Thanks to Csareo for joining me in this debate!
Let's start with definitions.
United Nations: "an intergovernmental organization established on 24 October 1945 to promote nternational co-operation... The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict."
Should: implies an action, hence I'll present a case to support this resolution. Note that this is a discussion of “should” and not “could.” As such, we're discussing what happens if my system comes into place, not whether or not that system is likely to become a reality.
Standing military force: this is the equivalent of a standing army, which is defined as “a permanent, often professional, army. It is composed of full-time soldiers (who may be either career soldiers or conscripts) and is not disbanded during times of peace. It differs from army reserves, who are enrolled for the long term, but activated only during wars or natural disasters, and temporary armies, which are raised from the civilian population only during a war or threat of war and disbanded once the war or threat is over.”
With that, I'll present my model:
I will emulate the proposal summarized here. This includes the formation of a standing army composed of approximately 12,000-15,000 members, ranging widely but trained by the UN directly. They would function under a single command structure, being directly loyal to the UN. The deployment can be authorized by the Security Council, requiring two vetoes in order to vote down a given action. I won't provide all the details here, but the reasons for deployment and training methods are spelled out in that link. The costs are $2 billion to start, $900 million annually, contributed by member nations, with larger shares of the cost covered by the Security Council.
Contention 1: Efficiency
The UN's functionality, in large part, is peacekeeping. They play an important role in the national and international stability, stopping egregious rights violations. Unfortunately, they're very effective in status quo.
The army I'm proposing would make them more efficacious. At least two of the five pillars on which the UN stands – peace and security and development – are facilitated directly by having a force they can directly deploy to assist in either facet. The UN depends on nations to commit soldiers to a given conflict. The vast majority of such conflicts occur in third world nations (examples to come shortly). Most first world nations will commit none or few soldiers to these at best, especially given their general aversion to conflict. These soldiers tend to come (slowly) from developing nations, especially those in the region who may be directly or indirectly threatened by the conflict, or those who simply need the pay. In each of these cases, they're usually under-equipped, badly trained, and are often pressured into serving by their nations.
The problem has gotten worse in recent years due to larger deployments, which have “overwhelmed the capabilities of the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and other parts of the Secretariat like the Department of Management that have a role in supporting peace operations, leading to mismanagement, misconduct, poor planning, corruption, sexual abuse, unclear mandates, and other weaknesses.”
My case ensures that these soldiers would be trained and equipped sufficiently. They will have volunteered to enlist, improving dedication to each cause. They will be commanded and controlled better by a centralized leadership, and will be more likely to work with one another instead of for their own interests, as they will have trained and fought together for a mutual cause.
Realize as well that this is an army that functions solely as a neutral peacemaker and peacekeeper, something that no individual country can reasonably claim. This means that, unlike the concerns with other nations, their entry wouldn't be construed as a declaration of war, or as meddling on the part of the countries behind the participating troops. This also means that disputes between countries won't lead to large troop pullouts like that between India and Sierra Leone, which resulted in a shift in leadership and a substantial loss of resources.
Contention 2: Rapid Response
To say that the UN is slow in its responses to various humanitarian crises is an understatement.
"Despite the need to be able to move quickly to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity, the United Nations has no capacity to avert such catastrophes, even when prompt action could save hundreds of thousands of lives. The international community’s failure to stop genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and to avert “ethnic cleansing” occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan a decade later illustrate this incapacity, as do the other massive killings of civilians in Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, and elsewhere. In recent years, huge atrocities have killed millions of innocent people, wounded millions more, forced tens of millions from their homes, destroyed entire economies, and wasted hundreds of billions of dollars.”
"[the UN is] the only fire brigade in the world that has to wait for the fire to break out before it can acquire a fire engine.”
“...for peacekeeping itself, the UN needs to be quicker and stronger.”
The need here is obvious. People are dying rapidly in genocides and wars, and the UN has to be responsive to that concern on a much more pragmatic level. The U.S. and NATO forces, in particular, both utilize such forces to respond to concerns both at home and abroad, and these forces play key roles in numerous conflicts. It's important for nations to protect their interests, but all the more important for an international body like the UN to be able to act in a manner that can protect human rights from the most severe transgressions. Letting these incidents continue for the sake of bureaucracy is a mockery of the UN's purpose. My policy could save untold lives by allowing for rapid intervention in conflicts across the globe. It usually takes months of deaths for countries to commit troops to any given engagement - those are months of uninterrupted killings could be prevented.
I hand this debate over to Con to establish his arguments.
Return To Top | Posted:
Return To Top | Posted:
Well, this was disappointing. Unfortunately, as there are only two rounds in this debate, my opponent's forfeit essentially means he's lost. I encourage him to post in the final round and respond to my case, but unfortunately, this means I won't have an opportunity to rebut his arguments. I leave it to the judges to decide what comes of that if he does end up posting.
In the meantime, I think I've laid out my case about as clearly as I am able. The United Nations is often looked upon as a joke these days - they pass resolutions, shaming countries that do wrong, but they can do nothing to stop the truly egregious acts of aggression. They are entirely reliant upon the contributions of troops from member nations, and in the process, they are required to wait months before responding to some of the worst genocides in recent history. We've seen this bear out in Rwanda and Sudan, and we will see it again as long as humanity is still capable of committing genocide. Perhaps Legion will present some arguments about a change in perception of the United Nations being a bad one, or that this is too expensive, but it is worth the risk. Member nations won't intervene on their own, especially not those with the most power, who have so often become too tired of war. We need an international body, carefully regulated by the Security Council, who can intervene in these genocides and save countless lives before they are lost needlessly. We need a United Nations with a standing military force.
