[eDebate] Reduce "reliance"

Brian DeLong bdelo77
Sun May 17 01:50:21 CDT 2009

Stefan's criticism of "reliance" as a term of art is dead on.  The  
problem with deterrence and how we "rely" or "use" it as someone else  
suggested as a verb to place in the resolution is that it's perceptual.

Case in point:  There is evidence that indicates that Reagan would  
have never launched nuclear weapons, even in the event that the Soviet  
Union first struck us.  Does this mean that the Reagan admin really  
were not "relying" on our nuclear deterrent.

To what extent are we relying on nuclear weapons now?  This is a  
source of massive academic debate.  It is also a point of debate  
within non-us academic, and governmental circles.  How much does Iran  
really believe that we are going to launch nuclear weapons at them?   
Those that perceive our nuclear deterrent to be "uncredible" will  
ultimate decide that we are not relying on them at all.

The term of art can be found in many places, as the topic paper  
suggests, my problem is that it may not bet the best limiter to keep  
our focus on the topoi of nuclear weapons themselves.

Building a badass space weapons superstructure would probably reduce  
our reliance on nuclear deterrence.  PGMs shows how much we can  
surgically destroy major components of our enemies infrastructure.   
Why not just rely on them more by increasing their development and  
deployment etc.

The community should vote against reliance as a term that is in the  

On May 16, 2009, at 8:13 PM, Stefan Bauschard wrote:

> Does reducing "reliance" really require the Aff to link to the  
> deterrence DA?
> It seems that U.S could reduce "its reliance" on "its" nuclear  
> weapons in Europe to deter a Russian invasion by substantially  
> augmenting its conventional forces and/or changing its force  
> structure there. Without making a single significant change in its  
> nuclear posture in Europe, the U.S. would still be reducing its  
> "reliance" on nukes to stop a Russian invasion because it would now  
> be more heavily relying on these conventional forces.   What's the  
> "nuclear deterrence good" link in this instance? I suppose you could  
> spin a story about how if we increased our conventional force  
> strength it would be perceived as us giving up on nuclear  
> deterrence, but that seems to be quite a stretch.  And it probably  
> wouldn't be a terribly unique link story.
> This isn't just same made up thing. I'm sure you could find  
> proposals to increase our conventional strength in various parts of  
> the world so that we would be "less reliant" on nuclear retaliation.
> The cards in the topic paper on pages 40 & 41 do suggest that an  
> expansion of conventional forces is possible, though they do talk  
> about reducing reliance on nuclear forces AND shifting to greater  
> conventional strength through various means. The cards do not say  
> that you have to do nuclear cut-backs to reduce reliance on them.  
> And it just seems kind of intuitive that substantially improving our  
> conventional force capabilities would reduce the reliance we place  
> on our nuclear weapons to deter and retaliate.
> The word "reliance" does seem to appear a lot in the literature, but  
> that doesn't mean it's the best way to divide ground for the  
> purposes of a debate. And unless this reading is unreasonable, it  
> seems that increasing conventional force strength (without nuclear  
> reductions) could be a very good and strategic area of affirmative  
> case ground.  Was this intended?  Is this what we want?
> ok, back to poverty and social services :(
> -- 
> Stefan Bauschard
> President & Co-Founder, PlanetDebate.com
> Debate Coach, Harvard Debate
> Director of Debate, Lakeland Schools
> Founder & Editor, Politicsarguments.com
> (c) 781-775-0433
> (fx) 617-588-0283
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