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We are in Thucydides Trap with China


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X9000Tiger
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We are in Thucydides Trap with China
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Acceptance Round
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Argument Round
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My opponent will attempt to prove to you that war is inevitable if two strong military powers exist. However, the pin that holds his argument together is the word inevitable. All I need do is prove that two strong military powers existed, escalated in power, but did not go to war. I will be giving these examples to support that war is not inevitable.

  1. Sweden
  2. Neutral Countries
  3. The cold war between U.S. & Russia
  4. Globalization creates Peace
  5. Logic and history show this not to be true

 

 

1) Sweden

First, we have Sweden who gained its reputation for neutrality during World War II. Surrounded by Military powers and war between them Sweden stayed neutral, and war was not inevitable for them. [Cr1A] Quite the opposite, Sweden military has time and time again entered hostile areas, not engaged in war, and garnered peace. (the opposite of a Thucydides Trap) And let me be very clear the Swiss have a military, and they could enter war, but choose not to.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/armed-neutrality/29289102

 

2) Neutral Countries

While Sweden’s neutrality is the most impressive many countries have stayed neutral when surrounded by war. Austria, Ireland, Finland, Malta, Turkey, Vatican City, etc were all neutral during WWII, but if you fast forward to today the number of neutral countries is even larger. Even going so far that 22 countries don’t even have a military. [Cr1E]

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-who-remained-neutral-in-world-war-ii.html

https://www.adducation.info/general-knowledge-politics-religion/all-neutral-countries/

 

 

3) The cold war between U.S. and Russia

The two biggest military powers in the world have ever known escalated in military and economic strength for years without war. The best example of how close you can come to war and it still not be inevitable is the Cuban missile crises. On Sept. 26, 1983 Stanislav Petrov decided that the U.S. launch reports were probably a false alarm and averted a nuclear war. He received a reprimand, but war was not inevitable. (and the cold war lasted 45 years)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/world/europe/stanislav-petrov-nuclear-war-dead.html

http://www.ushistory.org/us/52a.asp

 

4) Globalization creates Peace

As we move toward globalization it has the opposite of effect and it’s becoming more and more difficult for aggressive countries to function. “An increase in global trade openness would reduce the probability of military conflict as it leads to an increase in bilateral trade interdependence.” So as trade, commerce, and tourism increase between countries it becomes less and less in their best interest to start a war.

https://voxeu.org/article/globalisation-promotes-peace

 

 

5) Logic and history show this not to be true

I have mentioned many countries that have resisted the trap, and I have even shown how countries are progressing toward more peace and less war in general. But we need do nothing but look at history and you can see that military conflict has continues to decline even though neighboring countries have militaries. “Examining armed conflict empirically over a decades-long perspective, we find that it has decreased — interstate war has become a rare event, and intrastate conflict has lessened in frequency and magnitude, despite a recent uptick in violence.” If logic is applied with globalization in mind, the obvious conclusion is that we are headed for peace.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1904.html

 

Conclusion

The war between Athens and Sparta was just as preventable as any other war. The isolation of that time allowed the leaders to believe there was no other option, but that’s simply not the case. Lacking the ability to see a peaceful outcome doesn’t mean one does not exist. As I have shown countries like Sweden and Switzerland stayed neutral surrounded by enemies, so it is possible. Other countries have taken of the neutrality banner as well and our world progresses toward peace even if still hit speed bumps like Trump who escalate rather than deescalate the situation. As I have shown with Petrov event if we are on the brink of war we can still come back from the edge, proving there is no line at which war becomes inevitable.

 

It’s easy to get into the slippery slope fallacy mindset, but just like two bullies puffing out their chests and trying to intimidate each other, much of what goes on is nothing more than posturing for their audience. We have pasted the stage in history where people like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, or Genghis Khan can attempt to concur the world, without the world uniting against them. We now have checks and balances in place that deter countries from open conflict between each other. I have shown not only that wars aren’t inviable they are declining even as their respective firepower increases.

 

I found that Free links B, C, D and F are removing the ":" out of the link string so I only used A and E. If you have problems with the free links I'll post those links in the comments. Also the editor covers the submit button so you need to click outside of the box to be able to click submit. (just more issues that need to be fixed)

