National Forensic League
(Nov. - Dec. 2004)
Resolved: The United States
has a moral obligation to promote democratic ideals in other nations.
It has been argued that since the end of the Cold War, democracy has
triumphed and a transition to democracy as the norm for governance in
countries throughout the world is inevitable. At the same time, however,
many antidemocratic regimes have held on to power, and challenges to
Western democracy have grown louder in some parts of the world.
Historically the role of the United States in promoting democracy has
been inconsistent and has left many people wondering what role the
country should play in the future.
Many argue that democracy is the best system for upholding both
individual and group rights, as well as avoiding conflict, and is
therefore the most ethical system of government. On the other hand,
detractors assert that promoting democracy ignores cultural issues, can
interfere with national sovereignty, and may cause greater conflict in
the short term. The prospect for a successful transition to democracy is
also an important aspect of this debate. Finally, the issue of how the
United States should promote democracy must be addressed. Is military
intervention, as was the case in Afghanistan, justified because it
promotes democratic ideals? Should the United States be limited to
nonmilitary means? Each of these issues is addressed in this collection