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Dartmouth-Estrada-Tambe-Aff-Northwestern-Round5 (1)

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1AC
1AC – Arms Sales – NU
1AC Secrecy
Contention 1: Executive Secrecy.
Executive military secrecy blurs the line between war and peace.
Horton, former President of the International League for Human
Rights and Lecturer at Columbia Law, 15 – Scott, Partner Patterson, Belknab,
Webb & Tyler, JD UT Austin, Co-Founder of American University in Central Asia and Sanghata
Global. Served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonne, (“LORDS OF SECRECY. The
National Security Elite and America's Stealth Warfare” p. 109-200)
Conflicts that involve lower-profile military engagement are managed by largely anonymous
national security elites. Some of them stream across the media stage as talking heads. Others remain unknown to the public while
influencing the figures in the executive who increasingly make all the decisions. This includes
the nation’s national security elite—figures who occupy key decision- and policy-making positions in agencies charged with the nation’s defense, like the
Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the NSA, which is emerging from obscurity
as a result of scandalous disclosures—as well as dozens of others, particularly in the area of intelligence gathering
and analysis. I call these elites the lords of secrecy for several reasons. They are by and large the sources of secrecy, and they
control, through classification powers, what the public is allowed to know. Increasingly they use
secrecy to enhance their own power and authority, both in notorious intra-agency rivalries and at the expense of
Congress and the public. Secrecy is highly corrosive to any democracy. When facts are declared secret, decisions
that need to be made with knowledge of those facts are removed from the democratic process
and transferred to the apex of the secrecy system, where only the lords of secrecy can influence them. What is properly public thus becomes the property
of a private and secretive group who claim to hold a proxy for the public. The public may learn of neither the issue that has arisen nor the decisions taken, nor even the lethal steps deployed in their name. As
the role of the Congress in determining where the U.S. military would
the awesome power of our weapon systems would be unleashed, has diminished.”7 And the role of the American populace
senator (and former Navy secretary) Jim Webb puts it, “Year by year, skirmish by skirmish,
operate, and when
in this process has faded almost into oblivion. This book holds no brief for any particular approach toward national security and foreign affairs. Rather, it focuses on the fundamental question of how national
The president and his team will always be the
implementers of policy, and history has consistently given them the key role as formulators of
policy as well. But in questions of war and peace, America has been careful to ensure that the
president’s power of initiative has been balanced with some form of congressional action.
Congressional deliberation has, in turn, historically been moved to a great extent by public opinion—
security decisions are managed in a democratic state on three levels—the public, Congress, and the executive.
some voices calling for retribution or passionately assessing a threat to the country, others urging caution and warning that the costs associated with a war can rarely be forecast with any certainty nor the outcome
known with any great assurance.
How does America go about making decisions on war and peace? Is this
process evolving? Is our current process consistent with the vision of those who framed the American Constitution? Does it match our claim to be a democracy? The way a country goes about making vital decisions
about its national security is a good sign of whether a country’s claims to be democratic are genuine. Most nations around the world today make some pretense of democracy; it is now widely (outside of theocracies
like Saudi Arabia and the Vatican) accepted as the only source of state legitimacy. Yet in most nominal democracies, the people have no say about whether their nation goes to war or makes peace. Are the people
able to gather information and do they have a meaningful voice, whether through a formal or informal process? Or
is war invariably presented as an
unavoidable fait accompli by their leaders? Sometimes nations are attacked or invaded and war is thrust on them. These wars rarely prove controversial. A more
difficult case exists with respect to wars of choice, when a nation can elect to start a war or not, often based on differing assessments of nonexistential threat, the costs, and the benefits imagined to flow from a war.
America has changed the way it makes fundamental national security choices over time, influenced by factors such as the modern technology of warfare, which collapses response times and puts a premium on the
state’s ability to respond rapidly to perceived threats. But perhaps the most powerful factor driving change has been secrecy. All governments use secrecy, particularly in connection with military and diplomatic
The role of secrecy in America has accelerated steadily, first with the advent of nuclear
technology, then with the commencement of the cold war, and finally—and almost inexplicably—after the cold war with a
series of nonexistential threats involving modestly armed and organized terrorists. As we will see, secrecy
has transformed both the way America wages war around the world and the way it shares
information about threats and its own operations with the American people. Today Americans know
less about what their national security forces are doing than ever before. And Americans frequently know less than citizens of other nations. The consequence of this
information blackout is that Americans also have less effective say about what their country does
and what strategies and objectives it pursues. Decision-making authority has passed from the American people, the ultimate sovereign, and the Congress, the
dealings.
organ of oversight and balance, to the president and his unelected and essentially unaccountable advisers in the national security arena—the lords of secrecy.
Blurred lines of war cause never ending violence
Brooks, Professor at Georgetown Law Center, 14 – Rosa, Professor of Law,
Georgetown University Law Center. (“Duck-Rabbits and Drones: Legal Indeterminacy in the
War on Terror” 25 Stanford. L. & Pol'y Rev. 301-316 (2014))
this has institutional consequences as well as legal consequences . As our national leaders frequently remind us,
the United States now faces a wide range of unconventional, asymmetric threats from an
ever-changing enemy who will try to fight us in ways not traditionally recognizable as warfare.
The enemy’s weapons, we are told, will range from suicide bombs and cyberattacks to economic warfare
and bio-engineered viruses . If this is so, then anything that helps us counter the enemy’s activities
can also be construed as part of warfare, and as appropriate activities for the U.S. military. 31 As our
understanding of what constitutes warfare expands, our understanding of what constitutes the appropriate role of the U.S. military has expanded correspondingly. Today, the U.S. military
engages in everything from spying and Internet data collection to health care, economic
development, and governance reform programs. But this in turn means that we lose any clarity
about what a military is for, and what, if anything, makes it distinct from other institutions. In the post-9/11 world,
what is it that distinguishes the military from the intelligence community (which has itself become increasingly paramilitary
in its structure and activities since 9/11)? What distinguishes the military from the State Department or USAID? When
intelligence agencies carry out drone strikes and the military collects cell phone metadata of U.S. citizens and operates
agricultural reform programs in Afghanistan, do we have any basis at all for drawing lines
between “civilian” and “military” tasks and institutions? What will this blurring of
institutional lines mean for the military itself, and for its role in domestic politics? How do we make sense
All of
of—and apply—notions of civilian control of the military when the military’s role and mission has become so blurred? It’s possible, of course, that many of these changes would have occurred even without 9/11 and
the unique constellation of personalities and ideologies that made up the Bush Administration. After all, the 9/11 attacks didn’t come out of nowhere: the technological and political shifts that enabled them had
Qiao Liang
and Wang Xiangsui, both colonels in China’s People’s Liberation Army, published a slender little book called Unrestricted
Warfare. 32 Historically, wrote Qiao and Wang, “the three indispensable ‘hardware’ elements of any war” have
been “soldiers, weapons and a battlefield.”33 But, they warned, humanity is on the verge of an era in which
all these elements will be transformed beyond recognition: in this brave new world, soldiers will
be computer hackers, financiers, terrorists, drug smugglers, and agents of private
corporations as well as members of organized state militaries, and weapons will range
from “airplanes, cannons, poison gas , bombs [and] biochemical agents” to “computer
viruses, net browsers, and financial derivative tools.”34 Soon, warned Qiao and Wang, warfare will “transcend[] all boundaries and
limits . . . . [T]he battlefield will be everywhere . . . [and] all the boundaries lying between the two
worlds of war and non-war, of military and non-military, will be totally destroyed.” In consequence,
“visible national boundaries, invisible internet space, international law, national law, behavioral
norms, and ethical principles [will] have absolutely no restraining effects.”35 Outside of some narrow military
and intelligence circles, Unrestricted Warfare attracted very little attention at the time of its publication. Today, it looks prophetic . As Qiao and Wang warned, when
the boundaries between war and nonwar, military and non-military have eroded, both law and
morality begin to lose their force. The boundaries between war and non-war are no less vital for being socially constructed, for if
we can’t figure out whether or not there’s a war—or where the war is located, or who’s a
combatant in that war and who’s a civilian—we have no way of deciding whether, where, or to whom the law of war applies. Yet
if we can’t figure out what rules apply, we lose any principled basis for making the most vital
decisions a democracy can make: what is the appropriate sphere for the military? When can
lethal force be used inside the borders of a foreign country? Which communications and activities can be monitored,
been decades in the making. Indeed, a small number of scholars and military thinkers had begun to speculate about the changing nature of warfare well before 9/11. In 1999, for instance,
and which should be free of government eavesdropping? What matters can the courts decide, and what matters should be beyond the scope of judicial
review? When
can a government have “secret laws,” and when must government decisions and
their basis be submitted to public scrutiny? Who can be imprisoned, for how long, and with what
degree, if any, of due process? Who is a duck, and who is a rabbit? Ultimately: Who lives, and who dies?
And causes PSC use.
Horton, 15 – former President of the International League for Human Rights and Lecturer
at Columbia Law. Scott, Partner Patterson, Belknab, Webb & Tyler, JD UT Austin, Co-Founder
of American University in Central Asia and Sanghata Global. Served as counsel to Andrei
Sakharov and Elena Bonne (“LORDS OF SECRECY. The National Security Elite and America's
Stealth Warfare” p. 109-200)
the new surge in military contracting presents a special challenge, the rise of private security companies (PSCs)—mercenaries,
companies sell governments the ability to
deploy quickly into hostile areas, use lethal force aggressively and without the limitations that
the professional military is trained to respect, and do so in total secrecy. Contractors are also private companies. They can shield
their activities from congressional oversight by claiming business confidences. One of the most important
benefits that PSCs sell is the ability to skirt the political concerns that surround a decision to
send soldiers into harm’s way. Americans may well be concerned when their spouses, sons, and daughters are
sent abroad to fight a war. Do they have the same concern when the risk and the brunt of conflict are managed
by Academi (formerly named Blackwater) or Triple Canopy? The world has now developed a $100 billion private security
industry.10 Private security contractors can fill a gap that opens when a democratic government
wants to deploy forces to some dangerous corner of the world but does not want to face questions from its population
motivated by concern for the safety and well-being of young men (and increasingly also young women) in its armed forces. But heavy reliance on contractors rather
than on troops may also enable national security elites to skirt the duty of public debate and
democratic decision making surrounding complex foreign entanglements. It dilutes democracy further.
One particular aspect of
though the legal definition of the term is so narrowly drawn that almost any organization can navigate around it. These
PSC oversight solves unaccountable wars that escalate – the US alone
determines norms
Stanger and Williams, Professors of Polisci at Middlebury, 6 -- Allison
Stanger and Mark Eric Williams are respectively Professor and Associate Professor of Political
Science at Middlebury College. (“Private Military Corporations: Benefits and Costs of
Outsourcing Security” http://yalejournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/062101stangerwilliams.pdf)
oversight gaps enhance the prospects for inefficiencies, irregularities, and squandered
resources. For instance, a September 2000 GAO report demonstrated that Brown and Root collected more than $2.1 billion above contracted expenditures for its work in the Balkans, nearly doubling
Such
the amount stipulated in the original contract.33 More recently, the Halliburton corporation and its subsidiary, KBR, have come under fire for a variety of billing irregularities, including $108 million in
overcharges for gasoline shipped to Iraq from neighboring Kuwait, and $27 million in overcharges for meals served to American troops at five bases in Iraq and Kuwait in 2003.34 These irregularities may be just
the tip of the iceberg. In 2004 the Pentagon’s own auditors determined that Halliburton had failed to account adequately for over $1.8 billion of contracted work in the Iraq and Kuwait theaters of operation.35 In
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ top procurement official told lawmakers
“unequivocally” that “the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR represents the most blatant and
improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my [twenty-year] professional
career.”36 Given the potent mix of minimal PMC oversight, a “market for force” whose oligopolistic structure limits competition, and the profit-maximizing nature of PMCs themselves, unnecessary
testimony before Congress the
expenditures may well be the norm rather than an aberration.37 Until these problems are resolved, the dramatic cost savings that privatization enthusiasts envision seem unlikely to materialize. Buyers and Sellers
in the Market for Force Identifying the benefits and costs of outsourcing reveals a great deal about how implementing foreign policy via PMCs can affect Washington’s foreign policy calculations and the political
ramifications of this practice, but much less about its future utility. Gaining traction on the latter point requires an understanding of the main contours of the current market for force. Political scientist Deborah
Of the United Nations’ 191-state
membership base, just twelve states are currently home to PMCs that provide military advice, training, and logistical and advising
support. Only twenty-one states are home to PMCs that offer site and personnel security as well as crime prevention and
intelligence services. Some big states are noticeably absent. China and India, for example, do not appear on either list, while Russia is barely represented. In contrast, the United States
dominates both lists, followed by the United Kingdom. The United States is not only the world’s largest provider of
private military services, but also its largest consumer. In fact, its supply and consumption pattern
Avant has provided the best inventory to date of existing private military providers on a global scale.38 Her findings are illuminating.
suggests that, at the global level, the current market for force reflects the overwhelming power of the
United States in the postCold War international system. Should the United States lose its monopoly status, however, the advantages it derives from outsourcing could decrease commensurately. To
illustrate the significance of monopoly status, consider a counterfactual analysis of Washington’s Balkans policy that holds all factors constant, save for the U.S. monopoly of contractor activities. What happened
was that an American PMC, licensed by the U.S. State Department to assist an informal U.S. ally, helped the United States tip the balance of power between the Croats and Serbs in ways that ultimately produced
the Dayton Peace Accords. In the counterfactual, another external power—perhaps Russia—might broker a parallel contract between a Russian PMC and the Serbs. In this scenario, the likelihood of escalating
conflict rather than a movement toward peace would rise markedly. In terms of outsourcing’s future utility, this example suggests that the importance of monopoly status cannot be overemphasized. The question,
therefore, is whether there are good reasons to believe the United States may find it difficult to monopolize the provision and consumption of PMC services over the long-term. Currently, a three-pronged firewall
maintains the United States’ monopoly status: a smaller demand for PMC services by non-U.S. clients; a smaller supply of military services by non-U.S. and non-UK private military firms; and other countries’
unwillingness to confront the United States. The first prong of the firewall stems from the financial constraints of would-be clients and the contracting constraints imposed by the U.S. State Department, which
would likely prevent an American PMC from exporting its services to a U.S. adversary. The second component reflects the private military sector’s more rapid growth among advanced industrial economies, while
the third is a function of superior U.S. power and perhaps the friendly relations Washington has had with many nations in the past. While the first prong is reasonably stable for the near term, there is nothing
above and beyond the perpetuation of U.S. power itself to bolster the second and third dimensions of the firewall. No aspect of this firewall, therefore, should be considered a permanent feature of the international
landscape. The assumption that insurmountable barriers will prevent new buyers and sellers from entering the market for force is probably rooted more in wishful thinking than in the reality of globalization.
Although many states do lack robust financial resources, this factor has not deterred even governments of developing countries such as Angola, Congo, Liberia, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone,
and Sudan from employing PMCs. And while the U.S. State Department may refuse to license contracts between American PMCs and U.S. adversaries, such states, if they are truly “in need” or feel compelled to aid
an ally, could still employ non-U.S. firms. Looking ahead, adversary states which face threats that their own militaries cannot handle or that still shy away from a direct confrontation with Washington may well
find the resources to hire non-U.S. PMCs, provided such firms are available to contract. That availability, in turn, depends upon the development of a larger non-U.S. private military sector. How likely, then, are
more PMCs to emerge outside of the U.S.-UK orbit? There are good reasons to believe that states like China, India, and Russia will not sanction the development of a large private military sector or the export of
their own military’s strategies and skill sets via private firms. These states, after all, jealously guard their military capabilities, exhibit less infatuation with the market than the United States or the United Kingdom,
and so far, have been less willing to see private military actors develop alongside their own armed forces. Still, if the market for force demonstrates anything, it is that firms that provide private military services can
earn enormous sums of money. The profit motive, tax potential, and lax global regulations that govern this sector might well entice other states to follow in Anglo-American footsteps. One can easily imagine
scenarios in which India or Russia, and perhaps eventually China, might encourage the development of a private military sector in order to create economic growth and jobs, then seek to monopolize the ends that
such forces serve. Especially since the United States and the United Kingdom have led the world in commercializing realms previously untouched by market forces—with other countries following suit to stay in the
game—it is hard to see why the copycat dynamic flagged in Table 1 would stop at the door of privatizing security. It would be difficult indeed for the United States to mount a credible protest against other states
that embrace the same tactics that Washington itself pursues. Finally, Washington’s recent penchant for unilateralism could lower the threshold that, to date has made states unwilling to confront the United
States. Indeed, it may already have. Even before the current U.S. unilateral thrust, political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote of the potential for an anti-hegemonic coalition to develop among developed and
rising powers.39 Since then, many governments have taken a dim view of the United States’ unilateralist foreign policy and have demonstrated a greater willingness to confront Washington than before on matters
of low and high politics. Meanwhile, many erstwhile members of the “coalition of the willing” have quit the Iraq enterprise even though Washington deems it the centerpiece of its foreign policy in the Middle East
and despite U.S. entreaties to remain engaged. Such developments could make it easier for adversarial or even friendly states to contemplate employing PMCs to advance their interests, even when such actions
privatizing the implementation of
American foreign policy has at least three significant implications for world politics. First, although the
democratic deficits that outsourcing yields deeply trouble Americans concerned with conserving democratic accountability and transparency at home, these
deficits also bear on international stability. Deliberation and transparency are hallmarks of liberal
democracy, and in the realm of foreign policy these same properties tend to reassure other
states, even undemocratic ones, that a democracy’s foreign policy actions can be anticipated, and that
any abrupt policy change will be signaled well in advance. Because states of all stripes base their own calculations upon such signals, the less transparent policymaking
becomes via outsourcing, the more likely it is that miscalculations could produce conflict. Further,
might cut against the grain of U.S. preferences. Outsourcing and World Order Given the United States’ global influence and power,
when Washington delegates military functions to private companies, the question arises of where ultimate accountability and oversight authority actually reside. Should U.S. law, international law, or military
Second, the policy flexibility that Washington gains
from outsourcing could, in time, become more of a bane than a boon: the greater the U.S. ability is to
pursue policy objectives via PMCs, the fewer incentives Washington has to consult and bargain
with other governments about its policy or to make the compromises needed to forge and maintain international coalitions to pursue it. By strengthening the
United States’ unilateralist tendencies, this dynamic could weaken the firewall discussed earlier that has sustained the U.S. monopoly in the provision and consumption of PMC services. Finally, the
expansive outsourcing practices observed since 1990 have weakened the sinews of established
organs of multilateral governance. By default, the authority Washington delegates to PMCs is also authority not delegated to international institutions. Though it is obvious
commanders in the field carry the day?40 International order cannot be built on such ambiguity.
that overlapping spheres of competence are common in an interdependent world, it surely makes a difference for diplomacy, strategic policy, and multilateral governance whether multilateral organizations or
The more the United States and other
governments delegate state power to private corporations rather than to international
institutions, the greater the prospects that outsourcing will sap the strength of what were once considered to be
the building blocks of international order. As the world’s preeminent power and the principal
consumer and producer of private military services, the United States, either inadvertently or deliberately, shapes
the norms that will frame future interstate competition. Outsourcing the implementation of its policy via PMCs can be a useful solution to a range
of immediate problems, but the costs such actions generate are likely to be fully realized only in the long term. An under-regulated market for force,
therefore, will likely have significant negative consequences down the line, and these effects will only grow more dramatic if
under-regulated private corporations are the primary representatives of the world’s most powerful state.
other states follow the U.S. lead.
The plan solves by making Congress aware, deterring and reviewing
executive adventurism.
Michaels, Supreme Court Law Clerk, 4 – John D. Michaels, Law Clerk to the
Honorable Guido Calabresi, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Law Clerk designate,
the Honorable David H. Souter, U.S. Supreme Court; J.D., Yale Law School; M.A., Oxford
University; B.A., Williams College. (“Beyond Accountability: The Constitutional, Democratic,
and Strategic Problems with Privatizing War,” 82 Wash. U. L. Q. 1001 (2004))
key constraint on the president's conduct of war takes the form of Congress's reporting and oversight
oversight hearings before Congress represent important ways in which
military policy is subject to considerable scrutiny and accountability.214 Typically, Congress has opportunities
to debate and hold hearings on matters of national security-shedding light and imposing
accountability on the Executive Branch. If any given deployment of forces would be received critically, say, as
overly dangerous, destructive, or antithetical to American principles of democracy,2 5 an administration might be deterred
from pursuing such ends in the first place.216 [**Start Footnote 216** This is the case even if it could secure authorization ex post. See, e.g., Bruce
Ackerman, The Emergency Constitution, 113 YALE L.J. 1029, 1048 (2004) (noting how built-in separation-of-powers checks to limit
executive authority in times of emergency "will lead [the president] to use his powers cautiously");
Another
functions.213 Consultation with, written reports to, and
Oren Gross, Chaos and Rules; Should Responses to Violent Crimes Always Be Constitutional?, 112 YALE L.J. 1011, 1123-24 (2003) (characterizing the ex post evaluation of an
Executive's actions during times of crisis as a means of constraining ex ante decisions to engage in potentially unlawful or overzealous behaviors)**End Footnote 216**] And,
even if the Executive, wanting to avoid the use of actual soldiers (because of the reporting requirements under the War Powers Resolution) used CIA operatives, 217 a framework
when neither
members of the U.S. Armed Forces nor other government officials are intimately involved in a
particular engagement, it is quite possible that members of Congress would not be as fully
informed about the activities being undertaken by private contractors.219 Private firms thus permit the president to conduct military operations (especially small-scale
of reporting and oversight statutes are in place to ensure a modicum of accountability and transparency over those individuals too. 218 But
ones not involving many, or any, U.S. troops) without having the same obligations to notify and involve Congress as would exist were American soldiers used.220 Privateers can,
moreover, be contracted into service through third-party nations, host countries, or quasi-independent agencies, as has been the case with some Americanbased firms operating
Congress has comparatively little oversight authority. Indeed, the
principal federal law, the Arms Export Control Act ("AECA"),2 2 l which, inter alia, sets the terms by which information about
American contractors working for foreign nations must be disclosed to Congress, currently requires the State Department to notify
Congress only when a contract it authorizes exceeds $50 million.222 And, even if the privateers were operating directly for
in the Balkans and even in Iraq. In these instances,
the federal government, their contracts might (purposefully or unintentionally) have been indirectly routed through the Commerce, Interior, or the State 223 Department, 2
rather than the Defense Department. The congressional committees that principally oversee Commerce and Interior, for example, may not be sufficiently informed or interested,
and may not have developed the requisite expertise to be effective monitors of such contracts. Finally, even if the contracts were issued through the Pentagon, matters of military
privatization may not arise per se-short of a massive fiasco such as the Iraq prison-abuse scandal-that would warrant congressional interest from the Armed Services
committees. 225 This is, again, not to say Congress is unfailingly vigilant with respect to oversight of "public" military affairs, and entirely enfeebled with respect to overseeing
military contractors. But while recognizing that the differences in congressional oversight are quantitative rather than qualitative, they are nevertheless important. Indeed,
speaking about contracting in Iraq, Professor Deborah Avant notes:
We are not even sure for whom these contractors work or
worked. Nor do we know how many other contract employees were-and may still be-working at ... [Abu Ghraib] .... We do not know precisely what roles these contract
employees had at the prison or to which group or agency they were accountable. To trace that, we would need to know the contracting agent-someone representing a group
The bureaucracy of the contracting
process also complicates how contractor operations are run because it's unclear who the client
is. For example, the request for contract interrogation support ... came from ... the military group that oversees coalition forces in Iraq. It was then sent to the Interior
Department and processed at a federal business center .... 227 These oversight difficulties cannot be reduced to mere accountability lapses. Rather these oversight
difficulties also sound in terms of structural concerns about the architecture of American
government. Even if Congress insisted on more centralization in the contracting process, because of the nature and design of military contracts and because of issues of
within the Army, probably, but which one? And, as Washington Post journalists have recently observed:
private-sector proprietary information more generally, it is still questionable whether adequate information would readily be disclosed to an oversight committee were either a
private military firm or a government official subpoenaed and asked to testify about critical details of an agreement.228 This proprietary information concern has already
become a major source of executive-congressional tension in the commercial military contracting realm. One notable example involves the Air Force invoking the principle of
with limited
congressional oversight and reporting, there are comparatively fewer political and legal checks
constraining how the president conducts military affairs. The Executive's policies may not be in
line with the priorities and principles of Congress and the American people, such as when, for instance, the State
Department, under the AECA framework, approved requests from MPRI to perform military
consulting services for the repressive regime running Equitorial Guinea as well as for the Abacha
dictatorship in Nigeria.230 It is at least debatable whether such permission would have been as readily
granted were congressional consent a bona fide prerequisite . And, strategic interests and prudential policymaking
aside, the lack of effective oversight deprives Congress and the People of an opportunity to debate
normative concerns about delegating governmental policymaking decisions to privateers in the first
place. Accordingly, circumventing congressional oversight lengthens the leash the Executive has in
conducting national security policy and, concomitantly, limits the effective transmission of
information to the American public.
proprietary information to fend off repeated requests by Congress to disclose certain information regarding its Tanker contract with Boeing. 22 Therefore,
1AC Transparency
Contention 2: Transparency
Trump has gut congressional arms transparency efforts.
Abramson, Deputy Director of the Arms Control Association, 18 – Jeff,
MA Goldman School of Public Policy at Berkeley, BA Princeton (“Trump Favors Arms Industry
in Effort to Loosen Export Controls” Volume 10, Issue 6, June 7, 2018
https://www.armscontrol.org/issue-briefs/2018-06/trump-favors-arms-industry-effort-loosenexport-controls)
Trump administration is pushing to make sweeping changes in U.S. conventional arms export policies in order to sell more
weapons, more quickly, and typically with less transparency and oversight. One reason given for these changes—advancing economic security—is simply
faulty. Worse still, the policies are dangerous, creating new risks that these weapons end up in the hands of
terrorists and international criminals and further undermining the promotion of human rights norms that should be central to
U.S. actions. In mid-April, the president issued a new conventional arms transfer policy, giving the State Department 60 days to submit an implementation plan. In May, the administration
also started a 45-day public comment period on regulatory changes that would transfer the
control of assault rifles and other weapons of choice in armed violence to the Commerce
Department. If the administration is serious about claims that these changes make for responsible policy, it should add much greater transparency into the arms transfer and monitoring process.
