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Resolved: The United States should withdraw its military presence from Okinawa.
This is probably a good topic for students to learn a little something. Most people don’t know about the U.S. military presence in Asia and how we handle business in that part of the world. That being said, the debate will actually be pretty shallow. There aren’t many good reasons to go one way or the other, so rounds will likely become tennis matches unless students develop some creative positions.
Okinawa – Okinawa is an island chain to the south of Japan. The United States has historically maintained a strong military base there as a launching point to the rest of Asia/Southeast Asia
Withdraw its military presence – Do not get caught up in how much of the military presence is to be withdrawn. For the sake of the debate, just assume that the United States will no longer maintain a military base(s) on the island chain of Okinawa.
Should – This is the most important word in the resolution. Your framework will need to explain how a government decides what it should do. Then you will apply that framework to this specific situation to argue the resolution.
1. Unnecessary Expenditure – The United States’ primary obligation is to its own people. It should be spending toward that obligation above other things. Maintaining a military presence in Okinawa does not promote the interests of the American people, and therefore, is an unnecessary effort that does not fulfill the obligations of the U.S. government.
2. Political Conflict – The people of Okinawa do not want a U.S. military base in their home, and since WW2 is over, we do not have a reason to continue to maintain one there. We are violating principles of international law, as well as the self determination of the Japanese people, by doing this.
1. Security – A government’s primary obligation is to protect its own people. That is the reason governments are formed to begin with. A military presence in Asia is integral to fulfilling this obligation for the U.S. Countries like North Korea are a legitimate threat, and Okinawa allows the U.S. to maintain the possibility of a rapid response to any hostile activity. It also acts as a deterrent against any such hostility.
2. Obligation to Japan – The United States has committed to protecting Japan against foreign threats. This is particularly important since Japan is not allowed to have its own standing military. In order for the United States to honor this commitment, a military presence is Okinawa is necessary.
That should help you get started. Good luck!