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Author Topic: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure  (Read 20563 times)
BrianDeLong
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2011, 11:46:52 AM »

In terms of the mission of each one of the sectors I believe an executive order or congressional action may be needed for an increase or expansion in expenditure and/or CIKR protection/resiliency policy.

Here's one piece of evidence from the HPH section of the paper (Health and Public Health):

Gottron, and Shea, 10
(Gottron, F., & Shea, D. A. (2010). Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress Retrieved from http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/140765.pdf)
While no mass-casualty bioterrorism event has yet occurred, some experts and policymakers assert that terrorist organizations are attempting to develop such a capability. The federal government has been preparing for a bioterrorism event for many years. Multiple programs in many agencies attempt to prepare for and respond to a bioterrorism event. Whether these programs are sufficient, redundant, excessive, or need improvement has been a topic of much debate. Congress, through oversight activities as well as authorizing and appropriations legislation, continues to influence the federal response to the bioterrorism threat. Congressional policymakers will likely be faced with many difficult choices about the priority of maintaining, shrinking, or expanding existing programs versus creating new programs to address identified deficiencies. Augmenting such programs may incur additional costs in a time of fiscal challenges while maintaining or shrinking such programs may be deemed as incurring unacceptable risks, given the potential for significant casualties and economic effects from a large-scale bioterror attack.


Furthermore:

Maybe there is a potential for an affirmative to avoid the use of XO, Congress, or the courts. In terms of the literature that is perfectly fine. Transparency good debates exist in the health care section at least. Agency debates on this topic are key to public, private, state, and locality acceptance and desire to implement the policies. In the health care section that I produced there are multiple citations about how essential it is for the public to be part of a program that decides who lives or dies during a crisis situation. Maintaining "control" during an attack is key and if the government fails to do things in the open the policy may not be implemented very well during a crisis.

Referendum CP (for example):
Once the dialogue between the government and the public progresses to the point that public health officials and policy-makers are satisfied that allocational plans have been refined, the proposals ought to be submitted for a public vote in the form of a national nonbinding referendum. n167 Members of the public will have the opportunity to formally express their opinions on each of the various  [*821]  proposals.n168 All of the proposals submitted for referendum are likely to be efficacious and the product of good public health policy because they will have previously passed through the extensive processes of drafting, critique, and refining discussed above. Just as there may be no correct decision, n169 it is unlikely that any of the options put forth in this referendum will be incorrect. Nonetheless, the process of referendum is uniquely valuable; the people will feel that they, not the government, are ultimately deciding how to allocate scarce medical resources. If the chosen plan achieves desirable results, the people will feel a sense of accomplishment and the communitarian ethic surrounding recovery efforts will be strong. n170 Although a strong communitarian ethic will not render the decision to take an elderly patient off a ventilator to supply it to an ill fifteen-year-old any easier for the unfortunate healthcare worker who is chosen to do this or for the family of the elderly patient to hear about the decision later, hopefully the public as a whole will be understanding and relatively supportive, even if devastated. Alternatively, if the plans prove less than successful, the public, having gone through the process of referendum, will hopefully accept that its fate was not preventable. In either case, the public will not resent the government and wish to rebel against it, but will rally around it in opposition of those who used the terrible weapon of bioterrorism against them.


Here's another quotation from the Information technology portion of the paper:
"National cryptography policy should be developed by the executive and legislative branches on the basis of open public discussion and should be governed by the rule of law."

« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 11:54:53 AM by BrianDeLong » Logged
ScottElliott
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2011, 12:39:27 PM »

The K solves for the utility of "substantially."
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twhahn215
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 01:22:45 PM »

I want to respond to Malgor's questions, seeking to supplement Delo's answer (though I imagine that Kelly could provide some additional context following my thoughts).

Concerning the question of primary actors....

It is likely that, taking into account how resolutions are formed, Congress would still remain the primary actor for a few reasons.

1. Most major overhauls (the kind that would give us solvency in the debate context) would require shifts in policy that smaller agencies simply aren't authorized to make. While the SSP could theoretically solve small issues, any reasonable definition of substantial would cancel out these small-actor CPs. What is more likely is that switching oversight would be an advantage / solvency mechanism that is authorized by the Congressional action (the plan).

