‘Case of the Week:’ Week 1 – Ratify the New START

Here’s the COGblog’s first ‘Case of the Week’! Enjoy!

~ COG 2010 Editors

Important Disclaimer: As a free service, Case of the Week cases are not subject to the same editorial process and stringent quality standards as the COG 2010 sourcebook, are frequently contributed by non-COG authors, and don’t generally have extensive work put into them. Therefore, we make no guarantees of the accuracy or quality of the evidence presented, and you will often find material and sources in these cases that would not appear in the sourcebook. That said, we hope these cases will be useful to you; enjoy!

About the Author: Guest contributor, Joseph Clarkson of ARC in Austin, Texas,  is going into his second year of debate and has taken to research like a fish to water. He finished the 2009-2010 season extremely well for his first year. Riding on the bumbly wings of the infamous “Bee Case,” Joseph and his partner, Paul Exley, placed 4th at the DFW Qualifier and 14th at Regionals beating many of Region 4’s top teams. Besides this contribution for the COGblog, Joseph is currently working on his own personal sourcebook, Impact.

1AC:  Ratify the New START Treaty

By Joseph Clarkson


When you hear the word Russia, what do you think of? More than likely you think “Communism,” “Nuclear weapons” or about the “Cold War.” But these ideas are almost a decade behind the times! The U.S. and Russia are currently working together to stop terrorism and lower nuclear weapons world wide, but one of the treaties working towards these goals is about to expire. Because of this my partner and I stand Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly reform its policy toward Russia.

In order to have clarity in this round we offer the following definitions in…

Observation 1. Definitions

1. Policy
Accessed June 28, 2010, Merriam-Webster online dictionary, “Policy” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/policy

A high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body

2. Reform
Accessed June 28, 2010, Merriam-Webster online dictionary, “Reform”, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reform

To put or change into an improved form or condition

3. Significant
Accessed June 28, 2010, Merriam-Webster online dictionary, “Significant”, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/significant

“having or likely to have influence or effect”

Now that we understand what the resolution is talking about, let’s move on to what’s happening right now in……

Observation 2. Inherency

New START signed but not ratified
NTI Global Security Newswire Co-chaired by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and philanthropist and CNN founder Ted Turner, (NTI is governed by an expert and influential Board of Directors with members from the United States, Russia, Japan, India, Pakistan, China, Jordan, Sweden, France and the United Kingdom). Thursday, June 17, 2010Russian Lawmakers Rule Out Prompt START Ratification” http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20100617_7393.php
“Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama in April signed the replacement to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The “New START” pact would obligate the nations to cap their fielded strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 warheads, down from the maximum of 2,200 allowed each country by 2012 under the 2002 Moscow Treaty. The deal would also limit U.S. and Russian deployed nuclear delivery vehicles to 700, with another 100 platforms allowed in reserve. The pact has been submitted for ratification by legislative bodies in Russia and the United States.”

Now that we know what’s happening right now, let’s look at why we need this treaty passed in…..

Observation 3. Harms

Terrorist Threat

A. Nuclear weapons insecure from terrorists who are trying to get them

Rachel Kleinfeld (PhD in international relations from Oxford, CEO of the Truman National Security Project which trains next-generation leaders in national security.)“A New START: How Obama’s Treaty with Russia Will Make Us All Safer” April 10, 2010 http://www.good.is/post/a-new-start-how-obama-s-treaty-with-russia-will-make-us-all-safer/

“Preeminent groups of statesmen from both sides of the aisle don’t come together much these days. But New START brought together everyone from Reagan’s Secretary of State to Clinton’s Secretary of Defense for a reason: They agree that we now face a new threat exacerbated by the mere existence of more nukes. Al-Qaeda is hell bent on getting a nuclear weapon, by hook or by crook. Sadly, that might be easier than we’d like to think. In January, a nuclear air base in Belgium—a major NATO partner—was breached by anti-nuclear activists. They spent over an hour in the base before they were detected. If they can do it, so can terrorists.”

B. Nuclear terrorism puts the planet at risk
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR’s 50,000 health professionals and concerned citizen members and e-activists, 31 PSR chapters, and 41 student PSR chapters at medical and public health schools, along with national and chapter staff, form a unique nationwide network committed to a safer and healthy world.)  “Nuclear Weapons” Monday, June 28, 2010, http://www.psr.org/nuclear-weapons/

“The nuclear weapons danger is real and growing–nuclear terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and the thousands of weapons still on hair-trigger alert in the United States and Russia put the planet at risk.  Fortunately, there also are new opportunities to eliminate this threat.”

Now that we see what is wrong, let’s look at how we plan on solving the problem in….

Observation 4. The Plan

To be implemented by any necessary constitutional means.

Agency: Congress
Mandate: Congress will ratify the new START treaty.
Funding: No funding needed. This plan is purely legislative
Enforcement: Congress, the Department of State and the Department of Defense and any other necessary federal agency
Timeline: This plan takes place one week after an affirmative ballot

Now that we have seen how we plan on fixing the problems, let’s look at some experts who believe our plan is the best way to solve this harm in….

Observation 5. Solvency and Plan Advocacy

A. START is where we begin to end nuclear terrorism

Rachel Kleinfeld (PhD in international relations from Oxford, CEO of the Truman National Security Project which trains next-generation leaders in national security.)“A New START: How Obama’s Treaty with Russia Will Make Us All Safer” April 10, 2010 http://www.good.is/post/a-new-start-how-obama-s-treaty-with-russia-will-make-us-all-safer/

The threat of nuclear terrorism is real, and our country’s top officials are serious about locking down, reducing, and safeguarding nuclear stockpiles. Since 95 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons are owned by Russia and America, the New START treaty is where the effort begins. As we’ve known for years, Russia’s ability to keep its nuclear material under lock and key hardly inspires confidence. Personnel are untrustworthy, corruption is rife, and nuclear material is unaccounted for. That’s why reducing Russia’s nuclear arsenal is so critical: The less they have to guard, the less terrorists have to steal.”

B. Compliance and verification

Rachel Kleinfeld (PhD in international relations from Oxford, CEO of the Truman National Security Project which trains next-generation leaders in national security.)“A New START: How Obama’s Treaty with Russia Will Make Us All Safer” April 10, 2010 http://www.good.is/post/a-new-start-how-obama-s-treaty-with-russia-will-make-us-all-safer/

“Of course, the treaty is not without its critics. New START’s detractors—such as the Heritage Foundation’s Conn Carroll and Baker Spring—argue that it’s nothing more than words on paper. But the fact of the matter is that New START follows Reagan’s dictate to “trust, but verify.” Under the original START treaty, the United States conducted over 600 inspections in Russia and its satellite countries—Russia only conducted 400 on our soil. New START enshrines similar vigilance in a new century.”

Now that we have seen that are plan will indeed work, let’s look at the advantages of the plan in….

Observation 6. Advantages

1. Groundwork for US-Russia cooperation

Rose Gottemoeller (M.A., George Washington University, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation, former social scientist at the RAND Corporation) “Shaping a Common Vision of Security between Russia and the United States” June 25, 2010 http://www.state.gov/t/vci/rls/143675.htm

“In my view, it is no accident that we were able to complete this treaty quickly. New START reflects the determination of our two governments to begin a new era in our security relations, one of greater openness and cooperation. This Treaty is not just about Washington and Moscow. It is about the entire world community. As you know, the United States and Russia control more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenal and we understand the world looks to us for leadership in securing nuclear material globally and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.”

2. Decreases the chance of terrorists getting nukes
Senator Robert P. Casey, (Senator for Pennsylvania. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Casey has worked to bring accountability on the Iraq war and to contractors in Iraq.  He has outlined a new U.S. policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to target terrorists and to halt the reverse in progress we have seen in the region.) Casey Remarks on Nuclear Security” Wednesday, February 24, 2010 http://casey.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=525af558-21aa-4fb0-beb3-b8be50de0eb8

“On the need for taking an international leadership role, Senator Casey said: “START is a necessary step in reaffirming U.S. leadership on nonproliferation issues.  Without a clear commitment to our nonproliferation responsibilities through a new START agreement, it will be increasingly difficult for the U.S. to secure international support in addressing the urgent security threats posed by the spread of nuclear weapons.” On the steps required to protect fissile material from terrorists, Senator Casey said: “This is an issue of national security, and preventing nuclear terrorism.  By working to diminish the access to fissile material, by working to ensure that Russia and the U.S. decrease the nuclear stockpile, by promoting a ban on nuclear testing and by ensuring that our nuclear arsenal is safe and secure – all of these measures as well as others will help to create an international environment where terrorist access to fissile material is diminished.”

