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The Security K

The Security K focuses on the way we handle policy making. Governments often make policy decisions based on national security and the wellbeing of their people. Unfortunately, these justifications often are used to construct threats to permit governments to act in ways that are harmful. For example, some might argue that countries have invaded other countries in the name of national security but, behind the scenes, are focused on profitable, economic benefits that come from the conflict. Many of these criticisms focus on how Western governments, but especially the United States, engage in this harmful behavior. Often, they will use this as an excuse to maintain hegemony or dominance in a region. Many traditional policy affirmatives will focus on existential harms—anything that threatens our ability to avoid extinction of life on Earth. To them, avoiding mass casualty and the end of the world as we know it is a big impact that can justify almost anything. The strategic value of the Security K is that it tries to call this out. Debaters who read this K have to prove that their opponent is constructing security threats to justify more harm. This can be done on the link level by establishing how the focus of their position proves the point of the K. I also would encourage having some strong topical defense on case when reading this position. If you can prove that nothing the affirmative says is actually true, that strengthens the threat construction story on the K while also covering your bases on the regular substantive level.

Here’s an example of what the focal points of a debate involving the Afropess K on the negative could look like:

(Reminder: Link, impact, and alternative will be labeled in the examples with the following colors: link, impact, alternative.)

    1. Resolved: A just government ought to prioritize civil liberties over national security.
    2. K’s Main Argument: The sacrifice of civil liberties in the name of national security creates a slippery slope for governments to harm their citizens. Existential threats are used to violate the rights of the people and export harm around the world. As a result, we should push for foreign policy that is not rooted in abstract fears. 
    3. Potential Negative Response: In times of crisis, prolonging the crisis only does more harm than good. Even if civil liberties are important, we need to protect people and make sure they are alive before we can protect their civil liberties.