2. The literature clearly assumes Congressional oversight of CIKR. This is based in the verbiage of the literature, but also in the way literature is formated and created, most official government documents being created as Congressional advisories.

The section that you reference from the topic paper illustrates the capacity for this topic to break from the traditional "Congress, XO, or Court" model of debate. We think that this could be an intriguing new avenue of discussion, given the specific literature available on different actors. However, including these potential actors is not necessary and it is possible (maybe even likely) that the community would interp such terms as 'substantially' to preclude smaller actors.

Is it possible for these smaller actors to be the mechanism for plan solvency? Definitely. Is this a crucial breaking point for CIKR? Not at all. As I'm sure you've noticed this paper is organized in a fashion that we (the community) can collectively determine how far down the rabbit hole we want to go. While I think that making the topic the 'largest' available (all sectors, actors, etc.) would be exciting, the literature also makes it very easy to limit down the topic (fewer sectors, actors, etc.)

I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if it doesn't.

Taylor
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kelly young
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2011, 08:34:25 AM »

Nice discussion of the topic. Just a couple of notes right now as I'm still being crushed by end of the semester work:

1) Zeke, as the affs get smaller, the agency cp gets better. While you are correct that many agencies might have some overlapping jurisdiction, only one has primary responsibility for that CIKR, as the Generic Neg section of the paper and the DHS website discusses. As the affs you fear get smaller and smaller, the agency CP or the voluntary compliance CP faces a much smaller solvency deficit if any at all.

Your Unix example is actually a bad one. You claim this plan would have virtually no cost. That's incorrect. Most system's software cannot be replaced to solve this problem and as a result, the entire systems have to be pulled and replaced. That's why few people are acting yet, because it would be very expensive. Also, the backlash to creating a mandate to fix this problem would produce business backlash and enhances the voluntary compliance CP solvency.

So, yes, there are a lot of small aff options on the topic. However, with agency CPs or voluntary compliance or other business partnership CPs, there are several easy generic neg options to deal with them.

I have no idea why you have such faith that the politics da link can be so easily defeated. My experience suggests that unless the neg is simply on the wrong side of the uniqueness question generally, the neg should have an easier time winning some level of link. The problem is usually timeframe or impact calc, something small affs have a terrible time comparing.

I will admit that part of my hope in working on this topic is that the wording would provide the aff with some flexibility in both size of affirmatives and plan wording. I HATE topics that basically write the plan text for the affirmative and I think the strategic choice to run a small or larger affirmative is good to have (shout out to small aff fan Josh Zive!). In an age of PICs, process CPs, critical arguments, I fear a lot less for the negative when there are small affs than I once did.


2) On the "Too large" question - The goal of this paper isn't to provide the final answer on a mechanism issue or to deal with a host of size concerns. As we have repeatedly explained, we researched all 18 CIKR sectors to demonstrate their viability if selected. This is a controversy paper, not a wording paper, so I am not sure why everyone is slashing apart any of the controversy areas yet. As we stated throughout the paper, we fully knew in writing the paper that our option was rather larger but with the understand that the TC would provide much narrower options in the wording process.

Someone asked how we could narrow this in a "non-arbitrary way." There are several ways and the easiest options are listed in the controversy paper. You could include only "critical infrastructures" rather than CIKRs, which reduces the list of sectors from 18 to about 6. You could also include external protection rather than internal failure or resilency issues, which cuts the topic down another half. Those are the easiest "non-arbitrary" ways to do this.

Other options - narrow the topic to 2-3 sectors at most, ones that have commonalities for the best generic neg ground. For instance:

Option #1 - Industries Sectors: Chemical Industries, Defense Industrial Base, Critical Manufacturing
Option #2 - Government Sectors: Government facilities, Continuation of Government, EMS, Health Care
Option #3 - Telecommunication: Communication & Information Technologies
Option #4 - Traditional Infrastructures: Energy, Transportation

While somewhat "arbitrary", they are common areas and produce common links and types of CPs. Also, these limits aren't all that arbitrary because the lit often discusses similar CIKR sectors together. Likewise, as you reduce down the list of sectors, you also narrow the definition of "protection" as the range of plan actions are eliminated as they don't apply to those particular sectors. And the lit provides an additional level of check as there just isn't solvency evidence for some of the actions that you can speculate on. Finally, you can produce a much better range of sector specific CPs with this kind of list to solve for the small squirrel affs everyone seems to fear so much.

