College Policy Debate Forums

TOPIC COMMITTEE => 2011 - 2012 Topic => Topic started by: twhahn215 on April 25, 2011, 10:04:34 AM



Title: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 on April 25, 2011, 10:04:34 AM
Attached you will find the infrastructure topic paper. Both the PDF and .docx versions are available.

This paper focuses on the need for the United States to increase the protection and resiliency of its critical infrastructure and key resources.

Taylor


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: kelly young on April 25, 2011, 06:32:29 PM
An email was sent to me today raising a question and comment about the CIKR paper, so I thought I'd post the response here:


Question 1: “Is h1-b visas a topical aff under this topic?  We ran an infrastructure advantage almost the entire year. The topic wording says: Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially increase the protection and resiliency of its Critical Infrastructures and Key Resources. Could I just add the phrase, "by expanding the h1-b visa quota to include STEM workers specializing in infrastructure..."

Probably not, as it would seem rather effects topical according to this government and agency specific definition of “protection”:
According to the DHS’ 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan, “protection” is defined as:

Protection includes actions to mitigate the overall risk to CIKR assets, systems, networks,
functions, or their inter-connecting links. In the context of the NIPP, this includes actions to
deter the threat, mitigate vulnerabilities, or minimize the consequences associated with a terrorist
attack or other incident (see figure S-1). Protection can include a wide range of activities,
such as improving security protocols, hardening facilities, building resiliency and
redundancy, incorporating hazard resistance into facility design, initiating active or
passive countermeasures, install-ing security systems, leveraging “self-healing”
technologies, promoting workforce surety programs, implementing cybersecurity
measures, training and exercises, business continuity planning, and restoration and
recovery actions, among various others.35

Also, I think writing in intent to be topical isn’t the same as being topical. To me, the definition would make implementing protocols, systems, technologies, planning and countermeasures would be topical. Your interpretation would make assassinating Russian or Chinese hackers topical as those actions would also increase “protection” in a generic sense, but I don’t think that’s what the DHS and other executive agencies mean when they use this language across a range of specific documents. At first, I was weary of using the verb “protection,” but it does have context and agency specific meaning that *should* beat the broader definitions that would make H1-Bs topical.

Question (or statement) two: “ I think the sections that identify "when the last time we debated this" are inaccurate.  I think we debated this multiple rounds on the affirmative and the negative this last year.”

True – that particular section was written last year by me and I simply forgot to update it. However, this really is a marginal issue at best. The conclusion of that paragraph, “However, we have never debated an entire topic on these issues to any depth in recent years. It seems silly to eliminate this topic from considerable simply because we have had very minimal discussion of this topic on the margins of other topics. Under that logic, we would not be able to debate any topic in the future” certainly remains true. I dug around Open Caselist wiki a bit and I determined that about 4 schools debated infrastructure on the aff and neg last year. One team ran 6 cards as ONE advantage. Another team ran 10 cards about cyberwarfare. Another school ran 2 cards as a political scenario and another ran a preemptive EMP strike CP with 1-2 cards. That’s about 20 unique cards (unique in that multiple teams from these school ran similar arguments, but they weren’t different) on CI read last year. That seems like a rather low amount to conclude that my conclusion is either: (A) inaccurate or (B) multiple rounds were about CI. A small part of several rounds were about CI. And almost all of these debates were about CI’s broadly and only one or two advantages had a few cards about a specific sector.

In comparison, a few teams ran Tajikistan scenarios last year. Should the Failed States paper have to make a lengthy argument about that? Also, my team frequently ran a CEDAW CP. Should the Treaties paper have to account for this? I hope not. We debate some of these issues related to each topic proposal every year. That’s very different than having in depth and developed debates on these issues. If that is our threshold for having "substantial debate" on a topic, we are being rather ridiculous.

I encourage questions and comments. There were a number of great authors on this paper, so I don’t want to act like the spokesperson for this topic paper and they have many great things to say too. I only post this because the email was directed to me specifically.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Zeke on April 26, 2011, 10:06:31 AM
I find this to be one of the most interesting topics this year, and the paper is extremely well done. However, I think you underestimate the problem of tiny affirmatives with virtually no case ground. For example, consider the Unix timestamp problem of the year 2038. Basically, this is the Y2K bug, except it's real. Any computer that uses a 32-bit Unix timestamp for tracking time will have huge problems that could lead to the collapse of financial sectors and power grids. The impacts of this aren't just in 2038; many institutions track time 20-25 years in advance and could begin to see problems then.

All of your standard policy impacts could be claimed off of this problem, but there is no significant negative ground against it. It would cost virtually nothing and there's no links to politics. I think this shows the flaw in the mechanism of the proposed resolution. I'm not sure how to fix it, but I believe the mechanism would allow for tiny affs like this where the only negative strategy is a generic kritik, because even process CPs would have no real net benefit.

Quick edit: I am in no way saying that these impacts are true, but there is literature out there for it. Currently I've forgotten my password for my student account, so I can't really pull up the cards. Even with mitigation of impacts, the plan is still better than the status quo, as it would cost less money to fix now than after the problem begins to occur.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: SCOTUS on April 26, 2011, 10:14:36 AM
I really like this topic as much, if not more, than any other except one thing:

ITS HUGE.

The size of the proposal is 150+ pages, for example.

How do you plan to non-arbitrarily shrink the topic so that we have a finite number of case negs?


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Jessica Kurr on April 26, 2011, 10:24:08 AM
I find this to be one of the most interesting topics this year, and the paper is extremely well done. However, I think you underestimate the problem of tiny affirmatives with virtually no case ground. For example, consider the Unix timestamp problem of the year 2038. Basically, this is the Y2K bug, except it's real. Any computer that uses a 32-bit Unix timestamp for tracking time will have huge problems that could lead to the collapse of financial sectors and power grids. The impacts of this aren't just in 2038; many institutions track time 20-25 years in advance and could begin to see problems then.

Substantial checks. Just because you can claim big advantages doesn't mean the solvency mechanism is a substantial one.

The negative ground will also check this back. Remember that affs have to deal with split Congress disads. The House hates increasing funding and would backlash against expanding executive agency roles. That guarantees politics and spending links.

Further, the agency overstretch disads are pretty good. Let's take the example you illustrate. To my knowledge, that would fall under IT or Communication. Lead agencies for those sectors are DHS. Alternative agencies could be FCC. Normal means implies affs would go through the DHS, which means you can use the FCC with a FCC credibility good (net neutrality good impacts).

Your arguments about tiny affs assume a world where there is only case debate. That isn't how debates are set up now. Debates are focused on counterplan/plan debates, which means that implementation is important especially with new roles concerning infrastructure. There is good literature for both sides on who should be doing this.

I really like this topic as much, if not more, than any other except one thing:

ITS HUGE.

The size of the proposal is 150+ pages, for example.

How do you plan to non-arbitrarily shrink the topic so that we have a finite number of case negs?


First, I think this is how the topic is distinct from treaties. Where treaties has a limited number of affs with no common generic negative ground. There is common generic negative ground on the infrastructure topic. That means even if there are more affs, there's more overlap in the arguments you can make. The only thing that would matter then is new advantages, but new, big advantages seem to be inevitable on any topic.