Congress, if it does not act to stop these new approaches, should make sure, at a minimum, that it
maintains meaningful oversight to prevent abuses that undermine longstanding U.S. foreign policy objectives designed to avoid
fueling conflicts around the world and propping up regimes that do not respect the basic human
rights of their people. On April 19, Donald Trump issued a national security presidential memorandum replacing a January 2014 presidential policy directive that, like the 1995 iteration
The
from the Clinton administration, included an unweighted list of criteria to guide decisions on U.S. conventional arms transfers. Common to these policies are goals to improve the security of the United States and
its allies, prevent proliferation, and support relevant multilateral agreements. With the backing of major arms producers, the Trump approach explicitly adds “economic security” as a factor in considering whether
to approve arms exports. It promises that “the executive branch will advocate strongly” on behalf of U.S. companies and “maximize the ability” of U.S. industry “to grow and support allies and partners.” The
memorandum retains many of the same provisions regarding human rights as the Obama-era conventional arms transfer policy, although consolidating their reference to a single section rather than reiterating
them throughout. The new policy, however, does not explicitly say that past records on human rights will be a factor in decisions. It does contain a new commitment to “facilitate” ally and partner efforts “to reduce
the risk of national or coalition operations causing civilian harm.” Whether the implementation plan due soon from the Secretary of State explains how this will be done remains to be seen, but it is expected that
Proposed changes to the
regulation of exports were announced May 14 and published in the Federal Register May 24,
training of forces will be touted as a critical component. Such training was written into arms sales last year to Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
beginning a public comment period that ends in July. Specifically, the rules relate to the first three categories of the United States Munitions List (USML) maintained under the International Traffic in Arms
Regulations (ITAR), whose lead administrator is the Department of State. Under the proposal,
many items would move from the USML to the
Commerce Control List (CCL) to become part of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), whose lead administrator is the Commerce Department. Most notably, non-automatic
and semi-automatic firearms and their ammunition currently controlled under USML category I would move to new EAR 500-series classifications in the CCL. The primary rationale given for the change is that
The Department of State is engaged in an effort to revise
the U.S. Munitions List so that its scope is limited to those defense articles that provide the
United States with a critical military or intelligence advantage or, in the case of weapons, are
inherently for military end use. The articles now controlled by USML Categories I, II, and III that would be removed from the USML under this proposed rule do not meet this
these weapons no longer merit tight control. According to the State Department:
standard, including many items which are widely available in retail outlets in the United States and abroad. The revisions were drafted during the previous administration’s export reform control initiative, which
sought to build higher fences on fewer items. During Obama’s presidency, action was taken on 18 of the USML’s 21 categories, but frequent mass shootings and an administration more supportive of gun control
Critics of President Trump, such as Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), have
pointed to the domestic U.S. gun lobby as the real driver behind these changes and called the decision to move
efforts contributed to the firearms categories going unpublished.
forward “politically tone deaf as our nation reckons with a gun violence epidemic.” Adding in Transparency and Enabling Assessment As the Trump administration works to implement these changes, it should
build in transparency and process changes that make it possible to assess whether U.S. arms exports are meeting the stated goals of the new policies. This would not only be good public policy, but such an
approach has the potential to address rising congressional and international distress about an administration that has shown less restraint, including by moving ahead with arms sales to Bahrain, Nigeria, and
public accounting and evaluation of training that might go along with arms
is desperately needed, especially if it will be a cornerstone of an effort to protect civilians. With
another round of controversial precision-guided munition sales expected soon to Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE), it is imperative that much more is shared
about how training is done, who receives it, and whether it works. As the Saudi-led coalition continues to hit civilian areas and an
invasion of the port of Hodeida looms that threatens to further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, it is not enough to simply say training is important. It must make a difference. Similarly, much
greater transparency into the arms sales process at a public level is critical. Under current
procedure Congress is notified of potential major arms sales whether through the foreign
military sales (FMS) process or via direct commercial sales (DCS), starting a review period by which it could block agreement to the
Saudi Arabia that the previous administration had held back on due to serious human rights concerns. As a start, a
sales
sale. Unlike FMS notifications, DCS notifications are not posted on a publicly accessible website, giving the American people less time to inform their representatives of any concerns. If the administration wants to
make it easier for companies to negotiate their arms sales, it should also improve transparency into them.
While Congress can block or amend an arms
sale up until a weapon is delivered, those deliveries often occur years after notification. There is
typically much less public attention on arms sales during this period. If the administration wants to speed the time between
agreement and delivery, it should agree to also make clear when a delivery is imminent, so as to create predictable moments for oversight. In 2014, Congress created a mechanism for receiving notification at least
Public
reporting afterward, via the State Department’s so-called 655 report, also now has less detail
than in the past. These reports, as well as others on end-use monitoring, should provide information on the number of specific weapons involved and other data, rather than broad categorical
30 days before delivery when requested on select sales, but has only used the authority once. The administration should instead make this standard on all sales and make it public.
details. Importantly, reports from the Commerce Department should also improve in detail, especially if the changes on firearm exports are put into place that transfer oversight away from the State Department.
Without these specifics, it becomes more difficult not only to assess these policy changes, but to further goals such as combating illicit trafficking and weapons flows to terrorists and other unintended users. A
recent report from the Center for Civilians in Conflict and Stimson Center offers an array of good suggestions that run the life of a weapon—from pre-transfer to end-use monitoring—with “trigger” mechanisms
along the way that allow for reassessment as situations change. Those recommendations, primarily focused on protecting civilians but also relevant to promoting human rights and international law, deserve
strong consideration.
The Value of Congressional Oversight In 2002 Congress amended its notification threshold so that it would be informed of potential commercial
sales of firearms under USML category I when they were valued at just $1 million, as opposed to $14 million for other major weapons sales. During a Sept. 26 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, then-
Cardin (D-Md.) pointed to forestalling small arms sales to Turkey and the Philippines as
recent examples of Congress’ needed role . In 2017, the administration notified Congress of more than $660 million of proposed firearms sales regulated
under the USML, according to the Security Assistance Monitor. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.)No similar statutory requirement of congressional
notification exists for most arms sales under the CCL, meaning Congress would lose its oversight
role on these weapons. It could take steps to require that notification continues. In response to the new measures, Cardin said May 15 For years, I advised both the Obama and Trump
Administrations against this type of transfer. Weakened Congressional oversight of international small arms and
munitions sales is extremely hazardous to global security. Small arms and light weapons are
among the most lethal weapons that we and other countries export because these are the
weapons that are most likely to be used to commit atrocities and suppress human rights, either
by individuals, non-state groups, or governmental security and para-military forces. While Congress does not
have control over the president’s conventional arms transfer policy, it can mandate the types of
transparency recommended above, including an expansion on pre-delivery notifications. It could also pass legislation that retains the classification of firearms as military weapons and placement
ranking member Benjamin
on the USML.
Small Arms transparency is crucial to illicit trade mitigation.
Stohl, Managing Director of the Stimson Center and Professor of
Security Studies at Georgetown, 17 – Rachel Stohl is Managing Director and directs
the Conventional Defense Program. Stohl is an adjunct professor in the Security Studies
Program at Georgetown University. Stohl was the consultant to the U.N. ATT process from
2010-2013 and was previously the consultant to the U.N. Group of Governmental Experts (GGE)
on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2008 and the U.N. Register for Conventional Arms in 2009. Stohl
holds an M.A. in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International
Studies and an honors B.A. in political science and German from the University of WisconsinMadison.(“Understanding the conventional arms trade,” Nuclear Weapons and Related Security
Issues AIP Conf. Proc. 1898, 030005-1–030005-8; https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5009220)
In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and coalition partners intervened militarily in Yemen in an effort to restore the Hadi government. Now in its third year, the ongoing campaign is largely characterized by air strikes
and attacks against Houthi rebels. The campaign has been heavily criticized for repeated strikes against civilian targets – destroying schools, factories, markets, and hospitals, among other targets. Saudi Arabia’s
campaign is supported by arms sales from major global exporters, including the United States and the United Kingdom and has prompted a growing debate about the risks of providing more conventional weapons
conventional
arms deals and their relevance to larger strategic and international security issues are often
ignored. However, conventional weapons are responsible for significant challenges to the global order, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths a year, facilitating the continuation of deadly conflicts, and
contributing to instability and insecurity worldwide. The global conventional arms trade is a multi-billion-dollar business
that affects every country in the world in some way. Every country is involved in some aspect of the international arms trade. Although the risks and consequences of the conventional
arms trade impact countries in a variety of devastating ways, they are often essential components of national–security apparatuses, and thus their control is often challenging. Because conventional
arms have legitimate military, police, and civilian uses, their outright ban is not an option. Governments
to an ongoing conflict amid civilian harm and an increasingly dire humanitarian crisis. While arms sales to Saudi Arabia have repeatedly generated international headlines,
must therefore be creative in trying to regulate and control the proliferation and use of conventional arms. This chapter examines the international conventional arms trade and the range of tools that are used to
control it. Conventional arms range from guns to sophisticated fighter aircraft and naval ships, in other words, the conventional weapons of war. THE CONVENTIONAL ARMS TRADE There are five aspects of the
conventional arms are profitable.
Conventional arms transfer agreements worldwide amounted nearly $80 billion in 2015, according to the
most recent Congressional Research Service Report. 1 This total only accounts for the legal trade in arms. There is a thriving black market trade in arms,
as well as a robust grey market. The global trade in small arms and light weapons (SALW) is an important subconventional arms trade that help explain the challenges of regulating global conventional arms transfers. First,
category of conventional weapons – weapons which, from a control perspective in particular, are dealt with separately from their heavier counterparts. Small arms and light weapons are those that can
be carried by one or two people, mounted on a vehicle, or carried by a pack animal. The majority of fighting in the post-Cold War world has
been conducted with small arms. According to the Small Arms Survey (SAS), a Geneva-based NGO that monitors global flows of SALW, nearly 875
million small arms are in circulation around the world. 2 Small arms can be purchased in legal markets from an increasing number of suppliers.
More than 1,200 companies in over 90 countries produce 8 million new SALW annually.3 While the small
arms trade is nowhere near the value of the heavy conventional weapons trade, its value is estimated to be $7.1 billion annually. There is also more than $1 billion in illicit small arms sales annually. In short, the
global conventional arms trade, including small arms and light weapons, can impact national and global economies. Second, the supply and demand for conventional weapons, both legal and illegal, ebbs and flows
as international crises emerge and/or are resolved. Significant shifts in the conventional arms trade are marked by major world events, such as World Wars I and II, the Cold War, the 1991 Gulf War, and the post
9/11 War on Terror. Moreover, national and international political and economic issues more generally affect the international trade in arms and numerous factors influence weapons supply and demand. Third, in
national security considerations supersede human
security concerns. The resulting unrestrained trade of conventional weapons leads to significant
consequences. From deaths and injuries, to the undermining of human security, the uncontrolled conventional arms trade has put
peacekeepers in danger, diminished national and multinational business opportunities, impeded the ability of humanitarian and
relief organizations to conduct their efforts, hampered sustainable development, and overall negatively affected
global peace and security. Fourth, the control of and trade in conventional weapons are more complicated than that for other weapons systems. Unlike weapons of mass destruction,
conventional arms do not primarily serve a deterrence function, but are tools that can be
legitimately used by governments, militaries, police forces, and civilians. Indeed, Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations recognizes the inherent right of all States to
many cases, short-term priorities outweigh long-term interests in arms transfer decisions, and
individual or collective self-defense and thus the right to manufacture, import, export, transfer, and retain conventional arms toward that end. Thus, regulating and controlling the trade in conventional arms poses
additional challenges for States and the international community. Fifth and finally, conventional arms controls are underdeveloped and face significant challenges. One of the most immediate challenges is that
some of the primary exporters have not supported nor participated in proposed and existing controls. CONVENTIONAL ARMS CONTROL OF THE PAST While existing control mechanisms for regulating the
conventional arms trade are relatively new (that is, within the last 25 years), informal controls on the arms trade date back centuries and formal controls were first considered in the 1890s in the context of
regulating the slave trade. Yet the Cold War brought renewed interest in pursuing meaningful conventional arms controls. One of the first international organizations to focus strictly on trade control issues
emerged in 1949 when NATO members (with the exception of Iceland) and Japan created the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) to control the sale of strategic goods to
Communist bloc countries.4 After the Cold War ended, COCOM was replaced by the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies – the only
multilateral organization that today focuses on conventional weapons and critical dual-use items. 5 Most significant were the Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) talks of 1977 and 1978 between the United States
and Soviet Union. Although the talks failed, they led to progress in controlling conventional arms in the 1980s. In 1980, UN Member States adopted the UN Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use
of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (also known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention or CCW). The Convention currently has
five annexed protocols. The goal of the CCW is to ban or restrict the use of those weapons that cause unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants or affect civilians indiscriminately – in and outside of
situations of international armed conflict. There are protocols on non-detectable fragments, the use of mines, booby traps and other devices, and the use of incendiary weapons, the use of blinding laser weapons,
and responsibilities surrounding the clearance, removal, or destruction of explosive remnants of war. One of the most significant conventional arms control treaties of the 20th century emerged near the end of the
Cold War. The Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (the CFE Treaty) was signed in November 1990 by 22 NATO and Warsaw Pact countries. The agreement was meant to bring parity, enhance transparency,
and increase stability regarding conventional forces in Europe. Covering the area from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains, the CFE Treaty outlined limits for five categories of conventional weapons systems,
including armored combat vehicles, battle tanks, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, and large artillery. The limits were set at 30,000 armored vehicles, 20,000 tanks, 20,000 pieces of artillery, 6,800 aircraft, and
2,000 helicopters. Limits were set for each individual country within the Treaty area, and no one state could possess more than 1/3 of the total limit in each category. All weaponry in excess of these limits were to
be destroyed within 40 months of the Treaty entering into force, and a rigorous verification and inspection regime was established to oversee the process. Not all of the weapons that exceed Treaty limits, however,
have been removed and destroyed. Disagreements between state parties have emerged and former Soviet weapons in Moldova and Georgia, for example, remain today. Moreover, due to Russian concerns about
the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system and the placement of U.S. military bases in Central and Eastern Europe, the Russian Duma voted unanimously in November 2007 to suspend the country’s
implementation of the CFE Treaty, leaving the future of this ground-breaking conventional arms treaty in question.6 21ST CENTURY CONVENTIONAL ARMS CONTROL In the 21st Century, governments have
With transparency regimes, the
belief is that greater understanding at a global level of which country is selling what weapon
system to whom (and even for what purpose) can help increase security of the international arms trade .
When governments and experts have such knowledge, they can take steps to secure their arms
transfers and verify the conditions of transfers. For example, such procedures can contribute to
better weapons tracking and facilitate identification of potential circumvention of controls already in
place. Transparency also provides important assurances that weapons are being used as intended
and, in turn, enhances accountability for individual arms transfers. Second are controls related to the export of conventional weapons. At a
national level, governments establish procedures that identify the rules about which recipients can
acquire which weapons systems and through what processes. Such controls have the added benefit of assisting industry
in ascertaining the requirements for specific arms transfers and can create accountability for
governments to follow specific procedures when making arms transfer decisions. Third are outright limits and/or bans of conventional arms. In some cases,
attempted many different types of conventional arms trade controls, with varying levels of success. First are controls relating to transparency.
certain categories of conventional weapons – such as landmines and cluster munitions – have been banned. In other cases, governments develop appropriate limits for arms transfers that can prevent abusive endusers from obtaining weapons technologies or relevant parts and components. Putting clear limits on state provision of conventional arms makes clear what behaviors and uses will not be tolerated and contributes
confidence- and security- building regimes. Such arrangements
often encourage end-users to provide limits for acquiring certain weapons or a certain number
of a given weapons systems in order to facilitate greater confidence in a region or with the
international community. Fifth are punitive measures that are put in place to address violations of conventional arms agreements or national obligations. In order to deal with
to the development of global norms related to the arms trade. Fourth are
violations of any national, regional, or international standards, States employ punitive measures for irresponsible or illegal arms transfers. However, without clear enforcement and civil, criminal, and
administrative punishments, violators will continue to act with impunity. Sixth are regimes focused on humanitarian concerns, including the protection of civilians. As policy makers try to address the direct,
indirect, and consequential impact of the weapons trade, the focus has turned to “humanitarian arms control” to address enduring weapons threats to civilians. The human security framework has focused on
lessening the impact of particular weapons systems on the lives and livelihoods of civilians
Illicit small arms trade outweighs nuclear war
Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2000
(“We the People’s https://www.un.org/en/events/pastevents/pdfs/We_The_Peoples.pdf)
The death toll from small arms dwarfs that of all other weapons systems—and in most years greatly
exceeds the toll of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In terms of the
carnage they cause, small arms, indeed, could well be described as “weapons of mass destruction”.Yet there
Small arms
is still no global non-proliferation regime to limit their spread, as there is for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Small arms proliferation is not merely a security issue; it is also an issue of human rights and
small arms sustains and exacerbates armed conflicts. It endangers peacekeepers and humanitarian workers. It
Much of the cold
war’s small arms surplus finished up in the world’s most dangerous conflict zones and, as the
number of weapons in circulation increased, their price declined, making access to them ever easier even in the poorest countries. In parts of Africa in the midof development.The proliferation of
undermines respect for international humanitarian law. It threatens legitimate but weak governments and it benefits terrorists as well as the perpetrators of organized crime.
1990s, for example, deadly assault rifles could be bought for the price of a chicken or a bag of maize. Reducing the toll caused by these weapons will be difficult, not least because of the extraordinary number in
50 to 60 per cent of the world’s trade in small arms is legal—
but legally exported weapons often find their way into the illicit market.The task of effective proliferation control is made far
harder than it needs to be because of irresponsible behaviour on the part of some states and lack of capacity by others, together with the shroud of secrecy that veils much of the
arms trade. Member States must act to increase transparency in arms transfers if we are to make any progress. I would also
circulation, which some estimates put as high as 500 million. An estimated
urge that they support regional disarmament measures, like the moratorium on the importing, exporting or manufacturing of light weapons in West Africa.
US transparency norms get modeled. Bans alienates international
partners.
Stohl 17 – Rachel Stohl is Managing Director and directs the Conventional Defense Program.
Stohl is an adjunct professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University. Stohl
was the consultant to the U.N. ATT process from 2010-2013 and was previously the consultant
to the U.N. Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2008 and the
U.N. Register for Conventional Arms in 2009. Stohl holds an M.A. in international policy
studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and an honors B.A. in political
science and German from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.(“Understanding the
conventional arms trade,” Nuclear Weapons and Related Security Issues AIP Conf. Proc. 1898,
030005-1–030005-8; https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5009220)
Despite the many international, national, and NGO activities that have been undertaken regarding conventional arms control in recent years, numerous challenges and obstacles remain in enhancing arms control
Conventional weapons, unlike weapons of mass destruction, serve many
purposes. They provide for the national defense and support policing activities – and small arms are regularly and legitimately used for
sport and hunting activities. It is undesirable and unlikely to ban the majority of conventional weapons. The
challenge, then, is to limit and constrain the trade in conventional weaponry to prevent destabilizing
build-ups and misuse. Because conventional arms serve legitimate purposes, a second challenge arises due to the role of arms producers and exporters. Many countries produce weapons,
but the role of the major weapons producers and exporters cannot be understated. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France hold
the lion’s share of the global arms market – with the United States leading the way. Hesitance on
their part to enhance conventional arms trade controls has a significant impact on the will and
capability of the entire international community to engage in stricter arms trade practices. A third
challenge to the development of stronger arms trade controls goes beyond great power and major supplier concerns. Existing ideas and norms of state sovereignty,
national self-defense, self-determination, and territorial integrity have an impact on political
will more generally in the international community. Many recent international agreements on weapons
control have, in fact, reiterated the norms of sovereignty, national self-defense, selfdetermination, and territorial integrity, which are grounded in the UN Charter itself.13 Moreover, Article 223 of
measures. The first challenge is the legitimacy of the weapons.
the Treaty of Rome, which established the basis for the European Community and today’s European Union, specifies that national governments have exclusive control over national arms industries, arms sales,
and arms control decisions, providing additional hindrance to state interests in multilateral arms trade controls in Europe.14
That solves war.
Haug, Small Arms Survey Researcher and former U.S. Army Russian
Linguist, et al. 2 Maria Haug has been a researcher at the Small Arms Survey since
January 2000, specializing in the small arms trade. She eaned a masters’ degree in International
Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in 1994. She served
five years with the US Army as a Russian and German linguist. Martin Langvandslien is a
research fellow at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), where he has worked
on the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) project since 1998.. Lora Lumpe
is a consulting senior associate at PRIO, working part time on the NISAT project. For NISAT she
recently edited Running Guns: The Global Black Market in Small Arms (London: Zed, 2000). In
addition, she has been helping to organize and mobilize activism in support of responsible
governmental laws and policies to curb gun-running. She also currently consults for Amnesty
International USA on the human rights implications of US military and police training programs
around the world, and on US arms export policies more generally. Nicholas Marsh has been a
researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo since April 2001, where he directs
the NISAT database project. He is a graduate of the Universities of Kent and Aberystwyth in the
UK and holds degrees in International Relations and International Conflict Analysis. (“Shining a
Light on Small Arms Exports: The Record of State Transparency” 2002, A joint publication of
the Small Arms Survey and the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,
http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/B-Occasional-papers/SAS-OP04Exports.pdf)
The main
rationale given for the UN Register of Conventional Weapons and associated measures is that such openness is a
confidence-building measure that will reduce mistrust and miscalculations between
rival states or potential adversaries. Related goals are to prevent the accumulation of destabilizing amounts of
major combat equipment, improve understanding, and reduce misperceptions, and in these ways
help prevent the outbreak of armed conflict. These arguments do not necessarily hold sway with regard to the trade in small arms and light weapons. Small
arms are not strategic and destabilizing in an inter-state context to the same degree as are heavy weapons. However, when one seeks to identify arms
acquisition patterns that are highly indicative of impending internal warfare (which accounted for the vast majority of
major armed conflict during 200028), a large influx of small arms would be a very prominent indicator . Thus,
transparency in small arms exports might – if practised widely by the leading exporter nations – provide early warning of
impending conflict. Transparency around planned arms shipments (that is, timely information about license approvals granted)
would be the most useful in providing early warning of potential violence and instability. While individual states might not be granting unusually
The international community has embraced the norm of transparency in the trade of major conventional weapons to a much greater degree than it has done thus far for small arms.
large numbers of export licenses to a particular destination, when placed side by side with other suppliers’ export approvals, disturbing trends might become apparent.
Specifically, Latin American instability.
Bromley and Perdermo, Research Associates at the Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute, 5 – Mark Bromley and Catalina
Perdermo, Research Associate and Research Assistant at the Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute (SIPRI) (“CBMs in Latin America and the effect of arms acquisitions by
Venezuela”
http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano_en/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CON
TEXT=/elcano/elcano_in/zonas_in/dt41-2005)
After introducing the concept of CBMs, this section examines the kinds of security problems that Latin America currently faces and how national arms acquisitions and
illicit transfers of
SALW exacerbate these problems. It then reviews the development of CBMs in the region, before taking a closer look at measures specifically targeted on arms
acquisitions and SALW transfers. Arms control consists of two main branches that differ in terms of both their scope and the devices they employ: operational or ‘soft’ arms control and structural or
‘hard’ arms control. The former aims to provide assurances with regard to the character and purpose of military
activities and defence postures; it involves such elements as partnership, mutual reassurance and transparency at the security
and military levels.[3] Specific measures may include: an exchange of information about military activities, capabilities and doctrine; restrictions on certain military activities and capabilities;
meetings between senior defence officials; and exchange programmes for personnel and military units.[4] Hard arms control measures, on the other hand, are a set of tangible arrangements intended to reduce,
prohibit and restrain the acquisition, deployment and proliferation of specific types of armaments. CBMs form part of the ‘soft’ arms control framework. While there is no commonly agreed, detailed definition of
CBMs to reduce the risk of miscalculation or communication failure
escalating into war by hindering the use of force.[5] They can increase predictability, strengthen stability
and enhance security, as well as open ‘channels of communication’ between adversaries, break deadlocked
CBMs, what is common to most definitions is the aim of
security relationships, improve political climates and help establish working relationships.[6] In Europe, CBMs have focused on the needs and requirements of military cooperation and
understanding. However, other regions, among them Latin America, have included efforts designed to tackle, along with military measures, non-military issues such as environmental and criminal threats within
their concept of CBMs. This article focuses on CBMs that are designed to lessen mistrust and tension in relation to arms acquisitions and arms transfers. Contextualization: ‘old’ and ‘new’ threats in Latin America
Latin America is a region that faces a mixture of what are often misleadingly referred to as ‘old’ and ‘new’ security threats. ‘Old’ threats refer to interstate conflicts and tensions surrounding border disputes and
other areas of interstate tension, while ‘new’ security threats refer to such issues as the activities of international criminal and terrorist organizations that challenge state authority in some way. In both cases, the
number of initiatives for economic
and security cooperation, and for further integration, have emerged in Latin America. Defence spending
remains comparatively low while most of the interstate disputes over border demarcation that have led to conflict in previous years have been resolved.[7] Despite these advances, Latin
America remains a region where one country’s arms acquisitions can have a potentially
destabilising impact on regional security. The arms acquisitions of other states are still watched
closely for signs of potential changes to the regional military balance, and states routinely
make purchases that are designed to prevent or respond to perceived inequalities in military capabilities. For
example, in 2005 tensions have developed between Peru and Chile regarding Chile’s acquisition of
F-16 fighter aircraft from the US.[8] During the Cold War, the bulk of the literature about the consequences of arms acquisitions for
regional security focused on major weapon systems that have the potential to alter the military
capability of one state in relation to another. According to Arnett, ‘Traditionally, weapons have been considered as contributing to “strategic” or “crisis” stability
if they do not invite preventive war or pre-emption in a time of high crisis’.[9] However, after the Cold War increasing attention has been paid to the
destabilising effects of SALW . This issue is particularly relevant in parts of Africa but also in Latin America, where illegal groups armed with
SALW have demonstrated an ability to pose a military challenge to the state. Hence, illegal or
clandestine transfers of SALW from one state have the ability to undermine the security of
another. Andrew Hurrell cites such illegal flows of arms as one of the downsides of free trade and liberalization in contrast to the alleged positive impact by bringing increased security and prosperity to
acquisition or illicit transfer of weapons has the potential to exacerbate tensions and provoke conflict. Since the end of the Cold War a
the region, particularly in the Southern Cone. Thus, according to Hurrell, ‘The liberalization of economic exchanges facilitates illicit flows of all kinds, especially when this liberalization forms part of a more
general shift in power from the state to the market. Such illicit activities may then spill over into interstate relations’.[10]1
Great power war.
Majmudar, Defense Editor at National Interest, 18 – Dave, Former
Legislative Fellow, United States House of Representatives.Dave Majumdar has been covering
defense since 2004. He has written for Flight International, Defense News and C4ISR Journal.
Majumdar studied Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary and naval history. (“America vs.
China, Russia and Iran in Latin America: Who Wins?” Mar 6, 2018,
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/america-vs-china-russia-iran-latin-america-whowins-24776)
China, Russia and Iran actively seek footholds in our hemisphere,”
Adm. Kurt Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, told reporters on March 5. The
Pentagon contends that South America is become the next battleground in this era of renewed great
power competition. China, Russia and Iran are increasingly encroaching on South America,
which has been part of Washington’s Western regional hegemony since the Monroe Doctrine of
1823. “Countries with different interests and approaches, like China, Russia and Iran actively seek footholds in our hemisphere,” Adm. Kurt Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, told reporters on
“Countries with different interests and approaches, like
March 5. “They do not place the same value on the freedoms and principles that we share with democratic nations in the Western Hemisphere. Those freedoms and principles are what unite us, and we are
China, Russia and Iran to erode those shared principles to threaten our interests, or undermine our partnerships
within the region. These shared concerns are driving our efforts to continue building a network
of capable partners across the Defense Department, the federal government, the Western
Hemisphere, and ultimately, the international community.”
watchful for attempts by
And African war.
