Our elite Mastership Sourcebooks for NCFCA and Stoa will release soon! Check them out here!
This topic post is for Gov/Aff/Pro.

Between watching practice rounds, and helping teams prep, it seems like Pro/Aff is definitely fighting an uphill battle on the PF February motion. Why?

It can be daunting to argue against a really well run Fill-in DA, especially because the probability metric seems so on-point. For newer debaters, a “Fill-in DA” is just a fancy term for how if we (the US) leave, another nation will take our place to provide arms to SA. They purchase a lot of weapons, and they won’t stop buying them simply because the US gives them a slap on the wrist.

The first step is to basically concede the link. Acquiesce that some sort of fill in WILL happen. SA won’t let such a substantial amount of its arms supply go dormant. It needs arms for the war in Yemen. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some options.

The UK, France, and several other actors, who represent a hefty portion of SA’s arms supply, are actually much more likely to fill-in than Russia, China, Iran, or others. Arms contractors stand to gain much more in western countries than in more centralized-governments such as Russia and China.

The impact of the entire Aff shouldn’t revolve around international image or any other IR vaguery. If it does, then draw those impacts out to physical manifestations.

Decreased international  credibility for the US leads to things like

  • Less support on UN initiatives.
  • Potential credit downgrade from international banks (due to lack of perceived trust).
  • Local development initiatives stymied (because they are backed by the US). This can be NGO’s, non-profits of all kinds, and many other ground-up initiatives that are meant to spread economic opportunity and development.
  • Less reliability in future Arms sales. Future vendors look upon the US with a bit more criticism.
But beyond these impacts, DON’T let neg automatically sway the judge to assume MORE casualties will be lost on your side of the motion. This evidence in 2017 shows that Trump has actually removed some restrictions, causing more civilians to be at risk. Thus it really could just be a wash, and NOT flow neg:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trumps-big-saudi-arms-deal-will-cause-more-misery-for-yemen “In December, after the Saudi coalition bombed a funeral in Sanaa, killing about a hundred and forty people, the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer allow the Saudis to buy some precision-guided heavy bombs. Trump has now reversed this policy, agreeing to supply the Saudis with the very types of weapons they used in the deadly attack on the funeral. “Lifting the suspension on precision-guided munitions is a big deal,” William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, told Mother Jones. “It’s a huge impact if it reinforces the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen, and also the signal that it’s okay with us. It’s saying, ‘Have at it. Do what you want.’”

Let’s look at another option on how to respond to Fill-In.

The tech transfer argument, while it appears weak, actually has some teeth to it. Let’s take a look at this article here: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/feature/5/196962/us-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia%3A-policy-options.html  “There are several diverging viewpoints on which course of action is preferable for the U.S. to take. Jonathan Caverley, writing in The New York Times, pushed for the U.S. to utilize its leverage in arms deals to pressure Riyadh, noting that “the United States has the preponderance of influence in this arms trade relationship,” not Saudi Arabia.[iii] He pointed out that the bulk of Saudi Arabia’s military equipment comes from the U.S. (followed by Europe) and that non-Western suppliers like Russia and China do not have the type of systems Saudi Arabia seeks; nor would switching Saudi force structures to Russian manufacture be an easy undertaking for the Saudi government.  It would be expensive, take significant amounts of time, and require a restructuring of Saudi Arabia’s security outlook, all to import systems whose quality and usefulness Saudi Arabia is already skeptical of. These are strong points, but it is worth pointing out that a significant or total shutdown of U.S. arms cooperation with Saudi Arabia would come with its own set of risks.”

%d bloggers like this: