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Author Topic: 2011-2012 Foreign Assistance to India Controversy Proposal - Jarrod Atchison  (Read 14012 times)
stables
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« on: April 25, 2011, 07:05:42 PM »

I am posting this on behalf of Jarrod and his working group. Many thanks for their good work.

* India Controversy Paper 2011.pdf (439.45 KB - downloaded 1755 times.)
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Gordon Stables
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PaulK
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 04:16:53 PM »

Did yall come across agency specific warrants to any of the topic areas that you came across? (Theoretical objections aside) Is there something about the mechanism of foreign assistance that affirmative's could use to shield themselves from the variety of process counterplans that will inevitably show up next year?
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Jarrod Atchison
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 05:41:03 PM »

Hello Paul,

Thanks for engaging the paper. You have asked two great questions. I want to acknowledge upfront that there may be some other people in the community that can better respond to them because this would not be the first assistance based topic that has been debated.

Question #1 Did yall come across agency specific warrants to any of the topic areas that you came across? (Theoretical objections aside)

I want to make sure that I am answering the right question here. If you are asking about the section of the paper dedicated to potential affirmative areas then I think the answer depends on what you think of the quality of the evidence presented. At the most basic level, we were looking for solvency advocates for U.S. foreign assistance to India. Just like any assistance topic, the quality of that evidence varies from area to area. There are certainly important international actors and assuming you accept most forms of international fiat (as your question assumes) then my best answer is that the affirmative advantages really need to be designed towards a U.S. key warrant.

Question #2 Is there something about the mechanism of foreign assistance that affirmative's could use to shield themselves from the variety of process counterplans that will inevitably show up next year?

Great question that I will go ahead and ask Ian to engage when he can break away from final exams. Based on my memory of assistance topics and from what I read for this paper I'm not sure that we can make a universal claim that foreign assistance insulates the affirmative from the inevitable process counterplans. Foreign assistance includes a good range of options for the affirmative ranging from military assistance to health assistance programs so there would inevitably be a discussion of the right agent for those policies. Your question does point towards the notion that process counterplans are here to stay because they are so strategic. Once again, my guess is that affirmative teams would need to research their assistance carefully to see what the competing processes are in the literature. Sorry that is not more definitive. Perhaps someone else has a better answer.

Jarrod
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PaulK
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 09:55:46 PM »

Thanks for the quick response, it definitely answered my question. Most of my concerns will probably be resolved by the topic committee, given that we're still in the early stages of topic formation.

The one thing that I'm worried about is that the core of negative ground over the past two resolutions has in many instances shifted towards counterplans that has the federal government use an external processes separate from the resolution in order to insulate itself from the politics disadvantage (The NPR counterplan on the nukes topic, commission and parole this most recent year). I think given this, when we have discussions of the ground that resolutions provide the affirmative we are cognizant of what topic areas provide affirmative's with in order to hedge against these kinds of arguments.

From my experience on the high school Africa topic (although there's obvious substantive differences between the two resolutions), it was very difficult to win a Congress (or executive) key warrant against these types of arguments. I don't think this is something that is unique to the India topic. Obviously people are going to flock to these counterplans are going to be read regardless of the resolution. However, I'm interested in your (and the rest of the people who wrote the paper's) opinions on how these debates could play out if this resolution was selected.

Treaties, for example, seems to have a literature base that gives the affirmative a built in defense of the mechanism of the resolution vs. other alternatives in evidence about why the ratification itself was important to solving the advantages versus alternative mechanisms of the government which will make these debates less abstract. My initial and totally unsubstantiated inclination is to be wary about whether or not that kind of literature exists for "foreign assistance." Though, this could equally be true for the negative literature on process counterplans.

I definitely like this idea as a resolution and will keep an open mind about this issue heading forward (and while I wait to see Ian's input on this issue). Galloway's post about the treaties topic about making the perfect the enemy of the good probably also makes sense in this instance.
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Zeke
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 09:10:52 AM »

I'm not sure how broad the literature base is, but we had cards this year talking about how Congressional or Presidential action was key to any relations advantage with India or else they wouldn't see the changes in foreign policy as lasting/guaranteed. As I said, there were only a few cards, but I bet there are some more authors out there.
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twhahn215
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:57:32 PM »

Excellent paper - I'm still digesting my thoughts, but I wanted to start posting questions as they came to me.

The paper mentions the potential for 'Joint Research and Development." I'm wondering if y'all could extrapolate on this notion for me. I have two primary questions:

1. Is there any literature on the specific technologies that we would seek to develop under this initiative? I'm wondering how specific the solvency would get here.

2. I'll pose a question similar to one raised in the CIKR forum: would an H-1B aff be topical under this area? It seems that the exchange of researches would arguably fall under your proposed parameters, particularly given the following exert from the Bishoyi 11 evidence:
Quote
It is also a great opportunity for long term defence cooperation and strategic partnership between the U.S. and Indian research, development, and manufacturing establishments.


More curiosities as they develop. Thanks!

Taylor
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bailkr
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 04:23:33 PM »

I was one of the writers for this paper, I'll try to provide some more specific responses to questions that have been raised. Included is a file with cards that I'll reference in this post. The cards in that file I think characterize the literature base in terms of solvency advocates for particular agents. It's by no means a comprehensive listing of all possible alternative agents that might be used on a topic like this, but does provide some preview of what the evidence for those debates might look like (I did a simple google search and found the article almost immediately).

I can also answer the Joint Research and Development question, since I worked on that part of the paper.

1. Is there any literature on the specific technologies that we would seek to develop under this initiative? I'm wondering how specific the solvency would get here.


I certainly think the potential for specific technology Affs would exist under Joint Research and Development. What those are, however, I'm not exactly sure primarily because I haven't had time to research in to it specifically yet; I'll certainly do so once finals are over. However, the existence of cards like the Indian Military News evidence in the included file leads me to believe that air force technology development will be an example area that can have Affs evolve from it.


2. I'll pose a question similar to one raised in the CIKR forum: would an H-1B aff be topical under this area? It seems that the exchange of researches would arguably fall under your proposed parameters, particularly given the following exert from the Bishoyi 11 evidence:
Quote
It is also a great opportunity for long term defence cooperation and strategic partnership between the U.S. and Indian research, development, and manufacturing establishments.



Under the most liberal definition of foreign assistance, there's certainly a case to be made for things like H-1B affs. I think it honestly depends on how the resolution is worded. We've presented definitions that could concievably include it (such as the first part of the Congressional Research Service evidence in the controversy paper), and definitions that would clearly exclude it (such as the last part of that evidence, that establishes grants and loans as foreign assistance). However, the word "to" might complicate that (if the phrase, "foreign assistance to India" is used), since H-1B's immediate effect is upon the U.S. employer whom hires them, not any of the parameters we outline. To be honest, the T question of "foreign assistance" was one I delved into little, and is probably a question better reserved for Ian, who researched that part of the paper. I'll see if I can get his input.

* Solvency Mechanism-Agent Defense.doc (44.5 KB - downloaded 304 times.)
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 05:34:44 PM by bailkr » Logged
japoapst
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 12:43:15 PM »

I believe that the last couple posts have raised the broad question of education that will be garnered under this topic. I don't know about other debaters who will be debating next year, but I think I got enough of debating about India's economy, relations, politics, etc...from H1B debates last year.
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Malgor
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 01:12:45 PM »

i think it will involve a lot different issues.  it is of course inevitable there will be some overlap.  the idea of a comprehensive policy over such a large country interests me, but there seems to be a lot of good and a lot of very bad examples of foreign assistance topics.  plenty of issues to navigate in phase 2 if this one wins.
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Jessica Kurr
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 01:54:16 PM »

I know none of this has happened yet. But, I remember being a 2N for the nukes topic and the last 2 minutes of every speech was a huge laundry list of non-uniques to disads (missile shield before GSU anyone?). There's various evidence saying that Obama is going to work on deepening ties with India this year (e.g. http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?720382). The only thing I saw in the topic paper was financial aid numbers over the past few years, how does this address increasing commitments to bilateral relations?

On a related note, how does Roemer, the US ambassador to India, resigning affect the topic? I'm not sure of what role Roemer plays in US-India relations, but its not discussed in the paper.
http://www.livemint.com/2011/04/28211434/Roemer-quits-as-US-envoy-to-In.html?atype=tp
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Malgor
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 02:30:05 PM »

jeff raises a good point-when you are dealing with foreign topics, relations arguments play into it big.  many neg links rely on perceptions different actors have about what the aff is doing.  many of us remember the china topic where the aff usually ended with the 'pressure now' observation to non unique disads.  this wasn't an isolated incident-big debates were  won and lost on whether 'pressure now' made the disad non unique.

if obama is committed to relations, it could effect things a bit, but if the link is really assistance to india, i think the neg will be safe given that assistance is going down now.  it will hurt the us-india relations bad debate for the neg a bit.

this is a bigger concern for the MENA topic, because the US will inevitably be involved in the transitions going on at some level or another. Gordon provided some good 'big picture' perspective on different ways you can cover your bases, but i fear that there is near certainty that all of the perception based disads will have some uq problems as many affs will probably read a "demo assistance now" contention to non uq arguments.

this is in contrast to an issue (most domestic topics) where the links are off of material, not perceived, change.
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bailkr
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 03:08:05 PM »

I believe that the last couple posts have raised the broad question of education that will be garnered under this topic. I don't know about other debaters who will be debating next year, but I think I got enough of debating about India's economy, relations, politics, etc...from H1B debates last year.

While it's certainly true that debates about India happened last year, especially with H-1B Affs, I don't think that means all potential for education is lost. I'll keep anecdotal evidence out of the discussion, but considering most H-1B Affs discussed mainly technical sectors of India, I believe the discussions of economic reform, disease prevention, maritime cooperation, energy assistance, agricultural assistance were ones either shallowly touched or left out of last year's debates. While India's economy, relations and politics were certainly talked about to some extent, I think the depth that would be gained from a topic that encouraged in-depth debates on those issues, rather than just having them as an advantage that was unique to an Aff, would provide some level of education that wasn't gained this past year on immigration.

I know none of this has happened yet. But, I remember being a 2N for the nukes topic and the last 2 minutes of every speech was a huge laundry list of non-uniques to disads (missile shield before GSU anyone?). There's various evidence saying that Obama is going to work on deepening ties with India this year (e.g. http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?720382). The only thing I saw in the topic paper was financial aid numbers over the past few years, how does this address increasing commitments to bilateral relations?

On a related note, how does Roemer, the US ambassador to India, resigning affect the topic? I'm not sure of what role Roemer plays in US-India relations, but its not discussed in the paper.
http://www.livemint.com/2011/04/28211434/Roemer-quits-as-US-envoy-to-In.html?atype=tp

jeff raises a good point-when you are dealing with foreign topics, relations arguments play into it big.  many neg links rely on perceptions different actors have about what the aff is doing.  many of us remember the china topic where the aff usually ended with the 'pressure now' observation to non unique disads.  this wasn't an isolated incident-big debates were  won and lost on whether 'pressure now' made the disad non unique.

if obama is committed to relations, it could effect things a bit, but if the link is really assistance to india, i think the neg will be safe given that assistance is going down now.  it will hurt the us-india relations bad debate for the neg a bit.

this is a bigger concern for the MENA topic, because the US will inevitably be involved in the transitions going on at some level or another. Gordon provided some good 'big picture' perspective on different ways you can cover your bases, but i fear that there is near certainty that all of the perception based disads will have some uq problems as many affs will probably read a "demo assistance now" contention to non uq arguments.

this is in contrast to an issue (most domestic topics) where the links are off of material, not perceived, change.

This raises an important question, and having debated on the Africa high school topic where every team made "aid now" arguments, I see the trouble that could be raised by this concern. However, I think the distinction that was first pointed out by Malgor is that a lot of the non-unique arguments that would exist for the Aff aren't related to the actual mechanism the topic would bind the Aff to; in this case, foreign assistance. On the H.S. Africa topic, foreign aid was increasing in the then status quo. And while I can't speak to the China topic on good authority since it was before my time, it also seems like a similar case that the topic's mechanism was already occurring to some degree in the then status quo. However, foreign assistance to India appears to be decreasing now.

Mikaela's section of the paper I think is very good in alleviating some of these concerns. Many of the "relations now" and "bilateral commitment now" arguments center around mainly rhetoric, like the article that Jeff posted. While it may be true that both sides are stating that they will work for closer ties, the reality of the relationship is that it's very stagnant because of a lack of tangible commitments. Increasing foreign assistance is exactly the type of tangible commitment that would change the relationship, and create implications for relations with neighbors (China, Pakistan, etc.). One example of foreign assistance that most debaters are familiar with, the India nuclear deal, was seen as a huge boost for relations after stagnant progress over the years (http://www.cfr.org/india/us-india-nuclear-deal/p9663). Despite the pro-India rhetoric of Bush, it wasn't until the deal was getting negotiated and signed that noticeable concerns from India's neighbors rose (According to that CFR article, China feared a nuclear rivalry with India from the tangible commitment, and Pakistan felt like it was an example of U.S. favoritism in favor of India). In the status quo, considering that India is making tangible commitments with other countries such as its recent fighter jet purchases (http://www.timesnow.tv/Despite-Obamas-push-IAF-reject-F-16/articleshow/4371683.cms), it seems like India's leaders are perceiving Obama's rhetoric as just that-rhetoric.

