Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.

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militaryspending

Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.

I just got done writing the LD topic overview, and I was relieved to be done with that terrible topic. Then, I saw this one. In what delusional universe could anyone possibly think that spending more than the $1 trillion we already spend on “defense” is the solution to responding to international conflicts? People have written entire books on why that thought is so misguided as to not even be a consideration. But for some reason, 67% of you decided that this is what we should be debating. I hope you’re happy with yourselves, and I hope you’re happy destroying the minds of our youth.

Definitions

International conflicts – This is an incredibly broad scope. It technically includes everything from environmental conflicts to genocide to terrorism. Terrorism is the most politically relevant topic area considering the modern world, but there’s probably a lot of room to argue about other areas of conflict as well.

Significantly increase – I’m only reviewing this definition to point out that it doesn’t matter. Whether spending is increased significantly or not is not the question. You can pick any arbitrary amount and call it significant. 25%, 50%, 75%….none of the numbers really change what the debate is actually about.

Military Spending – This is also incredibly broad. What exactly qualifies as military spending? There is the obvious stuff like guns and fighter jets, but what about intelligence personnel? Or clerks at the Pentagon who file paperwork? Technically, the debater is responsible for including everything. That being said, the type of spending is really irrelevant. The question is whether or not dumping money into military efforts will solve the problems.

Should – The most important word in the resolution. You have to first determine how the U.S. government determines what it should do in order to argue the resolution.

Case Positions

Pro

  1. We Aren’t Keeping Up – The U.S. military needs to increase research and development, along with deploying more personnel on the ground. These are the most effective ways to keep up with the growing number of military engagements that we have to deal with, and increased spending will allow us to do this.
  2. Non-Military Conflicts – Resource conflicts, environmental conflicts, and refugee crises all require additional military spending to deal with. If we can use military initiatives to address these problems before they spill over international borders, we’ll be in a much better place.

Con

  1. Spending Isn’t the Problem – Look at the history of U.S. counter terrorism policy. Study after study has shown that what we’re doing isn’t effective and is in fact exacerbating the issues. Yet, we keep doing it. Spending more money on initiatives that don’t work isn’t a good approach.
  2. Opportunity Cost – We like to pretend that the military budget exists in a vacuum, but it doesn’t. Increased military spending means either higher taxes or decreased spending in other areas which desperately need it like education and energy.

Good luck!

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