Second, just because the paper is 150 pages doesn't mean the topic is large. It is better to have a large topic paper for two reasons. First, it eases the burden on the wording committee so they don't have to do research for new areas like they will have for Failed States or Treaties. Second, we examined and analyzed every sector identified by the government.

Third, they arbitrarily selected the subsidies for the agriculture topic, the countries for the Middle East topic, the visas for the immigration topic, and the missions (Oelrich 05, anyone) for the nukes topic. Treaties will also be arbitrarily selected as will Failed States. To assist in this arbitrary selection, every sector is covered.

Fourth, there are 19 sectors examined. They aren't distinct sectors. IT and Comm go together, energy and nuclear reactors go together, dams and water, chemical and manufacturing, etc. That means there are predictable groupings between the sectors, which ties negative ground together and prevents shady affirmatives.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 on April 26, 2011, 10:28:45 AM
A quick note on this paper.

We realized as we were compiling our efforts that this paper was going to be massive in size. We ultimately decided not to slim it down for two reasons:

1. In the event that the community choses to debate CIKR, it will be important to know what sectors would be best to include in the resolution (assuming we don't include all of them). The CIKR Sectors section of this topic can be considered a jump-start on the wording paper process.

2. Much of the mass of this paper comes from the sheer number of cards that were included. Readers should note that if you don't read the individual sector sub-sections, the paper size drops down to 40-50 pages. This is due, in large part, to the depth of card analysis provided in each section which might not be traditional for topic papers, but we ultimately agreed would be informative for the community.

I don't think that the paper size indicates a large topic, but merely that there are a number of ways the resolution could be worded and approached. For those not looking forward to reading 100+ pages on this issue, I strongly encourage attention to be focused on the introduction and topicality sections.

Taylor


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Malgor on April 26, 2011, 10:39:00 AM
i think the expansive nature of the topic is a big concern.  the way you can limit with specific areas (transport etc) is obvious, but are there any exclusive definitions of protection or resiliency?

protection seems broad, as it includes anything that deters threats to the infrastructure.

the resiliency card provided is also pretty broad-

organizational resiliency is based on 21 attributes particularly associated with resilience
and assigned them to five related categories. These categories are emergency planning,
organizational flexibility, leadership, workforce commitment, and networked
organizations.1 Likewise, government and academic organizations have discussed how
resiliency can be achieved in different ways. Among these are an organization’s
robustness (based on protection, for example better security or the hardening of
facilities); the redundancy of primary systems (backups and overlap offering alternatives if
one system is damaged or destroyed); and the degree to which flexibility can be built into
the organization’s culture (to include continuous communications to assure awareness
during a disruption, distributed decision-making power so multiple employees can take
decisive action when needed, and being conditioned for disruptions to improve response
when necessary).40

this card seems to indicate that forcing a chance in organizational communication protocols and training programs are all topical.  Given that half of the topic is about responding once there has been a terrorist attack/natural disaster, these affs aren't tiny in the sense that they do directly address that impact area of the topic, which seems to be at the core of the issue.   are there more limiting definitions, or suggestions for how the topic can be limited.  It seems that protection and resiliency are the two most used terms, but they are used quite broadly.



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Zeke on April 26, 2011, 10:42:06 AM
I think the substantial checks is a topicality debate to be had, but what definition of substantial is the negative going to be using to prove that it isn't substantial?

Alright, so you might have a generic link to a politics disad. I think the affirmative can win the no link on the split Congress disads. However, that might prove the abuse on topicality, so I can see what you're saying there.

Agencies are the primary point of contention that I don't agree with. The literature is out there that proves that multiple agencies working at once would be normal means to solve for many CIKR issues. For example, you say that normal means would be the DHS. However, I've talked to a few specialists in this area (once again, I wish I could grab the evidence for this, but I can't remember my password for the life of me), and they have complained a lot about the functioning of multiple agencies having to fix problems like this. As you said, the DHS and FCC would be involved, but so would DISA, the Air Force, etc. While some kind of bureaucracy DA plus the solely FCC CP with its internal net benefits would be a decent strategy, then the aff runs the overstretch DA against the CP and is on the right side of the no solvency and additional harms debate.

I'm not assuming there is only case debate, I'm just saying that I prefer DAs and CPs with aff specific links and I believe a more specific mechanism/narrowing the resolution even further would improve the topic. Maybe that can be hashed out more with the wording papers, but I just wanted to point out the issue now.

There are great debates to be had with this topic, and it's by far my favorite of any of the controversy papers. I just wanted to point out a few issues I can see the proposed resolution having with such a broad topic area. Even cutting down the resolution to a few specific critical infrastructures such as energy, water, and communications leaves a large number of affs and a huge research burden for the negative. I'm just worried about hitting lots of tiny affs and having very generic neg debates.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Whit on April 26, 2011, 10:54:31 AM
Substantial has never checked anything. To quote Scott Phillips from last year:
If there were ever a word the debate community were wedded to, its substantially. It won't go away. I think last year it was in the resolution 26 times. And a more loveless marriage there has never been. We all know the alleged "why" of substantially. We also all know that it fails to limit the topic in any meaningful way. The question, I guess, is "does the annoyance of including the word every year outweigh the 1 debate/50 years where it is useful to limit out Elian?". I think the answer is clearly yes. The problem is no one in the real world uses substantially in a precise or meaningful way.
...

Any consideration of an "alternative" must start from the recognition that
-this word has no precise meaning
-its inclusion is based on tradition, not utility
-the debates about it are universally bad for debate


Agency CP and Politics checks is also not an answer. Even speaking as a fan of counterplan/politics debates, you can drill a hole in my head if that's what every 2nr is going to be. First, no affs will talk about actual infrastructure issues. They will read agency specific advantages that really have little to do with infrastructure. The only other conceivable vision is one where teams say USFG and ardently refuse to defend or specify an agency (who thinks affs have to defend normal means anymore?). Then we can look forward to A-Spec, Agent CP theory, and "Perm - Do the CP" 2ARs. Sign me up!


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Malgor on April 26, 2011, 10:57:18 AM
I think the substantial checks is a topicality debate to be had, but what definition of substantial is the negative going to be using to prove that it isn't substantial?

Alright, so you might have a generic link to a politics disad. I think the affirmative can win the no link on the split Congress disads. However, that might prove the abuse on topicality, so I can see what you're saying there.

Agencies are the primary point of contention that I don't agree with. The literature is out there that proves that multiple agencies working at once would be normal means to solve for many CIKR issues. For example, you say that normal means would be the DHS. However, I've talked to a few specialists in this area (once again, I wish I could grab the evidence for this, but I can't remember my password for the life of me), and they have complained a lot about the functioning of multiple agencies having to fix problems like this. As you said, the DHS and FCC would be involved, but so would DISA, the Air Force, etc. While some kind of bureaucracy DA plus the solely FCC CP with its internal net benefits would be a decent strategy, then the aff runs the overstretch DA against the CP and is on the right side of the no solvency and additional harms debate.

I'm not assuming there is only case debate, I'm just saying that I prefer DAs and CPs with aff specific links and I believe a more specific mechanism/narrowing the resolution even further would improve the topic. Maybe that can be hashed out more with the wording papers, but I just wanted to point out the issue now.

