Resolved: The United States should replace means-tested welfare programs with a universal basic income.

‘I’m afraid at times like this with overstretched budgets we all have to make sacrifices…’

Resolved: The United States should replace means-tested welfare programs with a universal basic income.

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The problem with this topic is that there isn’t really enough evidence out there to weigh the two option. UBI hasn’t been tried enough, and we don’t have data to compare it with means-tested welfare programs. That being said, the theoretical debate here is still pretty interesting, so let’s talk about it.

Definitions

Means-tested welfare programs – These are current welfare programs that provide specific assistance to people of low income, such as housing assistance, food assistance, etc… Robert Rector’s testimony before Congress explains it better than I can:

The means-tested welfare system consists of 79 federal programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care, social services, training, and targeted education aid to poor and low-income Americans. Means-tested welfare programs differ from general government programs in two ways. First, they provide aid exclusively to persons (or communities) with low incomes; second, individuals do not need to earn eligibility for benefits through prior fiscal contributions. Means-tested welfare therefore does not include Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, or worker’s compensation.

Universal Basic Income – A universal basic income is a cash payment provided to people each month that is intended to cover their basic needs. The important different that the resolution calls on you to evaluate is that a UBI has no restrictions. While it’s intended for basic needs, it’s just a cash payment, so the recipient can use it for anything they want. Importantly, you shouldn’t get caught up in the amount. The actual amount of the payment is irrelevant to the discussion of whether a UBI should replace means-tested welfare programs.

Pro

1. Means-tested welfare hasn’t worked. It’s time to try something you. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We’ve tried means-tested welfare, and while it may help some people, the programs are an administrative nightmare and do little to alleviate actual poverty. Let’s try something new.

2. Individual needs are not static. We like to think that you can plan a fixed monthly budget with fixed expenses. Means-tested welfare seeks to take care of individual line items on this monthly budget. The issue is that life happens, and things change. Therefore, it’s better to leave it up to the welfare recipient to determine how to use their money, rather than creating programs with restrictions.

3. Utilitarianism – A UBI works for everyone, not just some people. It also accounts for needs like dental care, for which it’s nearly impossible to create an effective welfare program. Since UBI casts the widest net, it’s a better option.

Con

1. Money needs to be used wisely to be effective. You can’t just give people who otherwise don’t have financial literacy or other life skills a sum of money and expect it to have positive results. They need to be taught skills and how to use the money wisely. Many people in poverty don’t have access to or knowledge of basic financial management tools, so the UBI will likely just lead to waste.

2. Why do we need to replace? There’s no reason we can’t do both to see how it works. Or, we can create a program that takes an exclusive either/or approach where a recipient can choose to get a cash payment or have access to a portfolio of specific means-tested welfare programs available to them. We don’t have to choose, so the resolution is posing a false dichotomy.

3. We have evidence that means-tested programs at least have a nominal positive impact. We have no evidence that a UBI works. Replacement would be hasty. We need more data and more evidence to test the efficacy of a universal basic income. Only then can we make an accurate determine.

That should help you get started. Good luck!

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Resolved: States ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

“A second bomb will not make us safer.”

Resolved: States ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

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Finally, we have a good topic. Let’s get to it!

Definitions

States – This term refers to any nation. Don’t get caught up in what exactly makes a state a state; it’s really irrelevant to the resolution. Especially in the context of the real world, all nuclear states are very clearly sovereign nations.

Affirmative

1. Veil of Ignorance – The veil of ignorance is a powerful position here. You can pretty consistently argue that, no matter who you are, you would want to live in a world without nuclear weapons.

2. Utilitarianism – The Utilitarian position certainly favors the elimination of nuclear arsenals. It would lead to the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, especially if nuclear weapons stop being a bargaining chip on the international stage.

Negative

1. Mutually Assured Destruction – Nuclear weapons are the only thing that can deter the use of nuclear weapons. If states get rid of them, that opens the door for non-state actors to access and use nuclear weapons with impunity.

2. Moral Conflict – There is value in promoting moral conflict through the existence of nuclear weapons. This will be a tough position to run, but a nuclear war that resets the impact of humans on the planet may not be a bad thing. It will prevent the progress of climate change, likely lead to a world in which nuclear weapons no longer exist, and reset the human development clock. Human life is only valuable because we place inordinate value on it. Instead, we should allow for globally catastrophic events to happen because they would solve so many problems.