I would like to end with this quote from Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev as he signed the new START treaty:

Rose Gottemoeller (M.A., George Washington University, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation, former social scientist at the RAND Corporation) “Shaping a Common Vision of Security between Russia and the United States” June 25, 2010 http://www.state.gov/t/vci/rls/143675.htm [brackets added]

I would like to conclude with the words of our Presidents who described it best when, after signing the new Treaty, President Obama called it “an important milestone for nuclear security and non-proliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations” and President Medvedev declared it a [it is a ] win-win situation.”


Backup: New START

Inherency

U.S. and Russia intent on building ties including the New START treaty

Thaindian News (a news portal based in Bangkok, syndicates news articles from a number of news agencies and produces dozens of news stories daily from its editors. The website targets traffic from search engines such as Google News as well as thousands of regular readers. Currently, the website reaches nearly four million visitors a month, or about 150,000 people daily).Russia, US seek to deepen economic ties” Thu Jun 24 2010 http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/russia-us-seek-to-deepen-economic-ties_100385602.html

“Russia and the US are intent on building economic ties on the strong record of cooperation on security issues that have marked Obama’s first year and a half in office: agreement on the New START Treaty on nuclear disarmament and agreement on new sets of sanctions against both North Korea and Iran.”

Signed, needs to be ratified

The National Security NetworkSTOP THE MYTHS, START REALITY” 8 APRIL 2010 http://www.nsnetwork.org/node/1568

U.S. and Russia sign historic nuclear arms treaty as attention now shifts to the Senate. Today in Prague, U.S. President Barack and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new arms control treaty.  According to the BBC, “the treaty commits the former Cold War enemies to each reduce the number of deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 – 30% lower than the previous ceiling.”  “If ratified by lawmakers in both countries, the treaty will replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) of 1991, which has expired,” said the BBC.  The New York Times reports on this historic moment: “‘When the United States and Russia are not able to work together on big issues, it is not good for either of our nations, nor is it good for the world,’ Mr. Obama said as his words echoed through a majestic, gilded hall in the famed Prague Castle. ‘Together, we have stopped the drift, and proven the benefits of cooperation. Today is an important milestone for nuclear security and nonproliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations.’ Mr. Medvedev called the treaty signing ‘a truly historic event’ that will ‘open a new page’ in Russian-American relations. ‘What matters most is this is a win-win situation,’ he said. ‘No one stands to lose from this agreement. I believe this is a typical feature of our cooperation. Both parties have won.'”

Advantages

Makes governments accountable for their actions

Merle David Kellerhals Jr. (A Staff Writer for America.gov which is part of the Bureau of International Information Programs), U.S. Department of State.   “New START Enhances U.S.-Russian Relations” 17 June 2010 http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2010/June/20100617120432dmslahrellek0.5792963.html

“At a Senate hearing June 17, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague April 8, reduces global nuclear tensions and enhances efforts to make irresponsible governments accountable to the rest of the world.”

Disadvantage Responses

Will still have the power to modernize our arsenal as we please

Merle David Kellerhals Jr. (A Staff Writer for America.gov which is part of the Bureau of International Information Programs), U.S. Department of State.   “New START Enhances U.S.-Russian Relations” 17 June 2010 http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2010/June/20100617120432dmslahrellek0.5792963.html

“Under this treaty, we retain the power and the freedom to determine the composition of our force structure, allowing the United States complete flexibility to deploy, maintain and modernize our strategic nuclear forces in a manner that best protects our national security interests,” Gates testified.