Adeniyi, PhD, 17 – Adesoji Adeniyi, research/project manager, Omayma Gutbi (pan-Africa
Rights in Crisis campaign manager (“THE HUMAN COST OF UNCONTROLLED ARMS IN
AFRICA” https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/rr-human-costuncontrolled-arms-africa-080317-en.pdf)
Conflicts in Africa are constantly evolving. This process is exacerbated by the flow of uncontrolled arms. Three key features have
characterized Africa’s conflict patterns and trends in the past decade: first, the changing nature of conflict and insecurity. Most current conflicts reflect interwoven causes and triggers, complex networks of
transnational actors and processes, as well as their increasing regionalization and internationalization. Second, their spillover effect as they spread, creating a wider radius of impact. Third, their exhibited
continuities, as well as new patterns regarding their causes, actors, protraction, and underlying socio-political, economic and humanitarian impacts. A previous report co-authored by Oxfam, Africa’s Missing
arms procurement, the growth of gun culture, diversion of resources from productive
were either triggered or sustained by the interaction between conflict/insecurity and
uncontrolled arms.8 The report went on to highlight the impact of this interaction on social cohesion, with an emphasis on the tangible and intangible costs of conflicts in Africa.9 Much has
changed since the report was published in 2007. New or renewed conflicts and cases of insecurity have emerged (Libya, South Sudan, Mali,
Lake Chad Basin crisis, etc.), while old ones remain protracted (CAR, Somalia, LRA, Eastern
DRC, Darfur, Western Sahara. In particular, there has been a surge in incidences of insecurity, as numerous armed
conflicts have re-emerged across Africa in the last decade. At present, about 25 African states are battling one or more forms of insecurity, such as organized
rebellion or civil war, organized crime, violent extremism, ethno-political militancy, secessionist agitations, etc.1 Most conflicts in Africa occur at the sub-state
level, and are fought using uncontrolled arms . This is because these conflicts are primary among non-state actors, or between non-state actors and
national governments. Since non-state actors (including militias, warlords and extremist groups) have no legal authority to purchase or bear
arms, they resort to illicit means of arms acquisition. While it is important to note that intra-state conflicts are not necessarily caused by SALW, the
fundamental implication of illicit circulation of arms in conflict zones is the heightened risk of higher and more deadly levels of violence. Uncontrolled access to weapons
encourages violence instead of dialogue. It creates a false sense of entitlement among competing
interests that ‘might is right’. Such a mindset results in protracted conflicts. For instance, the
proliferation of firearms across Somalia is a major cause of instability in the country; weapons
such as the Duska 108mm heavy machine gun and the PKM general purpose machine gun are
reportedly sold in Mogadishu’s Bakara market.12 The root cause of Somalia’s unending conflict
cannot be attributed to SALW, yet the abundance of illicitly purchased uncontrolled weapons
and the ease of acquisition are key factors in the protraction of the conflict.13 Another emergent
pattern since 2000 is the rise in political violence in the form of electoral violence, protests
against long-term leaders, and constitutional crises. This has occurred in around 15 African
countries including Algeria, Burundi, CAR, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali,
Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, and Sudan. The nexus between uncontrolled arms
and political violence is evident in the level of electoral violence, as politicians either seek to
forcefully attain or hold on to power. For instance, Charlotte Osei, Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) Chair, noted that the proliferation of
illegal small arms constituted a danger to the country’s 2016 presidential elections.14 The use of SALW
was responsible for over 800 deaths recorded during the post-electoral violence that erupted
after the 2011 presidential elections in Nigeria.15 The problem of uncontrolled arms, as well as their illicit acquisition and
transfer, is a recurring security challenge in Africa. While they do not directly cause conflict, their concentration in crisis
zones often sustains or prolongs them. Uncontrolled arms also fuel civil wars, empowering nonstate armed groups to
Billions: International arms flows and the cost of conflict, showed how certain processes – illicit
expenditure, etc. –
launch attacks against governments and local communities. For instance, in DRC, conflict and insecurity are fuelled by the continued inflow of illicit SALW. Notwithstanding a subsisting UN arms embargo, illicit
arms are traced to stockpiles from past conflicts and new supplies from a variety of sources in the Great Lakes region. For instance, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) reportedly received
The Council of Foreign Relations puts the annual
monetary value of the illicit arms trade at $1bn.17 This represents between 10 and 20 percent of
global trade in SALW,18 and the use of these weapons continues to have devastating
consequences on individuals, families and communities across Africa, where over 100 million
small arms are estimated to be in circulation (Table 2)19.
different types of SALW from Tanzania by boat in June 2008, March 2009 and November 2009.16
That escalates.
Kennard and Einashe, Researcher for Action on Armed Violence and
Associate at the Cambridge Migration Research Network, 18 – Matt
Kennard is researcher for Action on Armed Violence in the UK. He was previously a fellow, and
then Director, at the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London. He is the author of
"Irregular Army" and "The Racket," and has worked as a staff writer for the Financial Times in
London, New York and Washington DC. He has written for The New York Times, the Chicago
Tribune, and The Guardian. He graduated as a Stabile investigative fellow from the Columbia
Journalism School. Ismail Einashe is a journalist based in London. His reporting has been
published in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Prospect,
NPR, The Nation and Index on Censorship, among other places. He once worked for BBC Radio
Current Affairs and he has presented on BBC radio. He was also an Ochberg Fellow at the Dart
Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University and an associate at the Cambridge
Migration Research Network (CAMMIGRES). (“Proxy War in the Horn of Africa”, 10/22/2018,
https://pulitzercenter.org/projects/proxy-war-horn-africa)
Africa has become the new locus of great power conflict in the 21st century, with the United States
and China vying for influence and resources in the world’s poorest continent. But the Horn of Africa, with its
strategic location across the Gulf of Aden from the Middle East, has become the crucible for the
latest stage of a centuries-old superpower proxy battle. Matt Kennard and Ismail Einashe report on the untold
story of the genocide in Somalia in the late 1980s and how this connects with the conflicts of today in the country and region, looking
particularly at how the U.S. supported the Somalian regime while it carried out the killings. Kennard and Einashe also report on how
northern Somalia, and particularly the strategic port of Berbera, has become a hotspot in this new regional
war, following on from its significant role in the Cold War. Just north of Somalia, the U.S. military has
its only permanent base in the whole of Africa in Djibouti. Camp Lemonnier, located inside the Djibouti international
airport, is home to U.S. Africa Command (US-AFRICOM), established by George W. Bush in 2008, with his administration aware
that many of the future
conflicts with great power rivals would play out on the continent. Kennard and
Einashe investigate how this is progressing, with some comparing the Horn of Africa in 2018 to
Sarajevo in 1914.
The plan solves by requiring congress to approve all arms deals, not
just disapprove. This spurs meaningful scrutiny and risk assessment.
Thrall and Dorminey 18 – A. Trevor Thrall is an associate professor at the Schar School
of Policy and Government at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
Caroline Dorminey is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute. (“Risky Business The Role of Arms
Sales in U.S. Foreign Policy”, March 13, 2018 | Number 836)
we recommend that the AECA be amended to
require congressional approval for all arms sales. The current law is designed to make arms
sales easy by making it difficult for Congress to block them. Blocking a sale requires a
majority vote in both houses of Congress, with such votes typically cropping up
inconveniently in the middle of other, more-pressing issues on the legislative agenda. Congress has exerted
little or no influence over arms sales and has allowed the executive branch near-complete
autonomy. Requiring a congressional vote to approve arms sales, on the other hand, would subject arms
deals to much more intense scrutiny than has traditionally been the case, and blocking misguided arms sales would
be much easier. Requiring a separate piece of legislation to approve each arms deal, not simply
requiring a resolution against, would encourage deliberations about the strategic benefits of any
Amend the AECA to Require Congressional Approval for All Arms Sales—Finally,
proposed deal.
Simultaneously, it improves the credibility of useful arms deals.
Sciarra, DOJ Trial Attorney, 88 – Vanessa Patton Sciarra, DOJ Trial Attorney. JD
Yale, BA Yale (“Congress and Arms Sales: Tapping the Potential of the Fast-Track Guarantee
Procedure,” 97 Yale L.J. (1988))
[Gender Paraphrased]
fast-track guarantee provides expedited legislative treatment in exchange for meaningful
congressional input into negotiations. Generalizing from experience in the trade area, the procedure may prove effective in ensuring congressional input in other foreign policy areas where
The
three conditions exist. First, the procedure will be most successful politically in areas where, because of a constitutional claim to competence, Congress can exact some price in the form of consultation in exchange
for its broad grants of authority to the executive branch. Second, the procedure can be applied in any area where the executive branch acts through agreements with foreign nations. Third, the executive
The
procedure thus provides a way for Congress to police the use of executive agreements in certain foreign affairs
situations. It provides the added benefit of assuring the President that, when he [the president] makes
such executive agreements, his actions will have the support of Congress. Though a number of foreign policy areas meet the
three criteria out congressional regulation of arms sales seems a particularly appropriate area for experimentation. A. Making Arms Sales Legislation More Effective When the President
agrees to sell arms to a foreign government, he is acting in an area where he shares
constitutional authority to act with Congress. The nature of arms sales requires Congress to
delegate broad authority to the executive branch to negotiate the sales arrangements. Acting
agreements amenable to the fast-track procedure must require some legislative action, in the form of implementing legislation or some approval or disapproval procedure, to take effect.
under this delegated authority and any independent authority he may claim, the President then makes executive agreements in the form of offers to sell arms packages.78 Thus, arms sales meet the first two
since the passage of the AECA in 1976, Congress has required that arms sales be
subject to some further congressional action. Although the two procedures tried the legislative veto and the report
and wait period have provided only the threat of disapproval (with the latter procedure subject to
a presidential veto), the fact that negotiated sales have been consistently brought before Congress provides the type of legislative involvement the fast-track guarantee requires. Under current
legislation, by the time congressional acquiescence is sought, agreement with a foreign buyer has been
reached and severe diplomatic repercussions may result from an ex post congressional
challenge.79 Further, an ex post procedure, whether it involves necessary approval or discretionary
disapproval, does not directly force the executive branch to consult with Congress during
negotiations. Thus, if legislators are willing to take their constitutional role seriously, they should
consider adopting a pre-negotiation fast-track guarantee procedure to regulate such transfers. Increased exercise
of this responsibility may in fact redound to the benefit of the executive branch by creating a broader
legitimacy for the arms sales that are negotiated.80 As soon as executive branch officials decide to initiate negotiations with a foreign buyer, they should be required to consult
criteria discussed above. Further,
with appropriate congressional committees, most likely the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.81 The committees could then approve the sale and guarantee that
the final letter of offer would receive fast-track consideration, or they could deny the guarantee, thereby subjecting a submitted letter of offer to consideration under normal legis? lative procedure.
Legislators should consider requiring a joint resolution of approval for large negotiated sales
and commercial export licenses.82 The requirement of positive approval for large sales would make denial of a fast-track guarantee at the pre-negotiation stage potentially
devastating for the negotiations because executive branch negotiators would then have no way to ensure the buyer that the sale would in fact be approved by Congress.83 However, executive branch officials,
A fast-track guarantee
procedure for arms sales will allow the values of congressional oversight and participation to be
met while still allowing executive branch flexibility in arranging and implementing arms deals.85 Debate over specific sales should also allow both
branches to address the broader policy question of how the United States government should ap? proach the growing demand for arms among developing countries. For example, increased
congressional participation in regulating arms transfers may allow Congress to force executive
compliance with the mandate of sales restraint set out in the AECA.
willing to adjust their perspective agenda for the sale, might be able to convince the committees to give a guarantee to modified proposed arms package.84
1AC Signaling
Contention 3: Signaling
Arms sales embolden Saudi Arabia, causing them to escalate proxy
wars
Bazzi, Professor of Journalism at NYU, 17 – Mohamad, Currently Writing a Book
on Iran Saudi Proxy Wars (“How Trump Is Inflaming the Middle East’s Proxy Wars”
https://www.thenation.com/article/the-trump-administration-could-provoke-yet-anothermideast-war/)
Trump announced a package of weapons sales to the kingdom
that will total nearly $110 billion over 10 years. Trump and his top aides—especially his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who took a lead role in
Aside from his virtually unqualified rhetorical support for Saudi Arabia,
negotiating parts of the agreement—were quick to claim credit for a massive arms deal that would boost the US economy. But many of the weapons that the Saudis want to buy—including dozens of advanced F-15
fighter jets, Apache attack helicopters, Patriot missile-defense systems, thousands of bombs and other munitions, and hundreds of armored vehicles—were already approved by the Obama administration. From
2009 to 2016, Obama authorized a record $115 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia, far more than any previous administration. (Of that total, US and Saudi officials inked formal deals worth about $58 billion,
With such a large influx of US weapons and Trump’s uncritical support, the
emboldened Saudi leadership now sees itself as perfectly aligned with Washington against Iran—
and even against a longtime US ally like Qatar, which, in the Saudi view, has been too cozy with
Iran. Iran and Saudi Arabia have been fighting a cold war since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in
Iran—and their struggle has only intensified over the past decade. While the conflict is partly rooted in the Sunni-Shiite schism within Islam,
it is mainly a struggle for political dominance of the Middle East between Shiite-led Iran and Sunni-led Saudi Arabia. This series of proxy
battles—in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Bahrain—has shaped the Middle East since the Bush
and Washington delivered $14 billion worth of weaponry from 2009 to 2015.)
administration invaded Iraq in 2003. The House of Saud rests its legitimacy—and its claim of leadership over the wider Muslim world—on the fact that the kingdom is the home of Islam’s two holiest cities, Mecca
and Medina, where the religion was founded. Like his predecessors, King Salman has adopted the title of “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,” a reminder of his rule over Islam’s most sacred shrines. This gives
the Sauds great convening power in the Muslim world. Because the Saudi regime controls access to the annual hajj—the pilgrimage to Mecca that every pious Muslim must perform at least once in a lifetime—
Salman was able to call so many Muslim leaders to Saudi Arabia for Trump’s speech on relatively short notice. These leaders want to stay in the king’s good graces, both to maintain access to hajj visas for their
citizens and also because the Sauds dole out money to favored allies. The Sauds, and the Wahhabi clerics who support them, construe political legitimacy on the Islamic concept that Muslims owe obedience to
their ruler, as long as he can properly apply Islamic law. This view does not tolerate public dissent or demands for reform. The Sauds also want to associate Islam with its original Arab identity, even though Arabs
have been a minority within the religion for centuries. Far more Muslims now live in Asia than in the Arab world—and states like Indonesia and Malaysia offer a more tolerant conception of the faith than the
Saudis. The Saud dynasty views itself as the rightful leader of the Muslim world, a claim Tehran has challenged for decades. While the Saud dynasty views itself as the rightful leader of the Muslim world, Iran has
challenged that leadership for decades. Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution brought to power a group of clerics led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who vowed to export his rebellion throughout the Muslim world—
starting with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states. Although Saudi Arabia has a Sunni majority, its rulers fear Iran’s potential influence over a sizable and sometimes restive Shiite minority, which is
concentrated in the Eastern Province, where most of the kingdom’s oil reserves lie. When Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in 1980, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states provided money and
support, hoping that Saddam would weaken Iran and force Khomeini and the clerics out of power. (The United States and most Western powers also supported Iraq, selling it weapons and providing intelligence
support.) But the Iran-Iraq War dragged on for eight years, killing about 1 million people and crippling both countries. The Saudi-Iranian rivalry continued throughout the 1980s, easing slightly in the 1990s after
Saddam invaded neighboring Kuwait and threatened to march into Saudi Arabia. Washington sent half a million troops to the kingdom, using it as a base from which to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait in 1991. The
Saudi-Iranian relationship thawed for nearly decade. But after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the traditional centers of power in the Arab world—Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states—became more
nervous about Iran’s growing influence: its nuclear ambitions, its sway over the fledgling Iraqi government, its support for Islamist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and its alliance with Assad’s regime in Syria.
The conflict with Iran intensified after the Arab uprisings of 2011 when the House of Saud tried to choke off revolutionary momentum in the region. Saudi leaders tended to view all Shiite politicians and factions in
the Muslim world as agents of Iran—and they attached an Iranian connection, whether real or imagined, to virtually any regional security issue. After the wave of popular protests forced out dictators in Tunisia,
Egypt, Libya, and eventually Yemen, the Sauds were worried about the revolts spreading to the kingdom. Aside from their anger toward Iran, the Sauds were also enraged by Qatar’s support for the revolutions in
Tunisia, Libya, and especially Egypt, where Qatar became a primary backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, which in 2012 won the first free elections in Egypt’s modern history. (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates later backed an Egyptian military coup, in July 2013, against the government of President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader.) The Sauds were already irritated at Qatar for pursuing an independent
foreign policy and trying to increase its influence after the regional turmoil unleashed by the US invasion of Iraq. And, like other Arab monarchs and autocrats, the Sauds disdained Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite
network, which was critical of the monarchies and supported the uprisings in 2011. The House of Saud became especially nervous when the Arab revolutions spread to Bahrain, a Shiite-majority country ruled by a
Sunni monarchy only 16 miles from Saudi Arabia’s heavily Shiite Eastern Province. The Sauds accused Iran of supporting the Bahrain uprising and in March 2011 sent more than 1,000 troops to help crush the
pro-democracy movement there. Saudi Arabia also steered the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, which was created in 1981 partly to counter Iran, to begin discussions on offering membership to Jordan and
Morocco. The two non-Gulf, non-oil-producing Sunni monarchies were invited to join in April 2014, although the process has since stalled. It’s all part of the Saudi-led effort to build a stronger bulwark against
Iran. In January 2015, King Abdullah died, after 20 years in power, and was succeeded by his brother Salman, the 79-year-old crown prince who had served as the longtime governor of Riyadh. Instead of relying
on US military intervention and battling Iran through proxies and checkbook diplomacy, as his predecessor had done, the new king and his advisers quickly pursued a more aggressive foreign policy: He launched
a war against Houthi rebels in Yemen after only two months in power. Salman also appointed his then-29-year-old son as defense minister (and deputy crown prince, making him second-in-line to the throne, after
Yemen, which is rapidly becoming one of the bloodier arenas in the Saudi-Iranian
proxy war, is a complex conflict with a shifting set of alliances. The Saudis and their Sunni Arab partners want to restore Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a Sunni, to power. The Houthis,
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef) to oversee the Yemen campaign.
who belong to a sect of Shiite Islam called Zaydis, are allied with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a longtime dictator who was ousted from power after the Arab uprisings spread to Yemen. Once a Saudi client,
Saleh was replaced by Hadi in 2012 under a deal brokered by Riyadh. The Houthis are also allies of Iran, but while the Saudis are quick to label them as Iranian proxies, it’s unclear how much support they actually
receive from Tehran. (By comparison, Iran is far more heavily invested in Syria, where it has sent billions of dollars in aid and thousands of troops and Shiite volunteers to fight alongside Assad’s regime.) After two
Saudi Arabia is bogged down in the Yemen conflict, which by some estimates costs up to
$200 million a day. Despite intensive air strikes and a naval blockade, the Saudis and their allies still have not been able to dislodge the Houthis from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. But the House
years,
of Saud—and especially Mohammed bin Salman, the brash 31-year-old deputy crown prince, who has amassed tremendous power under his father’s reign—is reluctant to abandon the war. In the regional proxy
Trump has changed his position on many foreignpolicy questions. But he’s been consistent on one topic: He and his advisers consider Iran the greatest threat to US interests in the Middle East, and the
world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. And Trump has surrounded himself with senior officials who view Iran in the
same light, including Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R.
McMaster. Both men commanded US troops in Iraq, and both fought Iranian proxies. Trump’s confrontation with Iran began in his early days in office. On January 29, Iran tested a medium-range
conflict, the Saudis view a peace deal with the Houthis as a victory for Iran. Since he took office,
ballistic missile—a trial that Iranian officials insisted did not violate a United Nations Security Council resolution that calls on Tehran to refrain from testing weapons that can carry nuclear warheads. But Trump
and his advisers jumped on the episode to show that they will take a more aggressive approach. On February 1, Trump’s then–National Security Adviser Michael Flynn declared, “As of today, we are officially
putting Iran on notice.” Two days later, the administration imposed new sanctions on 25 people and entities involved in developing Iran’s missile program or helping to support groups that Washington has
designated as terrorist organizations. Hours before imposing the sanctions, Trump fired off a series of provocative tweets, including one that warned: “Iran is playing with fire—they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’
President Obama was to them. Not me!” Despite Trump’s tough rhetoric, his administration needs Iran’s cooperation in the military campaign against ISIS.
These comments set the
framework for the pro-Saudi tilt in US policy and aggressive posture toward Iran. But despite Trump’s tough rhetoric, his administration needs Iran’s
cooperation in the military campaign against ISIS, in both Syria and Iraq. Facing ground offensives by local forces backed by US air strikes, the group has suffered significant defeats over the past year, especially in
Iraq. ISIS is on the verge of being completely expelled from the northern city of Mosul by Iraqi forces. And in Syria, US-allied rebels have besieged the eastern city of Raqqa, the capital of ISIS’s self-proclaimed
caliphate. Iran has a vested interest in fighting ISIS, especially because of the danger it poses to Tehran’s allies in Iraq. After the US invasion ousted Saddam Hussein from power, the Bush administration helped
install a Shiite government for the first time in Iraq’s modern history. As US troops got bogged down in fighting an insurgency and containing a civil war, Iran extended its influence over all of Iraq’s major Shiite
factions. (Iran helped prolong the civil war by arming and training numerous Shiite militias that targeted American troops and Iraq’s Sunni community.) For the Iranian regime, Iraq provides strategic depth
against Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states. Tehran also wants to ensure that Iraq does not pose an existential threat to Iranian interests, as Saddam did when he invaded Iran in 1980. After ISIS militants
captured large swaths of northern Iraq in June 2014, including Mosul, Iran helped train and equip tens of thousands of volunteers who joined largely Shiite militias that worked alongside the Iraqi security forces.
With a weakened Iraqi military, the militias proved crucial in stopping the Sunni jihadists’ initial advance in 2014. Today, some Iraqi military units work closely with US commanders, especially in the campaign to
oust ISIS from Mosul. But Iran still exerts influence over the Popular Mobilization Units, the coalition of militias that is now under the Iraqi government’s control. On April 18, the State Department certified to
Congress that Iran was complying with its obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement. But the next day, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lashed out at Tehran in a hastily organized press conference, claiming
that the nuclear deal “fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran.” He then listed Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East and the threat they pose to US interests. He said Trump’s National Security
Council would conduct a 90-day review of the nuclear deal, after which it could decide to back away from the agreement or to impose new sanctions on Iran. “The Trump administration has no intention of passing
the buck to a future administration on Iran,” Tillerson said. “The evidence is clear. Iran’s provocative actions threaten the United States, the region, and the world.” These threats foreshadowed Trump’s speech in
The newly emboldened Saudi
leadership has shown—with its war in Yemen and, more recently, its campaign to isolate Qatar—that it can miscalculate and
overreach . Without a US administration willing to restrain Saudi ambitions, the proxy war will get
worse.
Riyadh—and the administration’s decision to explicitly take Saudi Arabia’s side in an unpredictable and destructive proxy war with Iran.
Saudi-Iran conflict escalation causes a US-Russia war.
Simpson, Research Fellow at Harvard, 17 – Emile, Former British Army Officer
(“This Is How Great-Power Wars Get Started” https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/21/this-ishow-great-power-wars-get-started/)
Are
the U.S. and Russia being sucked into war in the Middle East, and if so, how can escalation be averted? The present political dynamics
in the Middle East are unsettled and kaleidoscopic. But in the interests of brevity, leaving aside smaller players, and before we think about the role of the United States and Russia, the basic configurations of power
in the region since the 2011 Arab Spring can be simplified in terms of five loose groupings. First, a grouping of Sunni monarchies (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Bahrain); Arab secular
nationalists (Egypt since President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi took over in 2013, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia); and Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s faction in eastern Libya. Second, a grouping of Turkey; Qatar; and Muslim
Brotherhood affiliates such as Hamas in Gaza, Egypt under President Morsi before 2013, and the internationally-recognized Libyan government based in the western part of that country. Third, a grouping of Iran
and its Shiite allies, including Iraq (at least among key factions of the Baghdad government), the Assad regime in Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Fourth, the collection of various Sunni jihadi networks, including
the Islamic State, various al Qaeda affiliates, and any number of smaller factions. Fifth, there is Israel, which does not fit into any of the above, but is most closely aligned with members of the first grouping. Three
key stories since the 2011 Arab Spring broadly explain how the United States and Russia fit into these dynamics, and why these two great powers are being dragged into confrontation in the Middle East. The first
the tension between human rights and stability. Initially motivated by humanitarian
impulse, the United States and its Western allies achieved regime change in Libya and
attempted it in Syria, by backing rebels in each case. These rebellions rapidly became infected by
radical Islamists, giving Russia the opportunity, not unreasonably, to claim that, in the interest of preventing Islamist chaos, it was
backing strongmen on the opposite side (Haftar in Libya and Assad in Syria). Egypt is a similar case. Russia took advantage of the Obama administration’s
story is
aversion to the Sisi regime’s human rights abuses following the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood rule to increase Russian influence in Cairo, as exemplified by Egypt’s current diplomatic support for the Russian
intervention in Syria. The second story is the 2015 Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration, and reluctantly accepted by the Trump administration, whose advocates claimed that it was the best
way to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon without the resort to force. Russia joined sanctions against Iran, but since they were lifted, Moscow has developed warmer relations with Tehran, as exemplified
with Moscow, the Trump
administration has taken a hard-line stance toward Tehran. It has various motives for that shift: Iranian missile
testing since the deal was signed; Iranian support for Shiite militia groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen,
and Lebanon; and a belief that traditional U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel
are in need of greater support (notwithstanding that many Israelis supported the nuclear deal). The third story is the role that radical Sunni Islamist
networks now play in the region, enabled by social media and other online tools that facilitate
networking. One simply cannot explain the speed and scale at which the Islamic State formed, for example, without that network effect. These fluid jihadi networks have proved effective in exploiting
by the way it acted as a key broker between Saudi Arabia and Iran to set up the November 2016 OPEC agreement. By contrast
tears in the fabric of order in fragile states, and then governing captured ground, predominantly in areas with Sunni majority populations, above all in western Iraq, northern Syria, and southern Yemen. When one
puts these three stories together,
we see the nexus of the current U.S.- Russia standoff in Syria.When one puts these three stories together,
we see the nexus of the current U.S.- Russia standoff in Syria. At the center of the nexus is the fact that while the U.S.-led coalition has done a good job of beating back the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the policy
goal under both the Obama and Trump administrations has only been negatively defined as the defeat of the Islamic State. Neither administration has set out a positive vision for who will govern territory cleared
of the Islamic State. In other words, the U.S. has a military strategy without a political counterpart — and the more the Islamic State’s territorial control has been squeezed, the more evident the absence of U.S.
political strategy has become. Enter the Trump administration, which in keeping with its broader hard-line stance toward Iran, has been consistently clear about who it does not want to govern r-captured ground,
Trump administration has taken the view that
both Sunni jihadi groups and Shiite militias should be grouped under the same category of
radical Islamic terrorism. Consistent with this, it has stepped up action against Shiite paramilitary groups in Syria. Furthermore, the administration’s hard-line attitude, conveyed by
namely, Iran-backed Shiite militias, who form a large part both of Assad’s ground forces and indeed Baghdad’s. Hence the
Trump in his visit to Riyadh in May, encouraged the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt, on the basis of alleged Qatari support for Iranian proxies. But the glaring absence of a U.S.
positive political vision in the Middle East has left its negatively defined anti-Islamic State and anti-Iranian goals untethered, which has generated regional confusion. Imagine a sheepdog who is good at barking,
Even the administration itself seemed confused about
how to respond to the implications of its own strategy, as was clear from its plainly contradictory
signals on the Qatar crisis: While President Trump initially enthusiastically endorsed the
blockade of Qatar in public, his national security team sought to de-escalate it behind the scenes,
and this calmer line seems to be prevailing. So, what does Washington positively want? Who knows .So, what does Washington positively want? Who
but has little sense of direction: The Middle East is now in the position of its harried flock.
knows. Although the most likely outcome of the Qatar crisis at this point is a U.S. brokered de-escalation, it is likely that a jilted Doha will subsequently look to become less dependent on the United States by
building up existing relations with Turkey, which already has a base in Doha; Russia, which already has strong commercial links with the emirate (Qatar owns a large stake in Rosneft, for example); and Iran, with
whom it needs good relations given the need to cooperate over the shared exploitation of natural gas fields in the Persian Gulf. The limits of having no positive political strategy are also evident in Iraq and Syria. In
Iraq, the United States military has effectively helped clear ground for Iranian Shiite militias to backfill, which contradicts the administration’s anti-Iranian position. The only real alternative is to support a greater
governance role for Kurdish groups, potentially as part of an enlarged independent Kurdish state. But so far, the U.S. position has been to support the unity of Iraq. In Syria, the situation is more complex, because
unlike the Iraqi Kurds, who have reasonably good relations with Ankara, the Turkish government is vehemently opposed to any kind of independent Kurdish state in northern Syria. But the U.S.-led coalition
overwhelmingly relies on Kurdish ground forces in Syria, and they hold most of the ground cleared from the Islamic State. Does the United States support a Kurdish state in northern Syria? We don’t know. Has it
provided any alternative to a Kurdish state in northern Syria? No. Is the territory still legally part of Syria? Yes. Unsurprisingly, there is serious confusion on the ground, which has produced the U.S.-Russian
Are we are headed toward a great-power conflict in the middle east? In
until the U.S. presents a positive political strategy, we will continue to have direct clashes
between Russian-supported Shiite militias and U.S. forces , which may well produce an
accident in which either Russia shoots down a U.S. plane or vice versa. Even then, I think that neither Washington nor
Moscow would rationally want a conventional fight. But conflict dynamics are never wholly rational; far from it. Violence can generate new emotional
pressures in conflict and spin out of control in a direction nobody anticipated. Besides the risk of escalation with
Russia, the more the United States starts directly attacking Shiite militias, the more likely the Iranian nuclear deal will completely break down.