In this debate i will focus on the reason why we are in a Thucydides trap. Like my opponent said war is inevitable. But i will show my opponent and the viewer that we are headed in this process. In some cases we already in the early stages of this trap. Big wars runs in cycles, like in American history, The American Revolution, the Civil War, WW1 and WW2. This can be research in the Thucydides trap. They been 16 cases of this happening in the last 500 years. 12 of them when to war. "Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" By Graham T. Allison. Wars happen because countries challenge the dominance power, over trade, territorial areas, military, and economy. I will address your argument later in this round.  But first i will give my reasons why we are headed toward a war. The first part is North Korea. This probably the most significant part in all of this. China will back North korea, if the US strike first. (China said this) "state-owned newspaper warned Friday it would intervene if Washington strikes first". (1.) https://www.washingtonpost.com Having a leader like trump does make the world unsafe, because world leaders can't trust him and he is sending out mix messages on going to war or not with North Korea. And not having any communication with them can or will lean to miscalculations. And like i said if the US start this. It will not be NK alone. Trump not making his foreign policy clear, and this is dangerous. We have  multiply leaders already saying they would use nuclear weapons. This does not create peace and stability. All one have to do is lunch one, to cause chaos. My second part is trade between China and the US. "President Trump signed an executive memorandum Monday afternoon". (2.)https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/08/14/trump-administration-goes-after-china-over-intellectual-property-advanced-technology/ this will likely trigger an investigation into China"s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property, a measure that could eventually result in a wide range of penalties as the administration seeks a new way to deal with what it calls Chinese violations of the rules of international trade. The theft of intellectual property by foreign countries costs our nation millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars each and every year.  Once the US find evidence of alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property, Trump then will slap tariff on Chinese goods. China will then also slap tariff on the US goods. Yet that coercion might unleash a trade war between the two biggest economies they would effect everything from soy-beans to smartphones. Their is more proof we are headed toward a trade war too. My third part China man made Islands. "The commander of the U.S. Pacific Command has warned of China's growing military might, saying Beijing has unilaterally built "seven new military bases" in the South China Sea".(3.) http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/02/16/18/china-has-7-new-military-bases-in-s-china-sea-us "China has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which over one-third of global trade passes." (4.) http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/02/16/18/china-has-7-new-military-bases-in-s-china-sea-us My fourth part is the Arm Race. "China has Completed seven build Military BasesPhotos show Beijing’s militarisation of South China Sea in new detail". (5.)https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/06/photos-beijings-militarisation-south-china-sea-philippines "China's modernization of its armed forces is proceeding faster than many analysts expected." (6.) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-43036302 "Russia and China are developing 'destructive' space weapons, US intelligence warns". (7.) https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/14/russia-china-developing-destructive-space-weapons-us-intelligence.html "Trump plan calls for new nuclear weapons". (8.) https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/02/trump-plan-nuclear-weapons-386087 I will only take on 3 & 4th of your points. The Sweden part kind of irreverent in this debate. I know you try to compare it to this situation, but it really not there.    Keep in mind every generation, has peace but it never last. The leaders of the US and the Leaders of the Soviet, were old enough to remember what actually happen with big powers get in a war. So nothing happen but nowadays our leaders actually don't remember because they never live though it. And the North Korea is comparable to the missile Cuban crisis. I will explain later if need be. The other part you have is peace. That is the main goal. But it was the main goal for every one but that still don't stop wars. Like ww1 and ww2. The general public was blind side by both wars. History keep on repeated it self. If you look through out human history we always have major wars and time of peace. This will always be the case. It doesn't really matter if we have nukes or not. There is room for misunderstanding, room for miscalculations by both parties. US in the pacific. "Top US general: China will be 'greatest threat' to US by 2025".https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/politics/dunford-us-china-greatest-threat/index.html

Rebuttal Round 1
  
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My opponent both contradicts and concedes the match. First “war is inevitable.” And then later says “16 cases of this happening in the last 500 years. 12 of them when to war.”. That means con admits and concedes that a Thucydides trap does not inevitable lead to war. Obviously if there were four times when a Thucydides trap did not lead to war then it can’t be inevitable but that’s the resolution of this debate. I really shouldn’t have to go any further, and you can quit reading if you want, but I’ll respond to his points.

 

1st rebuttal

Con’s premise requires two pieces (we start war with N Korea, and China enters that war) to make happen and he’s only weakly proven one. (China will join the war)

 

1A - Our impending war is that will start a war with North Korea. If North Korea starts the war China won’t join in, and this inevitable war is bypassed. How easy do you think it would be to get North Korea to commit an act of war? No proof has been given by Con that should the leaders of this country want to have a war with North Korea they couldn’t find a way to get North Korea to start it. The U.S. has a history of using the U.N. to start wars they want to commit. We are currently at war with like 8 countries and it’s all approved by the U.N. so we have a long history of manipulating other countries into doing something that gives us the ability to attack them.

 

1B – China may say that they will join in, but that’s not proof that they will do what they say. Con mentioned tarrifs and we currently have some strong tariffs on China’s imports. Trump as already alluded that the U.S. would be willing to remove some of those tariffs if China played ball and help deal with North Korea.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/world/asia/trump-china-trade-north-korea.html

 

So as you can see not only is it more likely that North Korea starts the war than the U.S. but there is also a chance that China will take the economic trade carrot to allow the U.S. to use the stick on North Korea.