There are great debates to be had with this topic, and it's by far my favorite of any of the controversy papers. I just wanted to point out a few issues I can see the proposed resolution having with such a broad topic area. Even cutting down the resolution to a few specific critical infrastructures such as energy, water, and communications leaves a large number of affs and a huge research burden for the negative. I'm just worried about hitting lots of tiny affs and having very generic neg debates.

i sure hope we haven't reached an era where any aff that can prove they don't link to politics is immediately found nontopical! 


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Zeke on April 26, 2011, 11:02:25 AM
i sure hope we haven't reached an era where any aff that can prove they don't link to politics is immediately found nontopical! 
Well, that's what substantially can do to debates, as Whit said.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: BrianDeLong on April 26, 2011, 11:10:55 AM
Substantial has never checked anything. To quote Scott Phillips from last year:
If there were ever a word the debate community were wedded to, its substantially. It won't go away. I think last year it was in the resolution 26 times. And a more loveless marriage there has never been. We all know the alleged "why" of substantially. We also all know that it fails to limit the topic in any meaningful way. The question, I guess, is "does the annoyance of including the word every year outweigh the 1 debate/50 years where it is useful to limit out Elian?". I think the answer is clearly yes. The problem is no one in the real world uses substantially in a precise or meaningful way.
...

Any consideration of an "alternative" must start from the recognition that
-this word has no precise meaning
-its inclusion is based on tradition, not utility
-the debates about it are universally bad for debate


Agency CP and Politics checks is also not an answer. Even speaking as a fan of counterplan/politics debates, you can drill a hole in my head if that's what every 2nr is going to be. First, no affs will talk about actual infrastructure issues. They will read agency specific advantages that really have little to do with infrastructure. The only other conceivable vision is one where teams say USFG and ardently refuse to defend or specify an agency (who thinks affs have to defend normal means anymore?). Then we can look forward to A-Spec, Agent CP theory, and "Perm - Do the CP" 2ARs. Sign me up!

One of the benefits of this topic is that it will encourage and necessitate agency specific research beyond what has happened with past resolutions. Each section of the critical infrastructure has an assigned Sector-Specific Agency (SSA). Politics DAs will not just be limited to congressional agency. Negatives will be largely guaranteed a normal means link to the SSAs even if the plan says "USFG." September GSU debates will start off with DAs on the internal dynamics of each organization. Affirmatives will have to warrant why their change is needed in a world where basic human capital is strained across the board in each one of these agencies (DHS, FDA, HHS etc.).

Uniqueness wise I think the CIKR topic is important. The president as well as congress seem hell bent on undermining the power of these agencies to do their job well by cutting resources and reducing regulatory action. Protection and resiliency programs are on the spending chopping block and are losing political favor for the extension of regulation power. This political climate means Affirmatives can claim a unique advantage while also linking to a fairly decent literature base on trading off with already overstretched agencies. Affirmatives then will have to prove that they are worth the risk of
1) Trading off with current efforts in an agency
2) trading off with zero sum $$$ programs on the chopping block.

Also I think there is a decent debate to be had on how new protection/resliency actions can undermine the pro-business anti-regulatory mood in Washington. Business confidence and cooperation with the government is also decent.

Literature and substantial:
Affirmatives will have to have a warrant why the USFG as well as the enforcement SSA agency is key. As most of the topic sections show, the protection/resiliency of each critical infrastructure is often within multiple jurisdictions. Generic negative ground in terms of States and localities will be important on this topic. Small and unpredictable affs may lack the evidence needed to substantiate a response to these CPs and/or other squo solves arguments.



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 on April 26, 2011, 11:15:24 AM
I will address these issues more when I have time, but I wanted to offer initial thoughts to Malgor and Zeke.

Malgor -

This is certainly a valid concern that I believe can be solved through either the usage of different terms (probably not necessary) or a narrowing of the CIKR sectors. These are both options, but I think that the definitions available, when taken in conjunction with the literature base clarifying the threats that exist to each sector, will provide stable ground for the resolution.

While the 'protection' and 'resiliency' terms appear somewhat vague, I think it's worth noting that not all sections suffer from the same security threats and many are in need of only certain forms of protection. These threats are well-documented in the literature and illustrate that in order to win any sort of advantage ground, affirmatives would really have to address these core areas (terrorism, etc). Many of the sectors have actually specified which threats are priority concerns to the protection and resiliency of the relevant facilities (you can see this, for example, in the Communication Sector area of the paper).  While the definitions are used in a very broad sense, we've found that the 'core' literature uses them in a way that is very focused and nuanced (as Kelly explains in the topicality section). This is a problem similar to what the community faced on the nuclear topic. 'Missions' and 'roles' were terms that had very precise definitions in governmental literature, but teams commonly used less-qualified sources to expand these terms. This is largely a question of author qualification that topicality debates would likely iron out.

Assuming that the resolution includes these terms (which certainly is not the only way to write a CIKR topic), teams would need to determine the different threats posed to various CIKR sectors. Most of the harms areas pertaining to individual sectors have a heavy literature base articulating the need to do more than these small affs that you mention (restructuring, etc.). Affirmatives seeking to run these types of affs will find that most evidence stipulates the need to do these small initiatives in conjunction with other switches, thus expanding neg ground.


Zeke -

The substantial debate is one that we face every year when we include this type of terminology in the resolution. Substantial could be argued in the tradition sense (numeric, without material qualification), but for CIKR it could also pertain to how much of the resiliency/protection loophole is solved through plan. I'm not entirely sure how this topicality concern differs compared to other resolutions that have used the term, but will be happy to extrapolate if you can clarify for me.

As for the actor question, it's true that multiple agencies would have to act to enact the plan, but when we get down to the actual literature this isn't very different from previous resolutions. Affs from last year's immigration topic required enforcement and planning through hundreds of actors and sub-agencies, but in the context of policy debate I think what CIKR provides is the chance to argue which agency should have oversight of these sectors. This is where most of the CP ground concerning actors will stem from, as is mentioned in the generic neg section of the paper.

It's quite possible that narrowing the topic, as you mention, would benefit this topic. While I think that including the full list of CIKRs would still allow for a good resolution, it is a valid concern that the topic could explode depending on how the resolution is worded. As for the disad and CP ground, many of the sectors address these strategies and offer (surprisingly good) link examples to some unique disads.

Just some initial thoughts for both - I will extrapolate later this evening. Thank you much for the input.

Taylor


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Zeke on April 26, 2011, 11:28:09 AM
The substantial debate is one that we face every year when we include this type of terminology in the resolution. Substantial could be argued in the tradition sense (numeric, without material qualification), but for CIKR it could also pertain to how much of the resiliency/protection loophole is solved through plan. I'm not entirely sure how this topicality concern differs compared to other resolutions that have used the term, but will be happy to extrapolate if you can clarify for me.
Well, I guess where I see it differing is the amount of literature on small issues. Part of what makes this topic so timely and important is the fact that our CIKR system is really messed up. With so many problems to fix, I think there will be a lot of small affs that try to squirrel out of links.
As for the actor question, it's true that multiple agencies would have to act to enact the plan, but when we get down to the actual literature this isn't very different from previous resolutions. Affs from last year's immigration topic required enforcement and planning through hundreds of actors and sub-agencies, but in the context of policy debate I think what CIKR provides is the chance to argue which agency should have oversight of these sectors. This is where most of the CP ground concerning actors will stem from, as is mentioned in the generic neg section of the paper.
When you have more time later on, can you clarify exactly how the oversight CPs would function? Is there really enough normal means evidence out there to win that one specific agency will oversee others in whatever the plan action is, and that another should oversee instead? I have a feeling that more of the evidence will come out of what agency specifically should actually enact the plan, rather than oversee it. The problem there being that the perm on the agent CP will probably be net beneficial for overstretch reasons.

