As Its Member States, This House Would Disband NATO


When is a treaty disbanded? When is a treaty formed? What are the parameters that might constitute the disbanding and forming? And what are the criteria for a “good time” to disband and/or form?

We could talk about the harms and goods. Okay, that’s one. But that’s not all. Because this is not an only value-judgment debate. And then? What’s next?

Differing interests. Okay, and then? What’s next? Obsoleteness. Okay, and then? What’s next? Conflicting and intersecting paths. Okay, and then? What’s next?

There is also the other direction in which this debate can unfold, which is if Team Negative comes up with a timeframe challenge. Such a scenario will only be possible when both teams agree on the idea that a treaty is not formed in order to exist forever without a fixed end date. So Team Affirmative would argue that the time has come, whereas Team Negative would argue to wait not yet.

One last thing. Team Negative, remember not to fall to the proposition fiat trap. The feasibility of this motion to happen is dependent on its (NATO’s) three member states agreeing. Do not argue that either of the three lack the capability to challenge the other two’s proposal. You have to concede that the three of them CAN disband and have the capabilities as well as the political requirements to carry out the motion. Now the burden of proof for Team Affirmative hinges on proving their TENDENCY to pass this bill (are they likely to be in agreement?), instead of their CAPABILITIES. Both teams then will agree on the CAPABILITIES of all three parties disbanding/not disbanding, but all arguments should be linked back to whether or not they will want to do that. Remember, this is not a value-judgment motion of saying something as simple as “disbanding will make this world a better place – no disbanding won’t make this world a better place”.

As a rough picture of this characterization, imagine that all everybody in the debate chamber, all of us Team Negative, Team Affirmative, and the adjudicators alike, you and me, are various people from France, the UK, and the US discussing about this motion, discussing about whether to disband ourselves or not.

Team Affirmative

  1. Because there is no reason for NATO to exist anymore.

The reason behind the establishment of NATO was initially in order to keep Russia in check and in order to suppress Germany. And that was during the Cold War. It should be inferred then that NATO should have disbanded the moment there was a truce declared right after the Cold War. But what happened instead was NATO keeping on surviving and it just so happens that NATO has often times violated boundaries of their supposed roles in international stability, brutally thwarting democracy. Just to name a few, Portugal’s Antonio Salazar. Greece, 1967. Turkey, 1980. Bosnia, 1995. Afghanistan, 2001. Libya, 2011.

Well, research a little bit more about those cases (and also find some other cases as well, will you?) and link back all of those arguments as precedence for fulfilling and satisfying the criteria of the disbanding of a treaty, then you’re pretty much set already. Remember to also assert and prove why all three France, the UK, and the US will likely “buy” this argument.

  1. Because the world will be a better place.

The difference in the premise of Team Affirmative Argument 1 and Team Affirmative Argument 2 lies in the tone of the wording: Team Affirmative Argument 1 believes that this NATO is now obsolete. This time now, your Team Affirmative Argument 2 here believes that NATO is harmful. We are partly expecting that you have finished your storytelling of NATO’s atrocious actions, so that part needn’t be covered anymore as anything more than that would be redundant.

Now on to the part that makes this argument different from Team Affirmative Argument 1. There are some things that are already useless but still not expunged yet. Let’s not talk about treaties. Let’s talk about.. obsolete pieces of law first. Google them and you’ll end up with an abundance of examples, but first consider this fact for a precedence: Not all clauses have statute of limitations installed alongside with them. And among the ones who do have, the statute are sometimes too long it doesn’t make any sense.

And now to the second part of the explanation. Were some of the obsolete pieces of law expunged in the end, eventually? Yes. But the answer is not “a matter of time” or “well, you know, that was when the officials felt like it”. Expunge of clauses usually arise from a certain sense of urgency. And what could be a better form of urgency other than danger? That’s NATO for you, useless and dangerous.

  1. Because we want the international community to have a proper and positive reception towards us.

There is a certain negative stigma the world has towards the west. And the biggest culprit for that prejudice to happen in the first place is us, NATO. There is a paradigm of “come to democracy, else democracy will come to you” and/or “got oil? don’t worry you’ll get democratized soon enough” and other LOL stuffs like that.