This would reopen the possibility of a U.S. war with Iran. Even before that point, Iran would likely react to
counter the United States in the region by exerting much more aggressive influence over
Baghdad. The nightmare scenario would be an Iranian puppet like ex-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki getting back
into power and issuing a demand for U.S. forces to leave Iraq, which would put Washington in a
vexed position of either accepting or returning to direct rule. To avoid escalations of this sort, the Trump administration should now lay out
escalation we see today. So back to the original question:
my view,
a positively defined political vision for the Middle East, which would accompany and tether its negatively defined anti-Islamic State and anti-Iranian goals. At this time, the fundamental part of this vision must be
a clear U.S. position on the future of Kurdish-held areas in Iraq and Syria.
Accidents with Russia cause nuclear war.
Arbatov, Head of the Center of International Security, 17 – Alexey Arbatov
is the head of the Center for International Security at the Primakov National Research Institute
of World Economy and International Relations. (“Beyond the Nuclear Threshold: Russia, NATO,
and Nuclear First Use” https://www.europeanleadershipnetwork.org/wpcontent/uploads/2017/10/Beyond-the-Nuclear-Threshold.pdf)
It is worthy of note that the latest versions of the Russian Military Doctrine of December 2014 and the U.S.
Nuclear Posture of 2010 have only two principal differences. One is that the U.S. is apparently willing to
defend its allies with the use of nuclear weapons, if they are attacked by overwhelming conventional forces, whereas Russia does not provide such
assurance. The other is that Russia is ready to use nuclear arms if facing the prospect of defeat by large-scale
conventional aggression, while the United States for obvious reasons does not envision such a contingency. As for hypothetical NATO-Russia conflict, which at present should be of
primary concern, there are three conceivable causes of nuclear first use: 1. The “traditional” scenario of using
tactical nuclear weapons as an escalation from a conventional conflict to prevent one’s imminent
defeat. 2. Nuclear use due to an accident or provocation. 3. Reaction to attacks by an enemy’s conventional
weapons against one’s nuclear forces and their C3I systems (which may be defined by a term
“ entanglement ”). In today’s world, there are two trends aggravating the danger of first use. One is the tense standoff between Russian
and U.S./NATO armed forces over Ukraine, and in the Baltic, Black Sea, and Arctic regions, as
well as a lack of cooperation in parallel military operations in Syria. To some extent, similar conflict might erupt between China and
the U.S. or its allies in the Western Pacific over Taiwan and disputed islands and the jurisdiction of territorial seas. The second trend is the development of new weaponry, C3I systems and operational concepts,
which erode the traditional delineation between nuclear and conventional arms, between offensive and defensive systems, and between a local conflict and a regional—or even global—war. Escalation of local
conflict One of the great paradoxes of today is that the level of armed forces concentrated on both sides of NATO-Russia common border is much lower than 25 years ago,1 but the risk of armed conflict is much
conflicts in Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and
Moldova could suddenly erupt and draw Poland, the Baltic states, Turkey, and Romania - together
with the rest of NATO - into a military clash with Russia. Discarding the fears of its weaker neighbors, Russia considers NATO expansion to its
higher. This is due to several factors. In the absence of mutually recognized dividing lines, “quasi-frozen”
borders to be inherently unlawful and threatening. Although the present scale of the alliance deployment is modest, these forces are considered only a forward echelon of NATO’s altogether superior conventional
The next war might thus take place
much closer to Russia’s heartland than envisioned 40- 50 years ago, which makes Moscow’s fears and stakes in a potential conflict much higher. To
demonstrate its resolve and toughness Russia is challenging NATO near its territory, where Russian conventional forces are naturally superior. Even in peacetime, large-scale military
exercises of Russian and NATO armed forces close to each other create a threat of collisions and
accidents between ships and aircraft with an accompanying risk of escalation. Such a chain reaction
might be hard to stop: the Kremlin is keen to prove that the weakness of the 1990s will never
return, while the White House is determined to demonstrate that it remains the “toughest guy
military power, which may be promptly redeployed from the rest of Europe and across the Atlantic from the United States.
on the block”. In the present state of confrontation, a direct military conflict between Russia and NATO in Eastern
Europe, the Baltic or the Black seas would provoke an early use of nuclear arms by any side which consider defeat
otherwise unavoidable. This risk is exacerbated by the fact that tactical nuclear and conventional systems are
co-located at the bases of general purpose forces and employ dual-purpose launchers and delivery vehicles of the Navy, Air Force, and ground forces.
Should the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF)2 collapse, and deployment of new medium and shorter range missiles in Europe by either or both sides become a reality, the prospect of early nuclear use and
a consequential prompt escalation of nuclear strikes from theater to strategic level would be much more probable. The way to deal with the above-mentioned dangers requires making several moves: The first is to
apply a more concerted effort to peacefully settle Europe’s ongoing conflicts, above all in Ukraine and Moldova. If the Minsk agreements are not implemented, two years since their conclusion, they should be
supplemented with effective enforcement mechanisms. Secondly, the INF Treaty must be preserved and mutual accusatiounites of non-compliance should be addressed and removed through diplomacy. Thirdly,
the scale of military exercises of Russia and NATO should be reduced on a mutual basis and separated geographically. Confidence-building and transparency measures (Vienna Document, Open Skies Treaty)
should be expanded and the U.S.-Soviet accident voidance conventions (of 1972 and 1989) should be enhanced and put on a NATO-Russia footing. Finally, an agreement should be reached to halt the military
Accidents As reliable as negative control systems are (e.g. the
prevention of unauthorized nuclear use), accidents are possible, even between the U.S. and Russia. A frightening example of things going terribly wrong
was provided by the 1995 accident involving the launch of a Norwegian geodesic rocket, which was taken for
a Trident 2 missile, triggering the Russian early warning system. The event was urgently reported to the president, the “Cheget” system was activated, and Boris
buildup on both sides of the NATO-Russian border at the present level, with the intention to reduce force deployments in the future.
Yeltsin, as he said later, for several minutes held his finger “on the nuclear button” – until the incident was settled. But what if the event had been in fact an unauthorized single launch of Trident-2, or a French
Would it have started a massive exchange of nuclear strikes and a global catastrophe? To complicate
, a growing number of nations will in the near and medium term acquire sea-based
ballistic and cruise missiles and hypersonic boost-glide weapons with variable trajectories, which would make
accidents or provocations more likely and the process of identifying an attacker less certain. The
SLBM?
the picture further
avoidance of nuclear war by miscalculation or provocation should be the top priority for the U.S. and Russia in spite of the tensions in their relations, or rather precisely because of such tensions.
Congressional signaling key to incentivize a political settlement to end
the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
Bazzi 9/30 – Mohammad, Professor of Journalism at NYU (“The United States Could End
the War in Yemen If It Wanted To”
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/09/iran-yemen-saudiarabia/571465/)
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly this week, President
Donald Trump signaled to Saudi Arabia that he would
avoid criticizing its destabilizing actions in the Middle East. Instead, he blamed only Iran, the kingdom’s regional rival, for funding “havoc and
slaughter.” Trump praised Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for pledging billions in aid and “pursuing multiple avenues to ending Yemen’s horrible, horrific
Yemen’s current conflict escalated dramatically
civil war.” He failed to mention that
in early 2015, when Saudi Arabia led a coalition of
Arab countries to intervene in the war. That war has long since devolved into a humanitarian catastrophe. The United Nations stopped counting its civilian death toll two years
50,000
people, including combatants, died between January 2016 and July 2018. The war has also left more than 22 million people— 75
percent of the population of Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the world—in need of humanitarian aid. As public anger
over America’s role in the Saudi-led war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen has grown, Congress has slowly tried to exert pressure on
ago, when it hit 10,000. An independent estimate by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, which tracks conflicts worldwide, found that nearly
America’s longtime allies to reduce civilian casualties. Last month, a bipartisan group of lawmakers included a provision in the defense-spending bill requiring the Trump
administration to certify that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are taking “demonstrable actions” to avoid harming civilians and making a “good faith” effort to reach a political
Congress required the administration to make this certification a prerequisite for the
Pentagon to continue providing military assistance to the coalition. This assistance, much of which began under the Obama administration, includes the mid-air
refueling of Saudi and Emirati jets, intelligence assistance, and billions of dollars worth of missiles, bombs, and spare parts for the Saudi
settlement to end the war.
air force. On September 12, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured Congress that the coalition was trying to minimize civilian casualties and enable deliveries of humanitarian
aid to Yemen. Yet his claim contradicted virtually every other independent assessment of the war, including a recent report by a group of United Nations experts and several
Human Rights Watch investigations that alleged the coalition had committed war crimes. Meanwhile, in a memo Pompeo sent to Congress, he noted another reason for
continued U.S. support for the coalition: containing Iran and its influence on the Houthis. Like the Saudis and Emiratis, the Trump administration sees in the Houthis the same
sort of threat as other Iranian-backed groups such as Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to help Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. In late August, the U.S. Mission
to the United Nations tweeted a photo that had circulated in the Arab press of a meeting in Beirut between the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Houthi officials. U.S.
officials claimed it showed “the nature of the regional terrorist threat,” and added: “Iranian proxies in Lebanon & Yemen pose major dangers to peace & stability in the entire
Middle East.” But beyond recent missile attacks on Saudi Arabia—in retaliation for Saudi air strikes—the Houthis have displayed little regional ambition. Ironically, as the war
drags on, the Houthis will grow more dependent on support from Iran and its allies. By accepting the coalition’s cosmetic attempts to minimize civilian casualties, the
Trump administration is signaling to Saudi and Emirati leaders its apparent belief that a clear
military victory in Yemen remains possible. And as long as the coalition believes it can crush the
Houthis, there’s little incentive for it to negotiate. Trump, then, has bought into Saudi Arabia’s zero-sum calculation: that a
military win in Yemen for the kingdom and its allies would be a defeat for Iran, while a negotiated settlement with the Houthis would be a victory for Tehran. Blinded by its
Trump administration is perpetuating an unwinnable war and undermining the likelihood
of a political settlement. This current phase of the conflict in Yemen began in September 2014, when the Houthis, a group of Shia rebels allied with Yemen’s
obsession with Iran, the
ousted dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, forced most of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government to flee to Saudi Arabia, and threatened to take over much of the country.
In 2015, the Saudi-led coalition went to war in Yemen to restore Hadi to power and roll back the Houthis. Since then, despite thousands of air strikes and an air and naval
blockade at a cost of some $5 to $6 billion a month for Riyadh, the Saudi-led alliance failed to dislodge the Houthis from the capital, Sanaa. While the Saudis are quick to blame
Iran for the war, several researchers, including Thomas Juneau, a professor at the University of Ottawa and a former analyst at Canada’s Department of National Defense, have
shown that the Houthis did not receive significant support from Tehran before the Saudi intervention in 2015. Iran has stepped up military assistance to the Houthis since the
war, and Hezbollah has begun sending military advisers to train the Yemeni rebels. But the costs of this assistance fall far short of those incurred by Saudi Arabia and its allies.
For Iran, the Yemen conflict is a low-cost way to bleed its regional rival. The Saudis and Emiratis have largely ignored international criticism of civilian deaths and appeals for a
political settlement—and the Trump administration’s latest signal of support shows that strategy is working. Investigations by the UN and other bodies have found both the
Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition responsible for potential war crimes. But air strikes by the Saudis and their allies “have caused most of the documented civilian casualties,”
the UN concluded in a report last month. On August 9, the Saudi coalition bombed a school bus in the northern town of Dahyan, killing 54 people, 44 of them children, and
wounding dozens, according to Yemeni health officials. For weeks, the coalition defended the airstrike, but on September 1—with the deadline looming for the Trump
administration to certify Saudi and UAE efforts to reduce civilian casualties—the coalition admitted that the bombing was a mistake and that it would “hold those who
committed mistakes” accountable. U.S. officials seized on that statement as evidence that the Saudi coalition is willing to change its behavior. But for three and a half years now,
there has been “little evidence of any attempt by parties to the conflict to minimize civilian casualties,” said Kamel Jendoubi, the chair of the UN investigation team that
Trump administration has shown little interest in using arms deals as leverage for a political
settlement, or to force the Saudis to take concerns about civilian deaths more seriously. In March 2017, Trump reversed a decision by the Obama administration to
documented war crimes. The
suspend the sale of more than $500 million in laser-guided bombs and other munitions to the Saudi military. As more members of Congress expressed criticism of Saudi actions
in Yemen, the Senate narrowly approved that sale. After the Houthis fired ballistic missiles at several Saudi cities in late 2017, the Trump administration again escalated U.S.
involvement in the war. The New York Times broke the news that the Pentagon had secretly dispatched U.S. special forces to the Saudi-Yemen border to help the Saudi military
locate and destroy Houthi missile sites. Frustrated by the deepening U.S. role, two dozen members of the House introduced a resolution this week invoking the 1973 War Powers
Saudi and Emirati
leaders want a clear-cut victory in their regional rivalry with Iran, and they have been emboldened by
the Trump administration’s unconditional support to stall negotiations. A recent UN effort to hold peace talks between the Houthis,
Act, arguing that Congress never authorized American support for the Saudi coalition and instructing Trump to withdraw U.S. forces.
Hadi’s government, and the Saudi-led coalition collapsed in early September, after the Houthi delegation did not show up in Geneva. Houthi leaders said the Saudis, who control
Yemen’s airspace, would not guarantee their safe travel. Days later, Yemeni forces loyal to the Saudi-UAE alliance launched a new offensive aimed at forcing the Houthis out of
Hodeidah port, which is the major conduit for humanitarian aid in Yemen. UN officials warn that a prolonged battle for the port and its surroundings could lead to the death of
250,000 people, mainly from mass starvation. After the Trump administration’s endorsement this month, the Saudi-UAE alliance has even less incentive to prevent civilian
casualties and new humanitarian disasters. Saudi Arabia and its allies are more likely to accept a peace process if it is clear that the United States won’t support an open-ended
Trump has shown little sign of
pressuring his Saudi and Emirati allies, least of all over Yemen. The only realistic check left is in
Congress , where more voices are asking why the world’s most powerful country is helping to perpetuate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
war in Yemen and won’t provide the military assistance required to keep the war apparatus going. But
Yemen outweighs – psychological bias to discount disasters that don’t
occur in the west.
Moeller, Harvard PhD, 6 – Professor of Media and International Affairs & Director,
International Center for Media and the Public Agenda College/University: B.A. Yale University;
M.A. Harvard; Ph.D. Harvard ("REGARDING THE PAIN OF OTHERS": MEDIA, BIAS AND
THE COVERAGE OF INTERNATIONAL DISASTERS Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 59,
No. 2, The Globalization of Disaster (SPRING/SUMMER 2006), pp. 173-196)
Those same reporters observed that the pictures that were run on American and European television
focused on the tsunami in large measure because many of the videos featured their own citizens.
"If the waves had hit remote coasts without wealthy Westerners to record them, to bear witness to them, and
to survive or be swept away by them," continued Zerbisias in her article ten days after the tsunami hit, " it is highly likely that, despite
the magnitude of this tragedy, most of the media would have moved on by now."27 "Anyone watching
television in the West might think the tsunami struck Sweden or Switzerland," observed Gideon Levy in Israel's Ha'aretz. "If it were not for the 10 or so
missing Israelis in the tsunami disaster, we would have forgotten about it already."28 The dramatic videos shot by tourists in the resort areas of
Thailand only encour aged the media in what Sue Dwyer, deputy vice president of international programs for the International Rescue Committee in
New York, called the "the white-Westerner-in-a bathing-suit phenomenon."29 "Inevitably," admitted BBC reporter Guy Pelham on CNNI's
program International Correspondents, "we are
drawn to places where com munications are easy—relatively
easy. It's relatively easy to get to places like Phuket in Thailand, where there are a number of
white people who are dead. Western Europeans, Australians and Americans caught in the midst of the tsuna mi were tourists who not
only could literally narrate the events (often in English) for the global media, but could also personalize the story. The still and video images of
destruction, rescues, grief and survival had simple, clearly understood narratives that were often packaged as human mini-dramas: the survival of
Sports Illustrated swim suit cover model Petra Nemcova who watched her boyfriend get swept away, then clung to a palm tree for eight hours despite a
broken pelvis and internal injuries; the worldwide call to identify a blond two-year-old boy (who turned out to be a Swedish child, Hannes Bergstroem);
and the deaths of the daughter and granddaughter of film director Richard Attenborough. The
attention of Western media to
their "own" helped turn the disaster into a domestic political issue in Europe and the United States. In England,
noted Graham Wood, "The Prime Minster is criticized for staying away on holiday rather than 'directing'
a government response. He has never been criticized for holidaying while thousands die daily
from AIDS."31 "In many countries, including the UK," Wood said on another occasion, "it would appear that the public response has led and the
gov ernments followed. While this shows compassion, it also demonstrates the capacity of the media to influence and direct. In a world where six
million children under five die from malnutrition every year and more than one billion live on less than one dollar a day, the 226,000 who died in the
tsunami represent relatively small, if tragic numbers."32
Rebuking trump is necessary to send a signal to middle east allies and
end transactional diplomacy.
Baker, Chief White House Correspondent, 10-14-18
(Peter, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/14/us/politics/trump-saudi-arabia-arms-deal.html)
WASHINGTON — When President Trump made Saudi Arabia his first foreign destination after taking office last year, he struck
what amounted to a
fundamental bargain with the royal family: He would not lecture them about
human rights, and they would buy plenty of American weapons and military hardware. So as the world
recoils at reports that the Saudis sent agents to Turkey to kill and dismember a Saudi dissident journalist with a bone saw, Mr.
Trump faces the most profound test of that trade-off. For days, he has rebuffed pressure to punish the Saudis by canceling arms sales
that he secured during his visit, arguing that it would cost Americans money and jobs. That he would prioritize potentially tens of
billions of dollars for the United States over moral outrage about the apparent death of a single dissident may not be a major
surprise. Other
presidents have tempered concerns about human rights overseas with what they
perceived to be America’s own security or economic interests. What is different is how open Mr.
Trump has been in expressing that realpolitik calculation no matter how crass or cynical it might appear. “Any president’s
going to be stuck in this awkward place,” said Steven A. Cook, a specialist on the region at the Council on Foreign Relations. “The
one thing about Trump is he’s basically willing to say: ‘I don’t really care. He’s not an American citizen. Yes, it’s terrible, but we’ve
got all this business with them.’ He doesn’t shy away from saying that.” But that
approach could put Mr. Trump on a
collision course with Congress , where there is sentiment among members of both parties to
use the leverage of arms sales to send a message to Saudi Arabia that it cannot get away with
killing a journalist with American ties on foreign soil. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said on Sunday that
curbing arms sales would be on the menu of possible responses if it is determined that the Saudi government
did kill the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia and wrote columns for The Washington Post. Turkish officials have
concluded that Mr. Khashoggi was murdered as he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago; the Saudi government has
rejected the accusations. Mr. Rubio
said it was important for the United States to have the moral
authority to criticize autocrats like President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
“All of that is undermined and compromised if we somehow decide that because an ally who is
important did that we’re not going to call it out,” he said on “Meet the Press” on NBC. “So I will just say this to you
with full confidence: If this is proven to be true, there is going to be a response from Congress,” he went on. “It’s going to be nearly
unanimous. It’s going to be swift. And it’s going to go pretty far. And that could include arms sales. But it could include a bunch of
other things as well.” The Saudi government reacted harshly on Sunday to the specter of a punitive American response, saying it
would respond to any action “with greater action,” backed by its economic might. The threat came in response to a promise Mr.
Trump had made in an interview on “60 Minutes” to exact “severe punishment” if the Saudis’ complicity in Mr. Khashoggi’s
apparent killing is demonstrated. But the seriousness of his commitment to that vow was unclear. Asked by reporters on Saturday
what specifically he had in mind, he offered no examples and instead asked a senator visiting the Oval Office for his thoughts. Mr.
Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 was meant to be a signal of his foreign policy priorities. He was hoping to realign the
region by rebuilding America’s alliance with Riyadh, which had frayed under President Barack Obama, and by making clear that he
was getting the United States out of the business of lecturing friends about domestic matters. “We are not here to tell other people
how to live, what to do, who to be or how to worship,” he told the Saudis in a message heard elsewhere around the world. Instead, he
focused on the economic benefits of the relationship, boasting that he had secured $110 billion in arms sales during his trip. That
figure, though, was wildly inflated and misleading. Mr. Trump’s package essentially consisted of letters of intent or interest, not
actual contracts, and the possible deals began in the Obama administration, when the Saudis bought $112 billion in aircraft, missiles
and other military equipment over eight years. Seventeen
months later, the Trump arms bonanza still has not
materialized. The kingdom has not bought any new arms platform during the Trump administration, noted Bruce Riedel, a
former C.I.A. official and a Saudi expert at the Brookings Institution who advised the Obama administration on Middle East policy.
The possible deal with the highest profile, a $15 billion purchase of a missile defense system known as Thaad, seems stalled as the
Saudis let a September deadline with Lockheed Martin pass, Mr. Riedel pointed out in a paper last week. Even
so, Mr. Trump
has remained committed, citing the package as a signal accomplishment and explicitly rejecting any pause, much less
cancellation. “I worked very hard to get the order for the military,” he told reporters on Saturday. “If they don’t buy it from us,
they’re going to buy it from Russia or they’re going to buy it from China, or they’re going to buy it from other countries.” Mr. Trump
has a point about competitors. As the Saudis hedge on Thaad, they have been in talks with Russia for the purchase of its S-400 air
defense system. But more broadly, Saudi Arabia would find it hard to switch wholesale to other arms suppliers. The Royal Saudi Air
Force depends on American and British support for its fleet of F-15 fighter jets, Apache helicopters and Tornado aircraft, Mr. Riedel
pointed out. Its army is likewise dependent on Western parts and support. But Mr. Trump’s
focus on the bottom line
sends an unmistakable message . “The president, through his reluctance to scuttle the
arms deal , is telegraphing to authoritarian regimes that they can buy a pass on
repressive, brutal measures without incurring consequences from the United States,” said
David J. Kramer, an assistant secretary of state for human rights under President George W. Bush and now
a senior fellow at Florida International University. Elisa Massimino, former president of Human Rights First, an
advocacy group, said that every president had to navigate complex relationships with allies , balancing
sometimes competing interests, but that Mr. Trump did not understand the power that came from
being clear about values. “His short-term, transactional approach not only undermines those
working for democratic change in their own countries , but robs the United States of key
leverage on strategic interests across the board,” she said. Other presidents have continued arms
sales to countries with loathsome human rights records and, in moments like this one, tried to
find ways around cutting off such transactions. After Egypt’s military overthrew its elected president in 2013, Mr.
Obama skirted a law requiring the halt of military aid to countries that experience a coup by refusing to declare whether the situation
in Cairo amounted to one. He ultimately ordered a modest and temporary suspension of some military aid, delaying delivery of F-16
aircraft, Harpoon missiles and M1A1 Abrams tanks, and then resumed them 17 months later. But Mr. Trump’s
predecessors
justified their decisions to keep arms flowing to wayward allies by warning of the national security
implications of cutting them off — not by focusing on the financial well-being of defense contractors.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are both important partners of the United States in regional issues, particularly the fight against terrorism.
“What Trump
is doing here is not claiming that American national security should weigh more heavily
a State
Department official under Mr. Obama who is now at Brookings. “Instead, he is claiming that commercial
transactions with private American weapons manufacturers should weigh more heavily than our
human rights commitments, because the spending produces jobs.”
than our human rights commitments — an argument many Americans would accept,” said Tamara Cofman Wittes,
Congress will disapprove of Saudi sales after the plan. Trump acting
alone isn’t trusted.
Ahmed, Foreign Affairs Reporter, 10/20 – Akbar Shahid Ahmed is a foreign
affairs reporter based in the D.C. bureau of HuffPost. B.A. Yale. A native Pakistani, Akbar has
reported from across the Muslim-majority world. He's also written for the Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel, Generation Progress and, in Pakistan, Newsline magazine and DAWN, and provided
expert commentary for MSNBC, Al Jazeera, BBC Radio and SXSW 2018. (“Trump Buys The
Saudi Line On Jamal Khashoggi. Congress Doesn’t Have To”
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-buys-the-saudi-line-on-jamal-khashoggicongress-could-show-thats-not-the-us-position_us_5bcb9fc9e4b0d38b5878c409)
it’s up to Capitol Hill to decide where U.S. relations with the longtime partner go and whether America will
stick to even limited advocacy for human rights abroad. Congress has powerful tools at its disposal and at least three expected
votes over the next few months that it could use to press the Saudis for accountability and weaken
their sense of impunity . And there’s a growing expectation that lawmakers must act to signal U.S.
leadership. American allies say they doubt the Saudis will seriously investigate a plot that might implicate the kingdom’s own leadership, and
Now
don’t trust the Saudi-friendly Trump administration to get to the truth. Despite some criticism of
Riyadh, Trump’s team has unsurprisingly stuck to its general approach on partners’ human rights
violations: avoid public criticism, claim to be urging change in private. Trump’s biggest move to push Riyadh so far ― withdrawing Treasury
they
Secretary Steve Mnuchin from a key Saudi investment conference ― came after loud requests from Republican senators. Overall, the administration is
focused on finding a narrative that avoids any rupture with the kingdom on what Trump sees as key issues: cooperation against Saudi rival Iran; arms
deals that the president pitches as jobs programs; and business ties that personally benefit the Trump family. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has
already triggered a process that compels Trump officials to look into Khashoggi’s killing and could lead to human rights-related sanctions on top
Saudis. After the Saudis’ statement, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, underscored the
importance of that investigation. “[The Saudis] can undergo their own investigation, but the U.S. administration must make its own independent,
credible determination of responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder,” Corker tweeted. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (RTenn.) has called for an independent inquiry into the killing. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has called for an
independent inquiry into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But the administration has already disappointed Congress once after a
request to investigate the Saudis, producing a document last month to justify the bloody behavior of a U.S.-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia in
Yemen. Three Republicans and four Democrats in the Senate wrote a joint letter earlier this month expressing “significant concerns” with that State
Department report. Democrats are now saying they want an independent investigation into Khashoggi’s murder that does not risk being skewed by the
motivations of the Saudis or their friends in the Trump White House. If they can sustain that rhetoric and bring some Republicans on board ― Corker,
for one, has complained about Trump keeping U.S. intelligence about the incident from lawmakers ― they might be able to actually make that happen.