All of these are just initial thoughts, and, as I said before, I think this topic, if sufficiently limited, could be a great resolution.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Malgor on April 26, 2011, 11:34:39 AM
Substantial has never checked anything. To quote Scott Phillips from last year:
If there were ever a word the debate community were wedded to, its substantially. It won't go away. I think last year it was in the resolution 26 times. And a more loveless marriage there has never been. We all know the alleged "why" of substantially. We also all know that it fails to limit the topic in any meaningful way. The question, I guess, is "does the annoyance of including the word every year outweigh the 1 debate/50 years where it is useful to limit out Elian?". I think the answer is clearly yes. The problem is no one in the real world uses substantially in a precise or meaningful way.
...

Any consideration of an "alternative" must start from the recognition that
-this word has no precise meaning
-its inclusion is based on tradition, not utility
-the debates about it are universally bad for debate


Agency CP and Politics checks is also not an answer. Even speaking as a fan of counterplan/politics debates, you can drill a hole in my head if that's what every 2nr is going to be. First, no affs will talk about actual infrastructure issues. They will read agency specific advantages that really have little to do with infrastructure. The only other conceivable vision is one where teams say USFG and ardently refuse to defend or specify an agency (who thinks affs have to defend normal means anymore?). Then we can look forward to A-Spec, Agent CP theory, and "Perm - Do the CP" 2ARs. Sign me up!

One of the benefits of this topic is that it will encourage and necessitate agency specific research beyond what has happened with past resolutions. Each section of the critical infrastructure has an assigned Sector-Specific Agency (SSA). Politics DAs will not just be limited to congressional agency. Negatives will be largely guaranteed a normal means link to the SSAs even if the plan says "USFG." September GSU debates will start off with DAs on the internal dynamics of each organization. Affirmatives will have to warrant why their change is needed in a world where basic human capital is strained across the board in each one of these agencies (DHS, FDA, HHS etc.).

Uniqueness wise I think the CIKR topic is important. The president as well as congress seem hell bent on undermining the power of these agencies to do their job well by cutting resources and reducing regulatory action. Protection and resiliency programs are on the spending chopping block and are losing political favor for the extension of regulation power. This political climate means Affirmatives can claim a unique advantage while also linking to a fairly decent literature base on trading off with already overstretched agencies. Affirmatives then will have to prove that they are worth the risk of
1) Trading off with current efforts in an agency
2) trading off with zero sum $$$ programs on the chopping block.

Also I think there is a decent debate to be had on how new protection/resliency actions can undermine the pro-business anti-regulatory mood in Washington. Business confidence and cooperation with the government is also decent.

Literature and substantial:
Affirmatives will have to have a warrant why the USFG as well as the enforcement SSA agency is key. As most of the topic sections show, the protection/resiliency of each critical infrastructure is often within multiple jurisdictions. Generic negative ground in terms of States and localities will be important on this topic. Small and unpredictable affs may lack the evidence needed to substantiate a response to these CPs and/or other squo solves arguments.



Thanks for the info.  Given what is said, am I to understand that normal means implies the aff can be done without congressional action (example: aff has the SSA mandate more training programs for disaster response)?  So the key negative ground is an agency resources tradeoff DA or a spending tradeoff DA?  Traditionally (well, at least in my 9 years of college debate) these arguments are difficult for the negative to win.  What are the impacts to an agency tradeoff DA?  I understand what they could be in theory, but what does the evidence suggest?



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: BrianDeLong 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."



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: ScottElliott on April 26, 2011, 12:39:27 PM
The K solves for the utility of "substantially."


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 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


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: kelly young 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



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 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


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Malgor 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.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 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?"


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Malgor 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



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: max.o.archer 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


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: kelly young 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


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: kelly young 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.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Zeke 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.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Malgor 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.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: max.o.archer 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.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: gabemurillo 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 :) , 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


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 on April 27, 2011, 08:47:32 PM
Gabe,

Thanks for the questions (and a special thanks for reading through the entire paper. I know it's a damn long read and I appreciate the effort!)

I want to address each of your points in turn:

Quote
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)

This is an issue that has worried me about the topic. Here's the solution I've painted out in my head: voting for the CIKR topic will require the committee to be extremely strategic about how it selects the various wordings. It might be a good idea to have different words including different sectors so that the community can then chose the CIKR sectors that it deems worthwhile. I would also endorse a wording option that includes all sectors but focuses on limiting plan action.

Many of the sectors are unlikely to be stand-alone affirmatives (such as the postal industry or dams) so it's likely that the topic will naturally condense itself in the wording process. I think that the way we solve this "the topic doesn't include the CIKRs I wanted' fear is to offer continued input to the topic committee during the topic process. If CIKR were to win the first round of voting I plan on putting in my two cents during the wording process and I strongly encourage everyone else to do the same.

Quote
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.

I'll start by clarifying that I did not cover those areas, but I can provide a bit of analysis with the hope that others can supplement.

Generically speaking, there exists evidence that state action would fail to solve CIKR:

NARUC, 05
(National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, "Issue Paper on Critical Infrastructure Protection,
http://www.naruc.org/Publications/CIP_Issues_1.pdf)
Every state government has designated a primary contact for homeland security  matters. These contacts vary significantly by state, ranging from the state director  for homeland security to the head of emergency management agencies, state  police officials, attorney generals, Lt. Governors and others. This lack of  consistency complicates inter-state dialogue and collaboration, which is required  since infrastructure critical to one state may not reside in that state or country.

This is coupled with an all-too-common problem facing state; they already lack funding to implement CIKR improvements, and are thus incapable of acting without federal help:

Oregon Department of Transportation, 08
(Transportation Security, http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP/docs/otpPubs/Security.pdf)
In March 2003, the ODOT State Bridge Engineer and the ODOT Statewide Emergency Operations Manager attended training on the use of the guide. No funding has been identified to implement vulnerability assessment and implementation of critical asset protection measures.   But it is anticipated that the federal government likely will require assessment of critical assets and implementation of protection measures in the future by state DOTs.   


This is obviously a bare-bones answer to your question. I am working on providing a more detailed answer ASAP. For now, I think it's also worth mentioning that most of the evidence we found pertaining to CIKR presupposes federal action as being critical to solvency. I will have to compare further, but I think that most of the 'fed solves' evidence is just leagues better than any CP solvency on a particular issue.

More soon.

Taylor


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Adam Symonds on April 27, 2011, 08:57:04 PM
This is obviously a bare-bones answer to your question. I am working on providing a more detailed answer ASAP. For now, I think it's also worth mentioning that most of the evidence we found pertaining to CIKR presupposes federal action as being critical to solvency. I will have to compare further, but I think that most of the 'fed solves' evidence is just leagues better than any CP solvency on a particular issue.

