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Talk:Resolved: It is just for the United States to use military force to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat

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I have some questions about the new res

1. What do you think the significance of “The United States” is? Is it because it’s a superpower, lots of money etc, or is the resolution asking us to focus specifically on “nations that pose a military threat” in the status quo to the US (limiting the debate to North Korea etc)?

It's likely a little of each. Within reason, every nation has a right of self defense. For instance, if it would be just for the United States to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it's likely that it would also be just for Israel to use military force. Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is clearly a greater threat to Israel than it is to the United States. It would be difficult to argue that somehow the United States would be justified in using military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons but not just for Israel to do so.
It is worth noting, in fact, that the topic doesn’t specify who it is that a country poses a military threat to. That is, the United States might be justified in using military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons not because Iran is credibly at threat to the United State but rather because it is a credible threat to Israel.
At the same time, one could argue that while it might be just for some agent to use military force to prevent a state from acquiring nuclear weapons, that the United States shouldn’t be trusted to intervene. Today, most any state could potentially acquire nuclear weapons. Affirming the topic, one could argue, would give the United States far too much power.

2. How far must the affirmative go? Can the Affirmative prove that it’s just for the United States to use military action etc. but that this in most cases won’t be the best option? I know that its “generally affirm or negate” but it seems in this resolution that one example is enough to disprove the nation since were talking about a fairly small group of countries.

This is going to be the problem with this topic: assigning burdens. Does affirming justify the United States using its military against any country that is antagonistic to the United States because any nation might potentially acquire nuclear weapons? Is it limited to only that small handful of countries that the United States is suspicious is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons? Iran claims it is not trying to develop nuclear weapons; the Bush administration doesn’t trust Iran and points out that Iran is admittedly developing the capacity to enrich uranium to the point that it could be used in a nuclear weapon. Iran is clearly hostile to the United States and, were Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, the world would in all likelihood be a lot worse off. Does that justify the United States taking military action against Iran? Is so, what sort of military action?

3. Why do you think the resolution specifies “acquisition”? Does that rule out taking action when a country already has a stockpile of nuclear weapons?

It doesn’t necessarily rule it out. Whether the United States is morally obligated to refrain from using military force against a country that possesses nuclear weapons is an important, but unrelated question to the one that this topic asks.

4. When we’re talking about a nation, does that mean that the government has these nuclear weapons? Would non-state organizations, like terrorist groups, be topical?

Yes, it would be topical, but only to the extent that the fear is a nation supplying a terrorist organization with nukes. The fear with impoverished North Korea, for instance, was to a large extent that it would end up selling nuclear weapons to terrorist organization.

Nselegzi 01:15, 10 December 2007 (CST)

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