That should help get you started. Good luck! And don’t forget to visit the Debate Academy if you’re looking for private coaching.

Resolved: The benefits of the United States federal government’s use of offensive cyber operations outweigh the harms.

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Resolved: The benefits of the United States federal government’s use of offensive cyber operations outweigh the harms.

Not only is this topic awful, it’s also impossible to debate because the civilian population has no way of knowing what U.S. offensive cyber operations actually are or what their effects are. I would be shocked if any high school student had intimate knowledge of U.S. cyber operations.

The other big problem with this topic is that it writes the framework for you by demanding that you do a cost benefit analysis. While normally that might not be so bad, it’s not possible to evaluate costs and benefits when you have no way of knowing what they really are.

I’ve never said this before, especially for a PF resolution, but I think running a kritik is the only appropriate way to debate this topic. So here’s what you’ll do for that on either side.

Pro

You can argue that the resolution is impossible for those without insider knowledge to argue because you have no way of knowing what U.S. cyber operations look like. Instead, you can propose an advocacy that assesses what are likely U.S. cyber vulnerabilities and what the U.S. can do to better prepare against threats to those vulnerabilities.

Con

The kritik is the same; the resolution cannot be debated because of lack of information. Instead, you can argue that the United States’ cyber apparatus has been turned on its own people, and we’re sacrificing liberty because of it. Edward Snowden is a great place to start when looking for information to support that.

Ultimately, I’m not happy about this topic, and it’s sad that debate is going in this direction. Best of luck, and don’t forget to visit the Debate Academy if you’re looking for private coaching.

Resolved: The United States ought to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels.

Resolved: The United States ought to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels.

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When did LD become PF? I don’t understand why we keep seeing these types of topics. LD used to be high level debate about moral principles and big questions, but we’re going more and more towards these garbage topics about public policy. Hopefully there’s a shift back the other way because I don’t know if I’ll want to do this much longer if it keeps going in this direction. Anyway, let’s get to it.

Definitions

subsidies for fossil fuels – This is really the only thing that needs to be defined in this resolution. Subsidies are basically some form of governmental incentive or tax break. In the case of the fossil fuel industry, there are a number of different types of subsidies that the U.S. provides. It’s important to note that the specific type of subsidy should not matter to your case. You should be debating the principle of the matter. Here’s a good place to find more information.

Case Positions

Remember here that your case will need to answer the question of how we determine what the United States government ought to do.

Affirmative

  1. Progress – A government’s first goal ought to be to promote societal progress – moral, economic, and otherwise. Civilizations perish because they are drowned by the tides of time. In order to progress as a society, the U.S. must get away from fossil fuels. They are a perishable resource, and eventually they will be too scarce to be reliable. Imperial conquering of resource rich lands will not be feasible in the future, and so subsidies need to be eliminated to direct society away from fossil fuel development into alternative renewable energy.
  2. Utilitarianism – As much as I dislike basic utilitarian position, this resolution provides a lot of room for a utilitarian calculus. A simple cost benefit shows that the U.S. is spending money on subsidies for dying industries that would be better spent elsewhere. Plus, it would be better for everyone due to the economic benefits of investing in clean energy.
  3. Survival – It times of great crisis, it can be argued that all governmental priorities should be directed toward survival. The realities of climate change create such a crisis. As such, the U.S., and all governments, should act in such a way to mitigate climate change and ensure the survival of the human race. Therefore, all subsidies for fossil fuels should be terminated.

Negative

  1. Moral Conflict – Nietzsche argued that the only way to determine the true morality or proper moral outcome was to let all ideologies compete openly, almost like a free market but for ideas. Fossil fuels and clean energy should be the same. We should continue subsidies for fossil fuels while also giving subsidies for clean energy. Let the industries compete, and survival of the fittest will dictate which one wins.
  2. Utilitarianism – There is a utilitarian argument to be made on the negative as well. It can be argued that ending these subsidies would have devastating economic consequences. While we might be moving toward clean energy, we’re certainly not there yet, and the U.S. economy continues to be largely dependent on fossil fuels. As such, it would be far more harmful to end the subsidies than to continue them.
  3. Lack of Timeline Kritik – It can be argued that the resolution is impossible to debate without a timeline attached to it. When should we end the fossil fuel subsidies? How long should we take to phase them out? A proper consequentialist analysis cannot be complete without a timeline because the short term, medium term, and long term consequences are completely different. After the critique, you can present a time-based counter-advocacy.

I hope that helps get you started. I’m sorry you have to debate this garbage topic, but good luck! And don’t forget to visit the Debate Academy if you’re looking for private coaching.

Resolved: The European Union should join the Belt and Road Initiative.

Resolved: The European Union should join the Belt and Road Initiative.

This is sort of an interesting topic. It’s also one I think is important for students to learn about because the Belt and Road Initiative is something that will significantly impact global development in the not so distant future. So let’s talk about it.

Definitions

Belt and Road Initiative – This is really the only important term in the resolution that merits definition. This initiative is a large infrastructure project which hopes to link basically all parts of the world. It is an effort to create land and sea routes from China, Southeast Asia, through the Middle East and Europe, all the way into the United States, effectively linking the entire globe. China has proposed it as a project to unite and connect the world, increasing global exchange and trust. Others see it as a ploy for China to implement a stranglehold on the global markets by creating a trade network dependent upon China for it’s operation. An important note for this resolution is that some countries like Italy and Greece have already signed on and agreed to cooperate with the initiative. Another important thing to note is that “signing on” to the initiative is really a meaningless gesture. Each infrastructure project within the initiative still requires its own negotiations and approvals. And like the Paris climate agreement, for example, countries are still free to reject anything they don’t see as fit, or even just not abide by the agreement, after signing on to it.

The framework of your case will depend on addressing the question of how we determine with the European Union should do. What should be the primary factors it considers when making a decision? Once you determine that, you can apply that to the question of the resolution to determine if the EU should join the Belt and Road Initiative.

Case Positions

Pro

  1. Global Exchange – Whether or not China intends to use the initiative as a way to increase its global influence, which it undoubtedly does, this proposal is an excellent way to increase global unity and exchange. These were central reasons for the founding of the EU to begin with, and the benefits are clear. The initiative will help the EU continue its mission, and because China is providing a significant amount of the financial backing, it will be at a relatively low cost. Also, some members of the EU have already signed on, so everyone might as well get on board.
  2. Economic Benefit – Robust infrastructure that fills in global gaps that exist today will help improve economic efficiency across the globe. The primary motivating factor behind the EU was economics. Countries joined to increase their economic strength and resources, and the exchange that came with it was just an added bonus. This is an opportunity for the EU to expand that economic mission to the rest of the world.

Con

  1. Moral Precedent – The EU exists to promote and encourage certain political and moral ideologies like distributive justice, democratic representation, etc… All EU countries have similar political systems, and certain countries like Turkey have been excluded because they are not ideologically similar. China has a history of continuing economic development regardless of political or moral considerations of right and wrong, as is demonstrated by its propensity of working with authoritarian regimes that Western democracies don’t work with. Signing on to China’s initiative would signal that the EU is more concerned about economic gain than about things like promoting human rights. It would allow China to spread its power and authoritarian regimes to have access to unprecedented resources.
  2. Security Risk – The first goal of any governmental body, like the EU, is to provide for the security of its people. China’s initiative poses a tremendous security risk. Increasing infrastructure links to rogue states and parts of the world that are home to radical groups and ideologies affords new opportunity for these dangerous ideologies to spread. It gives new avenues for terrorist to utilize. Not only that, China has a history of hacking and other technological warfare. The initiative would likely exacerbate those types of incidents, posing a significant security risk.

Alright, that’s it for now. I hope that helps get you started. Good luck! And don’t forget to visit the Debate Academy if you’re looking for private coaching.

Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions.

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Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions.

FIrst topic of the year! And wow is it trash. Not only is the topic phrasing awful, but I also don’t understand why it’s an LD topic at all. This topic doesn’t pose interesting clash, and it’s phrased in such a way as to have an agent of action that is incredibly difficult to evaluate as a moral agent. Not only that, we’re skirting around the actual issue of whether or not we should have standardized tests at all. It’s awful, but I suppose it’s what we have to work with. So let’s get to it.

Definitions

Standardized Tests – We all know what standardized tests are. They’re tests given to all students to measure their educational progress. The tests are all the same, with the same questions, given to each member of a particular subset of students. There’s no reason to get caught up in any sort of nuance here.