More soon.

Taylor

As you're looking into this, keep in mind that "states are patchwork and inconsistent" never answers the States CP - good negs will just say they fiat through that. If there is inconsistent enforcement of uniform procedures, that will address the CP though. "There's no Funding" is obviously a good way to go against the CP, but is obviously better as part of state economy DAs, since negs will try to fiat through that as well.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: nickjsciullo on April 27, 2011, 09:34:56 PM
Gabe,

Thanks for the read and for the questions.  As the author of the transportation section, I'll try to provide some ideas here in response to your concerns.  I'll bold your concerns and respond after them...


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)


I think you're correct that the topic is large and areas could be excluded including the areas you mention as well as others. I agree with my co-author, Taylor, that this is surely something that could be worked out in the specific wording of the Resolution, and, indeed, probably will be.  There are some sectors that could not be stand-alone affirmatives.  Arguably, some sectors might, in fact, be stand-alobe affirmatives as well.  I am hopeful that if CIKR were to be selected that we would all engage in a substantive discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of including and excluding certain sectors. 

I will add, as someone who has worked in the transportation sector my entire professional life (life beyond debate), there is probably ample room for transportation systems to be there own stand-alone topic.  Even if we were to think of transportation in its simplest form (road, rail, water, and air), there are so many issues surrounding transportation that are live issues in Congress now.  There would be ample advantage and disadvantage ground
as well as plenty of politics disadvantage links. 

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.

I'll speak only for transportation systems in this response, just like I attempted to do in the previous one.  Generally speaking the USFG is the preferred actor on transportation issues because the issues in transportation are cross-border.  The looming legislation in Congress now is national in nature (reauthorization, truck size and weight increases, etc.).  Where there is a strong deviation from the preference for USFG action, there is a push toward regional cooperation.  This regional cooperation often takes the form of states working together on issue of transportation policy.  Examples of this are groups like the I-81 Coalition and the I-95 Coalition, which are seeking collaborative multi-state solutions to highway issues.  These groups do not see themselves in opposition to federal government action however. 

Furthermore, with respect to waterborne transportation, particularly in rivers and lakes, often means multiple states working together because a state controls it's part of the river to the midpoint of the river.  There's a whole legal discussion of water rights that would illuminate this further, but that's not necessary.  If an Affirmative wanted to improve navigation on the Mississippi or Ohio Rivers, it would literally be impossible to trust states to do the work themselves.  Another issue is control of pieces of infrastructure by the Army Corps of Engineers.  It would be difficult for a state CP to address issues of residual federal control.  Transportation projects often require DOT, Army CoE, and other federal government agencies working on specific parts of a transportation plan.  A CP would have difficulty accounting for each of these groups. 

One reason states fail is because of budget deficits (of course the federal government has this problem too).  States are suffering from severe shortages in funding for transportation projects.  DOTs across the country are cash-strapped and this is why many are clamoring for quick passage of transportation reauthorization legislation.  The problems are even worse at the county and municipal level.  The federal government is uniquely better at funding transportation projects given the current state of state economies. 

A second reason states fail is problems of inconsistent enforcement and application.  This problem sometimes appears simply as Interstate XXX going from 4 lanes to 2 lanes at the state border.  Sometimes the issues are land use related.  Often times states prioritize sectors in the transportation system differently.  Pennsylvania for example is light years ahead in terms of encouraging the growth of freight rail where states like Connecticut are behind.  These inconsistencies can have a negative effect on the success of transportation improvements.  For example, the inconsistency in highway lanes can cause congestion problems and pose threats to safety. 

The most recent and significant example of states and the federal government working together on transportation issues was last year's TIGER grants.  These grants were directed to proposals made by states for the funding of transportation improvement projects.  To the point that TIGER grants could be an example of solvency for the States CP; there are many people who would argue they were a bad idea for the reasons above and others.  If a CP were to involve grants, there are of course negative arguments against federal government grants to states. 

As Taylor mentions, the evidence for federal government solvency is simply better in terms of warrants than states solvency. 

I hope this provides some answers to your concerns.

Thanks,

Nick



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: danoverbey on April 28, 2011, 07:17:30 AM
If folks want to exclude the development of new infrastructures, using "...of existing..." may solve most of the problem.

If folks want to include it, I would recommend:
1. Excluding the energy sector (similar to previous years topics, though most are far off in the rear view).
2. Focus on water, and something else.  Water is a universal problem, even more so than energy. The energy system is pretty resilient, in general, unless the wrong transformers get EMP'd or something ridiculous like that.

In terms of other thoughts on how to limit the topic, themes for sector selection might include:
1. Regulated v. Non-regulated sectors – Dams, Nuclear, Chemical, Food and Ag, and parts of Healthcare and Public Health, are all highly regulated. There are some sectors that are less-regulated, but still regulated (Banking and Finance – depending on your politics). There are also sectors that are largely unregulated…
2. Capability-based v. Product based sectors. Emergency Services, Healthcare and Public Health, Energy, and a few others are really about maintaining capabilities/services at all times, and in response to all “surge” situations. That is a bit of a sweeping generalization because HPH is broad, and there is certainly some manufacturing (medical materials) within that sector. Critical Manufacturing, Chemical, and Food/Ag are more product based.

As an alternate strategy - the topic could focus on hazards:
1. Natural disasters
2. Terrorism and other malicious actors
3. Aging infrastructure (I would exclude this, almost entirely because 85+% of the infrastructure is in private hands, if the aff is forced to defend massive expenditure in privately held assets, that could be a disaster in the current climate).
4. All-hazards - the cool new expression for "plan for everything"

Just a few more thoughts -
-dwo


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 on April 28, 2011, 07:27:28 PM
Brad Hall was kind enough to bring the following article to my attention. While it does not address the question of resolutional wording, it clearly demonstrates that there is a continuing stream of strong evidence illustrating the timeliness of the topic.


Rendell, former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and co-chairman of Building America’s Future Educational Fund & Gorton, former Republican senator from Washington and co-chairman of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Transportation Policy Project, 4/28/11
(http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53853.html)
Our infrastructure hasn’t even kept pace with our national growth in the last few decades. Countless studies have documented this sobering news. U.S. infrastructure was given a D grade by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Yet policymakers show little sense of urgency that smart new investments are needed.
If the United States is to remain economically competitive with the rest of the world, we must reverse decades of failing and worsening national infrastructure with visionary and robust strategies.
But the growing concern over our nation’s soaring budget deficits — coupled with too many in Washington who equate investment in infrastructure with earmarked spending — has led many to argue that this is the wrong time to increase true infrastructure investment. They could not be more mistaken.
A frank conversation about our infrastructure needs should recognize that this debate is occurring in the context of stark choices about how to return the country to a sustainable fiscal path. With the dominant economic focus now on reducing public spending, a new conversation about increased investment in public infrastructure is needed. This conversation must include how to pay for the estimated trillions of dollars of needed investments and how to assure real returns.
We believe it is time to change the nature of the conversation about infrastructure. We cannot afford to let the current impasse persist.




Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: max.o.archer on April 29, 2011, 08:16:04 PM
For those concerned about critical arguments under the CIKR topic, be sure to check out Keele University's Research Institute for Law Politics and Justice, "Biopolitics and Resilience," http://www.keele.ac.uk/bos/resources/resilience.html.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: BrianDeLong on April 29, 2011, 08:42:56 PM
Nice find.

It should be noted that depending on the wording, affirmatives will not be painted into a corner of shadow boxing potential terrorist attacks. In terms of resiliency infrastructure must be able to survive natural as well and man-made disaster scenarios.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Adam Symonds on May 01, 2011, 11:50:16 PM
I have an easy time envisioning how this topic could provide some new and interesting debates. But my primary concern is that the paper is so broad and will need so much narrowing from the committee that the ideas that folks have about why they want the CIKR topic could be eliminated in the wording process. This is not a "topic committee will screw it up" argument -- just a recognition that the area under the topic is so large that our team could rank this topic highly but wind up with a wording that looks nothing like what we expected, through completely rational, logical, and optimal deliberations. I haven't worked with factorials in a while, but I remember enough to know there are so many sectors and different ways to construct a mechanism that the possible outcomes are quite large.

On a related note, it seems like even the core negative side of the controversy could change based on the approach of the topic committee. One of the earlier posts here suggested we could limit the topic to requirements on businesses or limit it to updating federal sectors/services. Obviously, limiting to federal changes could completely eliminate the business confidence da that seems to be the heart of the controversy.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 on May 02, 2011, 08:09:57 AM
Adam,

These are all good points. If CIKR were to be chosen as next years topic, the committee would be charged with providing a strong diversity of possible resolutional wordings. I don't think that they would 'screw this up,' but it would largely fall on the community collectively to provide input throughout the wording process. I think that the wiki-based organization of the wording process this year will help facilitate this. Of course, this is probably true for most of the topic options.

I also think that this topic appears huge because of the sheer size of the paper, but I think this worry applies equally to many of the other areas (treaties or demo assistance, for example).

The neg ground issue is less of a concern in my mind, given the massive literature base pertaining to all sectors of CIKR. The Neg Ground section of the paper was written in such a manner that all of those arguments would apply, regardless of how we word the resolution.
Also, I don't think that any potential wording could kill the biz con disad. Even if we limited the resolution to 'federal sectors,' most of the work done on those sectors are contracted out to private industries. Also, the massive spending required for most plans would certainly affect the market (given the uncertainty of the budget cap). Would the disad be altered? Yes, but it would still be completely viable. It's probably also unlikely that a non-private sector wording would win, based on what I've seen of community sentiments.


Whether CIKR wins or not, I think this year's topic discussion has been fantastic and I'm sure, based upon the healthy conversations that are occurring on all fronts, that this coming resolution will be a good one.

Taylor


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: kelly young on May 02, 2011, 09:16:59 AM
I have an easy time envisioning how this topic could provide some new and interesting debates. But my primary concern is that the paper is so broad and will need so much narrowing from the committee that the ideas that folks have about why they want the CIKR topic could be eliminated in the wording process. This is not a "topic committee will screw it up" argument -- just a recognition that the area under the topic is so large that our team could rank this topic highly but wind up with a wording that looks nothing like what we expected, through completely rational, logical, and optimal deliberations. I haven't worked with factorials in a while, but I remember enough to know there are so many sectors and different ways to construct a mechanism that the possible outcomes are quite large.

On a related note, it seems like even the core negative side of the controversy could change based on the approach of the topic committee. One of the earlier posts here suggested we could limit the topic to requirements on businesses or limit it to updating federal sectors/services. Obviously, limiting to federal changes could completely eliminate the business confidence da that seems to be the heart of the controversy.

1. Yes - I will warn people now - if you want to debate about a sole CIKR sector, there's a risk that it won't be included in the final paper. Much like if you are jazzed to debate about Bahrain, there's a chance it might not be in the final DAMENA resolution. This just means that you should understand you are voting for the broad topic, not one particular sector. Be smarter rather than dumber when you vote.

2. Fortunately, business confidence DA isn't the sole core negative ground on the topic. The best ground on the topic, as Dan Overby suggests, is to have the USFG regulate private industry, which is also where all of the best CIKR sectors lie, thus this is really where the literature pushes potential wording. Even if you just remain in the federal level, as Taylor argues, there is still a biz con DA.






Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: agswanlek on May 02, 2011, 10:54:29 AM
I have an easy time envisioning how this topic could provide some new and interesting debates. But my primary concern is that the paper is so broad and will need so much narrowing from the committee that the ideas that folks have about why they want the CIKR topic could be eliminated in the wording process. This is not a "topic committee will screw it up" argument -- just a recognition that the area under the topic is so large that our team could rank this topic highly but wind up with a wording that looks nothing like what we expected, through completely rational, logical, and optimal deliberations. I haven't worked with factorials in a while, but I remember enough to know there are so many sectors and different ways to construct a mechanism that the possible outcomes are quite large.

Sup Adam,

The reason this doesn't concern me as much as it concerns others is that the "core" of the topic, critical infrastructure, will remain the same regardless of resolutional wording.   If you decide to rank it highly, i'm assuming it will be on the justification that you wish to debate part of that critical infrastructure (or all of it).  The beauty (in my mind) of this topic is complexity of interactions between the sectors which allows for some forms of predictability to emerge.  Dams for example (as the DOHS puts it):

The Dams Sector has dependencies and interdependencies with a wide range of other sectors, including:
The Agriculture and Food Sector, as a continued source of water for irrigation and water management;
The Transportation Systems Sector uses dams and locks to manage navigable waters throughout inland waterways;
The Water Sector, by supplying potable water to concentrated populations and commercial facilities in the U.S.;
The Energy Sector, by providing approximately 8 to 12 percent of the nation’s power needs with hydropower dams; and
The Emergency Services Sector, which relies on Dams Sector assets for firefighting water supply, emergency water supply, and waterborne access in the event of a significant disaster.

Ps.
This has been said before, and a point i'd like to stress about the unique opportunity this topic provides, is that there is room for agent cp's to be educational (sounds weird eh)?  


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: katsulas on May 02, 2011, 12:26:04 PM
My concern about how broad the critical infrastructure topic will be concerns the definition of what constitutes "protection."

Here's the definition from the topic paper:

Protection includes actions to mitigate the overall risk to CIKR assets, systems, networks,
functions, or their inter-connecting links. In the context of the NIPP, this includes actions to
deter the threat, mitigate vulnerabilities, or minimize the consequences associated with a terrorist
attack or other incident (see figure S-1). Protection can include a wide range of activities,
such as improving security protocols, hardening facilities, building resiliency and
redundancy, incorporating hazard resistance into facility design, initiating active or
passive countermeasures, install-ing security systems, leveraging “self-healing”
technologies, promoting workforce surety programs, implementing cybersecurity
measures, training and exercises, business continuity planning, and restoration and
recovery actions, among various others.

Here's an example of what I fear: promoting workforce surety programs allows affirmative cases to institute programs to prevent
employees from falling asleep while monitoring infrastructure.  So, giving employees longer breaks so they don't doze off is topical?