It helps that there
are already strong demands along those lines from prominent rights and press
freedom groups, and from the late Khashoggi’s well-connected employer The Washington Post. The paper’s national security columnist David
Ignatius suggested the Senate and House intelligence committees might investigate. Translating the talk into legislative action
could begin soon after the midterm elections. By mid-November, the Senate is expected to vote on a bill from Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.),
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) that would end U.S. support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. The coalition
is responsible for the majority of the more than 10,000 civilian deaths in the conflict, the United Nations says, and its actions like impeding food and
medicine shipments have helped create what the U.N. calls the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. “We’ve heard a lot of tough talk. Now there’s
going to be a vote where they’re going to have to make this decision,” said Kate Gould, who lobbies Congress on behalf of the anti-war group Friends
Committee on National Legislation. Congress has become increasingly angry with the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates over their role
in conflict. When
the Senate last held what many considered a proxy vote on U.S. support for the
Saudi campaign ― which takes the form of aerial refueling, intelligence support and weapons sales ― 44 senators voted no. The
timing seems right for more to flip, and not only because of the Khashoggi crisis. Crucial red-state Democrats will no
longer have an election to worry about, and lawmakers are now facing calls from even anti-Iran hawks to reconsider the policy.
It’s also possible to imagine an end to refueling and intelligence cooperation becoming a compromise position between Capitol Hill and Trump. That
would send a message to the Saudis without directly challenging the weapons sales he likes to boast about. We’ve
heard a lot of tough
talk. Now there’s going to be a vote. Kate Gould, an anti-war lobbyist who opposes U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen Two
such arms deals will give Capitol Hill the chance to weigh in on U.S.-Saudi relations in the months ahead. Congress will soon consider a pair of Trumpbacked bomb sales to the Saudis and Emiratis that together are worth around $2 billion. For now, Corker and Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), the top
Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, are signaling that the administration should not even bring up the question. When it ultimately does
though, the Senate has the right to block either or both of the sales ― turning a vote into a referendum on Saudi judgment. Central to those fights would
be activists who have long fought to get Yemen on Washington’s agenda. They say that intermingling the yearslong conflict with the Khashoggi killing is
complicated because they want to avoid any truce over the journalist reducing the momentum against the war ― but they understand why there’s a
connection, and Riyadh likely will as well. “No one’s going to convince anyone that the Khashoggi assassination doesn’t weigh on people’s minds as they
take a vote on Yemen, but I think what’s important is the way it does,” said Scott Paul of Oxfam America. Concern
over Khashoggi
“shouldn’t be seen as the objective of a vote. It should be seen as contributing to how U.S.
leaders view the credibility of Saudi Arabia as a partner in Yemen. This vote matters in terms of
that relationship, but also to the millions of Yemenis on the brink of famine.” The well-funded
Saudi influence network in Washington will likely do everything it can to tamp down concern in
Congress. A conservative media campaign trying to smear Khashoggi to protect the Trump-Saudi connection is making inroads with constituents,
an aide told HuffPost, and congressional staff say it’s hard to predict what will be top of mind after the midterms. One aide noted that concern about
looking weak on Iran is already featuring in conversations about Saudi Arabia. But pro-Saudi talking points haven’t stopped Congress from getting
more aggressive over Yemen.
**if time** back to advantage 2: China war goes nuclear
Kulacki, China Project Manager for UCS, 16 — Gregory Kulacki, China Project
Manager in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, former Associate
Professor of Government at Green Mountain College, former Director of External Studies at
Pitzer College, former Director of Academic Programs in China for the Council on International
Educational Exchange, holds a Ph.D. in Political Theory from the University of MarylandCollege Park, holds graduate certificates in Chinese Economic History and International Politics
at Fudan University (Shanghai), 2016 (“The Risk of Nuclear War with China: A Troubling Lack
of Urgency,” Union of Concerned Scientists, May, Available Online at
http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2016/05/Nuclear-War-with-China.pdf)
stalemate is
not a stable outcome; rather, it is a perpetual high-wire act. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a
year, the governments of the United States and China are a few poor decisions away from starting
a war that could escalate rapidly and end in a nuclear exchange . Lack of mutual trust and a growing sense that their
No Technical Exit As long as both sides remain committed to pursuing technical solutions to their unique strategic problems, they are condemned to continue competing indefinitely. But
differences may be irreconcilable incline both governments to continue looking for military solutions—for new means of coercion that help them feel more secure. Establishing the trust needed to have confidence
in diplomatic resolutions to the disagreements, animosities, and suspicions that have troubled leaders of the United States and the PRC for almost 70 years is extremely difficult when both governments take every
bilateral dialogues on strategic stability aim to manage the military
competition, but they do not seek to end it. Although the two governments work very hard at
avoiding conflict, they have yet to find a way out of what Graham Allison called their “Thucydides trap”—the
risk of conflict between a rising power and an established power invested in the status quo (Allison
2015). Allison’s warning not to minimize the risks of war is sage advice , even if he does not say how the United States and China can
escape the trap he describes. [end page 8] PRC leaders believe it is possible to prosecute a major war without risking
a U.S. nuclear attack. The leaders of the United States believe stopping the PRC from prosecuting such
a war may depend, in certain contingencies, on a credible threat to use nuclear weapons—a
threat U.S. leaders state they are prepared to execute. These mismatched perceptions
increase both the possibility of war and the likelihood it will result in the use of nuclear
weapons . Well-informed U.S. officials tend to dismiss the possibility that the United States and the
PRC could wander into a nuclear war. For example, Admiral Dennis Blair, a former Director of National Intelligence whose final military post was Commander in Chief
new effort to up the technological ante as an act of bad faith. The
of the U.S. Pacific Command, assured a large gathering of U.S. arms-control experts that “the chances of a nuclear exchange between the United States and China are somewhere between nil and zero.” J. Stapleton
Similarly, PRC military strategists and arms control
experts believe that the risk of nuclear war with the United States is not an urgent concern even if that
risk may not be zero (Cunningham and Fravel 2015). This lack of urgency is troubling. For example, the United States
reportedly told the PRC it would risk military escalation to prevent or stop a proposed PRC
island reclamation project in the Scarborough Shoal (Cooper and Douglas 2016). The PRC reportedly responded
by committing to move ahead with the project later in 2016 (Chan 2016). This particular contest of wills
is part of a steadily increasing number of unresolved diplomatic spats that have escalated to the
level of overt military posturing reminiscent of U.S.-Soviet jousting during the Cold War. The
United States and the PRC are decades-old enemies, preparing for war and armed with nuclear
weapons. Good faith efforts by the leaders of both nations have failed to stop accelerating
preparations for war, including new investments in their nuclear forces. Miscommunication,
misunderstanding, or poor judgment could spark a conflict that both governments may
find difficult to stop. War between the United States and the People’s Republic of China is not inevitable, but failing
to acknowledge the risks is certain to make it more likely. Both governments should
confront these risks with a greater sense of purpose. Only then will they devote the same
measure of creativity, effort, and resources to the diplomacy of reducing those risks as
they now spend preparing for war.
Roy, a former U.S. ambassador to the PRC, wholeheartedly agreed (Swaine, Blair, and Roy 2015).
1AC Plan
The Congress of the United States should amend the 1976 Arms
Export Control Act to condition arms sales on the passage of a
confirmatory statute via an expedited up-or-down vote.
2AC
Case
2AC – AT National Security Secrecy
1. Leaks inevitable
Fabian 6/9 – Jordan, The hill(“Leaks continue to plague Trump White House despite
crackdown” https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/391430-leaks-plague-trump-whitehouse-with-no-end-in-sight)
President Trump's administration has been plagued by leaks of sensitive information, and the problem is showing
no signs of letting up as Trump passes his 500-day mark in office. The exit this week of junior White House communications staffer
Kelly Sadler — nearly a month after she privately made disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — illustrates the
extent of the problem. Sadler was shown the door only after she reportedly accused
her own supervisor of leaking
during an Oval Office meeting in front of Trump himself. The White House this week also faced
questions over the leak of a controversial memo drafted by the president's attorneys representing him in the Russia
probe and aides were forced to grapple with Trump’s rambling remarks during a closed-door hurricane preparedness briefing. The
unrelenting pace of unauthorized disclosures demonstrates how leaking is a feature , and not a bug, of the Trump
White House — one that has caused constant distractions and sown distrust among the president’s staff. White House
counselor Kellyanne Conway lamented the problem this week during a breakfast with reporters in Washington while also claiming
that the West Wing has made strides in rooting out so-called leakers. “I don’t understand why people would come to work in the
White House or in the administration ... and really try to curry their image or try to hurt other people whom the president has asked
them to work with,” Conway said. Conway is one of several top White House staffers who has herself been accused of leaking private
information, a charge she denies. Trump frequently complains about leaks, tweeting last month that they are a “massive over
exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media” while also labeling leakers within his administration as “traitors.” Trump's chief of
staff John Kelly and other top aides have made multiple attempts to stop the unauthorized disclosures, including implementing
mobile phone bans and shrinking the size of communications staff meetings, but the problem has persisted. Leaks
occur in
every White House, but the nature of recent disclosures differ from those that angered past presidents. Disclosures over
the past year and a half have often appeared intended to hurt internal rivals or the president
himself rather than influence policy decisions. People familiar with the Trump White House say the leaks are a product of a toxic
culture that incentivizes backstabbing instead of loyalty — an environment some say is fostered by the president himself. “It’s like
'Survivor' or 'Apprentice.' The president creates this air of drama where people feel the need to knife each
other in order to get ahead,” said Jamil Jaffer, a former White House lawyer under President George W.
Bush who has helped guide several Trump administration nominees. The problem, Jaffer says, is that
Trump has not shown loyalty to his subordinates so they are not inclined to be loyal to him by keeping
sensitive information under wraps. “The president could change the culture, but it doesn’t seem like he is interested in doing that,”
he said. "It’s no surprise his administration leaks like a sieve.” White House staffers publicly and privately complain how leaks
demoralize staff and make it more difficult to do their jobs. The New York Times reported this week that aides to first lady Melania
Trump purposefully kept the West Wing out of the loop with regard to her schedule and whereabouts following her kidney procedure
last month over fears the information would leak. Being labeled a leaker can be a kiss of death for an administration aide, yet that
has not been enough to eliminate the practice. Trump has increasingly relied on an ever-shrinking circle of confidants, leaving many
White House staffers feeling as if they have been cut out of the process and with less vested interest in being discreet. “I think less
information and more empowerment for certain people is probably a better formula in them feeling that they are respected and can
do their jobs very well on behalf of this country that we all love,” Conway said. Some in Trump World argue the problem is most
acute on the press and communications team, which has constantly been under fire for struggling to speak for the mercurial
president. “These
leaks are happening to cut each other down, not to help the president,” said one former
aide, who argued for “wholesale leadership changes” on that team. “It’s a bad culture.”
Trump campaign
2AC – China War Good – Tech Barriers
Tech gap locks in US military Dominance- China has no hope of
catching up
Brooks and Wohlforth, PhDs, 16
(Stephen G, Associate Professor of Government @Dartmouth, William C, Daniel Webster Prof of Government @Dartmouth,
May/June, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2016-04-13/once-and-future-superpower?cid=nlc-fatoday20160520&sp_mid=51424540&sp_rid=c2NvdHR5cDQzMUBnbWFpbC5jb20S1&spMailingID=51424540&spUserID=MTg3NTEzO
TE5Njk2S0&spJobID=922513469&spReportId=OTIyNTEzNDY5S0)
The technological and economic differences between China and the United States wouldn’t matter much if all it took to gain
superpower status were the ability to use force locally. But what
makes the United States a superpower is its ability
to operate globally, and the bar for that capability is high . It means having what the political
scientist Barry Posen has called “command of the commons”—that is, control over the air, space, and the
open sea, along with the necessary infrastructure for managing these domains. When one
measures the 14 categories of systems that create this capability (everything from nuclear attack submarines
to satellites to transport aircraft), what emerges is an overwhelming U.S. advantage in each area, the
result of decades of advances on multiple fronts. It would take a very long time for China
to approach U.S. power on any of these fronts, let alone all of them. For one thing, the
United States has built up a massive scientific and industrial base. China is rapidly enhancing its technological
inputs, increasing its R & D spending and its numbers of graduates with degrees in science and engineering. But there are
limits to how fast any country can leap forward in such matters, and there are various obstacles
in China’s way—such as a lack of effective intellectual property protections and inefficient methods of allocating capital—that
will be extremely hard to change given its rigid political system. Adding to the difficulty, China is chasing a moving target. In
2012, the United States spent $79 billion on military R & D, more than 13 times as much as
China’s estimated amount, so even rapid Chinese advances might be insufficient to
close the gap . Then there are the decades the United States has spent procuring advanced
weapons systems, which have grown only more complex over time. In the 1960s, aircraft took about five years to develop, but
by the 1990s, as the number of parts and lines of code ballooned, the figure reached ten years. Today, it takes 15 to 20 years
to design and build the most advanced fighter aircraft, and military satellites can take even longer. So
even if another country managed to build the scientific and industrial base to develop the many
types of weapons that give the United States command of the commons, there would be a
lengthy lag before it could actually possess them. Even Chinese defense planners recognize the
scale of the challenge. Command of the commons also requires the ability to supervise a wide
range of giant defense projects. For all the hullabaloo over the evils of the military-industrial complex and the “waste,
fraud, and abuse” in the Pentagon, in the United States, research labs, contractors, and bureaucrats have
painstakingly acquired this expertise over many decades, and their Chinese counterparts do not
yet have it. This kind of “learning by doing” experience resides in organizations, not in
individuals. It can be transferred only through demonstration and instruction, so cybertheft or
other forms of espionage are not an effective shortcut for acquiring it. China’s defense industry
is still in its infancy, and as the scholar Richard Bitzinger and his colleagues have concluded, “Aside from a few pockets of
excellence such as ballistic missiles, the Chinese military-industrial complex has appeared to demonstrate
few capacities for designing and producing relatively advanced conventional weapon systems.”
For example, China still cannot mass-produce high-performance aircraft engines, despite the
immense resources it has thrown at the effort, and relies instead on second-rate Russian models. In other areas,
Beijing has not even bothered competing. Take undersea warfare. China is poorly equipped for antisubmarine warfare and is doing
very little to improve. And only now is the country capable of producing nuclear-powered attack submarines that are comparable in
quietness to the kinds that the U.S. Navy commissioned in the 1950s. Since then, however, the U.S. government has invested
hundreds of billions of dollars and six decades of effort in its current generation of Virginia-class submarines, which have achieved
absolute levels of silencing. Finally, it
takes a very particular set of skills and infrastructure to actually use
all these weapons. Employing them is difficult not just because the weapons themselves tend to
be so complex but also because they typically need to be used in a coordinated manner. It is
an incredibly complicated endeavor, for example, to deploy a carrier battle group; the many associated ships and aircraft must work
together in real time. Even systems that may seem simple require a complex surrounding architecture in order to be truly effective.
Drones, for example, work best when a military has the highly trained personnel to operate them and the technological and
organizational capacity to rapidly gather, process, and act on information collected from them. Developing
the necessary
infrastructure to seek command of the commons would take any military a very long time. And
since the task places a high premium on flexibility and delegation, China’s centralized and
hierarchical forces are particularly ill suited for it.
It draws in other nuclear powers
Gompert, Cevallos and Garafola 16 - Gompert, David C., M.P.A., Woodrow Wilson
School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; B.S. in engineering, United
States Naval Academy, Astrid Cevallos and Cristina L. Garafola, M.A. in international relations
and international economics, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced and International
Studies; Certificate in Chinese and American studies, Hopkins-Nanjing Center; B.A. in
international relations and Chinese, Hamilton College. War with China: Thinking Through the
Unthinkable. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2016.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1140.html) RMT
Recall the earlier observation that war between China and the United States could be worse than
the long, severe case, as described here. In the 20th century, two great-power wars became
world wars, and a third could have followed the same course, or even worse. The possibility of a
Sino-U.S. war drawing in other powers and many states cannot be excluded: In addition to
Japan, perhaps India, Vietnam, and NATO would be on the U.S. side; Russia and North Korea
would be on China’s side. Fighting could spread beyond the region. War aims could expand, and
as they did, so would the costs of losing. Even if nuclear weapons were not used, China might
find other ways to attack the United States proper. Use of space and cyberspace could be
severely curtailed. As long as fighting remained inclusive, destruction and hardship could fuel
determination and further mobilization. In sum, both the duration and severity of war could
exceed the upper case used here for purposes of analysis. If so, losses and costs would be even
greater for both sides and the world, and the outcome would be no more favorable for China,
despite the expansion of its power.
T prohibit
2AC T Prohibit [G]
1. We meet. Restrict means more than prohibit, and prohibit
doesn’t mean ban.
Schiedler-Brown their author 12 – Attorney, Jean Schiedler-Brown & Associates
(Jean, “Appellant Brief of Randall Kinchloe v. States Dept of Health, Washington,” The Court of
Appeals of the State of Washington, Division 1,
http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/Briefs/A01/686429%20Appellant%20Randall%20Kinchelo
e%27s.pdf)
3. The
ordinary definition of the term "restrictions" also does not include the reporting and
monitoring or supervising terms and conditions that are included in the 2001 Stipulation. Black's Law Dictionary,
'fifth edition,(1979) defines "restriction" as; A limitation often imposed in a deed or lease respecting the use to which the
property may be put. The term "restrict' is also cross referenced with the term "restrain." Restrain is defined
as; To limit, confine, abridge, narrow down, restrict, obstruct, impede, hinder, stay, destroy. To prohibit from
action ; to put compulsion on; to restrict; to hold or press back. To keep in check; to hold back from acting, proceeding, or advancing, either by
physical or moral force, or by interposing obstacle, to repress or suppress, to curb. In contrast, the terms "supervise" and
"supervisor" are defined as; To have general oversight over, to superintend or to inspect. See Supervisor. A surveyor or
overseer. . . In a broad sense, one having authority over others, to superintend and direct. The term "supervisor" means an individual having authority,
in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or
responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing the exercise of
such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but required the use of independent judgment. Comparing the above definitions, it is clear
that the
definition of "restriction" is very different from the definition of "supervision"-very few of the
essentially agreed to some
supervision conditions, but he did not agree to restrict his license.
same words are used to explain or define the different terms. In his 2001 stipulation, Mr. Kincheloe
2. Restriction of executive power cannot ban executive control –
only set standards for the exercise of power.
Bernard SCHWARTZ Edwin D. Webb Prf. of Law @ NYU ’90 CURIOUSER AND
CURIOUSER: THE SUPREME COURT'S SEPARATION OF POWERS WONDERLAND 65
Notre Dame L. Rev. 587 l/n [gender paraphrased – Turner]
In Morrison, the Court, in effect, overrules the essential Myers holding that Congress may not limit the President's removal power over executive
officers. The distinction between Myers and Humphrey's Executor had [*611] always been considered that between "purely executive" officers (where
the Constitution vested the President with unfettered removal power) and officers exercising "quasi-legislative" and "quasi-judicial" powers (where
Congress could limit Presidential power to removal for cause). In the
Morrison opinion, this settled distinction is abandoned: "our
present considered view is that the determination of whether the Constitution allows Congress
to impose a 'good cause'-type restriction on the President's power to remove an official cannot be made to turn on whether or not that
official is classified as 'purely executive.'" n160 Instead, the test is not "the functions served by the officials at issue:"
"the real question is whether the removal restrictions are of such a nature that they impede the President's
ability to perform his [their] constitutional duty, and the functions of the officials in question must be analyzed in that light." n161
The Morrison Court finds that the "good cause" provision does not unduly limit the removal power: "we cannot say
that the imposition of a 'good cause' standard for removal by itself unduly trammels on executive authority." n162 It does not
impermissibly burden the President's power to control the independent counsel, as an executive official. "Rather, because the independent
counsel may be terminated for 'good cause', the Executive, through the Attorney General, retains ample authority to assure
that the counsel is competently performing her statutory responsibilities in a manner that comports with the
provisions of the Act." n163
3. In refers to within.
Words and Phrases ’59 vol 20A
Webster defines ‘in’ to mean within, inside of. It is held that where, by the terms of a mortgage,
it is payable “in” one year form date, it can be paid at any time during the year. Patterson v.
Judge, Pa, 17 Wkly Notes Cns. 127, 128.
K
2AC – Security – Floyd
The negative’s wholesale rejection of securitization fails – adopting a
framework of issue-specific consequentialist evaluation of
securitization can solve the neg’s impacts while still solving the case
Floyd 07 (Rita Floyd, University of Warwick, Review of International Studies, Vol 33 p 327-250)
Towards a consequentialist evaluation of security Considering the two brief overviews of the
different schools provided in the first section, it could be argued that Wæver has an overly
negative conception of security, whereas Booth and Wyn Jones have an overly positive
conception of security. This article will aim to show that what form security takes is entirely issuedependent, leaving both camps having something important and valid to contribute to the study of security as both
camps can potentially be right. Issue-dependent hereby does not mean that, for example, all securitisations in
one particular sector are always positive (negative) – indeed this article will show how differently
securitisations in the environmental sector can turn out – it rather means that every incidence of
securitisation is unique. Since this is the case, however, security in general is neither as good nor as bad as the
two camps argue, but rather it is a mixed bag. In the approach proposed here, principles that determine
whether a securitisation is positive or negative can only be derived by considering what would have been the
alternative solution. Given that for the Copenhagen School, securitisation is nothing but ‘an extreme version of
politicisation’,45 the question to consider in evaluating the nature of securitisation must be: did the securitisation in
question achieve more, and/or better results than a mere politicisation of the issue would have done? It is
important to note here, that ‘more and better’, is not equivalent to the success of the speech act (successful
securitisation can still be negative), but rather it refers to whether the consequences of, and the gains from,
the securitisation are preferable relative to the consequences and gains from a politicisation. The idea that the moral
rightness (or wrongness) of a securitisation depends on its consequences corresponds to what in moral
philosophy is known as a consequentialist ethics. Consequentialism46 referring to a set of moral
philosophies, which hold ‘that the rightness of an action is to be judged solely by consequences,
states of affairs brought about by the action’.47 Or, put slightly differently ‘a consequentialist
theory [. . .] is an account of what justifies an option over alternatives – the fact that it promotes
values.’48 These premises capture well what is meant by positive and negative securitisation in this article, for the
adjectives positive and negative do not refer to the relative success of the speech act that is
securitisation, but rather to how well any given security policy addresses the insecurity in question. The
approach introduced in this article will henceforth be referred to as a consequentialist
evaluation of security. In moral philosophy the idea that the moral rightness (or wrongness) of an action
is attributable to its consequences alone is of course contentious (see also fn. 46). The question that arises is
thus, why, in the evaluation of security/ securitisation, focus on consequences as opposed to, for example, rights as
deontologists would have it, or indeed virtues, as virtue theorists suggest? Much of the answer to this
question already lies in the argument of this article. Thus it is not only this author’s opinion that
the key to security evaluation lies with its consequences, rather scholars from both the schools
discussed above, with their respective positive and negative views of security, themselves already focus on what
they take to be the consequences of security. That is to say these scholars themselves are consequentialists.
However, and as this article aims to show, the consequentialism proposed by them is neither very balanced
nor, in the long run, particularly helpful, as in both cases, consequentialism is constricted by the nature of their
respective theoretical frameworks. Frameworks, whereby one promotes security as emancipation, therefore
generating a necessarily positive view of security, whilst the other school’s framework for analysis is void of
emancipation altogether, therefore partial to a negative view of security. That security is neither always positive nor
negative but rather issue dependent is the key hypothesis of this article. If this hypothesis holds true we are – as a
discipline – much in need of a more balanced and indeed critical evaluation of security than proposed by either
school, a provision of which is the purpose of this article. Given what has been said so far it should
have become clear that the herewith proposed consequentialist evaluation of security is also the key to rendering
the above-mentioned ‘normative dilemma of speaking and writing security’ less important, as it enables the analyst to
critically evaluate his/her speaking and writing security, rather than his/her simply speaking and writing security. This
approach thus enables the previously solely analytical securitisation analyst to step into the security equation and on
behalf of the actors encourage some securitisations and renounce others, depending on the moral rightness of the
respective securitisation’s consequences. It is precisely at this point where the emancipatory nature of the Welsh
School’s security studies becomes crucially relevant for a consequentialist evaluation of security, for – under
this approach – it is the task of the analyst to fight ignorance (or, put differently, false consciousness)
on the part of existing and/or potential securitising actors and inform (or better enlighten) them of the best
possible actions. But how does the analyst know what the best possible actions are? Or, put
differently, with what standards in mind are the consequences to be evaluated? Is it enough to
problematise securitisation by elites for elites, and make majority consensus the measuring unit behind the principles
for positive/negative securitisation? One should think not. Although it is useful to assume, that the
narrower the interest group behind the securitisation, the more likely it is to be negative, this
cannot be ascertained as the only general principle. After all, majority consensus does not prevent the
effective securitisation of something that is morally/ethically wrong. But how to determine what is morally/ethically
right? In security studies, one way of doing so, is by entering the evaluation of positive/negative through the
discourses of security prevalent in the different sectors of security. Here, by working out the specific security
relations in the competing discourses that make up the individual sector – who or what is the referent object
of security, who is the securitising actor and what is the nature of the threat – it should be possible
to determine the most and the least advantageous strategies in addressing insecurity; thereby determining which
approach to security (in the individual sector) is the best (most positive) all-round – morally, ethically,
effective – strategy. A consequentialist evaluation of security thus postulates the maximisation of genuine security
as its overarching value. The invocation of values itself is perfectly legitimate, particularly considering that ‘every
moral theory invokes values such that it can make sense to recommend in consequentialist fashion that they be
promoted or in non-consequentialist fashion that they be honoured,
2AC – Security – Perm
Perm—Utopian realism—criticism of conventional IR is most effective
when paired with concrete policies to alleviate US nuclear threats to
others.
