As a former debate, I know it can be a dangerous thing to name favorite cases early in the debate season. New evidence is found, articles are published, and strategies develop that can change everything. However, since I’ve graduated and will not be debating this year, I’m going to go ahead and share three of my favorite cases I’ve seen so far for STOA’s Military Presence & Commitments Resolution.

3. Foreign Military Aid Reform

One of the things I really like about this case is its relevance to current events. Most judges will probably know something about the unrest in the Middle East. The affirmative team can use this to their advantage and connect it to the idea that the United States should stop sending military aid to one or more of these countries. The reasoning behind the case is pretty solid, and by linking it to a topic that most judges will already have some understanding about, the affirmative can focus less time on explaining and more time persuading.

2. Drone Warfare Reform

This case also has the potential to be very relevant for judges. There is a lot of bipartisan support for reform of drone warfare, and this case can be written in a variety of different ways. This is one of the reasons I really like this case. I appreciate plans that are easily adaptable to different judges. If utilized correctly, this flexibility is an advantage for the affirmative team, and can makes it more difficult for the negative team to both prepare for and argue against the case.

1. Remove Tactical Nuclear Weapons from Europe

This case is hands down my favorite so far this year. I actually ran this case with my partner two years ago at NCFCA nationals under a different resolution. To be honest, I didn’t care for the case when we first started running it, but now I have a lot of respect for the potential of the plan. Although Tactical Nuclear Weapons (TNWs) may not be a well-known subject for judges, a well-prepared affirmative team can explain it quickly and easily. The true strength of the case is in the lack of strong disadvantages against it, and the variety of advantages that the affirmative team can pull from depending on how they want to frame the plan.

So there they are. My opinions about the best cases are subject to change as the year goes on, but for now I’d say these three cases that really stand out to me for STOA’s resolution.