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: Jessica Kurr on May 02, 2011, 01:12:29 PM

Here's an example of what I fear: promoting workforce surety programs allows affirmative cases to institute programs to prevent employees from falling asleep while monitoring infrastructure.  So, giving employees longer breaks so they don't doze off is topical?


I'm going to reiterate my earlier post about the word "substantial."

1) Making small changes to breaks isn't a substantial change because it doesn't change the overall protection level ie its only a bureaucratic change.

Bagley 2006 - Law Clerk to Judge David S. Tatel, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 2005-2006. J.D., New York University School of Law, 2005 (Nicholas, "Benchmarking, Critical Infrastructure Security, and the Regulatory War on Terror," 43 Harv. J. on Legis. 47, Lexis)

Because "security" cannot be readily measured against a commonly recognized yardstick, however, providing a similar standardized metric in the terrorism context is deeply problematic. Rigid checklists of required security practices will not take into account a high degree of variation among firms, nor are they likely to provide a meaningful measure of facilities' actual security vulnerabilities. Similar to the way in which OSHA's "going by the book" strategy of regulatory enforcement has been the subject of longstanding criticism for the inefficiencies that result from its focus on technical violations rather than on the substantive goal of worker safety, a checklist approach threatens to submerge our substantive objective of reducing critical infrastructure vulnerabilities under technical requirements that may not substantially advance that goal. n160

2) Let's say the change is substantial. That aff is effectually topical. It only increases protection as an effect of increasing the break. Increasing protection isn't intrinsic to the plan action.

3) If you want to limit out bureaucratic changes, you could a funding element into the resolution. So,

- Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase the budget for protection and resiliency of its critical infrastructure and key resources.

- Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase the funding for protecting and improving resiliency of its critical infrastructure and key resources.

I'm not sure what the term of art would be right now, but introducing a budget/funding element would ensure you can't do small changes like the breaks aff you mention.

A2: Increase budget by hiring more workers to ensure longer breaks

I don' this aff would be topical under the proposed resolution that I included above. You could perhaps increase funding to hire more workers, but you wouldn't be able to specify longer breaks. If you are worried about the "hire more workers" aff, you could further specify the funding/budget wording to include  non-employment. This means the money would have to be spent on equipment, facilities, materials, etc. The funding for workers to install or construct everything would probably be considered normal means. I'll look into this funding/budget wording idea further, but it is a possibility.

Independent of this funding/budget idea, I'd like to mention that the topic paper does say that it might be beneficial to only say resiliency and not protection in the wording of the resolution. That seems to eliminate a bunch of the concerns of protection being very large.

One of the definitions of resiliency included is:
"Likewise, government and academic organizations have discussed how resiliency can be achieved in different ways. Among these are an organization’s robustness (based on protection, for example better security or the hardening of facilities); the redundancy of primary systems (backups and overlap offering alternatives if one system is damaged or destroyed); and the degree to which flexibility can be built into the organization’s culture (to include continuous communications to assure awareness during a disruption, distributed decision-making power so multiple employees can take decisive action when needed, and being conditioned for disruptions to improve response when necessary). "

For energy, you could do smartgrid improvements to prevent electricity failures (that would fall under redundancy of primary systems). You could fund connecting emergency response networks (that would fall under the third category), which means calling 911 would connect you to the local dispatch not where your cellphone is located. You could add protections to nuclear plants (robustness) to prevent failure. You could add similar protections to chemical, ag, dam, and water, which ensure there's a steady supply of those resources.  For defense industrial you could increase protection to prevent loose nukes or meltdowns (I think that was an advantage for pit-stuffing affs if I recall correctly). You could fund the Air Force to make sure they don't lose any nukes again. For manufacturing, you could increase resiliency by opening research to new materials/sector (Hydrogen was listed in the paper), that would be topical under redundancies.

As you can see, there are a bunch of different affs resiliency would cover alone. I'm not sure what affs would become non topical by eliminating protection from the resolution, as I think the small affs like increase break times are already non-topical, but it would still provide viable affirmative ground.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: katsulas on May 02, 2011, 01:34:47 PM
Jeff,

The topic paper specifically recommends including both the words  "protections" and "resiliency".  See page 19-20.

Protections includes plans like improving personnel screening. That is clearly topical under "protections."  I have
zero faith in the ability of "substantial" to weed out these cases, some of which don't require spending any money.

JPK


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: agswanlek on May 02, 2011, 01:56:57 PM
Jeff,

The topic paper specifically recommends including both the words  "protections" and "resiliency".  See page 19-20.

Protections includes plans like improving personnel screening. That is clearly topical under "protections."  I have
zero faith in the ability of "substantial" to weed out these cases, some of which don't require spending any money.

JPK

John,

I think alot of your concern is weeded out by lack of solvency advocates for the "give them trucker pills" affirmative.  And while your indict of substantial is valid it is true under any of the topic papers proposed.  Many of the areas within the resolution are facing drastic budget cuts, and have severe technical problems hamstringing their ability to be efficient, which is where most of the literature base (from what I researched, life has been solely on finals right now) is. I'll have more on this later!


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: kelly young on May 02, 2011, 02:44:58 PM
My concern about how broad the critical infrastructure topic will be concerns the definition of what constitutes "protection."

Here's the definition from the topic paper:

Protection includes actions to mitigate the overall risk to CIKR assets, systems, networks,
functions, or their inter-connecting links. In the context of the NIPP, this includes actions to
deter the threat, mitigate vulnerabilities, or minimize the consequences associated with a terrorist
attack or other incident (see figure S-1). Protection can include a wide range of activities,
such as improving security protocols, hardening facilities, building resiliency and
redundancy, incorporating hazard resistance into facility design, initiating active or
passive countermeasures, install-ing security systems, leveraging “self-healing”
technologies, promoting workforce surety programs, implementing cybersecurity
measures, training and exercises, business continuity planning, and restoration and
recovery actions, among various others.

Here's an example of what I fear: promoting workforce surety programs allows affirmative cases to institute programs to prevent
employees from falling asleep while monitoring infrastructure.  So, giving employees longer breaks so they don't doze off is topical?

First, Surety programs aren't regulations to stop sleeping. That's pure assertion. Surety programs are employee accreditation and authentication programs that ensure employees aren't terrorist or other high-risk people (http://www.sis.pitt.edu/~dtipper/2825/2825_Slides3.pdf).

For instance,
"We'll launch the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Personnel Surety Program, requiring high-risk chemical facilities to vet individuals with access against the Terrorist Screening Database." http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/speeches/sp_1296152572413.shtm

Also,
Initiate workforce surety measures through implementation of a standard identity credential for secure and reliable identification and authentication of Federal Government employees and contractors as specified in Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 201 and its supporting authorities. (http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/nipp-ssp-national-monuments-icons.pdf)

Second, there is negative ground against this aff - First, it's a government employee identification and certification program.That federal regulation freaks out employees and employers (your biz con link). Second, it requires biometric and terrorist connection background checks (your biometrics bad, surveillance bad, security/terror talk bad links) (http://chemical-facility-security-news.blogspot.com/2009/06/cfats-personnel-surety-program-icr.html) (this link also makes it rather questionable that these surety affs are inherent). Remember, as I already discussed, in a world of voluntary compliance or reg neg CP, any risk of a link is more than enough to beat these small affs.

