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July 13, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Answering the security critique in policy debate

There are decent reps answers in a file from the last topic from Georgetown.

I believe it includes the Butler turns…which are pretty good.

Some of the feminists talk about expanding the notion of security as a good thing. I don’t remember if the warrants are particularly good.

You could say realism good.

You could say militarism good. You could say non-violence bad.

You could say power vacumes = violence. **** (ie if we aren’t violent, militarist countries will seize the opportunity to take over).

Underestimating threats bad = violence & war.

Appeasing = bad. This is very similar to overestimating–its arguably a way to prove that security/hege/military declines = misperceptions & power grabs. WWII = classic example.

Scenario planning good. These cards are in a number of K backfiles from camp. I seem to remember Kansas putting these in a couple of files.

Either we’re not a worse case scenario because of X, Y, and Z or…..worst case scenario good.

Our reps are good.
1) Nuclear rhetoric is good. Defend your assumptions.
2) We need security for X, Y, & Z.

You could say securitization, realism, violence, & militarism inevitable. This sets up your argument.

Just put lots of pressure on the ability of the alt. to genuinely solve anything.

You could say intuitive things based on empirical examples–the alternative is just silly. We shouldn’t use the word security would just result in the same dirty word, but another word.

Saying security is socially constructed doesn’t deny that threats exist. Clarifing the key distinction between an inflated threat or a real threat then becomes key.

Cite specific ev. from the 1ac which is of a historical/empirical or verifiable nature.

Think about how securitization is used by typical negative authors. This could be a way into the Rorty argument.

Theory & performative contradiction–coopts the alternative & its tantamount to pre-meditated murder by intentionlly using it.

Dispo/Conditional alts bad for reasons of advocacy, etc..

Good answers to framework & roleplaying bad.

Three online resources:
1) There is a slow debate on the military pullout topic which I remember was on the security K debate, which is pretty decent. It also has a judge critique about how the k operates in the real world.
2) K debate from Emory on the last topic. I assume its on their 2011 wikispace.
3) There is an NDT debate on between Northwestern & West Georgia. The aff is anti-nuclear rhetoric & the negative runs framework & nuclear rhetoric good. The argument is basically we need nuclear rhetoric to prevent nuclear war. Pretty decent argument I think.

I wouldn’t necessarily run all of the above in the same debate. Some are link turns & some are impact turns.

You will want to have at least 2 frontlines to this K. One that is plain & one that is to the Nietzchian version.

Note: Some of the answers are to the Threat Construction K, but about 1/2 to 1/3rd of the time, the K is based on the book On Security article in some way.



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  1. Nathan Ketsdever / Jul 13 2012 7:50 am

    Six updates:
    1. Guizini (or something like that). Security/Realism discourse is a bridge. I think the evidence itself isn’t that good–but the argument is pretty good. Also, there are other arguments like it in the security literature. This generally functions as a perm–I’m not sure it has to, though. Its almost a link turn. (this is in about 1/2 to 1/3 of realism files. It came out of Gonzaga….they may have borrowed it from Whitman….I’m not honestly sure).

    2. Campbell writes a really good biopower turn. I think it could be used to answer the security K too….b/c its functionally the same freaking argument. At the minimum–its a claim that you can used the masters tools against itself.

    3. Roleplaying. This is generic, but the Joyner evidence is on fire. Its on lexis law review. It speaks to how international debates in a roleplaying context help create better understanding of issues. This should be in most K answer files (aka K answer toolboxes)….it might be in some framework files as well.

    4. Internationalism. Its a decent way to engage this type of argument. This assumes you can assess multilateralism or international law with your aff (this is usually we help create a better image or perception based on our treaty compliance as a result of the aff). Not sure if any affs can do this–I’m not sure how many transportation related treaties we have with regards to domestic transportation. (i’m suggesting its not likely….although not impossible). Perhaps port security gives us better credibility on NPT (aka non-proliferation) because it checks the transporation of potential chemicals which result in proliferation. On the flip side–the war on terror hasn’t exactly been good for global multilateralism–only multilateralism with “old europe” and the like. I guess if you can save our US/EU or NATO relations you might be able to access this. I’m not sure I would want to hear Nato consult counterplan in 1/2 my aff debates–unless I had a sweat frontline to the argument (aka great theory & turns).