Every other term in the resolution doesn’t really merit definition. We all know what colleges and universities are. Don’t get caught up in the distinction between public and private institutions; it ultimately doesn’t matter to the moral question, in fact now a days there’s a lot of options, there are even online colleges for military available.

Your key focus here should be determining how we evaluate what colleges and universities should do. In particular, you need to explain how we determine what factors these institutions should take into account for undergraduate school admissions. Unlike government, the moral imperatives of educational institutions are not well elucidated. Importantly, I don’t think most students will have a preliminary understanding of the philosophy of education, unlike they do with social contract philosophy, for example. I would recommending reading this entry for some background.

Case Positions

Affirmative

  1. Distributive Justice – Research widely suggests that standardized tests have socioeconomic and racial biases. This is to say that people who are poorer and people of color consistently perform worse on these tests than their wealthy white counterparts. Not only that, the entire industry is being shown to be less about evaluating students’ actual competency and instead about corporations making money. Since the first virtue of any social institution is to uphold/promote justice, colleges should do that which promotes justice. Using standardized tests as criteria in admissions directly violates principles of distributive because of the above points. Since colleges are social institutions, this would violate their primary directive. Many different justice theorists like Aristotle and John Rawls can be useful for this position.
  2. Autonomy – One of the most widely accepted theories on the purpose of education is that it is supposed to equip people for becoming autonomously functioning human beings. Standardized tests are the exact opposite; they seek to rob individuals of autonomy by evaluating everyone against the same standards. Since the purpose of education is to promote autonomy, colleges should reject anything to do with standardized tests altogether.

Negative

  1. Economics – Colleges are primarily economic institutions. Their goal is to create individuals who can best contribute to society and its economic welfare and productivity. As such, standardized tests should be a primary criteria for admissions decisions because they are a strong indication of an applicant’s economic viability. If a student has high standardized test scores, they are likely to continue having high test scores throughout college. This is economically beneficial and also a strong indication that the student will have a positive economic contribution once they graduate. Importantly, the most economically productive countries like China and Japan have doubled down on standardized testing, having even more rigorous examinations than the United States.
  2. Justice – The first virtue of any social institution, including colleges, is fairness. Standardized testing is the most fair way we can have of evaluating students. Importantly, upholding the importance of standardized tests sets an objective universal standard of educational justice for the entire system to uphold. This encourages every level of the system to eliminate barriers to students succeeding on standardized tests, which improves fairness across the board.

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! And don’t forget to check out the Debate Academy if you’re looking for private coaching.

Resolved: The United Nations should grant India permanent membership on the Security Council.

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Resolved: The United Nations should grant India permanent membership on the Security Council.

This is an interesting resolution. Ultimately, it’s not one which has huge impact points one or the other, but it’s interesting to consider how the UN should make decisions. To that point, it’s important to remember that that is the central question of the resolution. How does the UN determine what it should do?

Definitions

You don’t really need to define anything for this resolution as all the terms are pretty self explanatory. What you do need to make sure you do, though, is have a framework which explains how the UN should make its decisions. Then you need to apply that framework through your contentions to address the resolution.

Pro

1. India is a super power – Security council seats should be determined by a country’s influence on global security. India is a nation that has a dramatic influence on global security. Not only has it been involved in repeated military conflicts with Pakistan, but it’s geographic location in South Asia puts it right between China and the Middle East. It is a necessary cross through for trans-Asian trade and military movements.

2. Military strength and contributions – Few nations contribute more “peace keepers” to the UN than India does. Additionally, India is a nuclear power, which immediately puts it into contention for the security council seat. FDR’s original intent for the security council was to be a police force for the different regions of the world. South Asia and the Middle East lack a representative warden on the council. India is the best candidate for the seat.

**Note: I will make an additional point here that affirming the resolution doesn’t mean other countries should be excluded. You’ll get a lot of, “Why not Japan, Germany, or Brazil?” And you should be comfortable saying, “Sure, give them seats as well.” The same criteria apply to those countries too.

Con

1. The UN Security Council should be dissolved – This resolution affords a great opportunity for a counter plan or kritik (in PF, I know right?!). We can argue that the UNSC is an outdated body that might have made sense after WWII to address fears of another Hitler, but it is actually a barrier now that the political landscape has change. The allied empires are long gone, and though Russia and China might have helped the allies in WWII, their political growth has been dramatically opposed to democratic ideals. Ultimately, the result is that India should not be granted a permanent seat, nobody should. The UNSC should just go away.

