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Summary: Running national security as a value allows a debater to impact the resolution to real-world politics for justifying preemptive warfare.
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About "National Security (AFF)"
This case is simple, logical and effective. Running national security as a value allows a debater to impact the resolution to real-world politics and provide an understandable framework for justifying preemptive warfare.
The basic premise of this case is that governments are morally obligated to protect a nation’s security, and, since preemptive strikes are often necessary to maintain or achieve security, preemptive warfare is morally justifiable. However, it is crucial to the success of this case that the judge understands the definition of preemptive warfare. For a strike to qualify as “preemptive,” the initiating country must be acting out of self-defense. For instance, if I were to preemptively attack someone, I would be attacking that person because I deemed her a threat and not simply because I wanted her wallet. As the definition of preemptive warfare specifically states, a country must be acting out of self-defense and not out of aggression.
Emphasizing this link to self-defense allows a debater to avoid the obvious negative argument that war endangers civilians and harms the economy. After all, a country must maintain the right to proactively safeguard its citizenry and its resources especially under conditions of imminent danger. This means that an action normally considered immoral is justified when the safety and stability of a country is at risk. Personal and national survival is a morally legitimate justification for a government to take preemptive action.
Some negative rebuttals might try to accuse this case of adhering to the Machiavellian “end justifies the means” mindset, where allegedly any action is justified by the end it produces. Machiavelli used this argument to rationalize tyranny, positing that it was justifiable since it often led to unity and victory in war. This argument can be disputed by making a vital distinction. The affirmative position is NOT that countries can do whatever they want so long as they make themselves more secure. Instead, this case posits that the security of a nation justifies any action that is completely vital to public safety. If a political tactic is not essential for security, it is not necessarily morally justifiable. In this case, preemptive warfare is crucial to national security and is therefore justified.
In order to win with this argument, it is important to avoid getting caught up in individual negative applications. Remember the most fundamental rule in debate states that time = importance. Spending excessive time on negative applications indicates to the judge that they are important. Instead, strive to guide the debate away from these applications by emphasizing your value and framework. For instance, if a negative team brings up three examples of abusive preemptive warfare, try to focus on proving why those particular countries were not acting out of self-defense. Brainstorming general ways to refute applications will greatly increase the amount of time you have to invest in your own case, bolstering its impact.
The impact of this case is one of its strongest persuasive attributes. A country that fails to protect its national security could be easily endangered and eventually eradicated. Because this danger must be avoided at all costs, preemptive warfare is morally justified. The ethical objections the negative side may present, many of which can be discounted, will pale in comparison to the impact of an entire society being shattered.
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