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Heg – on the brink



Heg is on the brink now – collapse causes unstable multipolarity and prevents global economic recovery

Aznar 6/22/10 – former prime minister of Spain (Jose Maria, “There's No Such Thing as a 'Reset' Button,” http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/06/22/there_s_no_such_thing_as_a_reset_button, WRW)
Washington's foreign-policy circles clearly find it fashionable to talk about pressing the "reset" button on international relations. The impulse is understandable. Every new leader dreams of shaping a new era in his own image. But the technological metaphors miss their mark. The world isn't a PC, much less a sleek and trendy iPad. America's search for a simple restart is destined to fail. The legacy of history resists being abandoned as easily as a software application is "exited." Only the naive can manage to think otherwise for very long. Meanwhile, the world is waiting for Washington to acknowledge its strategic responsibilities. America's liberal and democratic ideals are the foundation of today's international order. Since World War II, the United States has been the world's defining ideological, economic, scientific, strategic, and cultural force. Today, that order is under attack. First, there are the populist voices that have risen against our free market economy since the start of the current economic crisis. Their agenda is to alter our economic system -- they want to alter the consensus from limited state presence and individual risk-taking, to greater state intervention, more public authority, and less individual freedom. The second threats are the rising nations that feel that the current distribution of world power is unjust. They respond by undermining the policies of those they consider to be their rivals. I'm referring primarily to Russia and China, but also to populist regimes like Hugo Chávez's Venezuela. Third, there are the states and stateless forces that are trying to provoke a revolutionary change to the international system. Here, we can include nations like Iran and groups like al Qaeda. The United States and its allies have all the tools at their disposal to defeat our shared enemies. Success will depend on three basic commitments: American leadership, a stronger Europe, and a common transatlantic vision. Unfortunately, we have recently been witnessing the opposite: an internationally reluctant American president, a Europe which is mired in its own problems, and an eroded Atlantic bond. It begins with the man in the Oval Office. When Barack Obama was elected, much of the world imagined that a change in attitude in the White House would translate into a closer and deeper relationship with Europe. Indeed, 80 percent of Europeans had said they would have voted for Obama had they been able to do so. Those Europeans have watched as Obama has given special attention to Moscow and only a lukewarm reception to his closest allies. Today, the growing perception among European elites is that the U.S. president is not interested in Europe at all. Many of those elites instead believe that, as president, Obama is mainly concerned with improving America's image in the Muslim world. Europe is concerned because America's new foreign policy seems to suggest a casual disregard of America's closest traditional allies. Europeans have closely been following America's friction -- if not yet open dispute -- with Israel, its staunchest ally in the Middle East. It's not that Europeans have suddenly become pro-Israel. It's because we feel it fits a larger pattern -- a pattern that is especially unsettling when seen in light of Washington's efforts to reach out to dubious regimes like Iran. Of course, Europeans wouldn't be so concerned about Obama if they enjoyed stronger political leadership themselves. Unfortunately, Europe's material achievements of the past half-century have not translated into a greater ability to shoulder global responsibilities. In light of the economic crisis, that's not likely to change anytime soon. Europe will again be involved with solving its own parochial problems. The persistent transatlantic tension has no doubt affected our common projects. Take Afghanistan, for instance. The European public has had a difficult time coping with the presence of European NATO troops, especially as the fight has intensified in recent years. European leaders should make a clearer case for the necessity of the fight against al Qaeda. But public doubts are also fueled by the fact that the United States is itself seemingly getting ready to leave. American exhaustion is understandable. But it's still a mistake. Nobody is prepared to take America's place as leader of the free world. Those who defend the virtues of a multipolar world, in which the United States is just another country, will soon find themselves in a nonpolar universe that is spinning out of control. Russia will happily reclaim its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe; a nuclear Iran will become the new hegemon in the Persian Gulf; global jihadists will be emboldened. Meanwhile, a more economically reticent (or protectionist) America will endanger any short-term recovery of the global economy and give new impetus to the anti-capitalist axis that stretches from Beijing to Tehran to Caracas.

***MILITARY***




Yes – recruitment



Recruitment and retention is sky high

Volsky 7/14/10 (Igor, “In the midst of efforts to repeal DADT, military retention and recruitment are thriving,” http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/14/military-retention-dadt/, WRW)
LezGetReal points out that despite clear congressional intent to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, military retention and recruiting continues to thrive: The Army National Guard met 94% of its recruiting goal and the Air National Guard met 99% of its recruiting goal. The eight other branches or components of the Defense Department met or exceeded their recruiting goals for the month of June 2010….According to the Defense Department, “The services also are at or above their fiscal year-to-date retention goals for the first nine months of fiscal 2010.” That means the DoD is keeping in service the numbers of personnel it needs and with the exception of the two National Guard components mentioned, they are bringing in new personnel at or above the required numbers for overall force strength.
Recruitment up now – it’ll be fine for the next few years

Casanova 6/26/10 (Amanda, The Houston Chronicle, “Ex-ROTC commander sees an upswing in recruiting,” http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7082328.html, WRW)
Q: What kind of trend do you see with enlistment in the wake of the current economic troubles? A: Since the recession hit, we've had our best recruiting in 26 years. When the financial crisis hit here in Houston, we had more than double the number of Air Force cadets. We're continuing to see an upswing in recruiting. It's been a very good summer so far, and we're seeing a lot of high-quality people coming in. Q: What is the most important quality potential recruits need, and why? A: We don't want any young person being pressured to join the military by their parents. We want them to be of good character, the kind of people we can rely on and who have a sense of what they want to do for the rest of their lives. They don't necessarily have to be in the top of their high school class, but they do have to have a certain (grade point average). Also, when young people come in to see us, we encourage them to come in with their parents because we want to explain the whole program to them. We're very up-front that there's a war going on and what's to be expected in that. Q: Where do you expect military recruitment to be in another 10 years? A: From the Air Force perspective, I think it's going to depend on the economy. I think the economy is improving slowly, but very slowly. I don't think recruiting will be a challenge in the near term. Here in Houston we're in an ideal area. We're very military friendly. We're very, very supportive of ROTC. It's a great environment to recruit from. Q: How can Americans become more involved and more informed when it comes to military operations? A: It's a combination of a number of things. There's great support for the military today. I think the military needs to continue visiting schools. Community organizations and schools need to continue inviting us to speak. I see a great opportunity for courses in leadership like we've done at the University of Houston. It's an issue of developing more partnerships between the military and civilians. Q: Why is it so important that civilians and the military continue efforts to work together? A: I'll paraphrase Secretary of Defense (Robert) Gates. He said many times that "we're not going to shoot our way out of the war on terror." The only way we're going to keep the upper hand in the longest war in American history is to use all elements of national power. In a crisis management exercise, we had 10 civilian students and ROTC seniors working together as a seamless interagency task force. It was great because what we found was that cadets brought a high level of leadership to the exercise, while civilians brought a different perspective. When those two groups combined, they had a tremendous synergy from each other. Q: What does the firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal say about military leadership? A: One of our biggest emphases here at ROTC Houston is professionalism in wartime operations. We're training students to be not future veterans, but future combat veterans because this war is going to take awhile to win. Part of being professional is being respectful of the people you work for and being careful about who you criticize and to whom you express that criticism.




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