There is also the possibility of a different mechanism than "protection/resiliency". While it is nice for a controversy to discuss a mechanism, that is often the task of the wording papers. It seems smartest to first discuss what CIKRs we what to include and then look to the literature to focus on a narrower or different mechanism as the commonality across the sectors will suggest the best mechanisms.

I think those are all very reasonable limiting options that solves most of the complaints and fears raised so far. Solid wording papers could be crafted around any of these options.

Kelly

« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 01:36:19 PM by kelly young » Logged

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twhahn215
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2011, 11:39:33 AM »

Dan Overbey was kind enough to send me some of his thoughts on how to limit the CIKR topic (assuming this is needed).

Below you will find his thoughts in addition to a few of my own. (Dan's thoughts are in quotes.)

Taylor

Quote
Strategies for limiting:

1.       Pick a few sectors- I would start with the ones in the “transitional” category, because of interdependencies to other sectors. Add Food & Ag, Water, and maybe Postal and Shipping. Huge advantages and they are the key to most sector operations.

2.       Limit based on who owns it. The topic could reflect “protect government owned stuff.” Problem is that is bad for negative ground. I think that if the aff elects to increase regulation or government action on privately owned sectors, that is a beautiful spot for the negative to be in. If you take the other approach, and limit it to “privately owned stuff”, the aff would have to defend some tough ground based on the role of government in the private sector.

These two options are definitely viable means of narrowing the topic to only a few sectors. It is entirely possible that the community would prefer a CIKR resolution that is list-based (as Kelly mentions). This option would clearly illustrate the few sectors we are interested in discussing. However, I would like to remind everyone that this is a question of the wording papers and not of the topic paper decision process. Clearly articulating a fair division of ground and a strong literature base  proves the viability of the topics sufficiently for this part of the topic selection process.

Concerning the question of alternative mechanisms, there are a few options we could consider:
Quote
3.       Limit based on action – I think actions that could be in the topic include:

a.       Decrease vulnerability – vulnerability is reasonably narrowly defined, but speaking philosophically, the infrastructure can be vulnerable to a threat, or vulnerable to consequences. There is a fair amount of play space.

b.      Increase protection – the topic paper covers this very well.

c.       Increase resilience – the topic paper covers this pretty well too.

d.      Increase preparedness – kind of changes the direction some, and expands the scope from PPD-8 (the HSPD-8 rewrite) into HSPD-5 a bit.

e.      Decrease risk (I WOULD LOVE THIS WORDING!) – the National Infrastructure Protection Plan is mostly about the Risk Management Framework. This means that Threat, Vulnerability, and Consequence are all on the table. It also means that debaters would spend a fair amount of time re-conceptualizing years of “risk analysis” to come into sync with some very specialized literature. There are entire professional organizations, and therefore publications, on risk analysis.

I think that resiliency and protection are the terms best described in the literature, but alternative options on verbiage probably prove the sheer number of ways that this topic is viable. If we chose an alternative mechanism (such as 'reduce risk') we would have to be careful to narrow the topic, lest affirmatives be able to invade foreign nations as a means of 'reducing risk' against our CIKR sectors. Once again, this is a wording question, but certainly an important thing to consider.

Looking forward to additional thoughts.

