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Impacts. Overview. Discuss major “topic impacts” Discuss how to prepare for and win impact debates Impacts discussed will include Leadership Growth Everything else. Impact #1: Leadership. Also called “hegemony” or “ heg ”, or sometimes “preponderance”
Impacts Overview
  • Discuss major “topic impacts”
  • Discuss how to prepare for and win impact debates
  • Impacts discussed will include
  • Leadership
  • Growth
  • Everything else
  • Impact #1: Leadership
  • Also called “hegemony” or “heg”, or sometimes “preponderance”
  • Like many impacts, is debated as both “heg good” and “heg bad”
  • Leadership is divided along two axes
  • Hard power: military and economic might
  • Soft power: cultural and ideological attractiveness
  • Impact modules exist for both “heg good/bad” and “soft power good/bad”
  • Leadership [cont’d]
  • Heg good thesis: U.S. influence serves an important balancing and stabilizing function, and a U.S. withdrawal would spur conflicts as states move rapidly to fill the power vacuum (Khalilzad ‘95)
  • Common impact scenarios include:
  • Great power wars (global nuclear war)
  • East Asian wars
  • European wars
  • South Asia wars
  • Mideast wars
  • Economic collapse
  • Terrorism
  • Proliferation—allied and adventurist
  • Democracy
  • Competitor states bad—Russia, China
  • Revisionist states bad—Iran, North Korea, Venezuela
  • Leadership [cont’d]
  • Heg bad thesis: U.S. intervention in the affairs of other states risks the U.S. getting drawn into wars, and increases resentment/blowback against the U.S.
  • Common “heg bad” scenarios include:
  • Terrorism
  • Proliferation
  • Economy (overstretch)
  • China containment bad/resentment
  • Russia containment bad/resentment
  • Arms racing/super weapons
  • Democracy (domestic and international)
  • Regional wars everywhere the other side says “heg is good”
  • Leadership [cont’d]
  • Soft power good thesis: Actions that increase the international standing of the U.S. are good/actions that decrease the international standing of the U.S. are bad
  • Common scenarios include:
  • Economy
  • Disease
  • Terrorism
  • Environment (general)
  • Warming
  • Proliferation (cooperation internals, esp. Iran)
  • Leadership [cont’d]
  • Soft power bad thesis: increasing the international reputation of the U.S. allows it to encourage other states to do bad things
  • Common impact scenarios include:
  • Missile defense deployments bad
  • Iran containment/attack bad
  • Terrorism/counterterrorism bad
  • Democracy promotion bad
  • Leadership [cont’d]
  • Keys to winning a heg debate:
  • Control short-term uniquenes—heg high/low now
  • Control long-term uniqueness—is heg sustainable?
  • Emphasize timeframe arguments (every impact will have the same magnitude)
  • Have MORE scenarios than your opponent
  • Read defense against your opponent’s impacts
  • Impact #2: Growth
  • Is continued economic growth good or bad? Conventional wisdom says “good”, but there are a lot of good cards either way
  • Debates tend to center on the relationship between economic expansion and
  • Frequency and intensity of conflict/war
  • Environmental destruction and preservation
  • Will most commonly be encountered as a disad (esp. politics) impact
  • Useful because can be used to turn everything
  • Growth [cont’d]
  • “Growth good” tends to assume that it is inevitable, hardwired into the human condition, and is capable of self-correction (solving the problems it produces via tech, ingenuity and wealth)
  • Typical impacts include:
  • War (parallels to WW2)
  • Space
  • Environment (wealth effect)
  • Growth [cont’d]
  • “Growth bad” tends to assume that economic expansion occurs within a finite resource/environmental systems that are incapable of supporting continued growth
  • Typical impacts include:
  • War (K-wave theory, upswing wars)
  • Environmental collapse, w/ various scenarios
  • Equity/ethics
  • Growth [cont’d]
  • THE key question—will human ingenuity be able to keep ahead of impending pollution and scarcity problems
  • Get to space
  • Should get to understand explanations for WW2—are used on both sides
  • Impact #3: Terrorism
  • Definition: terrorism is the use of violence against civilian targets to achieve political ends
  • By this standard, virtually all governments engage in terrorist acts
  • Quick aside—terror talk
  • Has become a defining feature of contemporary debate—many authors are obsessed with terrorism and its impact, esp. since 9/11
  • Terrorism [cont’d]
  • Terrorism bad impacts include
  • Extinction (Sid-Ahmed, Gordon, etc.)
  • Nuclear war (from great power escalation, Ayson)—includes questions of target retaliation
  • Economic collapse
  • Totalitarianism (turns “soft” case impacts)
  • Most impact scenarios assumes terrorists will use nuclear weapons
  • Can they get them?
  • Do they want them?
  • Would they use them?
  • Are we vulnerable to terrorist use?
  • Terrorism [cont’d]
  • “Terrorism Good” arguments assume that terror attacks do not escalate to major conflicts, and spur policy changes that are net-beneficial
  • Scenarios include:
  • Hegemony
  • China Bashing bad (terror discourse)
  • Russia (encourages cooperation)
  • Missile Defense
  • Iran Strikes Good
  • Defensive arguments include: [see Mueller 2011, 2012]
  • Terrorists don’t want nukes
  • Terrorists can’t get nukes
  • Terrorists wouldn’t be able to use nukes
  • Terrorism [cont’d]
  • Escalation debate is the key—if terrorism escalates, terrorism is just bad
  • Should tech out the means/motive/opportunity debate—the terror defense cards are now good enough that this debate is winnable
  • Will be the cornerstone of many Iraq and Afghanistan debates
  • Other Impacts
  • Climate Change
  • Democracy / DPT
  • Energy Security / Oil Prices
  • Latin America-U.S. Relations
  • Proliferation
  • X-U.S. Relations
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