    5. I haven’t seen this argument run, but I think you say that words have multiple meanings based on intent. That security can be manipulated is not your fault. Every type of ideology can be coopted. It all gets back to intent. They have to be able to show you have a bad intent as a debater–not just as a supposed advocate of the national security state.

    6. Another argument I haven’t seen much is conspiracy theory bad. This is a glorified poisoning the well fallacy. Everybody at some point in their life uses this logic–it doesn’t mean they are bureaucrats who start wars. Even libertarians–who are against state power use the language of security.

  2. Nathan Ketsdever / Jul 13 2012 8:17 pm

    If you claim environmental security in your aff (warming, etc..) you will want to have more specific answers, because thats another version of this K–thats somewhat nuanced. Its based on one chapter of On Security. There are a handful of other answers to that k… guess is many of them amount to without talking in security terms….these issues don’t make it to the national agenda. They could also be defenses of the connection & “truth” of the security nature of the issue.

    I don’t have the Der Derian in front of me–I’m going to guess it says:
    1. will to power
    2. fear bad
    3. some of the arguments discussed above
    4. probably otherization. Security = otherization. Otherization = elimination, war, domination, and dehumanization (aka the root cause of all bad stuff).

    I don’t think the will to power is anything particularly insightful–even though in philosophy circles it has seem to be. Everyone is biased and everyone acts in their self-interest. Thats not a warrant for ignoring the pursuit of truth, reality, or anything else. Plus, its a rather hasty generalization about the human condition without ANY basis. Moreover there are lots of things that check it back. Plus in a world of will to power–its even more critical to have security or the rule of law.

    Fear bad–you should be able to find fear good in some files. These arguments are just true. We need a combination of fear & safety. Without fear we would be eaten by the saber tooth tiger and would be devoured by every disease known to humans–and even those not known to humans.

    Even if they don’t make fear argument or run the fear version of this K–if you think you can win the fear debate–it seems like a core assumption of the K itself. Its worth writing a mini-frontline to that part of the debate :30 to :45 seconds. (ie their alt would decrease fear & their link say we should basically ignore stuff)

    As mentioned above–the anti-nuclearism movement used security & nuclear discourse–and did so effectively. Theres no reason we can’t too.

    They are hyper-generic–
    a) We win specifity. We justify our assumptions. We prove our threats are credible
    b]I think the “thats not our type of security” isn’t a slayer against this K, but may get you some traction when combined with other arguments. I think you can talk about how you have the ideology of the critique & the ideology of what it critiques–and you are somewhere in the middle–but not against the K.

    This is a rather static ideology, versus the flexible policy making and pragmatism of the affirmative. There are two key authors that are in most Realism/Critique of International Relations files–the two authors slip my mind. This flexible notion allows a better representation of reality–especially when the claims of the K are often around suggestions that the map & the territory don’t sync up. Basically, the language of the aff overdetermines or is linguistic determinism. The linguistic determinism turns are pretty decent my opinion & they link to most Ks like this.

    Detterence solves. Checks militarism, violence, etc…

    Norms check violence. This is probably particularly useful against the Nietzschian version. Specifically, the norms against non-intervension & torture of international criminals–are key checks against dehumanization.

    You can’t really step outside of power. For instance, the act of not voting in the ballot booth is still an act of power. You can’t step out of the power of the ballot–without your teams being penalized by the tournamnet and/or tab room. (There are much better explanations of this–Foucault talked about how power was fluid & everywhere). I’m not sure how far this answer will get–it seems like an answer that has to be used with others–perhaps its an “your alt. doesn’t solve” which they will say “but our alt is specific!!!! and really good” and most judges will probably prefer their specific alt. This answer–however may help you on the link debate and their causal relationships in terms of all instances of the use of “security” are bad.

    Imagine a world in which we didn’t use security. People still have the psychological motive to act in securitizing ways–even if they don’t use the word security. It wouldn’t magically get rid of crime or violence or militarism or any other international ill or dictators in the developing world.

    You want to be sure to answer the otherization argument. You can run enemy creation good cards.

  3. Nathan Ketsdever / Jul 14 2012 3:50 am

    This speaks to the issue of systems theory approach:

    A belief-attitude-value framework would also suggest issues in terms of the alternative.

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