[eDebate] Fwd: Nuclear Wording

michael hester uwgdebate
Mon May 18 09:53:20 CDT 2009

oops, my post should probably be part of the community-wide discussion.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: michael hester <uwgdebate at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, May 18, 2009 at 10:51 AM
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Nuclear Wording
To: Michael Antonucci <antonucci23 at gmail.com>

Can this concern over how broadly "use" might be interpreted be addressed by
something like this...

The United States government should substantially limit the use of its
nuclear weapons as battlefield weapons and/or strategic deterrent.

This way, deep cuts in stockpiles and changes in posture which significantly
reduce when/where/against whom nuclear weapons could be used would each be

This discussion is an important one. My initial opinion is we're better off
having a topic that allows AFFs to  address both force structure AND force
posture, even it means risking making the topic so broad that it allows AFFs
to do one or the other. i'd rather that occur than have the topic limit AFFs
to just posture or just structure, and create gaps which hobble solvency.
e.g., a topic that excludes changes in posture would mean an AFF that did
deep cuts would lose to the the "less missiles = increased hair trigger"
solvency args that the advocates of deep cuts clearly don't assume b/c their
advocacy includes changes in posture too. if the topic is going to include
disarm as topical ground, it HAS to include changes in structure, or the
Disarm AFF would lose to the "you prohibit usfg use of weapons but leave
thousands of missiles lying aroundm unable to be touched by military

On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 9:29 AM, Michael Antonucci <antonucci23 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Malgor:
> "That the United States federal government should significantly limit the
> use of its nuclear weapons"
> "Nuclear use" has a pretty specific meaning in the literature, as does
> "nuclear use policy."  It means 'sploding stuff with big boom boom boom.
> http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/06_1.cfm
> http://www.acronym.org.uk/docs/0203/doc02.htm
> etc.
> One might interpret the sample resolution more broadly, as you suggest, to
> include deterrence as a potential "use," and thereby let in cuts.
> I dislike such interpretations because they're at odds with the available
> literature.  "Nuclear use" clearly describes force posture, not force
> structure.  It means "when we make the boom" not "how many boomsticks we
> have at our disposal."
> If you have to contort the available lit to let in the core, it's much more
> difficult to make credible T arguments against the periphery.  The
> periphery, in this case, would include numerous safeguards against nuclear
> terrorism and, perhaps even more problematically, critical cases that merely
> claimed to reconstitute our relationship to nuclear weapons.  The critical
> cases could just change the "use" of nuclear weapons in our dreams, hopes
> and symbolic order.
> I'm all for these sorts of critical advantages, but an aff should have to
> attach them to a more concrete action for the purposes of negative ground.
> --
> Michael Antonucci
> Debate Coach
> Georgetown University
> Mobile: 617-838-3345
> Office: 202-687-4079
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