Return To Top | Posted:
- All Member States have sovereign equality.
- All Member States must obey the Charter.
- Countries must try to settle their differences by peaceful means.
- Countries must avoid using force or threatening to use force.
- The UN may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country.
- Countries should try to assist the United Nations.
All of these things are counter intuitive to the goals of the UN. I support using economic power to achieve these things, but it is not the UN's responsibility to involve itself in moral struggles, but be an arbitrator to their end.
War is bad, and it seems like it will take decades for humanity to realize that.
Conclusion Two: Why The Initiative is In-superior to The Status Quo
- Under the status quo, UN officers and soldiers are trained in professional armies and sent to 2-5 year stays in the peacekeeping force
- ^ This allows for the UN to only receive its soldiers from already structured and maintained armies.
- The UN would have to take on a large budget starting up a permanent military force
- ^ There are already 5 armies with the responsibility of following through on UN resolutions, making a sixth one irrelevant
- The current non-permanent peacekeeping force is non-threatening, and fits the role of what is actually needed today.
Return To Top | Posted:
Following the central theme of leader reply rounds, I shall only use this for confutation and summary.
- Centralized Command
- Full Time Army, volunteer after military training
- 12,000-15,000 blue berets (average 100,000 active duty)
There is one reason why the UN isn't considered an individual military force, and this is what the opposition must argue to fullfill the BOP.
Why the UN isn't Actually Considered a Military Force
As I laid out earlier, the UN can hardly ever engage in large scale military operations. The purpose of the UN is to protect its members interests, ensure human rights, and most importantly, protect nations from their own evil. If the UN implements an army where every soldier adheres to UN nationality, there are many problems that present themselves
- The Security Council can send armed forces trained in other countries to do their bidding
- The UN is no longer an organization of peace.
- By holding a full time non-sovereign military, war can be undertaken with a simple majority vote
- The opposition failed to research, and 75% of what was argued is already in existence (100% of arguments relied on things that did already exist)
- The debate centers around whether UN blue berets should be apart of their nations military, or a proposed UN military. The opposition, by failing to research why the UN isn't considered a full military, failed to bring up the most vital part of the resolution.
- The UN doesn't need a large military for the operations it is expected to perform
- War is against the principles of the UN. A standing force contradicts the UN's purpose
- A standing force allows for one nation in the security council to abuse their powers
- War always results in death and human right violations
- A standing force allows a large voting bloc, to declare war on a smaller voting bloc, e.g, "Pakistan vs India".
- The opposition's sources are faulty, which leave lots of holes in the BOP (Cost expenditure came from a blog)
Return To Top | Posted:
Thanks to Con.
Con's case is full of contradictions and misinformation.
Con states that the UN essentially does have a standing military force, but also points out that they only get any troops if member nations sign off. Any “responsibility” they have to commit troops is entirely unenforceable, and countries have demonstrated a common unwillingness to commit troops to stop flagrant human rights abuses. Getting troops 6 months late is virtually worthless in the modern world of rapid warfare, where mass killings require immediate response. He states that they have a centralized command and military training, ignoring the fact that any training they receive is often incompatible, and that the majority of troops they do get are untrained. Con admits that my case introduces a new feature in the form of allegiance to the UN, and as these troops are a standing, readily accessible army, I meet the resolution.
Con argues that they don't need this many troops, pointing to 2 examples (on both he understates the troop commitments [1, 2]), and ignoring the 7 examples I provided in R1, all of which involved far larger bodies of troops. Also, multiple conflicts can and do occur simultaneously. My case also demonstrably improves their efficiency, reducing infighting, costs, and, most importantly, saving lives.
Con states that my case leads to the UN declaring war, and then points to the legal structures that prevent it. The UN still has all the same procedures under my case, they would still be a peacekeeping organization. The only difference is that those forces are readily accessible to them. He states several impacts that he claims come from this, but all are impossible under current UN law, and remain impossible in my case. He ignores the fact that the Security Council still needs a majority vote, and the permanent members still have veto power, preventing individual countries and majorities both from abuses and misuses of troops.
Con points out that there's some economic loss, but never argues my numbers, simply stating that they come from a blog. They're actually from a book released at United Nations headquarters, which is quoted repeatedly on that page. They're also the only numbers in this debate, and they're cheap. Even if they garner that money solely from the permanent members, that's about 0.025% of their combined budget to start, and about 0.012% annually. Con never provides an alternative usage for that money, and I'd say the cost of human life far outweighs.
I've already made the conclusions for my case in R1 and R2, and as Con never contests any of contentions, instead focusing on inaccurate solvency issues and off-case points, my arguments still stand just as strongly as they did then. So, let's compare them to Con's world. He talks about economic power, but points out that the UN can't use it. It's also not that effective (look to Iran and North Korea), so scratch that. The only military options in status quo involve waiting for member nations to commit troops, which requires a vested interest, long wait times, and often results in poor armies, as I pointed out in R1. Grant Con's point that the peacekeeping force, as it stands, is entirely non-threatening – it is. Con provides no other means to stop mass killings or genocides. Also, grant all of his points on why war is bad – they're all harms inherent to the status quo that are only reduced by my case. Don't sacrifice those lives for the sake of finances that member nations can easily afford, or some vague, misbegotten “respect” that Con neither explains well enough nor weighs.
Return To Top | Posted: