Export Control Reform Notes
From the paper, I am choosing resolution 1A:
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially strengthen its export controls on military and/or dual-use technology toward one or more of the following countries: China, India, Israel, Russia, Taiwan.
In my experience at the last several meetings when the runner-up topic has returned, there has been the big battle of whether or not the wording should be changed, or if we give it a second go. I really believe that this is a good resolution, and the only weakness is the word "strengthen", in the context of the debate community. The reason why I continued to use this particular word is because it is a term of art.
In my heart of hearts, I prefer the bidirectional option but I know it will never get selected.
Big updates in the lit base:
1. There have been several recent reforms on the bureaucratic end, like the single entity list, and some screenings, so this makes the topic more about technologies to countries and less about government paperwork.
2. China got caught again with US materials that they shouldn't have, and several experts say that the threat of these technology transfers, or proliferation of these sensitive technologies pose a grave threat to the US. (and we've been rolling back some of our controls)
3. We have been easing restrictions on Israel, and they sell our stuff to CHINA!
4. As relations are warming with Russia, things have deteriorated especially with the new Edward Snowden SNAFU.
Middle East Notes
This has been the most challenging paper that I have written in the 5 meetings I have attended. As everyone knows, MENA (Middle-East North-Africa) is a volatile region for a litany of reasons.
In looking at the entire discussion of US policies towards the region, there seems to be a split between people who call for positive/constructive engagement (increasing diplomatic/economic engagement) and some people who say we need to increase our pressure (using dip/econ pressure) as a mechanism. I think they are both apt for debate, and I am unsure which mechanism I believe is better.
The two resolutions I am stuck between are resolutions 1 and 5 from my paper with the following wordings:
1. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its diplomatic and/or economic engagement toward one or more of the following: Egypt, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia.
5. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its diplomatic and/or economic pressure toward one or more of the following: Egypt, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia.
I like both options, but I am afraid that engagement may be poo-pooed because economic engagement is the current mechanism in the upcoming Latin America topic, so I think I am going to tend towards resolution #5, pressure.
If we were to minimize the list to three countries for pressure, I would call for: Iran, Israel, Palestine (with Saudi Arabia as a fourth).