2. India has a bad track record – India does not have a good record of security. Terrorist attacks, military conflicts, and even genocide are present within the country’s recent history. Seats are limited, so a country like Germany or Japan will be much better suited to take one of the permanent seats. While their histories may be similarly negative, they have made great strides and progress in changing, while India has not.

Like I said, ultimately this is a low impact theoretical discussion, but hopefully these points help you get started. Good luck!

Resolved: The United States should promote the development of market rate housing in urban neighborhoods.

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Resolved: The United States should promote the development of market rate housing in urban neighborhoods.

Oof, what is it with these terrible topics? I don’t understand what people are thinking anymore. What is there even to debate here? So little research has been done, and available data is so limited, that the debates on this are going to devolve into emotion battles about which side the judge feels is right. On the bright side, you’ll probably learn things you didn’t know before, but the resolution is worded so poorly that all of that will probably be lost. But alas, it is what we are given, so let’s do the best we can.

Definitions

Market rate housing – This is housing that is build without rent restrictions. Often, in urban neighborhoods, rent restrictions will be put on housing construction. The owner can only rent it for so much. This has historically been one solution to creating affordable housing.

Urban Neighborhoods – The word “urban” here doesn’t necessarily mean within a big city. Rather, it refers to poor, often minority, neighborhoods within any greater metropolitan area. It will be important to define this properly to prevent bad debate.

The most important part of your definitions is going to be determining how we determine what the U.S. should do. The trouble here is that there isn’t a clear agent of action. The government can enact policies, sure, but the U.S. contains many more actors like housing developers and citizens. They are also relevant. Your framework will need to clearly define an agent of action and then explain how we determine what that agent of action should do. The easiest agent of action to talk about is the government, so that’s what we’ll focus on here.

Pro

1. Societal Welfare – The government’s entire purpose is to promote societal welfare. If it fails to do that, then what’s the point of having one? Market rate housing promotes welfare. Areas where there are market rate developments fare better economically than areas with rent controls. Additionally, market rate housing attracts developers to build more because they can more easily sent rents. Urban neighborhoods have severe housing shortages, and this will promote new construction to end those shortages.

2. Progress – How do we make things better than they are now? Market rate housing will help urban neighborhoods accelerate their development. A society is marked by how well it provides for the least advantaged members of its society, so the U.S. should promote market rate housing in the least advantaged neighborhoods.

Con

1. Market rate housing promotes poverty – Rent controls don’t just appear out of thin air. They appear because landlords charge exorbitant rents to exploit the citizens in an area, particularly in areas with housing shortages. Remarkably, there is no shortage of housing for people who have money. The shortage exists for those people who don’t. Instead, the government should invest in affordable housing initiatives. Developers aren’t attracted to urban neighborhoods anyway, and market rate housing won’t solve that. After all, not every urban neighborhood has rent controls, but new construction is still sparse.

2. Market Freedom – The U.S. government should not interrupt the free market. Let the market decide what rent should be and where development should occur. That will result in the best situation for everyone.

3. U.S. Constitution – This type of economic regulation is beyond the constitutionally permitted powers of the U.S. government. It is not an exercise necessary to regulate interstate commerce, and therefore, should not be permitted. It is a violation of property rights and economic freedom.

There you go. That’s a start at least. Good luck!
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Resolved: The illegal use of drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.

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Resolved: The illegal use of drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.

This topic is a load of hot garbage, legitimately one of the worst I’ve ever seen. I get where it was trying to go, but the wording is so poor, that debate on the actual topic will effectively be non-existent. It also does not belong in LD, at all. Nevertheless, we have to do what we have to do, so let’s get to it.

Definitions – You fortunately don’t really need to define terms per se. However, you will need to utilize the entirety of your case to define what it means to treat something as a matter of public health vs. a matter of criminal justice. Ostensibly, the resolution wants you to debate things like punishment vs. rehabilitation. The problem, however, is that’s a false dichotomy. There’s no reason there can’t be both. And some public health/mental health issues are actually addressed through imprisonment. It will be a challenge to navigate these things, and you’ll need to make sure your framework is tight.