Will not interfere with testing or missile defense programs

Merle David Kellerhals Jr. (A Staff Writer for America.gov which is part of the Bureau of International Information Programs), U.S. Department of State.   “New Treaty Reduces U.S., Russian Nuclear Arsenals” 26 March 2010 http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2010/March/20100326112820dmslahrellek0.2403528.html

“The treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile-defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities,” the White House said.

Solvency/Past Precedent

Old START a tremendous success/ Old START expired

Rachel Kleinfeld (PhD in international relations from Oxford, CEO of the Truman National Security Project which trains next-generation leaders in national security.)“A New START: How Obama’s Treaty with Russia Will Make Us All Safer” April 10, 2010 http://www.good.is/post/a-new-start-how-obama-s-treaty-with-russia-will-make-us-all-safer/

“Reducing U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals is no left-wing fantasy—it has been a Republican goal for decades. Ronald Reagan first pushed the idea in the 1980s, recognizing that the number of nuclear weapons both countries had was more than enough to protect ourselves, and that while we needed enough firepower to safeguard the house, having enough to burn it down did no one any good. George H. W. Bush finished what Reagan started by signing the first START treaty in 1991. The treaty was a major success, leading to an 80 percent reduction in American and Russian nuclear arsenals and easing Cold War tensions. When it expired last year, national security leaders across the political spectrum called for a new treaty.”

New treaty has more efficient verification program

Merle David Kellerhals Jr. (A Staff Writer for America.gov which is part of the Bureau of International Information Programs), U.S. Department of State. “New Treaty Reduces U.S., Russian Nuclear Arsenals” 26 March 2010 http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2010/March/20100326112820dmslahrellek0.2403528.html

“The treaty includes a verification regime that will allow each side to monitor all aspects of the treaty. “At the same time, the inspections and other verification procedures in this treaty will be simpler and less costly to implement than the old START treaty,” the White House said.”

Reduces our nuclear arsenals to the lowest level in 50 years

Merle David Kellerhals Jr. (A Staff Writer for America.gov which is part of the Bureau of International Information Programs), U.S. Department of State,  “New START Enhances U.S.-Russian Relations” 17 June 2010, http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2010/June/20100617120432dmslahrellek0.5792963.html

“The landmark START between the United States and Russia lowers the limits on strategic nuclear warheads and the means to deliver them. It effectively reduces the level of warheads each nation possesses to its lowest level in more than 50 years.”

Informational

START Generic explanation

Rose Gottemoeller (M.A., George Washington University, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation, former social scientist at the RAND Corporation) “Shaping a Common Vision of Security between Russia and the United States” June 25, 2010 http://www.state.gov/t/vci/rls/143675.htm

“The new Treaty establishes limits for U.S. and Russian nuclear forces significantly below the levels established by the START and Moscow Treaties.

  • It should be noted that what is counted under each treaty is different.
  • While the START Treaty relied primarily on attribution rules for counting warheads on delivery vehicles, in the New START Treaty we sought to count the actual number of warheads emplaced on each deployed ICBM and SLBM.
  • For nuclear-capable heavy bombers, rather than count these heavy bombers at zero warheads to reflect the fact that today nuclear weapons are rarely loaded on them, the sides agreed to an attribution rule of one warhead per nuclear-capable heavy bomber.
  • The new treaty will limit deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 per side, which is about 30% below the maximum of 2,200 warheads permitted by the Moscow Treaty.
  • The Treaty has a limit of 700 on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed nuclear-capable heavy bombers.
  • This limit is more than 50 percent below the START Treaty limit of 1,600 deployed strategic delivery vehicles.
  • There will be a separate limit of 800 on the total number of deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and nuclear-capable heavy bombers.”

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5 Responses to ‘Case of the Week:’ Week 1 – Ratify the New START

  1. Thanks guys! :) the disclaimer made me laugh :P

  2. cogdebate says:

    It’s what we put on all non-official COG stuff just in case. :D I like your case. ;)

  3. thanks :) oh and people run it as a harms solvency case because there is lots of evidence out there that says it will protect our arsenals.

  4. Preston Black says:

    Beast, Joseph. Almost as beast as PNTR, lol :)

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