Ken BOOTH E H Carr Professor of the Department of International Politics at Aberystywth
University ‘5 Critical Security Studies and World Politics p. 272-276
Although constructivism offers important insights into the dynamics of world politics,36 it does
not in itself constitute a theory of international relations, comparable with realism, for example,
with its distinctive set of ideas about the centrality of states, the causal significance of the
distribution of power, and the logic of balance-of-power policies. Constructivism is a
metatheoretical orientation, seeking to offer richer explanations of how the world works37; it
does not in itself give us a politically relevant ontology or praxiological orientation. It offers little
or no guidance as to whether globalization is desirable or whether the U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq
in 2003 was sensible. Constructivism is not a theory of security; what it does is act as a counter
to those theories claiming that life, including politics among nations, is determined (by biology,
for example). It reinforces the idea, to paraphrase Alexander Wendt, that security is what we
make it.38 Real People in Real Places While criticizing various contending theories, and
outlining the case for a specific critical theory of security. I want to emphasize the desirability of
pluralism. Any project aimed at rethinking security from the bottom up must not be closed to
the ideas and questions raised by different theoretical perspectives. That being said, the
drawing of theoretical lines is essential for an effective research strategy, not to mention any
political orientation. At the same time, whatever one's theoretical preference, regular engagement with other theoretical perspectives, including political realism, will help keep everybody
honest. There should be no synthesis of critical approaches around the lowest common
denominator or any misinformed ignoring of the tradition of political realism. Students of
security these days seem to be condemned to a lifetime of theoretical dialectic, but the typical
student will not be interested in theory for its own sake but rather for what it can do in helping
us to understand what is happening around us ("theory explains the world"), then in engaging
with world politics more effectively ("there is nothing more practical than a good theory"). In
other words, most of us are interested in theory because we are interested in real people in real
places. So, for example. the concept of emancipation should not be allowed to be characterized,
as it sometimes is by critics, as abstract or unrelated to real conflicts. In Chapter 10, Joseph
Ruane and Jennifer Todd showed in the all too concrete conflict in Northern Ireland that
emancipatory notions played a significant part in helping to shift the three decades of Troubles
there to a situation in which peace could finally be envisaged. Being directly relevant to real
situations—being a set of guidelines for action—has supposed to have been the particular
strength of political realism (as was discussed in Chapter 1). Unlike most political realists, one of
its founding figures, E. H. Carr, questioned what he called "pure realism" or "consistent
realism.- He argued that sound political thought and sound political life were synonymous
with finding a place for both utopianism and realism. Although he struggled to bring together
the planes of utopianism and realism, he was sure that it was an "unreal kind of realism" that
ignored the element of morality in any world order. He therefore concluded that the "essential
ingredients of all effective political thinking" were "a finite goal, an emotional appeal, a right of
moral judgement and a ground for action." 39 I believe the framework for a critical theory of
security mapped out earlier—albeit in a preliminary way—contains those essential ingredients
and in doing so helps to point in the direction of a utopian realist theory of security. Carr would
have rejected such a possibility (he thought it impossible to bring together the planes of realism
and utopianism), but he would have been sympathetic with the attempt. Utopian realism
attempts to bring together the theoretical and the empirical, as well as the where we are
(globally and locally) and the where we want to go (a harmonious human community with
enhanced world security).40 It attempts to do so in a nondualistic manner, fusing ends and
means in a manner whereby one's ideals are evident in how one acts, not only in what one hopes
to achieve. Old thinking about world politics guarantees old practices; the means recommended
by traditional theories will ensure that the end will be the same old world with the same old
dangers—and perhaps worse, given the predictable tinderbox of the decades ahead. By this I
mean that states with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will not persuade others to give
them up (except by coercion) if those very WMD states themselves continue to develop the
weapons and implicitly if not explicitly declare their possession to have political and strategic
utility. Likewise, when powerful states use violence, even if it is claimed to be a last resort for
humanitarian purposes, they are not acting in a manner calculated to make violence less likely;
if they achieve success in their own terms, they do so only by proving to others that strategic
violence can have political utility. Consistency requires that those who propose that world
politics is run by laws behave lawfully themselves and that those powerful states that proclaim
democracy should be willing themselves to live with being outvoted. The strategic challenge for
emancipatory politics is to develop ideas for dealing with today's security threats (to
whatever referents we are studying) in ways sensitive to the view expressed by Albert Camus that
the means one uses today shapes the ends one might perhaps reach tomorrow:41 If a critical theory of
security is to reverse the "escape from the real" that has characterized so much academic
writing about international relations,42 then it is essential to ask what it means for real
people in real places. What, for example, does one's theorizing mean for the people(s) of the
Balkans, women in east Africa, the prospects for the poorest classes in some region, the war on
terror, the future of the Middle East, the likelihood of resource wars, or the possibility of
nuclear weapons being used somewhere? It has only been constraints on space that have
prevented more case studies being offered in this volume, to illustrate what critically informed
empirical studies might look like. Such an engagement with the real should be the
heart of the next stage in the growth of critically informed security studies.43 Another central
task is that of trying to learn lessons, in the hope of contributing to the prevention of oppressive
structures and situations developing in the first place. In this respect, the U.S.-led war on Iraq in
2003 will provide fertile ground for lessons. While President George W. Bush and his allies,
notably Prime Minister Tony Blair, argued that the war made the world a safer place, critics
argue that U.S. and UK leaders and policies over the years contributed significantly to creating
the dangerous regional situation in the first place, while their policies in 2002-2004 made the
situation less rather than more secure. In light of this record, critics maintain that nobody could
have confidence that U.S.-UK policies in Iraq would create postconflict harmony in the region.
Critics point out that different attitudes to building up local strongmen, supplying arms to
human rights abusers, pursuing nuclear disarmament, strengthening the UN, and the more
vigorous (and less partisan) search for a just and lasting peace between Palestine and Israel—to
mention only headline items—would have helped create a different relationship between Iraq
and the West. The war against Iraq in 2003, according to this argument, has made the world
a more dangerous place, not only by exacerbating the situation in the Middle East but also by
replicating policies that legitimize violence and that reject multilateral international bodies.
Meanwhile, as leaders of many states focus on the war on terror, more important long-term
threats to human security and regional order—poverty, disease, environmental decay—remain
marginal or ignored. Remembering Camus, we should understand that human society will
never achieve tomorrow what its most powerful do not choose to begin to practice today. There
are, however, resources for benevolent change. Immanent critique points to the growing
voice of global civil society, for example, though the obstacles to benign change should not be
underestimated.44 Where one stands on these matters is a scholarly responsibility to be
considered with utmost seriousness because somewhere, some people, as these very words are being
read, are being starved, oppressed, threatened, or kilednthamofsrypc— or security. The framework of critical security
theory outlined above is policy-relevant, concerned with improving the conditions of political
possibility in the issue area of security. One familiar difficulty from any critical perspective in
this respect is the fact that current crises are the symptoms of particular structural wrongs and so
are deeply embedded in the workings of society. In order to deal with such difficulties, as the
old saying goes, one would not want to start from here. When one is already embroiled in a
crisis, realistic options are massively reduced. The main contribution of critical approaches
must therefore be precrisis, to help us think more constructively about ethical commitments,
policies, agents, and sites of change. to help humankind, in whole and in part, to move away
from the structural wrongs that ensure that crises, like earthquakes, will periodically rent the
political landscape. The critical theory project in security studies—committed to the development of scholarship relating to the in/security of real people in real places—can be
translated into the two tasks of critique and reconstruction. Critique entails critical explorations
of what is real (ontology), what is reliable knowledge (epistemology), and what can be done
(praxis). Reconstruction requires engagement with concrete issues in world politics,
with the aim of maximizing the opportunities for enhancing security, community, and
emancipation in the human interest. Hayward Alker in Chapter 8 showed why, despite
everything, there is reason for rational hope. Not only is there Kenneth Boulding's argument about
the possibilities revealed by historical actualities, but also Alker's suggestion about the scope for
pragmatic concrete projects that are possible across cultures and political theories (what he calls
"existential redemptions from the violence of the past"). The one world in which we all live is
getting smaller, more overheated, and increasingly overcrowded. Meanwhile, the realities of
security are becoming more complex as politico-economic and technocultural globalization
interacts with traditional conflicts arising out of international competition and mistrust.
Runaway science, irrationalities and extremisms of one sort or another, and growing pressures
on resources threaten to add more combustible fuel to the already dangerous global situation.
Human society in the decades to come is threatened by a future of complex insecurity. The
outcome for world society is as uncertain as it has ever been—perhaps even more so, given
current and future destructive capabilities. Confronted by the threat of complex insecurity,
human society needs a theory of world security that is ontologically inclusive, epistemologically
sophisticated, and praxeologically varied. Old thinking is guaranteed to replicate: Can a critical
theory move beyond this and help to emancipate? Security studies will contribute-however
remotely or indirectly-to replicating or changing peoples' conditions of existence. As students of
security, whether one is new to the subject or has been studying it for decades, we have a choice:
we can decide to study in ways that replicate a world politics that does not work for countless
millions of our fellow human beings; or we can decide to study in ways that seek to help to lift
the strains of life- determining insecurity from the bodies and minds of people in real villages
and cities, regions and states. The stakes could not be higher.
Utilitarianism is best – death is irreversible to it’s a prior impact. s
ESR
2AC – ESR – Perm do Both
1. Perm do both – shields the link, perceived as executive follow
on.
2AC – ESR – Congressional Key Saudi Signal
1. ESR is perceived as transactional diplomacy, not principled
opposition. Only congress can signal changed US posture on
Saudi Arabia. That’s Baker, Chief Whitehouse Correspondent
and Ahmed.
2AC – ESR – Trump Can’t Create Norms
1. Trump can’t create norms – key to solve arms transparency AND
secrecy:
A) Behavior – he’ll continue to push arms sales.
Cohen 10/10 – Zachary, CNN Politics (“Trump administration touts 33% increase in foreign
arms sales” https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/10/politics/trump-administration-foreign-armssales-2018/index.html)
US foreign
military sales totaled $55.66 billion in 2018, a 33% increase compared to the nearly $42 billion in weapons sold in
is the highest annual total for military sales to foreign
governments since 2012 when the US conducted upwards of $69 billion in arms deals with allies and partners around the world. The
upward trend is due, in part, to the Trump administration's push to relax restrictions on foreign military
sales. Though critics suggest human rights concerns are being relegated in the rush to increase sales. Since taking office, President Donald
Trump has demonstrated an insatiable appetite for selling American weaponry abroad -- at times
using face-to-face meetings with foreign leaders to make a personal sales pitch.
2017, the Defense Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday. It
B) He’s Trump! No foreign leader trusts him because of his
America first mantra. Only congress can lead.
Glickman, Professor of History at Cambridge, 9/25 – Gabriel, Gabriel
Glickman is a University Lecturer in Early Modern British History. He studied as an
undergraduate and postgraduate at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and taught subsequently at
the universities of Warwick and Oxford.(“At the U.N., Trump abdicates U.S. leadership”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/09/25/un-trump-abdicates-usleadership/?utm_term=.7a7cce088e1f)
at the U.N. General Assembly. Unlike most of his
the president was
laughed at . That isolation is, at least in part, self-imposed. In his speech, Trump said the “U.S. will always choose
independence and cooperation over global governance.” Compare those words to President Harry S.
Truman’s at the opening session in 1946: “This meeting of the Assembly symbolizes the
abandonment by the United States of a policy of isolation.” Under Trump, that long-standing
vision — embraced by both Democrats and Republicans — has been not only abandoned but also
denigrated. This is an unforced error, a step toward isolation that harms U.S. interests and weakens its leadership on the world stage. It comes as the U.S.-led world
order is under assault from the reemergence of a powerful and ambitious China and the meddlesome and aggressive behavior of smaller nations such as Russia. With so
many potential international problems, it is more important than ever that the United States not
go it alone or retreat from international engagement. To confront the current crises requires a
strong and committed executive. But, most important, one that is also compassionate and approachable.
U.S. presidents have been central to sustaining a world order for generations. They understood
it was a responsibility that required allies and that sometimes they would have to put the
interests of those allies ahead of America’s to maintain America’s larger interest in a stable
world order. President Bill Clinton demonstrated this when he intervened in Kosovo’s ethnic genocide in the 1990s at the request of the European nations. Even
On Tuesday, President Trump continued a long-standing presidential tradition by giving a speech
predecessors, however, Trump found himself isolated in front of the international community. Indeed, at one point during the speech,
President George W. Bush, who had his fair share of conflict with the international community, asked U.N. member countries in 2002 to “stand” with the United States and
bring democracy to the Middle East. He claimed it would “show that the promise of the United Nations can be fulfilled in our time.” Historian A.J.P. Taylor famously wrote that
wars are like road accidents. If that is the case, these recent developments indicate we are in the midst of a slow-moving 21st-century “wreck of nations.” According to Taylor,
wars “have a general cause and particular causes at the same time.” A world order in transition for the first time since World War II is the general cause of our current “wreck.”
Unless Americans acknowledge this new reality, the results of that “wreck” will be a more dangerous world order than the one we now know. Conflicts between powerful nations
seeking to be the dominant expanding civilization have been known in every era of recorded human history. What is different about this time, however, is this type of conflict has
not been seen since 1945, when the United States devised a world order in its own democratic and enlightened image. Even during the Cold War, an era of heightened tensions
fed by nuclear proliferation, the Soviet Union and the United States never met face to face on any battlefield. This spared the world from a clash of the two superpowers. After
the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States had no viable challengers — leading conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer to observe in 1990 we had reached an
unprecedented “unipolar moment” in world history.If we did experience a unipolar moment, that moment is over. That is largely because of the reemergence of an outward-
looking and economically proficient China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. China’s version of a world order will mirror its own domestic values — where security
this will clash with the current
world order built by the United States. The United States has sought to mold the world with its own democratic image in mind, not to rule it as
trumps privacy and the expectation of civil obedience regularly displaces individual liberties. There is no doubt
previous dominant powers had. That is because Americans have historically been ambivalent about their power. The nation’s interventions abroad are often accompanied by
antiwar protests at home. As a result, the United States is a “benevolent hegemon,” argues Robert Kagan. In other words, the world has nothing to fear from its power. To be
sure, decades of unsuccessful foreign interventions — such as the Vietnam War and the Iraq War — have made Americans and the rest of the world wary. But there is no denying
the world has become safer under U.S. leadership. People are richer, happier and healthier today than in any other period in recorded history. The explanation for the success of
United States is the first global power to establish a world order that is in
actuality a de facto system of universal liberalizing norms. The purpose of these norms has been
to stabilize the world by making all nations prosperous. This is known as the “democratic peace thesis.” According to this theory,
this “Age of America” is simple: The
nations that share the same values — in this case, democracy — do not go to war with one another. Moreover, the economic prosperity of democratic nations keeps them from
turning to violence as an alternative means to thrive. Ironically, the United States often has to go to war to preserve that system — a position Richard Haass, president of the
Council on Foreign Relations, calls “global sheriff.” It has never been easy to convince Americans that the world requires their participation. During World War I, President
Woodrow Wilson famously went to great lengths to convince the American public it was “privileged” to “spend . . . blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and
happiness and the peace which she has treasured.” Wilson had his work cut out for him in proving the value of Americans fighting in a European war that was largely of no
consequence to the Western Hemisphere. His reelection slogan in 1916 was “He kept us out of war.” Wilson came to understand the pivotal role the United States had to play in
the world. In doing so, he convinced the nation. Before Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt similarly struggled to implore Americans not to sit idly by and watch its
European friends try to beat back fascism. It is unclear whether war-weary Americans would positively respond to a similar call today. A recent study by the Chicago Council of
Global Affairs found that 50 percent of millennials think it is a good thing for the United States to take an active role in international affairs. Compare that figure to the Silent
Without America’s continued involvement in
global affairs, though, the world will be at the mercy of the vicissitudes of powerful, illiberal
nations — and history demonstrates that, unlike the United States, most hegemonic states seek to dominate smaller nations. This scenario would surely lead to even more
Generation, born between 1928 and 1945, who polled near 80 percent for the same question.
nation-state “wrecks” as the rising powers compete with little to no pushback. There should be little doubt this would be bad for the United States and its interests. After the
collapse of the British world order in World War I, there was a rise of despotic states that engaged in a new form of imperialism that was justified through hypernationalism.
There was also global economic uncertainty, culminating in the Great Depression. Moreover, if the current world order collapses or even fractures, democracies will more than
likely become outnumbered, leading to fewer partners for the United States. There is no other nation with a similar set of values that is capable of taking over for the United
States as the guarantor of the most successful world order in history. So the United States had better hang on, for its own interests and for those of its allies. There is no better
way to do so than by remaining a good-faith partner to the international community —— and not a loner state.
2AC NOPEC Add On (Must Read)
Congressional action key to release pressure for NOPEC passage
Reuters 10-14-18 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissidentsanctions/saudi-arabia-says-will-retaliate-against-any-sanctions-over-khashoggi-caseidUSKCN1MO0F1
U.S. senators called for reactions ranging from boycotting an upcoming economic summit in
Riyadh to ending support for Saudi military operations in Yemen. Pompeo demands answers on U.S. citizen
held in Russia “If they lured this man into that consulate, they went medieval on him, and he was killed and he was chopped up and
they sent a death crew down there to kill him and do all of this, that would be an outrage,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN’s
State of the Union. “Just
because they are an ally in an important mission, which is containing Iranian expansion
allow us to overlook or walk away from that.” Fellow Republican, Arizona Senator Jeff
Flake, appearing on “This Week”, called for “severe action” which he said would affect arms sales and
involvement in Yemen. The Saudi stock market fell as much as 7 percent in early trade on Sunday, one of
in the region, cannot
the first signs of economic pain Riyadh could suffer over the affair. By close, it had recovered some losses, ending down 3.5 percent
and losing $16.5 billion of market value. Senators
have triggered a provision of the Global Magnitsky
Human Rights Accountability Act requiring the president to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for a
gross human rights violation. The act has in the past imposed visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials. Anti-Saudi
sentiment in the U.S. Congress could conceivably raise pressure to pass the No Oil
Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, which would end sovereign immunity shielding
OPEC members from U.S. legal action.
NOPEC causes oil price spike and wrecks US growth
Ayuk, JD/MBA, 7-29-18
(NJ, a leading energy lawyer and a strong advocate for African entrepreneurs. He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in
African business today, a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, one of Forbes’ Top 10 Most Influential Men in Africa in
2015, and a well-known dealmaker in the petroleum and power sectors. https://africabusiness.com/2018/07/29/nopec/)
But attempting to take OPEC down with punishing lawsuits is not in America’s best interests. In 2007, when a nearly identical
version of NOPEC
was under consideration, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget warned that legal
action against OPEC and its members could result in oil supply disruptions , and instead of lowering
gasoline prices, the lawsuits likely would cause prices to surge upward . Treasury Secretary Henry
Paulson said that the mere passage of NOPEC would threaten foreign investment in the US:
OPEC nations might withdraw assets to prevent them from being seized. Those weren’t unreasonable
claims, and the same risks hold today. In fact, between an intensifying trade war and rising tensions among
the U.S. and its NATO allies, the stakes are even higher. Earlier this year, Saudi Aramco announced commercial
partnerships worth more than $10 billion with 14 American companies. Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in OPEC. With the
threat of lawsuits looming, partnerships like that could be a thing of the past. NOPEC would put foreign investments in the U.S. oil
and gas sector, from exploration projects to infrastructure at risk, too. For example, earlier this month UAE-based Gulftainer
received the U.S. government’s go-ahead to operate the Port of Wilmington in Delaware, a fully serviced deepwater port and marine
terminal, for the next 50 years. Gulftainer already has announced plans to develop the port’s cargo terminal capabilities and enhance
its overall productivity. How likely are more deals like this after NOPEC? America’s
lost partnership and investment
opportunities could extend beyond OPEC members. Non-OPEC members may wonder if the
precedent set by NOPEC puts them in legal jeopardy, especially in a litigious country like the U.S. Other
countries may think twice before partnering or investing in U.S. O&G projects to protect their own relationships with
OPEC nations. Then there’s the matter of U.S. O&G companies that operate overseas. Foreign countries may begin restricting their
access or ordering them to leave altogether. Not only would these lost opportunities affect E&P multinationals like ExxonMobil,
Vaalco Energy, Chevron, Murphy, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Apache Corporation, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum,
Noble Energy, Kosmos Energy, oilfield services providers like Halliburton, Schlumberger, Stewart & Stevenson, McDermott
International, MODEC, Nalco Champion, National Oilwell Varco, Oceaneering International Inc, Precision Drilling, Weatherford
International and Baker Hughes could be hurt. Any
of these scenarios could damage the U.S. economy in the
form of fewer jobs, reduced oil supplies and higher gasoline prices.
Price volatility sparks conflict – rapid price movement in either
direction triggers unrest across the globe – specifically Saudi Arabia
and Russia
Karl, Stanford Political Science Professor, 16 [Terry Lynn; 1-26-16; Politico;
"The Hidden Consequences of the Oil Crash"; www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/oilcrash-hidden-consequences-213550; accessed 9-28-16; PAC]
Such a grim prognosis traditionally spells the downfall of fragile governments—and, sometimes,
even regimes that appear stable. In Venezuela, which is already in a constitutional crisis, this
year’s projected 10 percent economic contraction will plunge its extremely polarized population
into even more intense civil conflict. The already dangerous situation in the Middle East and
North Africa will be intensified. Because national boundaries in that region are not resolved and
political institutions are crumbling, the grim economic forecast for oil-exporting governments
makes them less capable of appeasing their populations or securing their oil facilities and
pipelines in the face of vicious insurgencies. The Islamic State, for example, lives off the earnings
from oil fields in Syria and Iraq, and similar dynamics fund Boko Haram in Nigeria and al
Qaeda affiliates in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Ironically, one likely impact of this oil glut is a future price spike. Despite all the current hype,
only a relatively thin margin separates surplus from shortage. Global crude oil production has
already dropped substantially, with U.S production falling to 2008 levels. The delayed actions of
major producers like Chevron and ExxonMobil, which are holding off planned large-scale oil
projects—and, hence, millions of barrels of future supply—has the potential to fuel a surge in
prices as early as next year. And widespread conflict in oil regions—exacerbated by low and
unstable oil prices—could significantly disrupt supply at almost any time.
Oil-related violence underlies almost all of today’s major hotspots
MARK
, even those conflicts that appear solely ethnic or religious in nature, including the Syrian Civil
War and its spillover into Iraq, growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the
continued civil unrest in Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Nigeria, Algeria, Somalia, Libya and
the Sahel, Russia and the Ukraine and Venezuela, to name a few. Many of these
governments—including, notably, Russia and Saudi Arabia—have every incentive
to take aggressive nationalist political action abroad to deflect attention from
deteriorating economic conditions at home.
Whether oil prices stay too low or suddenly spike, their very volatility perilously
whiplashes both winners and losers, destabilizes economies and polities and
encourages war—a compelling reason to look for new sources of energy, just in case climate
change alone was not enough reason to get off the fossil fuel roller coaster.
Courts
Cant amend legislation
Links to war powers, and romney would have to speak out
2AC – Courts CP
1. Perm do both – shields the link.
2. Courts always favor national secrecy because of “weightiness”
Schwarz, Church Committee Chief Counsel, 12 – Frederick A.O. (Fritz)
Schwarz, Jr., Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate’s “Church” Committee in the 1970’s (“Despite
History, Fear Prompts Court Deferrals to Secrecy”
https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/publications/BCAnnual2012.pdf)
Today, we
are left with a sharp debate about the harms and the benefits of secrecy and openness. And so
now I am going to shift gears and discuss how the Courts have and have not — contributed to that debate. Of course, the debate between openness and
secrecy has two sides. There are legitimate secrets that need protection. Arguments
by the executive branch for secrecy,
based upon “national security,” are entitled to weight. But, in almost all cases the courts have
given conclusive weight to claims of “national security.” This is true in cases where the
government moves to dismiss cases because it claims the litigation will expose a “state secret.” It
is true in Freedom of Information Act (or FOIA) cases where the government resists production of documents on “national security” grounds. But it is
not just the uniformity of the ultimate result that is revealing. It is also what the courts do not do in the course of
deciding these cases. Courts do not look behind government officials’ assertions of national security
harm. While a court’s job is to decide individual cases, it is striking to see the narrow lens the courts use to
examine secrecy cases. Courts pay no attention to the fundamental importance of openness to American democracy. And they pay no
attention to the long-lasting and overwhelming evidence that secrecy has been overused and misused.
3. Can’t solve secrecy or Saudi arabia – congressional checks key to
both advantages.
Con Con
2AC – Con Con CP
1. Delay deficit – takes 20 + months, INF and liberal order will
collapse.
Huckabee 97 [David, Specialist in American National Government,
http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/97-922.pdf]
In the period beginning with the First Congress, through September 30, 1997 (105th Congress, 1 Session), a total of 10,980 proposals
had been introduced to amend st the Constitution. Thirty-three of these were proposed by Congress to the
states, and 27 have been ratified. Excluding the 27th Amendment (Congressional Pay), which took more than 202 years, the longest
pending proposed amendment that was successfully ratified was the 22nd Amendment (Presidential
Tenure), which took three years, nine months, and four days. The 26th Amendment (18-year-old vote) was ratified in the
shortest time: three months and 10 days. The average ratification time was one year, eight months, and seven days.
2. Destroys judicial independence
ABA 97 Report of the ABA Commission on Separation of Powers and Judicial Independence,
http://www.abanet.org/govaffairs/judiciary/r6a.html
Congress has shown the judiciary less deference than in the past, in the course of overseeing and reforming the courts' jurisdiction, practice,
procedure, administration, and budget. Judges, on the other hand, have not always responded constructively to such initiatives, sometimes
accusing Congress of "micromanaging" the courts or of threatening judicial independence. That, in turn, has served only to deepen Congress'
resolve to look at the courts even more closely, which may ultimately inure to the detriment of the courts' institutional independence. The third
problem is related to the first two: if Congress and the courts do not
cooperate in a constructive and restrained
manner, public confidence in the judiciary will be adversely affected. When judges are publicly accused of
committing impeachable offenses or engaging in illegitimate criminal coddling or "activist" decision-making, it diminishes public
faith in the judicial system as a whole. Although targeted, rational criticism can result in improvements, the increasingly contentious
relationship between courts and Congress and the atmosphere of skepticism that has begun to work its way into congressional oversight
of the judiciary, manifests shrinking confidence in the judiciary's capacity or willingness to regulate itself,
and further fuels public disenchantment with the courts. Public support for the judicial system is currently at its lowest point in
recent memory. If confidence in the courts is not restored, real threats to judicial independence are sure to follow. In a representative
democracy, the judiciary will
remain independent only as long as the people trust it to be so. When the public loses faith
in its judges, threats to judicial independence, in the form of amendments to Article III of the Constitution, are a
logical next step.
Constitutional retrogression causes extinction.
Robin West, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, The Constitution's Political
Deficit, Harvard Law and Policy Review, December 4, 2006,
http://www.hlpronline.com/2006/07/west_01.html.
This allocation of labor -- the Court engages in ennobling moral reasoning about good
government and therefore in the philosophical and moral arts of politics, while the Congress
does nothing but act, on the basis of its own or constituent "preferences" - occasions what I am
calling the "political deficit." The "legal question doctrine" transforms political questions about
the nature of good governance into legal questions. The work remaining for the political branch?
Horse trading at best. True politics has been given over to courts. II. The "Legal Deficit"
Although this might initially seem paradoxical, the combination of what Levinson calls the
"democratic deficit" and what I am calling the "political deficit" inherent in U.S. constitutional
law and practice lends aid, from time to time in our history, to profoundly lawless, asocial
and destructive impulses. By so denigrating the law-maker, we denigrate her product, which is
ordinary law. Thus, the "legal deficit." Of course, our constitutional text and practice have, on a
handful of important occasions, given "constitutional" comfort to a highly principled natural
law. In such cases, text and practice have been a friend and ally to moral and righteous civil
disobedience against unjust majoritarian inclinations, as expressed in morally noxious and
politically destructive legislative action.6 Less remarked upon, however, is that our
constitutional practice has also given constitutional comfort to the anti-legalist instincts of a
very different and what might be called "hyper-individualist" strand of anti-legalism: a frontierconquering, gun-wielding, tax-protesting, border-protecting, conception of liberty, which seeks,
with constitutional help, to free the individual of all obligations to the social compact, neighbors,
states, and even families, much less to the very "beloved community" of which Dr. King so
eloquently spoke.7 Likewise, these days our anti-legalistic and anti-legislative constitutional
practices give aid to the President, who seeks constitutional blessing for his instinct to be freed
from ties not only under the domestic law that seeks to constrain his reach, but under
international laws, treaties, conventions, and covenants that might do so as well.8 The
constitutional and, hence, anti-legalist obligations and entitlements of such a commander-inchief might well "trump" in his own mind and in his office the petty duties of fidelity to ordinary
law. We ought to view both phenomena as dangerous. Hyper-individualism can morph into a
narcissistic and costly recklessness, just as a militarist executive unleashed from legal bonds, as
well as other sorts of bonds that strengthen and recognize our shared humanity, might
imperil the planet. A constitutional practice that preaches relentless suspicion of ordinary,
voted-upon law, that persistently sees in politics the worst in us, and sees in a document that
protects us against our ordinary politics the best of us, winds up casting a pall of
potential illegitimacy over the legislative product. Constitutionalism preaches distrust of both
majoritarian politics and of its product, ordinary law. This effect of Constitutionalism is what
I'm referring to as the "legal deficit."
2020
2AC 2020 DA
1. Can’t predict and too many issues thump.
Stuart Rothenberg 1/3, An American editor, publisher, and political analyst. He is best
known for his biweekly political newsletter The Rothenberg Political Report, 1/3/19, “An Initial
Rating of the 2020 Race,” https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/an-initial-rating-of-the2020-presidential-race
I didn’t expect Donald Trump to win in 2016, and after his election I wrote an entire column in
The Washington Post examining my analysis and mistakes. Now older, hopefully a little wiser,
and definitely more cautious, I turn to the 2020 presidential contest, which has already started.
My initial rating is based on a combination of Trump’s current standing, his electoral
performance in 2016, his party’s performance in 2018, questions about the Democratic Party’s
ability to unite behind a broadly appealing nominee next year, and assumptions about the
economy and state of the nation a year and a half from now. Obviously, some of those factors
will change over the next 22 months, altering the two parties’ prospects at least a
few times between now and Nov. 3, 2020. But you have to start somewhere.
The fundamentals Trump lost the popular vote by about 2.9 million votes (just over 2
percentage points), but won the White House by carrying states and districts that accounted for
306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232. Narrow wins in three key Great Lakes states that
often go Democratic in presidential contests — Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), Wisconsin (10)
and Michigan (16) — were crucial for him, as were Florida (29), Arizona (11) and North Carolina
(15), which he [Trump] also won narrowly. Clinton fell 38 electoral votes short of winning the
election. Democrats showed renewed strength last year in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and
Michigan (including winning races for governor in all three), which complicates Trump’s reelection effort. Of course, Trump narrowly lost four states he could conceivably carry in 2020 —
New Hampshire (4), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6) and Maine (4), giving him at least a couple of
paths to 270 electoral votes next year. (He did receive one of Maine’s four votes in 2016 when he
carried the state’s 2nd District.) Most other states don’t start off being in play in 2020, although
a handful (e.g., Colorado, Iowa, Virginia and even Georgia) could be worth watching, if only to
understand the dynamics of the larger fight. In terms of his coalition, the good news for Trump
is that he has suffered relatively few defections since his election. He remains strong in rural
America, among evangelicals, with non-college-educated white men and with conservatives. But
the president has made no effort to broaden his appeal, a reality very much in evidence in 2018
survey data and in the midterm results. How little has Trump’s coalition changed? He won 46.1
percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential contest. Two years later, his job approval in the exit
poll stood at 45 percent, and Republican House nominees drew 44.8 percent of the vote in
midterm balloting, according to data gathered by David Wasserman of the Cook Political
Report. Given the results of 2016 and 2018 (when Democratic House candidates drew almost 10
million votes more than GOP nominees), Trump again looks unlikely to win the popular vote
next year. In that case, the president’s re-election map probably will need to resemble 2016’s if
he is going to win a second term. The midterms showed that core Democratic constituencies that
didn’t vote for Clinton in 2016, including younger voters, minorities and progressives, were back
onboard against Trump. In addition, white college-educated women (particularly in the
suburbs) moved toward the Democrats last year. If both of those developments occur again, the
president will have huge problems, which is why Trump’s single-minded focus on his base over
the past two years looks like a strategic error. The polls While initial 2020 polls should be taken
with a pound of salt, they illuminate the president’s vulnerabilities. The Dec. 9-12 NBC
News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Trump trailing a “generic Democrat” by 14 points, 52
percent to 38 percent.
There is no way of knowing what events will draw America’s attention 18 or 20
months from now , but Republicans have reasons for concern. Trump clearly likes to keep
himself in the middle of things, and that inevitably leads to disruption and chaos. That’s not a problem
for most of his base, of course, but it could make the Democratic nominee more appealing to some voters who supported Trump in
2016 but have tired of the circus. The
economy, which has been strong during the first two years of the
Trump presidency, looks increasingly vulnerable to higher interest rates, slower international
growth and the normal ups and downs of the business cycle. Most economists expect slowing growth in the
U.S. economy by later this year and in early 2020, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean a recession, even slower growth
could cause additional headaches for the president’s campaign. Administration turnover,
Trump’s leadership style, and questions involving trade/tariffs, China, Russia,
NATO, the Middle East, the budget deficit, health care, immigration, gun control
and defense could all be issues over the next couple of years, keeping the president
on the defensive. And that doesn’t even include additional Trump problems stemming from the
special counsel investigation by Robert S. Mueller III and House investigations into his business dealings and administration’s
performance.
2. Link Non-Unique – arms sales bills have and will be brought to
votes
Beinart 12/4 – Peter Beinart Professor of journalism at the City University of New York
(“What the Yemen Vote Reveals About the Democratic Party”
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/senate-moves-towards-ending-americasrole-yemen/577243/)
Many congressional Democrats believe that the country sits at a similar juncture now. The War on Terror, they argue, enabled a
second imperial presidency, and the decline of the Islamic State has created an opportunity to change direction. “Since 9/11,
presidents have taken more authority with relatively little pushback from Congress,” one Senate Democratic aide told me, “and
Yemen is where Congress makes its stand.” Democrats pushing a War Powers Resolution on
Yemen want not merely to expand oversight of the Pentagon’s sprawling anti-terrorism
operations, but to reorient American foreign policy away from terrorism altogether . “As an organizing
framework,” Sanders declared in a foreign-policy speech last year, “the Global War on Terror has been a disaster for the American
people and for American leadership.” Two interrelated shifts within the Democratic Party are easing Sanders’s path. The first is the
growing activism of the party’s base. Although most of that activism is focused on domestic issues, the culture of militant protest has
influenced the debate on Yemen, too. According to Stephen Miles of Win Without War, the group’s activists have made and sent
more than 200,000 phone calls and emails to members of Congress on Yemen in the last two years. Last month, activists protested
outside the district offices of Speaker-in-Waiting Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam Schiff. Within a day, according to Robert
Naiman of the nonpartisan advocacy group Just Foreign Policy, both Pelosi
and Schiff committed to co-sponsor the
House version of the War Powers Resolution. As part of this activist turn, progressive Democrats have
begun spurning corporate contributions, and challenging those in their party who accept them. This makes it harder
for Democrats to quietly do the bidding of the defense contractors who benefit from American participation in the Saudi war. In
November, when the House voted to prevent a floor vote on his War Powers Resolution on Yemen, the resolution’s sponsor,
California Representative Ro Khanna, tweeted, “Those who voted to block my resolution on ending U.S. involvement in Yemen
When
Democrats take over the House in January, Khanna’s resolution will likely get a
vote on the floor . Yemen is likely only the beginning of a Democratic insurgency not merely against
received an average of $48,047 from the defense industry. Those who voted against it received an average of $27,505.”
Trump’s foreign policy, but also against the legacy of Obama’s. On the same day last week that the Senate voted on Sanders’s
resolution on Yemen, Elizabeth Warren declared in a speech, “It’s time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan—starting now.”
Naiman predicts that next year House Democrats will vote to express their disapproval of the war in Afghanistan, which Obama
championed in his 2008 campaign, sharply escalated in 2009, and decided in his final years not to end. It’s a good bet given that
Massachusetts Democratic Representative Jim McGovern,
who last year denounced Congress for having
“acquiesced time and time again to Democratic and Republican administrations when it comes to war,” will
become chairman of the House Rules Committee, which determines which bills get a vote on the
House floor.
Romney
2AC – Romney Fights Now
Romney is in a fight now
Collinson and Vasquez 1/19 – Stephen Collinson and Maegan Vazquez, CNN (“Trump
just made an offer to Democrats to end the government shutdown and they said no”
https://www.eastidahonews.com/2019/01/trump-just-made-an-offer-to-democrats-to-end-thegovernment-shutdown-and-they-said-no/)
“Compromise in divided government means that everyone can’t get everything they want every
time. The President’s proposal reflects that. It strikes a fair compromise by incorporating
priorities from both sides of the aisle.”
And Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who has emerged as a frequent Trump critic after only a few
weeks in the chamber also backed the plan.
“@POTUS has put forth a reasonable, good-faith proposal that will reopen the government and
help secure the border. I look forward to voting for it and will work to encourage my Republican
and Democratic colleagues to do the same,” Romney wrote on Twitter.
But there was immediate pushback from the far right — in a reminder of the criticism by
conservative pundits that caused Trump to pull out of a deal to keep the government open late
last year.
“Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb!” said Ann Coulter on Twitter,
referring to former Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
“100 miles of border wall in exchange for amnestying millions of illegals. So if we grant
citizenship to a BILLION foreigners, maybe we can finally get a full border wall,” Coulter wrote
in another tweet.
Trump’s proposal includes $800 million for urgent humanitarian assistance and $805 million
for drug detection technology to secure ports of entry, as well additional border agents, law
enforcement officials and new immigration judge teams to deal with cases of migrants crossing
the US-Mexico border.
2AC – Impact Turn
Romney not a check
Cornish and Brooks 1/4 – Audie Cornish talks with E.J. Dionne of The Washington
Post and David Brooks of The New York Times about the ongoing government shutdown, the
new Congress and the return of Mitt Romney.“Week In Politics: The Government Shutdown,
The New Congress And Mitt Romney's Return”
https://www.npr.org/2019/01/04/682349968/week-in-politics-the-government-shutdownthe-new-congress-and-mitt-romneys-retur)
CORNISH: Last topic is going to be about freshman lawmakers. One familiar face this week,
Mitt Romney, kicks off his term with an Op-Ed and media tour attacking the president. David,
what's going on here?
BROOKS: Well, one senator is saying in public what a lot of senators say in private - that
character matters. He didn't really disagree with Trump on a lot of policy issues, but he did on
the subject of character. And that means there's an internal Republican opposition. I was struck
by the way the RNC, the Republican National Committee, or at least some members of it,
reacted, which was to try to lock down the primary process. There were moves to create a series
of moves so that Trump would have no opposition in the Republican primaries. That suggests
they understand that if a fight is Republicans versus Democrats, Republicans will hang together.
But if the fight is Republican against Republican with one standing for character and
conservatism and the other, Trump, just standing for conservatism or some version of it, then a
lot of Republicans would be tempted to go the other way. And so I think they're so sensitive to
the fact there could be fissures in this party.
CORNISH: E.J.?
DIONNE: I think Mitt Romney's problem is that he was for Trump before he was against him.
Before he was for him. Before he was against him. He's been everywhere when it comes to
Trump. And a lot of times, it's whatever suited his interests. But this was a powerful
marker. And it's really striking that the first resort of Republicans would be to close down the
democratic process, effectively to say, we are going to declare by fiat that he is our nominee.
Fortunately they can't shut down the democratic process. But I think you're seeing an awful lot
of Republicans - I think Romney spoke for the feelings of a lot of Republicans, but they still
haven't been willing to put any real action behind words of criticism of Trump. And we'll see if
Romney is actually willing to do that.
Infrastructure
The link is nonunique- Congress has already inserted itself into
Trump’s war-making authority- newest measures thump the link
Caldwell and Lederman 2/1
(Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for NBC News who covers Capitol Hill and
elections. Josh Lederman is a national political reporter for NBC News., 2-1-2019,
"Trump's foreign policy faces growing dissent in Congress," NBC News,
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/trump-s-foreign-policy-faces-growingdissent-congress-n965641, JKS)
WASHINGTON — Congress
is sending President Donald Trump a strong message of discontent with his
foreign policy in a number of critical areas, a growing rebuke that increasingly includes members of Trump’s
own Republican Party. On Afghanistan and Syria, the GOP-run Senate has issued a stern warning
against the president’s plans to withdraw troops. Lawmakers in the House and Senate are questioning
Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea, his easing of sanctions on a Russian oligarch and even his intent
to stay involved in Yemen’s civil war. And his threats to pull out of NATO are causing consternation on Capitol Hill. The
bipartisan rebuke has left the president increasingly standing alone on consequential issues of international affairs. He is seeing
pushback from every corner of the ideological spectrum and across both parties . In
the latest reproach, the Senate Thursday overwhelmingly passed an amendment that disapproves of the
sudden withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Syria. Forty-three Republicans backed the measure. Perhaps an
even more critical component of the resolution is that it was authored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has been careful not to
publicly split with the president. It was also backed by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and James Risch,
R-Idaho, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., voted against the amendment because he said he doesn’t know
if Trump is “right or wrong” on Syria. But Kennedy minced no words when he said there is no coherent policy in the Middle East. “Our Middle East
policy right now looks like something my dog’s been keeping under our back porch. Nobody knows what it is, but it’s ugly,” he told NBC News. The
newfound willingness to challenge the president on foreign policy by Republicans reflects
tensions over his unconventional or seemingly impulsive decisions that simmered quietly during his first two years but were
rarely voiced in public. Two years in, and following midterm elections in which dozens of Republicans lost their House seats, Trump’s party
appears more willing to directly confront him on his more controversial decisions. McConnell’s amendment, for example, is
part of a larger Middle East bill that slaps new sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and shores up U.S. support for Israel and
Jordan. Two Senate Republican aides say it was deliberately introduced as the first piece of legislation in the new Senate and given the designation
Senate Bill 1 in a conspicuous bid to push back at Trump’s Syria withdrawal and remind the president that Congress has a role in foreign policy. While
the measure is mostly symbolic, it reflects concern among Republicans about the message that Trump’s Syria move sent to Israel and Jordan — U.S.
allies and Syrian neighbors intimately affected by the decision to withdraw U.S. troops .
The move essentially allowed
lawmakers to go around the president to show the two countries that at least
Congress has their back. In recent years, most mainstream Republicans have advocated an active U.S. role overseas to ensure
national security at home, a world view that has at times been an awkward fit with Trump’s “America First” doctrine. Still, polls show that, by and large,
most rank-and-file Republicans continue to support Trump’s foreign policy. Thursday's action was only the latest example of a newfound willingness by
Lawmakers are also expressing condemnation
on issues of trade, Russia, North Korea, Yemen and NATO . In some places the president is indulging
Congress to insert itself in trying to issue a course correction.
his inclination to extricate the U.S. from overseas entanglements by withdrawing troops in Afghanistan and Syria, threatening a retreat from NATO and
contemplating reducing troops on the Korean Peninsula. But in other areas he’s showing more willingness to take an active role in overseas affairs,
intervening diplomatically in Venezuela and maintaining a presence in Yemen’s civil war, giving critics of all stripes space to interject. James Carafano,
foreign policy scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation who advised the Trump presidential transition, said there are legitimate concerns about
some of the president’s foreign policy pronouncements. He cited issues raised in Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation letter in December — which
suggested Trump was insufficiently supportive of U.S. allies — as a critique that had resonated with many conservatives. “The president is an
unconventional statesman, we get that,” Carafano said. “Nothing in the Constitution says that he can’t be. But he does have a responsibility to make
sure his administration’s policies are clear and consistently understood by our friends and enemies. And sometimes, it’s not.” Last week the
House of Representatives spoke with a near-unanimous voice, voting 357-22 to prohibit the use of
funds to withdraw from NATO, something the president threatened to do during his campaign and at times throughout his
presidency. On Venezuela, there’s wide agreement on Capitol Hill among Republicans and Democrats that the president is following the lead of Sen.
Marco Rubio. The Florida Republican was instrumental in the White House’s decision to back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó over
President Nicolás Maduro, according to Senate aides. And now that White House has adopted that position, Congress is attempting to ensure that there
is a strategy in place to address the fallout. At a bipartisan briefing for staff on Wednesday by the White House, State Department, Defense Department
and USAID officials, Senate
staff strongly pushed for answers about the humanitarian plan, security at
the embassy and what a political transition in the South American country would look like, according
to a Senate source. “They are building the plane while flying it,” one Democratic Senate aide familiar with the briefing said. Senators are also
pushing for insight ahead of Trump’s upcoming meeting with North Korea President Kim Jong Un. Sen. Cory
Gardner, R-Colo., confirmed that he spoke Wednesday by phone with the U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, about the
upcoming summit. Gardner, who has not been pleased with the lack of information coming from the administration on North Korea, said he didn’t
want to get into too many details about the call but said: “The hope is that those concrete actions will be taken in the lead-up to any summit. If there’s
no concrete action, I don’t think they should meet.” Gardner also confirmed that he and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., will
reintroduce
the North Korea Policy Oversight Act, which is essentially a bill to monitor the administration
on North Korea talks. The 2018 version requires oral and written briefings from the White House on the negotiations, continued sanctions
and “underscores the importance" that the number of U.S. forces on the peninsula are not part of the negotiations with North Korea. As the special
Republicans have also shown
increasing willingness to call out the president on policies they see as
insufficiently tough on Moscow. In January, after Trump’s Treasury Department said it would ease sanctions on companies
counsel investigation continues into potential Trump campaign collusion with Russia,
that had been controlled by Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, 11 Republicans joined Democrats in an attempt to keep the
sanctions in place. The bill failed narrowly in the Senate. In the House, Republican
and Democratic lawmakers have
introduced a number of pieces of legislation to oversee the president’s foreign policy. Rep. Mike
Gallagher, R-Wisc., has introduced biting bills that would financially prevent the administration from removing troops from Syria and South Korea and
withdrawing from NATO. His goal, he said, is "to remain engaged internationally so we can shape events and to maintain and build strong allies.”
“ Congress
needs to claw back its authority, particularly on foreign policy,”
Gallagher told
NBC News. The flurry of movement comes as a coalition of senators on the left and the right has reintroduced a measure cutting off U.S. support for the
Saudi-led war in Yemen despite the president’s intention to continue that support. The measure passed the Senate last year, an unexpected move that
reflected growing frustration with Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi government. “It strikes me as
the Senate reasserting its traditional role in foreign policy,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster
who advises numerous GOP senators. “President Trump is a nontraditional president. Some of his nontraditional positions on foreign policy diverge
rather markedly from many of the senators, particularly on the Republican side.”
Fiat solves the link
Shutdown thumps
Katz 2/1
(Eric, Eric Katz writes about federal agency operations and management. His deep
coverage of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency
and U.S. Postal Service has earned him frequent guest spots on national radio and
television news programs., 2-1-2019, "Congress, White House Remain Sharply Divided Two
Weeks From Another Shutdown," Government Executive,
https://www.govexec.com/management/2019/02/congress-white-house-remain-sharplydivided-two-weeks-another-shutdown/154596/, JKS)
Lawmakers and the White House remain widely divided on key issues with just
two weeks until another government shutdown , though President Trump this week expressed openness to an
alternative path that would avoid yet again shuttering agencies. The bipartisan, bicameral conference committee formed as
part of the deal that reopened government met for the first time this week on an appropriations bill for the
Homeland Security Department. That group has been tasked with negotiating a resolution to the standoff over border security, and
Trump’s demand for funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and its members have offered some overlapping ideas. They have
not, however, agreed on the president’s signature issue . “There’s not going to be any wall money in the
legislation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, adding that additional technology and ports of entry are “part of the negotiation.” The current
continuing resolution funding the agencies impacted by the shutdown is set to expire Feb. 15. Pelosi said the conference committee must approve of its
the president on
Thursday suggested that type of legislation would be a non-starter. “On Feb. 15th, the
committee will come back, and if they don’t have a wall, I don’t even want to waste my time
compromise bill by Feb. 8 to give Congress enough time to get the bill to Trump’s desk before that deadline, though
reading what they have because it's a waste of time,” Trump said. “Because the only thing that works for security
and safety for our country is a wall.”
DA
2AC – War Powers – No Link
No link – arms sales are not an independent executive power AND
fast track shares power.
Sciarra, DOJ Trial Attorney, JD Yale, 88 – Vanessa Patton Sciarra, DOJ Trial
Attorney. JD Yale, BA Yale (“Congress and Arms Sales: Tapping the Potential of the Fast-Track
Guarantee Procedure,” 97 Yale L.J. (1988))
Although a thorough review of all the potential applications of the fasttrack guarantee procedure is beyond the scope of this Note, a
few comments can be made. The
procedure should not be used to condition executive action in areas in
which the President's power to act independently is strong, such as the recognition of
governments or the settlement of claims, because the constitutional authority that supports it as a power-sharing
mechanism is lacking in these cases. Additionally, it is not likely to be effective in those situations where the President must respond
to emergency situations either by making military decisions regarding troop deployments or by exercising his "emergency economic
powers." Finally, certain areas, notably foreign
assistance, may be ill-suited to the type of give and take the
guarantee procedure requires. Aid decisions can not be considered negotiated; they are highly
discretionary once Congress has set funding levels and objective standards. Consultation in this area is
probably better handled by resort to a variety of other mechanisms, such as shortened authorization periods combined with
However , statutes involving the export of weapons, nuclear
materials and sensitive technologies all typically involve agreements made with foreign
governments and could be subject to a fast-track guarantee procedure. Other agreements to
participate in bilateral or multilateral undertakings, such as agreements to establish or renew
foreign military bases, could also be handled under the procedure. In each case, Congress will
have to assess whether the balance established under broad delegation is preferable to the
balance established with a power-sharing mechanism like the fasttrack guarantee procedure
expedited procedures for termination of aid.87
2AC – War Powers – Non Unique/No Spillover [L]
Non Unique AND No Spillover
Jurecic, Managing Editor @ Lawfare, 17 –Quinta Jurecic is the Managing Editor
of Lawfare. She previously served as an editorial writer for the Washington Post and as
Lawfare's associate editor. (Friday, June 2, 2017 “A New Jurisprudence for an Oathless
Presidency” https://www.lawfareblog.com/new-jurisprudence-oathless-presidency)
As the litigation over the travel ban has developed, the debate over the legality of the policy increasingly
hinges on whether the judiciary can permissibly consider off-the-cuff statements made by Trump and
his associates as evidence of religious animus in the drafting of the executive orders. So far, the courts have largely found
that they can, albeit over strong dissents objecting to the propriety of putting weight on such statements. And with the Department of Justice’s petition for a writ of certiorari filed in
International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump (IRAP), we may soon find where the Supreme Court stands on the
question. What’s particularly interesting about the en banc decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit last week in IRAP is not only the fact that a majority of the judges ruled against the
administration in finding the revised travel ban unconstitutional and rooted in religious animus, but the language with which they did so. Notably, both the majority opinion and two of the four concurrences use
rhetoric of blindness and sight to describe their reasoning as to why statements by Trump and aides on the “Muslim ban” may permissibly be considered. In crafting a three-part standard for evaluating whether or
not Trump’s campaign-trail statements are appropriate to incorporate into the court’s analysis of the intent behind the travel ban, the majority writes: But we decline to impose a bright-line rule against
considering campaign statements, because as with any evidence, we must make an individualized determination as to a statement’s relevancy and probative value in light of all the circumstances. The campaign
statements here are probative of purpose because they are closely related in time, attributable to the primary decisionmaker, and specific and easily connected to the challenged action. … Just as the reasonable
observer’s “world is not made brand new every morning,” McCreary, 545 U.S. at 866, nor are we able to awake without the vivid memory of these statements. We cannot shut our eyes to such evidence when it
The majority goes on, “The
Government has repeatedly asked this Court to ignore evidence, circumscribe our own review, and blindly defer to executive action,
all in the name of the Constitution’s separation of powers [emphasis added]. We decline to do so…” Likewise, Judge James Wynn writes in his concurrence that, “[E]ven
when the President invokes national security as a justification for a policy that
encroaches on fundamental rights, our courts must not turn a blind eye to statements by the
President and his advisors bearing on the policy’s purpose and constitutionality.” And Judge Stephanie Thacker’s concurrence states, “Our constitutional system
creates a strong presumption of legitimacy for presidential action; however, this deference does not require us to cover our eyes and ears
and stand mute simply because a president incants the words ‘national security.’” All these opinions rely heavily on
stares us in the face, for “there’s none so blind as they that won’t see.” Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation 174 (Chiswick Press ed., 1892) [emphasis added].