The thing is, we are expecting to be able to convince most of these people who have already had this negative stigma towards us (France, the UK, and the US) that our.. “expansive” behavior stems from our sense of responsibility in upholding international stability and peace, thanks to our membership in NATO. Hopefully NATO will be the perfect scapegoat for us, and the moment NATO is disbanded, we no longer have any justifications for raiding and invading other countries’ sovereignty (especially ones in the Middle East), then the public will start to acknowledge us (France, the UK, and the US) as countries who actually do mind their own business.

Team Negative

  1. Because we need this NATO, even if not as a body, at least as an image.

Picture NATO as an imaginary control system. Like God, for example. Part of the reason why people refrain from masturbating (the religious ones, of course) is that they are in fear of an invisible entity, an omnipotent and all-knowing being on top of themselves, noticing and judging each and every single action of them, especially ones of indecency and debauchery like that.

People are highly demotivated from doing something the moment there is a larger and stronger entity keeping their actions under check. NATO is such an entity. It will highly demotivate Russia from attempting further permutations of situations in Ukraine.

Now comes the comparison. It will be very foolish of Team Negative to try to deny those accusations towards NATO. A better rule of thumb is to just concede them. So, now comes the comparison. You are willing to sacrifice, paying the price of NATO meddling and tampering with various international business, thwarting democracies here and there, because keeping Russia in check from going abroad too far in its business in the CIS is a more politically expensive cost than those democracies are.

  1. Because this is unbeneficial for the US.

The US has the most vested interest in the continuing existence of NATO. NATO has always been the justifications that the US resorted to whenever they want to have anything to do with the Middle East. They needed NATO to back them up when they needed to do something with bin Laden, Hussein, Mubarak, and Gaddafi. Although, indeed, whether or not things are better off or worse off instead now is highly debatable and questionable in nature. But, we cannot deny the fact that the Arab Spring brought at least some benefits to the whole world, no matter how little they may be.

On the other hand, things might now be a little bit different post Trump’s winning the US election. Actually, this could be all the more reason for us not to disband NATO. The controlling parties of the rest of NATO, France and the UK, are the ones who are able to keep the US in check. This is especially important now, because the geopolitical stance of the US is likely going to change from Obama to Trump. Trump idolizes Putin and is in close terms with him. A disband of NATO will likely leave Russia to do whatever he wants to Syria and Ukraine. Even worse, nothing will be able to stop the US once Trump decides to “invest” in Putin’s shenanigans. NATO needs to preserve, because it constricts the US’ position. And hinders Russia’s advances.

Disbanding, on top of that, will be dangerous for the Middle East as well. The current situation in Syria, the civil war surrounding Al-Assad will suddenly meet an end (and an especially unfavorable one) with Al-Assad one-sidedly decimating all of his opponents (Putin is close to Al-Assad). Harbinger for the surrounding Kurdish who have vested interest as well. And it is definitely not going to be safe for the Ukrainians either – who wanted to belong to the EU instead of merging with Russia together with the rest of CIS.

  1. Because it is not time yet.

Finally, this is the card that you draw and play when you want to concede the point that no treaty is designed to be forever and everlasting. As always with all arguments challenging timeframes like this, burden of proof always lies on why “later” is better than “now”. Is the status quo progressing? To be accommodating for a disbanding at a later time? What are they? What are the phenomenon, or actions currently undertaken, by whichever or whatever party it may be, that will support a conducive situation and a scenario where a disbanding does not create a massive backlash as great and big of a magnitude as when happening in the present? What are the potential backlashes that will happen upon a disbanding? What causes them?

For one, you could assert that because the current international negative stigma towards this “democracy export” is so huge, a disbanding would likely trigger the whole world to boo France, the UK, and the US as this disbanding would be a form of them admitting their wrongdoings and committing Sudoku. So it’s all the more reason not to do this right now. Better wait until situation has sorted itself and tension has died down a little bit, then quietly and calmly declare disband.

But, you could also go the other way round. Never going to disband, no matter when, no matter what, no matter how – it is not as if this disbanding will be safe at a certain point of time anyway. That negative stigma? You could also assert that it will never die down and will always remain there in our hearts. Discover some treaties who are designed to persevere and nourish. A close example, although unrelated (but still parallel and relatable, actually), would be the concept of “going concern” when establishing a body. Business enterprises, usually. Anyway, that is a theorem commonly adopted in accounting studies.

Oh, by the way, contradiction alert.