Taylor
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Malgor
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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2011, 02:55:26 PM »

another question about CIKR:

one of the internal threats mentioned is simple wear and tear.  in the sections on specific components on infrastructure, the only thing that focused on wear and tear/development of new infrastructure designs was transportation.  When I say 'new infrastructure designs' i really mean 'building new roads etc'

how much of the topic will be about building or updating our current infrastructure from an innovation of use perspective (IE build new energy grid) versus protecting current infrastructure.  There is clearly a big difference between these, but there were a few pages of the paper that had cards that seemed to indicate that building new infrastructure was also important, not just protecting or maintaining old systems.
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twhahn215
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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2011, 03:10:18 PM »

Malgor,


I think this question creates an artificial distinction between updating systems and protecting them. One of the primary reasons why CIKR sectors are in need of protection is because they are so horribly maintained and out-dated. While much of the topic paper is written in a way that focuses on external threats, the aff ground discussed emanates from the need to repair facilities currently facing potential collapse. Roads are a primary example here, but the Smart Grid is also mentioned as a means of increasing resiliency.

For instance, the food sector focuses on the need to create redundant fail-safes as a means of developing better protections. Banking and finance addresses similar issues, calling for a stronger network (one that would be largely decentralized to prevent an economic meltdown if Wall Street were attacked, for example).

Is there ground to create 'better' forms of infrastructural? Unquestionably. I imagine this would be a strategic option for the affirmative. "Do we make the old system better, or start from scratch?"
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Malgor
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2011, 03:25:49 PM »

i don't think the distinction is very artificial, but aside from that, it's very important in terms of division of ground and what issues would be debated.

this is something that should be discussed more, because including the ability to not just protect, but build new infrastructure, makes the topic bigger.  the advantage areas and neg arguments against affs that increase security or training to respond to natural disasters is VERY different than the neg to affs like:

-build more broadband
-smart grids
-new renewable infrastructure
-high speed rail
-medical records databases
-new shipping/sea ports

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max.o.archer
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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2011, 03:36:57 PM »

It pains me to say this, as one of the writers of the CIKR topic, but I do recognize / appreciate Malgor's concerns on the question of building new infrastructure.  It seems like if the aff is allowed to make entirely new additions to the infrastructure, then the entire HS Alternative Energy topic becomes part of the CIKR topic.  For example, RPS or giving incentives to build new nuclear power plants would create redundancy to reduce stress on the power grid. 

However, as I thought more about this issue, I think there's a topicality debate to be had that says the word 'increase' in a possible resolution means that new infrastructure can't be created, it has to build upon existing infrastructure - so you can't commercialize super-sweet electric cars, but you can expand upon the existing capacity for the transportation sector to accomodate them; you can't build more ports or chemical plants, but you can create more loading docks at existing ports to avoid bridge collapses or retrofit existing chemical plants with chemical sensors to detect a release.

Perhaps an artificial distinction in itself, but it would be more akin to giving more EB visas out to nurses versus recreating the H1C category that gave temporary work visas on last year's topic...

max
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kelly young
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« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2011, 03:43:26 PM »

i don't think the distinction is very artificial, but aside from that, it's very important in terms of division of ground and what issues would be debated.

this is something that should be discussed more, because including the ability to not just protect, but build new infrastructure, makes the topic bigger.  the advantage areas and neg arguments against affs that increase security or training to respond to natural disasters is VERY different than the neg to affs like:

-build more broadband
-smart grids
-new renewable infrastructure
-high speed rail
-medical records databases
-new shipping/sea ports


New infrastructures most likely fall into the "resiliency" rather than "protection" category. But new systems while providing different aff ground doesn't change the neg ground a great deal - the politics, spending, agency focus tradeoff and other arguments' links are that much better when new systems can be built. While there was talking of infrastructure development in the State of the Union, all of this has been pushed off the table due to federal spending concerns and now will most likely wait until after the election, which provides rather solid uniqueness for all of these arguments.

If you look at the broad controversy, it does increase the resolution quite a bit. However, if the narrowing of the controversy comes by reducing to 2-3 specific sectors OR as Overby suggests, by limiting to ownership (private or gov't), that limits the number new construction affs by quite a bit. You've really identified the primary new construction issues across most of the CIKR sectors that would likely be cut down by 2/3rds or more.

So yes, it makes the controversy potentially bigger, but the generic neg ground remains the same and most likely better on a link level.

Also, some of Overby's suggestions for a mechanism might avoid some of this as they focus more on existing systems (e.g., risk or vulnerability).

