions are force structure policy NOT declatory policy.  Declatory
> policy is NOT reductions....Even establishing NWFZones is not a reduction in
> the weapons or the use of weapons per se. I get that the topic says reducing
> the use of its weapons...but what the hell does that mean.  Either all
> declarations are a use of nuclear weapons meaning all changes of declatory
> policy reduce and restrict that use....OR it means actual reductions and
> restrictions of deployments.  In other words, its a confusing and
> unnecessary distinction (I assume you didnt want people to be able to
> increase uses of weapons through declatory policy but if the current policy
> is a use I am not sure if that is a meaningful distinction).
> Third, this is the real big problem:
> *Negotiation and implementation of a bilateral agreement with Russia that
> at least includes a substantial reduction in nuclear weapons *
> Guess what, the real life version of this was announced in principle as
> agreed to yesterday, minor modification affs become pretty sweet and hard to
> beat I suspect.
> I also had more than enough CTBT and its never ending sack of add-ons that
> were each more absurd than the one before (testing causes the center of the
> earth to warm accounting for global warming was one such gem)
> Anyway, just thinking out loud and there hasnt been much topic discussion
> going on......
> Josh
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