I agree that "substantial" may not check these affs, but the wording included in the controversy (note, that's not the same as a wording paper) is just an initial suggestion. Also, the controversy paper suggests eliminating "resiliency" as a possibility, so I'm not sure your point in the other post.

Yes, there are some small affs on this topic. The neg has a number of viable neg options besides "substantial" T and a spending link. This was all hashed out and debated last week.


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: nickjsciullo on May 02, 2011, 02:45:43 PM
For what it's worth...  

If a concern is small AFFs like changing the way truckers are employed or how they drive, there's a national level debate right now about hours of service requirements that has folks polarized.  There are strong AFF and NEG arguments for increasing and decreasing hours of service (the time a truck driver can be on, aka driving).  There are new regulations that are set to be finalized in July.  Whether or not they are, or what they finally look like is not likely to matter because both sides will hold their respective line.  There will still be opposition from the American Trucking Association (ATA) and its state affiliates and there will still be support from a number of safety groups, including groups like the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) and others.  Many small AFFs will have a wealth of information on both sides to warrant them being debated.  The hours of service requirements are currently the biggest concern for the trucking industry as was related to me by a trucking official in Indianapolis.  

Here's some evidence both ways on the issue.  

(__) Trucking industry opposes tightening of HOS.  
Press Enterprise 11.  Jack Katzanek, Trucking industry questions new hours of service laws, Press Enterprise, January 26, 2011, http://www.pe.com/business/local/stories/PE_Biz_D_hos23.14163f3.html

A federal proposal to tighten the number of hours a long-haul trucker is allowed to stay on the road is not gaining any support among drivers and others in the trucking industry.
The proposed change to truck drivers' hours-of-service rules was announced late last year. It comes on top of changes adopted several years ago.
"It could be very problematic in a sense that you have carriers who are just getting acclimated to the laws," said Eric Sauer, vice president for policy development at the California Trucking Association. "Now they'll have to turn schedules upside down again."
Not all of the proposals are set in stone yet. Currently truckers are limited to 11 hours behind the wheel in any one workday. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could limit that to 10 hours or leave it at 11.
That would mean a week with either 60 or 70 driving hours. Truckers can restart this "work week" by taking 34 hours off, but the proposed regulations would force them to include two consecutive off-duty periods that specifically encompass the hours between midnight and 6 a.m., and would allow only one restart in a seven-day period.
Also, the proposal would require truckers to complete all their work within a 14-hour window that would include a one-hour break, meaning all the loading or unloading -- and the day's driving -- would be restricted to 13 hours.
The proposed changes were announced Dec. 23, and the federal agency is expected to make its final determination in late July. It will accept public comment on the proposals until Feb. 28, Sauer said.
"CTA is ramping up and trying to explain to the powers-that-be that this is not a good idea," he said.


(__) Tighter HOS requirements will increase pollution and decrease highway safety
Press Enterprise 11.  Jack Katzanek, Trucking industry questions new hours of service laws, Press Enterprise, January 26, 2011, http://www.pe.com/business/local/stories/PE_Biz_D_hos23.14163f3.html

But in 2007, there were an estimated 126,300 workers, and most distribution centers and ports are now operating with fewer people. Restrictions on trucking hours would make it even harder to get food and other items loaded and shipped to market on time.
"The shippers are all pushing to get freight moving to where it's got to go," said
Barry Queen, a Riverside-based independent trucker. "Taking more time to load takes away from the time on the road. It's ridiculous."
Valerie Liese, president of Ontario-based Jack Jones Trucking and a former president of the California Trucking Association, said that there's already of shortage of long-haul truckers, and this will exacerbate that. Also, restrictive hours means more trucks will likely use the roads in the daytime, making traffic and pollution worse.
Also, there are fewer freeway rest areas for truckers because of state budget restrictions, and a driver carrying hazardous materials is legally obligated to stay with the vehicle. The obstacles are many, Liese said
.


(__) Changes to HOS requirements are needed for highway safety
Press Enterprise 11.  Jack Katzanek, Trucking industry questions new hours of service laws, Press Enterprise, January 26, 2011, http://www.pe.com/business/local/stories/PE_Biz_D_hos23.14163f3.html

Federal officials say they're concerned that 11 hours is too long to ensure safety. According to a 2007 government study, 13 percent of all accidents involving big rigs are caused by driver fatigue.
Also, a transportation department report found that, of all trucking accidents, 65 percent of them happen when the driver is more than halfway to his or her destination.
The Bush-era law currently in effect extended the daily drive time limits from 10 to 11 hours but added two hours of mandatory rest, from eight to 10 hours.
Some say the proposed changes do not go far enough to ensure safe drivers. Bruce Millar, a Georgia attorney who represents accident victims, said in a statement released last week not only should the hours of service be shortened, but all commercial vehicles should be forced to have electronic monitors to ensure the laws are being followed.



Thanks,

Nick



Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: jtedebate on May 02, 2011, 05:56:49 PM
The fact that Critical Infrastructure is a huge topic paper will allow more flexibility.  It will obviously be narrowed down substantially at the topic meeting.  Big, well-researched papers like this guard against an "immigration" topic becoming the H1B/Run from the topic year...

But crafting the specif resolutions is not easy...I'm glad people are engaged here and vetting this broad area.  Thanks everyone!


Title: Re: 2011-2012 topic paper- Critical Infrastructure
Post by: twhahn215 on May 06, 2011, 07:25:21 AM
Some back-channels we've been receiving indicates some continued reluctance/uncertainty on how CIKR would evolve during the wording process. I wanted to quickly address these concerns.

First, I think the CIKR topic is possibly the best topic to take into the wording process precisely because it is diverse. Many of the other topic areas are comparatively narrow, meaning that when we get our list of potential resolution words later this summer there will be very little difference from one wording to another. Comparatively, CIKR can be broken up into groupings, each providing a different focus but still allowing for quality generic ground. Below are a few of the potential groups that we have discussed.

Option #1 - Private Industries Sectors: Chemical Industries, Banking & Financial, Critical Manufacturing
Option #2 - Telecommunication: Communication & Information Technologies
Option #3 - Traditional Infrastructures: Energy, Transportation
Option #4 - Survivability Sectors - Water, Communication, energy, emergency services, and Food.

It is likely that the wording process would produce a series of options similar to these in addition to an option to include all sectors. Why is this important? Because it means that the community can have an additional chance to focus the topic to their liking, ensuring that anyone voting for CIKR wont discover later on that none of the resolution wordings include the sector(s) that they really wanted to debate.

Second, I want to reiterate that any potential wording will still provide a solid base for generic negative ground. This is illustrated at the end of the paper where options include:
1. Agent overstretch (mainly DHS)
2. Private Industry CP
3. Politics / elections
4. Econ Disads
5. Spending

In addition to these options, there are a number of other smaller disads which are discussed. Also of note is the potential for real agent counterplans. Not the generic XO CPs that we all dread, but rather very specific agent counterplans pertaining to each CIKR sector. While this might not be considered 'generic' ground, it is available under any wording.

Just some final thoughts as we begin to wind up voting. Feel free to contact if you have any additional questions/concerns.

Taylor