Kelly
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kelly young
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« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2011, 03:47:43 PM »

It pains me to say this, as one of the writers of the CIKR topic, but I do recognize / appreciate Malgor's concerns on the question of building new infrastructure.  It seems like if the aff is allowed to make entirely new additions to the infrastructure, then the entire HS Alternative Energy topic becomes part of the CIKR topic.  For example, RPS or giving incentives to build new nuclear power plants would create redundancy to reduce stress on the power grid. 

However, as I thought more about this issue, I think there's a topicality debate to be had that says the word 'increase' in a possible resolution means that new infrastructure can't be created, it has to build upon existing infrastructure - so you can't commercialize super-sweet electric cars, but you can expand upon the existing capacity for the transportation sector to accomodate them; you can't build more ports or chemical plants, but you can create more loading docks at existing ports to avoid bridge collapses or retrofit existing chemical plants with chemical sensors to detect a release.

Perhaps an artificial distinction in itself, but it would be more akin to giving more EB visas out to nurses versus recreating the H1C category that gave temporary work visas on last year's topic...

max

This might serve as a reason to avoid the Energy sector (depending on the verb/mechanism choice) rather than the entire controversy area, but I also was thinking that "increase" might help with this concern as well.
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Zeke
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« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2011, 04:38:56 PM »

This might serve as a reason to avoid the Energy sector (depending on the verb/mechanism choice) rather than the entire controversy area, but I also was thinking that "increase" might help with this concern as well.
While I think that there may be some issues with allowing completely new systems to be built, I believe the energy sector is where some of the most interesting debates could be had. The energy sector is probably one of the most important areas at the time for improvement, and there is a lot of literature for it. Some of the limiting based on increase and by changing the mechanism could restrict aff ground enough while still allowing for substantive debates. Plus, as you said, the links to spending and politics would no doubt increase in strength, evening it out for the negative.

Of course, this would all be up to the wording phase, but that's just my two cents on it.
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Malgor
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« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2011, 04:57:30 PM »

i think building new stuff is an awesome part of the infrastructure debate, it just didn't seem to figure prominently into the topic paper.  i also agree energy sector's gotta be in there if this topic happens.

i'm still worried that the neg ground is politics, spending, and agency focus tradeoff. 

as much as i harp on having a core topic DA, some people prefer politics DAs anyway.
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max.o.archer
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« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2011, 05:48:01 PM »

One thing that seems to require mentioning with regards to "generic ground" is the overlap of the CIKR sectors.  This is important, as reform to one sector can be effectively counterplanned against by reform in another. 

For example, an affirmative that claimed to increase the protection and resilience of the chemical sector could be susceptible to the counterplan to increase support for the emergency services (fund more cops to patrol the area surrounding chemical plants and train first responders) and the health sector (increase bed space and/or medical supplies for victims exposed to an attack or release), with the net-benefit being regulating the chemical industry undermines business confidence.

Perhaps not the greatest example, but its one that first came to mind that demonstrates the overlap between sectors being effective ground for generating topic-specific advantage counterplans with sector-specific disadvantages.  The negative will always have the option (and responsibility!) to ask why the affirmative chose to start with one sector over the other, given the dismal state of America's infrastructure as a whole.  Sure, advantage counterplans may not be unique to CIKR, but the quality of the evidence for each sector in the controversy paper should be encouraging in the same way that territorial vs. worldwide tax reforms counterplans appeal to voters.
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gabemurillo
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« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2011, 07:46:27 PM »

Thanks for writing this topic paper, its obvious a ton of work went into it, and while it took awhile Smiley , it was a very interesting read. The parts of the topic most interesting to me include transportation and IT services. Specifically how both of these areas interact with urban planning, living, and politics (IE supporting public transportation or broadening internet access). Two things concern me
1) the topic area is so large that these areas could be excluded from the final topic (this is obviously not unique to this topic, as the topic committee has a lot of tough work to do and inevitably produces resolutions that exclude parts of the topic paper)
2) I might have missed this discussion (I will admit I skimmed over parts of the paper) but is there a strong answer to the states counterplan in reference to the two areas mentioned above? Just wondering if this was already addressed or if anyone came across anything while doing research on these questions.

Thanks again for the work on this paper great job!
gabe
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