McCreary County v. ACLU, in which the Supreme Court held that courts may permissibly inquire into context in evaluating legislative purpose under the Establishment Clause, but must refrain from “judicial
psychoanalysis.” And McCreary itself uses the language of blindness and sight to describe the courts’ inquiry into context: the Court wrote that “reasonable observers have reasonable memories, and our precedents
the Fourth Circuit also relies on
this rhetoric, in Judge Wynn’s case to the point of using the same idiom. But it is nevertheless striking that three of the
eight IRAP opinions use this rhetoric quite sharply against the Trump administration, not just by
sensibly forbid an observer ‘to turn a blind eye to the context in which [the] policy arose.’” So perhaps it should not be surprising that
quoting McCreary but in the judges’ own prose. This also isn’t the first time that judges have ruled against the administration’s travel ban using this language to address questions of whether they may permissibly
Derrick
Watson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii wrote, “The Court will not crawl into
a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has.” So why is everyone using the same metaphor? As
examine Trump’s statements as evidence of animus. In a ruling converting a temporary restraining order on two key provisions of the revised travel ban into a preliminary injunction, Judge
Andrew Kent wrote recently on Lawfare: “Just as a Freudian slip is said by psychoanalysts to reveal processes of the unconscious mind, sometimes the verbal tics, mis-citations of precedent, excessive or evasive
rhetoric, and other oddities in judicial opinions can give clues to the underlying thoughts and motivations of the judges.” Benjamin Wittes and I have written extensively on the surprising lack of deference shown
by the courts to the revised travel ban—a document that at first seemed designed to clear the hurdles faced by the first executive order, which was both more bombastic and less carefully-lawyered. At the time, we
judiciary’s unusual willingness to push back against the executive branch at the confluence
of two areas in which the President is usually granted great deference—immigration and national security—flowed from a lack of trust in Donald
Trump’s fidelity to his oath of office. At the time, we speculated: Perhaps … there’s an unexpressed legal principle functionally at work here: That President
Trump is a crazy person whose oath of office large numbers of judges simply don’t trust and to whom, therefore, a
whole lot of normal rules of judicial conduct do not apply …. In this scenario, there are really two presidencies for purposes of
judicial review: One is the presidency when judges believe the president’s oath—that is, a presidency in which all sorts of norms of
deference apply—and the other is a presidency in which judges don’t believe the oath. What we may be
watching here is the development of a new body of law for this second type of presidency. We can
read the language of blindness and sight as something of a doctrinal means by which judges are
signaling their recognition that this is a new type of presidency , for which they are
developing a new body of law. By framing the question of whether to incorporate off-the-cuff statements by Trump and aides as a matter of whether or not to be “blind” to
the reality before them, the judges are saying that they cannot ignore not only that the President or Presidentelect made those statements, but that the President is Donald Trump. To be clear, the question of whether the courts may
argued that
permissibly consider a pattern of statements made by the President both before and after his election and inauguration, and whether they can permissibly consider the fact that the President in question is Donald
Trump, are two different matters. We have recently seen arguments from commentators both supporting and opposing the Fourth Circuit’s decision in IRAP that view these issues as entirely distinct. Critiquing
the IRAP decision in Lawfare, Josh Blackman has argued that the Fourth Circuit’s ruling is entirely an effort “to hold President Trump at bay.” Responding on Take Care, Leah Litman, Helen Murillo, and Steve
Vladeck take the position that the question of whether Trump’s statements are permissibly the subject of judicial analysis is a purely legal issue, entirely distinct from any discomfort judges may have with the fact
. In Blackman’s view, the IRAP decision is entirely about Trump qua Trump, and is
therefore illegitimate as a work of legal reasoning; in Litman, Murillo, and Vladeck’s view, the decision is based on a
neutral principle separate from the fact that Donald Trump is the President of the United States,
and is therefore legitimate. I think the truth is more complicated. The two matters of the specific presidency of Donald Trump and of the courts’ surprising willingness to consider
Trump’s statements are linked: the courts have been unusually willing to interpret the law in the manner least
deferential to the executive because that executive is Donald Trump—and because they
doubt Trump’s oath. It’s an interesting chicken-and-egg question whether the pattern of statements by Trump and his aides has undermined judicial confidence in Trump’s oath, or whether
preexisting doubts about the oath shaped the judiciary’s response to Trump’s statements. Dissenting in IRAP, Judge Paul Niemeyer complains that “the plaintiffs conceded during oral
argument that if another candidate had won the presidential election in November 2016 and thereafter entered this same Executive Order, they
would have had no problem with the Order.” In many ways, that’s the point: to Judge Niemeyer (and Judge Dennis Shedd and
Judge Steven Agee, who joined in Niemeyer’s dissent), Trump is the president and should be treated as the judiciary would
treat any other president. But to the majority , Trump is not the president in the sense that
we would usually recognize—and he should not be treated as such. For this reason, it’s notable that none of the three IRAP dissents
makes use of the majority’s rhetoric of blindness: they don’t accept the majority’s implicit framing of the Trump presidency as wielding a second, different kind of executive authority. It’s also notable that the
majority so carefully emphasizes that its decision does not represent a wholesale reworking of
jurisprudence, but rather responds to the specific facts before the court . That is, the majority is crafting a new
jurisprudence for a new kind of presidency, rather than overthrowing the old jurisprudence as the dissents accuse it of doing: “If and when future courts are
confronted with campaign or other statements proffered as evidence of governmental purpose, those courts must
similarly determine, on a case-by-case basis , whether such statements are probative evidence
of governmental purpose. Our holding today neither limits nor expands their review
of Trump’s presidency
(emphasis added).” And later: “The deference we give the coordinate branches is surely powerful, but even it must yield in certain circumstances, lest we abdicate our own duties to uphold the Constitution”
(emphasis added). Specifically,
the majority derives this exceptional jurisprudence for an oathless presidency, at least
in this context, from the “facially legitimate and bona fide” test for a First Amendment claim against government restrictions on immigration established by Kleindiest v. Mandel. Under Justice Kennedy’s
controlling concurrence in Kerry v. Din, the majority argues, the courts may permissibly assess the legitimacy of a government action under the “facially legitimate and bona fide” standard if the plaintiff has made
The court thus reads Mandel and Din as allowing the
judiciary to “step away from our deferential posture and look behind the stated reason for the
challenged action” in an instance in which “plaintiffs have seriously called into question whether
the stated reason for the challenged action was provided in good faith.” And examining Trump’s campaign-trail and
an “affirmative showing of bad faith” that is “plausibly alleged with sufficient particularity.”
presidential statements on the travel ban—an examination the majority considers permissible under McCreary—the court finds the national security rationale behind the travel ban to have been proffered in bad
faith. (In her concurrence, Judge Stephanie Thacker reaches the same conclusion only on the basis of post-inauguration statements by Trump, having reasoned that candidate Trump’s comments are not
appropriately considered.) There are certainly disagreements to be had with this analysis. (Judge Niemeyer, for example, argues that it substantially misapplies both Mandel and Din. On Lawfare, Peter Margulies
if the courts are going to write a new jurisprudence for an oathless
presidency into the law, Mandel and Din actually make for a very natural place to start. Both literally
concern the question of “bad faith,” the same question raised by whether the courts can trust Trump’s fidelity to his oath. To put it another way, the cases
are an expression of the “presumption of regularity,” the idea that we can usually trust public officials to do their duty. And as the Trump
administration is discovering, that presumption of regularity is only a presumption, which courts can waive in extraordinary circumstances. If the majority—along with the number of other courts
that have ruled against both the original and the revised travel ban—is crafting a new body of law for a new kind of presidency outside
the presumption of regularity, why not say so explicitly? I suspect that many onlookers sympathetic to the plaintiffs but concerned by the charge
into uncharted legal territory might be comforted by a direct acknowledgement of the dynamics at work here, but the rhetorical signposts of blindness and
sight may be as close as the courts can comfortably get. It may be a question of wanting to step
lightly or to avoid further accusations of making up law from whole cloth. Or perhaps some of the judges ruling against the
ban are seeing through a glass darkly, and may not themselves be entirely aware of the implications. Courts regularly rely on legal fictions and
simplifications, which are what make it possible to map the reasoned structure of law onto a chaotic and unreasonable world. There is nothing wrong or
unusual about this. The difference here is that the bizarre facts of the travel ban cases and the bad faith at the core of Trump’s
presidency have exacerbated—to the point of absurdity—the gap between the abstract legal questions at play
under existing doctrine and the facts at the ground. The situation recalls Thomas Kuhn’s description of scientific crisis, in which an existing paradigm
of thought begins to lose its ability to explain and predict the shape of things. We may be at that point now—where the paradigm of deference to the executive
in national security without reference to the integrity of the president’s oath is clearly faltering
but the jurisprudence of an oathless presidency has yet to fully emerge.
and Josh Blackman have made similar points.) But
.
2AC – War Powers – Impact Turn [L]
Trump’s unrestrained war powers cause nuclear war
Hayes, 18 – Honorary Professor, Center for International Security Studies, Sydney University,
Australia and Director, Nautilus Institute in Berkeley, California, formerly worked for UN Development
Programme, Asian Development Bank, and Global Environment Facility.. (Pater, “Trump and the
Interregnum of American Nuclear Hegemony”, Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament 1, Issue 2,
19 Oct 2018, https://doi.org/10.1080/25751654.2018.1532525)
Trump’s Collision with East Asian Strategic Realities
When Trump’s political persona collides with geo-strategic reality, this conjuncture may
increase greatly the risk of nuclear war during the post-hegemonic interregnum in a way that was not
possible during the hegemonic era due to the international and domestic constraints on
Presidential behavior. This reality also forces him to adjust his radical policies and to revert to reliance of some elements of
the hegemonic era. This emergent condition of ambivalence, vacillation and transition is peculiar to
the complexity that characterizes the interregnum. In it, Trump could easily overreach and
catapult the world from its post-hegemonic interregnum into an era of full-blown nuclear
disorder.
There are two nuclear-prone conflicts in Northeast Asia that are structured in ways that contain such escalation potential. These are between USChina over Taiwan and US-DRPK over Korea. Three other nuclear-prone conflicts in this region (India-China, Russia-
China, Russia-US via Europe) indirectly involve the United States. A particularly significant risk is that
Trump may start making nuclear threats against other nuclear-armed states primarily for compellence
rather than deterrence. A deterrent threat tries to stop someone from doing something that they intend to do but have not yet done
whereas a compellent threat tries to force someone to stop what they are already doing. The United States
has found it much harder to achieve nuclear compellence even against non-nuclear states, let alone
nuclear-armed states, because compellence is often attempted against states with higher resolve and
greater stakes in a conflict than the United States. These factors usually outweigh the United States’ lesser
ability to exit from an escalation spiral and its stake in maintaining reputation if it fails to follow through on a specific threat.
Using nuclear threat more for compellence than deterrence also increases the stakes of all parties in a
conflict, and thereby increases risks of inadvertent war, especially in conditions of increasing complexity
that multiply the way that nuclear coercion is invoked by context (Bracken 2017).
Trump exhibits a proclivity to embrace patently false theories and to invent and propagate purely fictional “facts” and a vindictive,
His decision-making bias may drive him to order the
United States to use military force in ways that purposely and inadvertently risk war and nuclear
war with other nuclear weapons states. Such was undoubtedly the case in his “fire and fury”
threats against the DPRK, his statement that he might annihilate the entire North Korean nation, and his deployment of
strategic assets in the vicinity of the DPRK (Wagner and Johnson 2017; Nakamura and Gearan 2017; Schmitt 2017). Some
pundits argued that this posture – and the North Korean response – increased the risk of war in
the Korean Peninsula in 2017 to 50 percent (Rudd 2017). A more informed estimate from markets is that the
self-aggrandizing, and aggressive decision-making style.
risk of war increased from 0.1 percent per year to perhaps 1 percent per year as a result of the increased tension and combative
rhetorical and forceful threat campaigns by Trump and Kim Jong Un, the risk being the use of nuclear weapons in Korea and
beyond, and a trillion dollar war with resulting potential massive disruption of global financial, energy and other markets (Kim and
risks led South Korea’s newly elected leader, Moon Jae-in, to declare publicly that the
ROK must concur in any decision to go to war against the DPRK, and his officials to state that it
had not intention to do so in case of a unilateral American attack on the DPRK. That an allied
leader felt impelled to make such a statement reveals the extent to which hegemonic leadership
has already disappeared from the US-ROK alliance.10
Lam 2017). Such
If Trump were to make similar explicit compellence threats against China, for example, at the brink of a
war over the future of Taiwan, then he could find himself standing on the nuclear brink almost
overnight. Should this occur at the same time as he makes common cause with Russia to tilt the
global strategic triangle against China, thereby threatening it with the two possible nuclear
adversaries able to pre-emptively attack its strategic nuclear forces, then he may force Beijing to
respond with new deployments and new threats of its own, setting the scene for rapid escalation from a local
military clash that catapults the two states onto one or more of the pathways to inadvertent
nuclear war. This outcome is not unthinkable. China’s deployment of DF-41 ICBM units in northern China in
January 201711 (timed to coincide with Trump’s inauguration) is reminiscent of its 1968–69 deployments when it traded blows with
the former Soviet Union at the Amur River and the latter apparently entertained a joint Soviet-American nuclear strike to disarm
China. 12 Putin reportedly sees no threat in these missiles and China’s main strategic concern is to reach the United States and India
Russia’s prior deployment of short and intermediate range
missiles along its Siberian and Far Eastern border with China13 and statements about
strengthening its forces in response to China’s ICBM deployments (Blagov 2017) also suggest that
distrust between Russia and China is still active in the global strategic triangle.
while defeating US anti-ballistic systems. But
There are other avenues to inadvertent nuclear war that Trump could find himself taking,
leaving aside the most obvious flashpoint in the Taiwan Straits. For example, US allies could
overreach by challenging Chinese core interests. If the June 2018 US-DPRK denuclearization deal collapses,
South Korea could respond to North Korean covert or overt attacks with all-out war irrespective
of American intention. Japan could attack Chinese warships or aircraft over contested islands,
drawing US forces into military conflict with China. China might quickly use drones to attack
US-Japanese joint facilities such as underwater tracking systems to protect its own submarines and to threaten American
submarines supporting US aircraft carrier groups, leading to rapid fire escalation with the United States and
allied military forces (Hayes 2018). That China and the United States could control subsequent
escalation is certainly questionable (Ayson and Ball 2015). Nuclear terrorism is a wild card that could
erupt in any of the states in the region and depending on the level of tension at the time, could
catalyze inter-state conflict and lead to war involving nuclear threat and nuclear attacks.
Trump’s core ancillary beliefs is that China has “raped” the American economy via “unfair” trade (Cowburn 2016). His
apparent predisposition to exploit nuclear threats for non-existential objectives is most likely to be
expressed in how he confronts China, especially as he seems determined to block the rise of Chinese hegemony. In
One of
contrast, he seems more inclined to make “deals” with Russian President Putin than to use nuclear compellence against Russia. But
no-one can predict such outcomes and Trump’s strategy of causing and then exploiting chaos
increases uncertainty for all nuclear-armed states – the opposite of what is needed to reduce the risk of
inadvertent nuclear war.
1AR
K
Movements fail
Gordon 12 (PhD from Oxford, teaches environmental politics and ethics at the Arava Institute
for Environmental Studies) 12 (Uri, Anarchist Economics in Practice in The Accumulation of
Freedom, pg. 215)
On the one hand, the anarchist movement is so small that even its most consistent and visible
efforts are but a drop in the ocean. On the other hand, political elites have proven themselves
extremely proficient at pulling the ground from under movements for social change, be it
through direct repression and demonization of the activists, diversion of public attention to
security and nationalist agendas, or, at best, minimal concessions that ameliorate the most
exploitative aspects of capitalism while contributing to the resilience of the system as a whole. It
would seem that ethical commitments to social justice and the enhancement of human freedom
can only serve as a motivation for a comparatively small number of people, and that without the
presence of genuine material interests among large sections of the population there is little hope
for a mass movement to emerge that would herald the departure from existing social, economic,
and political arrangements.
Security isn’t a speech act and doesn’t explain IR
Owen 16 – Taylor, Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and, during the Fall of
2015, a Senior Guest Scholar at the Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign and Security
Policy at the Free University of Berlin, 2016 (“Securitization Forum: On the poor reception
securitization theory has gotten in the U.S.,” The Duck of Minerva, September 13th, Available
Online at http://duckofminerva.com/2015/09/securitization-forum-on-the-poor-receptionsecuritization-theory-has-gotten-in-the-u-s.html#more-27926)
When a certain type of American IR scholar reads an abstract focusing on the subjectivity of
threats – e.g., claiming that the rise of China or differential birth rates in Israel have been
securitized – that scholar will infer that the paper presumes that there are no real threats out
there. What Hamlet says of Denmark – “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes
it so” – is applied by the Copenhagen School to IR, albeit in much more sophisticated form. In
other words, although IR scholars in the United States are typically quite critical of U.S. foreign
policy (they certainly were in the Bush 43 years), most operate from a baseline realist axiom:
some actors and trends really are threatening to a country, regardless of speech acts in that
country. No doubt many or most securitization theorists would agree that the external world
sometimes threatens a country independent of the way actors in that country talk, in which case
we have two scholarly communities talking past one another. In any case, at issue is analytical
focus. The IR-security scholarly community in the United States is at pains to produce work
relevant to policy makers. Some of this work is qualitative (International Security, Security
Studies), and some quantitative (Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the various political science
association journals). Nearly all is impatient of scholarship that seems uninterested in or
skeptical of the notion that some threats are impervious to actors’ efforts to securitize or desecuritize. In my view, the ultimate source of this baseline realism is American hegemony – but
that is another story. Second, in the United States securitization scholarship suffers from a
reputation for being uninterested in full causal explanation. Mainstream U.S.-based IR
has absorbed various late-twentieth-century critiques of positivism and settled on a view that
explanation entails two types of statement: those about conditions (X causes Y …) and those
about mechanisms or processes (… by means of or through M). E.g., state A’s regime opacity
(condition) causes war with state B (outcome) by limiting information to B about A’s capabilities
and intentions, which leads to miscalculation (mechanism). Securitization scholars generally
appear strong on mechanisms, but weak on conditions. Without conditional statements, one
is left wondering how much work securitizing speech acts are really doing. It is easy to find cases
of actors attempting and failing to securitize something; an infamous one is FDR’s failure to
securitize Nazi Germany for Americans in the 1930s (see Ronald Krebs, “Tell Me a Story,”
Security Studies 24:1 [2015]). Those cases raise suspicions in the opposite direction: if the
allegedly securitizing actors had not said what they said, might not state or trend still be a
threat? Or, perhaps the efficacy of the securitizing speech act – the receptivity the speech act
finds among audiences – is itself a function of other, untheorized, conditions. And, to return to
the first point above, perhaps one of those conditions is how objectively threatening the state or
trend is. In any case, once those conditions are posited, we need research designs that allow
variation in those conditions and in the outcome (securitization success or failure) to be
explained. We also would want to know conditions under which a state or trend is likely to be
de-securitized
Politics
1. Mcgovern also just became head of house rules committee which
decides which bills get voted on. The plan is his bill. He’ll make
sure it gets voted on.
Mahanty and Eikenberry 10/5 – Daniel and Eric, Dan holds a Masters from
Georgetown in U.S. National Security Policy and a Bachelors in Economics from George Mason
University. He is a Colin L. Powell Fellow, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a
Truman National Security Fellow, and served on the board of advisors for the NGO, “Women
LEAD Nepal”. (“How the “Arms Sales Oversight Act” Could Prevent American Arms from
Contributing to the Next Overseas Crisis” https://www.justsecurity.org/61719/arms-salesoversight-act-prevent-american-arms-contributing-overseas-crisis/)
debate over U.S. complicity in Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe is coming to a head in the
Senate, with a series of votes on the Sanders-Lee-Murphy war powers resolution. But beyond this immediate
measure, other members of Congress are planning to increase their long-term leverage over weapons
sales to problematic security partners. Foremost among them, Representatives Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)
recently introduced House Resolution 7080, the “Arms Sale Oversight Act,” to little fanfare. The bill’s unassuming title and procedural focus
The
should not escape the attention of conventional arms control advocates. If passed, H.R. 7080 would expand Congress’s constricted ability to vote down damaging arms sales and
mark a first step toward preventing the United States from exacerbating the human cost of conflict.
The legislation would reform Section 36 of the Arms
AECA
Export Control Act (
) to ensure that any supportive representative can move to discharge a joint resolution of disapproval against a proposed arms sale ten days
following its introduction if the presiding committee fails to report it. Win the vote in the House, pass the same joint resolution in the Senate (or vice versa), and
Congress has successfully exercised its primary legal means of immediately barring a harmful
transfer (whether or not the White House agrees). The measure could dramatically reshape congressional authorities over arms exports. Currently, due to a separate
AECA provision, only senators are guaranteed a vote on a joint resolution of disapproval. Absent H.R. 7080’s proposed reform, corresponding House resolutions will remain
“highly privileged”—which means that those seeking to stop a transfer at present can only secure a vote only if leadership acquiesces. This inter-chamber imbalance not only robs
representatives of a vote in determining U.S. foreign policy, but also diminishes the efforts of conventional arms control advocates in the Senate. Because joint legislation from
the House is unlikely to see the floor, Senate efforts can be reduced to signaling opposition to, rather than truly shutting down, an administration’s proposed sale. By correcting
this imbalance, H.R. 7080 will open another avenue to ending U.S. enabling of other governments’ gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws.
Nowhere is this avenue more needed than for Yemen’s internationalized civil war. There, parties to the conflict routinely conduct indiscriminate attacks on civilians and have
created a humanitarian crisis that has pushed millions to the brink of starvation. Yet, it is Saudi Arabia and the UAE, using U.S.-manufactured weapons and logistical support,
that have caused the majority of the conflict’s recorded civilian casualties. Causing further concern, a new documentary aired by Deutsche Welle, presents credible evidence that
the coalition states have diverted U.S.-manufactured armored vehicles to unaccountable non-state militias. Admittedly, the Senate has rarely made a serious attempt to block an
arms sale by resolution of disapproval, but support for exercising greater Congressional oversight over arms sales seems to be on the rise. And even when a resolution of
disapproval fails to pass, mere consideration of the legislation can send clear signals to the executive branch and recipient countries alike, and can stimulate valuable policy
debate. While S.J. Res. 39, a 2016 effort to block tank sales to Saudi Arabia, mustered 27 votes, S.J. Res. 42, a June 2017 measure to freeze a sale of precision-guided munitions
to Saudi Arabia, garnered 47. The administration has not moved forward with a further sale of as many as 120,000 precision munitions to both Saudi Arabia and the UAE due to
Senate opposition; the weapons’ traceable serial numbers, as damning as “made in the USA” stickers, could embroil the United States in further strikes on buses, hospitals, and
homes. While the threat of unicameral opposition has worked for now, the reforms advanced by H.R. 7080 would further increase the chances for debate on arms sales in the
Congress, and create a more efficient path for the House and Senate to indefinitely arrest a sale. Had the procedures outlined in H.R. 7080 been in place in June 2017, H.J. Res.
102 (the House companion to S.J. Res. 42), could have forced a vote on a motion to discharge instead of dying quietly in committee, creating a debate that, as it did on the Senate
side, swayed moderate offices against the sale and focused a news cycle on U.S. complicity in Saudi-led coalition attacks on civilians. While the most recent and egregious
example, Yemen is not the only case where enhanced Congressional oversight is necessary to add reasonable constraints to the arms sales process. By some credible estimates,
the United States sells arms, including bombs and missiles, to at least 62 countries that are an active party to a conflict. Some countries to whom the United States sells arms,
such as Bahrain and Egypt, have demonstrated a consistent pattern of human rights violations; others present a very clear risk of misuse or diversion, or even the potential for
mass atrocities. And some countries with lower levels of capacity simply require a greater degree of due diligence to ensure equipment can be used appropriately. If H.R. 7080
makes it more likely that Congress could exercise more meaningful oversight in even a handful of these cases, the risk of U.S. complicity in human rights abuses or the next
humanitarian disaster, wherever it is, could be meaningfully diminished – and at minimal opportunity cost. H.R. 7080 does not have to become law this Congress to have an
advocates
view it as an organizing tool around which to rally
impact –
should
, and that could ease the way to reforms small and
large which can check the executive’s nearly unfettered prerogative to sell weapons to any regime, regardless of their crimes. To begin, H.R. 7080 does not have to pass for next
year’s House to respect its provisions as an intra-chamber rule: regardless of eventual passage, Democratic leadership should open this procedural path to the floor for joint
resolutions of disapproval as a matter of course.
ESR
1. Fast track key to make the executive take congressional
consultation seriously
Sciarra, DOJ Trial Attorney, 88 – Vanessa Patton Sciarra, DOJ Trial Attorney. JD
Yale, BA Yale (“Congress and Arms Sales: Tapping the Potential of the Fast-Track Guarantee
Procedure,” 97 Yale L.J. (1988))
this Note examines a procedure-developed
to ensure more extensive congressional participation in the negotiation of trade agreements-that may
strengthen Congress' ability to regulate arms transfers. The procedure, the "fast-track guarantee,"
allows the executive and legislative branches to strike a bargain: If the executive branch seeks
congressional approval of its negotiating agenda early in the negotiation process, Congress will guarantee expedited
treatment of any legislation necessary to validate the agreement. 14 In the future, the procedure may enable Congress to
Against this backdrop of repeated failure to find a meaningful substitute for the legislative veto,
exert greater control over executive action in other foreign affairs areas, specifically those areas where negotiation of executive agreements remains a crucial and unregulated
Congress cannot play a meaningful role in affecting executive
branch negotiations unless the President is forced to consult with congressional committees early in
the process. Experience from the trade area indicates that the fast-track guarantee procedure, used at the pre-negotiation stage, will
provide the executive branch with the necessary incentives to ensure such consultation. It provides both
part of policy implementation. 5 This Note argues that
a legal constraint and a means of power-sharing that balances the policy needs of both branches. The fast-track guarantee procedure allows Congress to delegate general
: If
the negotiated results meet with congressional approval during a ninety-day period prior to the
formal signing of an agreement, then both Houses guarantee that any implementing legislation
needed to activate the agreements will be sent through Congress on an expedited schedule.15 Put another way, in order to secure a
guarantee of expedited treatment, the executive branch must consult with the appropriate
congressional committees before the agreements are finalized. Expedited treatment is assured by modifications in existing
negotiating authority while retaining some power to influence what is to be conceded in negotiations. The procedure represents a bargain struck with the executive branch
House and Senate rules, specifically, automatic committee discharge after 45 days, no floor amendments, and limited floor debate."6 The procedure may best be described as a
"bargain" because it is primarily a power-sharing mechanism that is not likely to be enforced in court, but rather represents a norm of expected conduct.87 Additionally,
unlike the legislative veto, it allows Congress to exert pressure on the executive branch while still
meeting the constitutional requirements of bicameralism and presentment. The procedure has
worked because it meets the executive branch's need for credibility through the promise of quick
consideration of implementing legislation; it does so in exchange for effective and ongoing
consultation with Congress, which meets the congressional goals of oversight and participation.6 An additional reason for its success may be that there are
substantial incentives to work within the guarantee framework at all phases of the negotiations .
For example, if the President decides to negotiate a trade agreement on his sole authority or has
concluded negotiations on an agreement that was initially denied expedited treatment, his only
choice would be to submit the legislation on the normal, unexpedited track, or seek "ad hoc" fast
track consideration. In essence, by negotiating without receiving congressional approval for his initiatives, he takes the risk that he will
not be able to deliver an implementable deal.69 Further, Congress not only enhances the likelihood of effective consultation by
offering fast track consideration during negotiations, but it can continue to exert pressure for consultation by raising the
threat of a revoked guarantee. If Congress feels the executive branch is not complying with
the procedural requirements of the guarantee or is not giving adequate weight to
congressional suggestions , dissatisfied legislators can "derail" the fast track, revoking the guarantee at a
later date for the same reasons.7 0 Alternatively, a later Congress can always countermand the rules adopted by an earlier Congress. C. Further Refinements While Congress was
attempting to cope with the loss of the legislative veto in the arms sales area, 7 it was concurrently refining the guarantee procedure in the trade area to force executive
The Trade and Tariff Act of 198471 allows Congress
to withhold a guarantee of fast-track treatment for trade agreements before formal negotiations
have begun . 4 Earlier fast-track legislation did not require consultation with congressional
consultation with congres-6 sional committees earlier in the negotiation process.
committees until the negotiations were entering their final stages. Under this pre-negotiation procedure, if the President
decides to initiate formal negotiations with a trading partner and if the executive branch seeks a fast-track guarantee for the negotiated agreement, then consultation with the
Members of these committees can force the President to take congressional
concerns seriously by threatening to withhold the fast-track guarantee unless certain
congressional concerns are addressed in the agenda for negotiation. 5 Further, the procedure
provides incentives for the executive branch to continue effective consultation with the
committees because Congress retains two chances to disapprove the results at the postnegotiation stage: The committee in either House can recommend disapproval of the implementing legislation and, even if it receives approval of both committees,
either House can vote it down. Denial of a fast-track guarantee at this stage allows Congress significant
impact on policy formulation . Disapproval by either of the two congressional committees may destroy executive branch credibility before
appropriate committees is required.
negotiations have even begun. 6 The pre-negotiation procedure clearly makes the decision of whether to proceed with negotiations one that is shared by the two branches. It
allows Congress to participate in setting the negotiating agenda while still preserving executive
flexibility at the bargaining table. Further, it enhances executive credibility overall because
negotiators know, broadly speaking, what concessions are acceptable to Congress.
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