 

2nd Rebuttal

Con’s premise is that there will be an investigation into intellectual property theft, AND that the investigation will lead to a tariff which “might” create a trade war.

 

2A – A trade war is not a Thucydides trap, and there is no bloodshed, so the whole point can be ignored, but Con even goes further and only states that this chain of events (which if any link in the chain doesn’t come to pass breaks the chain) “might” cause this trade war. Let me state that again. Even in the worst case scenario where the investigation of China happens, that investigation finds proof of the theft, the U.S. imposes tariffs, China imposes tariffs in return, and at that point Con isn’t certain or not if it will cause a trade war. Con’s second point can be dismissed.

 

3rd and 4th Rebuttal

Con uses the building of 7 new military bases for both points so I’m combining the points.

 

3/4A – Having more military bases doesn’t prove that war is inevitable. If it did the 800 military bases in 70 different countries the U.S. has would be plenty to have already caused this war that Con is say will happen. Con has done nothing to prove that military bases equal war, or that having 7 of them is somehow the tipping point. Many countries have military bases and they aren’t at war with the U.S.

https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/ wiki/List_of_countries_with_overseas_military_bases.html

 

Sweden - Counter

Sweden has a military and was in a military conflict zone but did not go to war when other countries of the same military strength did, and they continued to do this for over 100 years now providing peace instead of war. This proves that war is not the only answer, nor is it inevitable. Con needs to prove why the comparison isn’t there, as I have satisfied the burden of proof, Con must satisfy his burden of proof.

 

U.S. and Russia - Counter

Con doesn’t address this point but merely says “our leaders don’t remember what happened”. This is a red herring. What is currently known doesn’t change the fact that the two powers were on the brink of war, and still walk away proving that war isn’t inevitable. After stating this red herring Con agrees that the situation with North Korea is comparable with the Cuban missile crisis reinforcing the strength of my point.

 

Main goal

It is naïve to believe that “everyone” main goal is to stop wars, nothing could be further from the truth. Many countries have shown that they want war for various reasons. The U.S. for oil. Palestine over religious goals. Africa over racial hatred goals. The world is full of people who want to kill other people, but those conflicts are being contained to small regions because of globalization. As more countries become more dependent on globalization we will see more peace. War is not inevitable, and the likelihood of a world war becomes less and less as every decade passes. Leaders like Trump and Kim are seen on the world stage as imbeciles and aren’t respected. Who follows an idiot into war?

Okay, first off this is a warning. I did say war is not a guarantee. Just like Graham T. Allison, in his book he didn't guarantee anything. Just preparing his viewer on the possibility of a big war. He paint a picture on how war is possible with China. By showing history as a example. And history has a good history of repeating itself, not in the same ways of other wars. But the path toward wars has similarities to other big wars. As i mention before countries challenge the dominance power, over trade, territorial areas, military, and economy. You can see all of these area the US and China is challenging each other on. Graham also wrote in his book on a positive outlook for those two countries. If they take the right steps. But as of right now, both are headed toward a war path. Look at ww1 and ww2 the general public keep saying they is no way for a big war to break out. Guess what? They were wrong. If we not carefor, mankind will be in the same position like the past. Now i will go over your rebuttal and my arguments.

The North Korea part 2. You say we are baiting the North in to striking first. I will tell you yes and no. We are, but the North doing the same there here. (1)"The Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty is a treaty signed on July 11, 1961 between North Korea and the People's Republic of China." This is a treaty with the North Korea and China. Do you know why it's important? It because China would protect them if there were attack first. China help them in the first Korean war. While the US helped the south. So history has a lot of importance here, we need to understand it, so in the future, we don't do the same mistakes. The Chinese government has issued hundreds of warning to the US, not to attack the North. Why would they be so concern, if they weren't going to do anything? By the way US and China relationship isn't going all that well either, same with Russia. Both of Russia and China are now closer than ever before. So it not crazy to think Russia would get involved here too. If the US attack first you will be Risking China intervention by helping North Korea. (2) "North Koreans don't want war - to them, nuclear arms are simply a bargaining chip". Just because North Korea make threats doesn't mean they will act on them. North Korea know they can't attack first, they know they would lose. Kim want to stay in power not lose his power, so there for he will not attack first.

The trade war. The reason i bring up the trade war that is coming. Is this it will make both relationship status tense and untrustworthy. This will be toxic, and war between the two countries will be iching more closely than ever before. Why Because it will hurt both countries economy. (3) "President Trump's decision Monday to slap tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines risks inflaming tensions with China and other big U.S. trade partners." A trade will not help both countries. So you can't dismiss this as evidence, when in fact, it will help add fuel to the fire.

