[eDebate] Topic three is problematic to me

searwr6 searwr6
Tue Jul 7 14:59:12 CDT 2009

I agree with Nick's concerns about #1.  However, I think 2, and not 3, 
is the best alternative.  It provides a more predictable mechanism: affs 
must either reduce the size of the arsenal, or the salience of nuclear 
weapons for strategic planning purposes, or both.  Arguably, an aff such 
as de-alert would be topical under this interpretation, because it would 
reduce the role nuclear play in national security.  That isn't clear 
cut, but I think that's a good thing.  Healthy T debates are 
educational, fun, and haven't played much of a role in the past few 
topics.  I think it would be good to have one for a change that, as 
Malgor said, allows the aff and neg to adjust the scope of the topic 
based on their topicality skills.

I disagree that 3 is not a random hodge podge.  It is, and the assertion 
that its all "super duper related since its all about nuclear weapons" 
is just plain wrong.  That's like saying the Lebanon aff on Middle East 
was super-duper related to Iran since they're in the same region of the 
world.  No, no, no.  3 includes changes in force structure, force 
posture, bilateral agreements, and treaties.  Each of these, in of 
itself, is a huge area of discussion, with incredibly different 
mechanisms and implications.  That the advantage areas will be similar 
remains to be proven, and isn't a reason the topic will be manageable.  
Proliferation, and how best to combat it, is not a small debate, and 
your neg to the aff that attempts to solve it by unilaterally cutting 
our weapons, as opposed to the one that does so through subtle changes 
in declaratory policy will have to be different, or you will lose.

Moreover, DA links from one area of the topic are not only not 
applicable to other affs, they often directly contradict, creating huge 
problems for teams that prepare for the season by trying to compile 
generics.  This is most clearly true for the Russia aff, which I 
consider problematic enough to void the entire resolution.   Bilateral 
arms control agreements are very different from unilateral reductions, 
and writing both into the topic deprives the neg of important cp and DA 
ground, while also pushing them towards the fringe of the debate by 
making generic "nukes good" arguments the only stable ground.  It would 
be much better, I think, to have some debates about the /way/ we disarm, 
than solely about whether or not we need every last nuke.  Topic 3 makes 
that nearly impossible.

And yes, I realize there are cards that say the new arms control 
agreement didn't jack deterrence, or whatever. That's not the issue, 
although it would be nice if the year started off without one of the big 
affs already in the process of being done.  The issue is whether people 
will tack tiny modifications onto that, and claim large advantages off 
of them that aren't related to nuclear weapons in the least.  This will 
happen if resolution 3 wins.  In response, people will probably resort 
to things like condition cps, which are stupid and horrible, but perhaps 
appropriate in this situation.  This is not a question of the "number of 
affs," but of predictability, and what kind of debates we want to be having.


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