Affirmative

1. Utilitarianism – This is a pretty basic position you can run on this topic. Basically, when we treat illegal drug use as a matter of criminal justice, everyone suffers. Drug users stay addicted, taxpayers pay for them to be in jail, and drugs keep being bought/sold on the illegal market. When we look at the cost/benefit of it all, it clearly harms way more people. Treating it as a public health issues allows for the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.

2. False Dichotomy Kritik – I almost never advocate for Ks, but in this case, I actually think it’s really powerful, even on the Affirmative. You can argue that the resolution poses a false dichotomy between punishment and rehabilitation that doesn’t exist. No substantive debate can actually occur when the world created by the resolution is one of fantasy. Therefore, you pose an alternative resolution which says that drug addiction is effectively treated when approached from a perspective of public health. That affirmative is really easy to prove. And importantly, it also has impacts to the actual resolution if your judge is a toolbox and doesn’t buy the K.

3. Veil of Ignorance – This is also a very powerful position for this case. Imagine if you woke up the next day and were a drug addict. You wouldn’t want to just be locked up without any treatment or consideration. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to pay taxes for someone to be imprisoned in a similar fashion. It’s clear that from behind the veil, we would want to treat drug use as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.

Negative

1. False Dichotomy K – I actually think this is the most powerful position on this resolution. The resolution should be negated not because drug use shouldn’t be a public health issue, but because that doesn’t mean it isn’t also treated as an issue of criminal justice. The two are not mutually exclusive. People can be treated while also paying penance for the crimes they’ve committed.

2. Fear – There are many philosophers who argue that fear is the most effective/only deterrent against crime. If we begin treating drug use as a public health issue, then that deterrent is eliminated. People will more readily try drugs and become addicted because they know that it isn’t so bad on the other end. Fear maintains law and order, and the government should prioritize that.

3. Doctrine of the Mean – Similar to the K, but not structured as such, the virtue position argues that we don’t need to fall on one extreme. We need the help of the law to deal with drug lords and cartels, but we can also provide better for the public health by helping addicts get the treatment they need. Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean would espouse taking such a middle ground.

Well, there you go. Hopefully this helps you navigate this garbage topic. And don’t forget to visit the Academy if you want private coaching or to purchase briefs.

Resolved: The United States should end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

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Resolved: The United States should end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Hey! Here’s a topic that’s interesting and politically relevant. It creates some good direct clash, so let’s talk about it!

Definitions

Not much to define here; you pretty know what all the terms in the resolution are. Arms sales are the sale of any military arms. Other than that, the most important word in the resolution is “should.” You’ll need to establish a framework that explains how we determine what a government should or should not do, then use that framework to evaluate the resolution.

Case Positions

Pro

1. National Security – Saudi Arabia is a known state sponsor of terror and demonstrably had a hand in 9/11. Selling arms to the Saudi regime not only arms a regime which is clearly antagonistic towards the U.S. but also inserts dangerous arms into a region of the world where terrorists could easily gain access to them. Historically, such arms deals have only armed those who harm the U.S. later.

2. Democratic Ideals – The United States should carry out actions which promote democratic ideals across the world. Saudi Arabia oppresses its people, suppresses basic human rights, and is rife with corruption and violence. Selling arms to a regime like this allows them to stay in power and carry out genocidal military actions like the attacks on Yemen. The U.S. should not enable such things to happen.

3. Arms sales come at the opportunity cost of energy independence – Arms sales with Saudi Arabia allows the relationship between the two countries to continue to exist. A part of this relationship is the oil the U.S. purchases. A conflict limiting the supply of oil would push the U.S. toward energy independence out of necessity. This is the direction the country should be moving anyway, so it would be for the best if the U.S. began severing its ties with Saudi Arabia.

Con

1. National Security – Arms deals with Saudi Arabia help protect U.S. interests in the Middle East. It ensures the maintenance of a cooperative military partner and bolsters a relationship that maintains U.S. access to critical oil. Despite the Saudi regime’s history, it’s better for U.S. security interests to continue arms deals.

2. Economics – The U.S. should make decisions that promote economic welfare for is own citizens. Saudi arms deals provide a large source of income and promote U.S. trade and influence in the Middle East. They are economically better for the country and should therefore continue.

Alright, that’s what we’ve got for now. The con side is going to be a little more difficult for this resolution, but it’s still doable. I hope this helps. Good luck, and please post your comments and questions below!