Sweden is not a superpowers nor is Switzerland. So trying to prove peace over there is really nothing. It not like they would bring a global mess like two superpowers would like the US and China. Global fire power(GFP) rank has Sweden at 29 and Switzerland 37 respectively. This is nowhere near the level of the US nor China. Even the cold war. This is not even close to comparison. I have to dismiss this. I would appreciate it not to waste anymore space regarding this issue than i already have.

The Cold War The age difference between ww2 and the cold war is a huge difference. This is why I'm saying we falling in a trap. And wars big wars run in cycles. It take 70 to 80 years. The reason is because the older generation die off. So the new generation don't remember and will end up making the same mistake toward the path of war. The cold war never turn in to a hot war for two reasons. One because of Mutual assured destruction (MAD). The other is because the leader live though the second world war. So this didn't want to start another world war. All it takes is one miscalculation, one mistake, and a couple of buttons pushed, and we have nukes flying. We should be careful about the future. Having a leader like trump does make the world unsafe, because world leaders can't trust him and he is sending out mix messages on going to war or not with North Korea. And not having any communication with them can or will lean to miscalculations. And like i said if the US start this. It will not be NK alone. Trump not making his foreign policy clear, and this is dangerous.

Have you ever heard of this the doomsday clock? It real, and it does have real value. Just this year in January, a group of scientists move the clock to 2 minutes. The closest toward nuclear war since 1953. Global peace won't save us from misunderstanding, miscalculations, nor the new arm race that is happening right now. "Beijing has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which more than a third of all global trade passes." it more than just military bases. It's a direct threat toward peace and for trade.

Sources

1.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-North_Korean_Mutual_Aid_and_Cooperation_Friendship_Treaty 2.https://amp.independent.ie/world-news/north-america/north-koreans-dont-want-war-to-them-nuclear-arms-are-simply-a-bargaining-chip-36024863.html 3.http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/23/news/economy/trump-solar-china-trade-war/index.html 4.https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp 5.https://thebulletin.org/timeline

6.http://m.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2133483/china-has-built-seven-new-military-bases-south-china

Rebuttal Round 2
  
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In the argument round Con stated, “Like my opponent said war is inevitable.” And then in Rebuttal round 1 my opponent says that “I did say war is not a guarantee”. Which is it? Is it guaranteed and inevitable or not guaranteed and therefore not inevitable? Con is trying to play both sides of the field with his position. Either a Thucydides Trap means that war is guaranteed or it’s not. From Thucydides "What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_T._Allison#Thucydides_Trap

 

WWII

Just because there are some similarities between now and WWII does not mean that we are headed to war. The U.S. has not begun the conquest of other countries and if they did it citizens would revolt. The power of media propaganda has lost much of its bit since proof has come to light of how the U.S. lied about weapons of mass destruction to initiate war in the middle east. It’s hard to believe that citizens would allow themselves to be duped again with by the press given Trump is undermining their respect daily.

 

Friendship Treaty

Con wants to say they are concerned because they have issued 100s of warnings, but issuing 100s of warning with zero action shows that they don’t want to escalate war with the U.S.  and they are just beating their chest.

 

Making threats

Con concedes here that “Just because North Korea makes threats doesn’t mean they will act on them.” Which supports the counter that it’s all just talk and theater on the international stage.

 

Trade war

Con also concedes that a trade war will hurt both countries supporting the globalization check that deters countries from falling into the Thucydides Trap of war. As Con says “A trade [war] will not help both countries.” To many we are already in a trade war with China with the tariffs put on solar panels.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/23/news/economy/trump-solar-china-trade-war/index.html

 

Not a superpower

Con wants to dismiss Sweden and Switzerland because they aren’t superpowers, but neither is North Korea, and many don’t feel like China is either. Economically speaking they are better either country, and militarily North Korea is 23 so they aren’t far apart on that scale either. Also, there is no requirement that a Thucydides Trap can only happen between superpowers. Con needs to prove why North Korea counts but Sweden/Swiss don’t, AND that only superpowers can be in a Thucydides Trap before the point can be dismissed.

 

Cycles

Con continues to say that war comes in cycles, but in rebuttal round 1 Con stated a time frame to these cycles of “70 to 80 years”. Given that WWII ended 1918 and it’s exactly 100 years later, his words about cycles of wars can be dismissed.

 

MAD

Con provides another check for the reason we are not we are not headed to war. If Mutual assured destruction prevented the cold war from turning into a hot war then, it would do the same thing now. This supports my position that we are not trapped into a war.

 

Leaders lived

Con states that the second reason the cold war didn’t turn hot is because the leaders didn’t die. Well by that logic we are still good because we haven’t had any leaders die.

 

Doomsday clock

The doomsday clock is just the opinion of a group of people, and is not in any way “proof” that we are closer to war. The clock has received much criticism as to its bias and inaccuracy.

https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/the-doomsday-clock-measures-liberal-angst-not-global-risk/

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