I don't deny that there won't be some top-level uniqueness arguments that Affs will make if this controversy is chosen. It seems like it's inevitable on any topic to some degree mainly out of strategic concerns for the Aff (the examples given on the nukes topic, "immigration now" from last year). I think it's only a question of how severely those arguments will complicate Negative arguments. If it's a debatable and winnable issue for both sides, which I think it is, then that seems like a legitimate debate to have. If it's something that breaks the topic, then that's another issue entirely.
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twhahn215
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2011, 08:34:48 PM »

Based on what I've heard in the past 24 hours, it seems like the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan is bound to have some major repercussions on the relations between India, Pakistan, and the U.S. I'm wondering how this increased tense will affect the potential direction of this topic. The reports I've been following seem to indicate that U.S.-Pakistan relations are falling rapidly due to lack of coordination on the raid and U.S. distrust of the Pakistani army. Surely increasing our relations with India will spur conflict in the area.

I'm happy to find the citation for this stuff, but I don't have it readily available since most of my information has been coming from NPR radio programs. Any thoughts on the potential benefits/disadvantages of this topic taking in to account these new circumstances?

Thanks,

Taylor
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repko
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2011, 08:20:38 AM »

Taylor's comment is important.

I'd like to take it a step further and pose two questions to members of the Topic Committee and-or the authors of the Indian Foreign Assistance Controversy.

The questions are posed not as a fist-pounding demand for a different topic, but out of a genuine curiosity as we head towards voting. To that end:

 a) would the TC deem a wording paper that allowed the Aff plan to directly alter assistance levels to Pakistan unfaithful to the original Controversy paper ?...

 b) In the eyes of the TC, how long of a window might the paper's authors have to publicly clarify that the events of the last 48 hours does tweak their conception of the breadth of the controversy area ?...   

For what it is worth, I cannot imagine much voting has taken place or a more reasonable basis for reconsideration.

Then again, I can see arguments why the authors or TC would not want the focus to change/grow. This is fine as well -- I just think people may want to know as they begin to vote.

If it helps the discussion, I should clarify that I do get that, under the present controversy proposal, "Advantage Two -- Pakistan" is workable. I am more speaking to the role Pakistan can play in mechanisms/wording options (if any). 

 -- Will
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Jarrod Atchison
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 01:09:30 PM »

The past couple of days have definitely increased the importance of U.S. foreign policy towards South Asia. Below are some answers to the questions put forward by Taylor and Will:

1- How will the events of the past couple of days affect the topic controversy?

As you can imagine, this requires a bit (or a ton) of speculation. I have heard/read similar things that basically argue that the U.S./Pakistan relationship will either develop or diminish based on two items:

a- the final characterization of how Bin Laden managed to hide for so long in close proximity to Islamabad. If the U.S. does not accept the Pakistani explanation that they did not know where he was then relations will inevitably slide as more and more members of congress call for deeper investigations and grand stand on the subject. If the U.S. does accept the explanation then relations will depend on the Pakistani commitment to future cooperation.

b- whether the Pakistani government accepts that the U.S. staged a military operation deep within its country without coordination or forewarning.

Outside of the U.S./Pakistan relationship, the recent events could impact the controversy area in other ways that are less predictable. For instance, we have had a few discussions among topic paper authors over the concern that the U.S. may increase aid to Pakistan to reinforce the importance of the relationship. The fear is that the U.S. will then increase assistance to India to reassure them that they are a crucial ally. All of that, for the most part, is based on speculation. Topic uniqueness is always a concern and unfortunately there is little we can say now with total certainty.

If other people have strong thoughts on the potential impact then please do not hesitate to jump in. We certainly do not want to be the only voice on this important change of events.

2- Would a topic paper that altered assistance to Pakistan be faithful to the original controversy paper? Probably not. Part of the justification for expanding the mechanism to foreign assistance rather than a narrower type of assistance was because the target was limited to one nation. Additionally, the paper just doesn't really engage current or potential assistance to Pakistan with any degree of substance.

That being said, I have two additional reactions to the question:

a- although a Pakistan wording paper would not be faithful to the original controversy paper, I would support the inclusion of a supplemental paper that was basically the original controversy + Pakistan assuming Will or others were willing to strap in and reconcile the size of the mechanism versus the inclusion of another country. I have no clue if the TC would be willing to grant a temporary extension to allow that to happen but given the magnitude of the events at hand it seems like it might radically increase the timeliness of the controversy area.

b- Pakistan now represents a fantastic core negative disad to the original controversy paper. It seems like most of the posts about a good topic seem to emphasize the importance of a great negative disad outside of politics. Any substantial increase in foreign assistance to India will inevitably have implications for the post-Bin Laden U.S./Pakistan relationship.

I hope that helps.

Jarrod
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