The Con has a variety of approaches to take in this month’s resolution.
2013 September/October Topic
Resolved: Unilateral military force by the United States is justified to prevent nuclear proliferation.
One is to negate the Pro’s policy, the use of unilateral military force by the United States. The question of the debate would be “Is the use of unilateral military for by the United States justified to prevent nuclear proliferation?” This is the basic reading of the resolution.
Another is to negate the Pro’s philosophy, that the prevention of nuclear proliferation is justified. “Justified” is the resolution’s verb and therefore the location of the debate. This verb, however, connects a noun (unilateral military force by the United States) and a verb phrase (to prevent). This verb phrase opens up an alternative debate to the basic reading of the resolution. The question of the debate would be “Is the prevention of nuclear proliferation justified?” This question could focus on the efficacy of attempts to prevent nuclear proliferation by the US or by actors in general. But there is another way of reading the question in an absolute sense, which leads to a third approach.
The third approach is that Pro must justify that nuclear proliferation should be prevented. This approach means that Con will turn Pro’s arguments against them. Let’s take a look at Turns before examining this idea further.
A turn is making what was an offensive argument for your opponent into an offensive argument for your side. The most important thing to remember about a turn is that you must concede part of the argument and then explain the turn. If you argue against the validity of the argument, the turn provides you no offense. There are two types of turns.
1. Link Turn: A link turn accepts your opponents’ claim and explains how the claim does not result in the impact your opponent claims, but rather an impact that proves your side.
2. Impact Turn: An impact turn will accept both the claim and impact of an argument. The turn explains how a negative impact is actually a positive impact, or a positive impact is actually negative impact.
3. Double Turn: You turn both the argument and the impact. In conjunction work against you. Do not turn both the argument and the impact.
In the case of this third approach, Con will impact turn Pro’s case. Con will accept the Pro’s arguments are true and that they cause the impacts outlined. For example, Con will accept that the US will deter countries such as Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. However, Con will explain that this impact is not desirable. A possible reason why is that more countries with nuclear capabilities could stabilize volatile regions such as the Middle East, where Israel is the sole nuclear power.
Remember, in order to successfully argue a turn, you must accept that your opponents’ arguments are true in part. You then explain how the logic past that true part is flawed and replace your opponents’ thinking with alternate thinking.