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Westlake DL (Dintzner-Luo)

Resolved: The United States should remove nearly all of its military presence in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf

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We Affirm. 
Our First Contention is Ending Endless Wars
America’s lack of a foreign policy strategy in the Middle East has created a forever war that has lasted
over 20 years. 
Politico 18 analyzes the fluctuations in policy. First we intervene to create security, and then we
withdraw when we fear we overstepped. This creates turmoil in the Middle East, sparking political
outcry, ultimately compelling the US to intervene again. 
The stage is set for dramatic conflict. 
Segal ‘19 confirms that the probability of an all-out-war in the Middle East is at historic highs. 
Moore writes a month ago that America’s best shot to end the cycle isn’t a total withdrawal of U.S.
troops, but rather keeping a small, predictable presence that will satisfy the public’s concerns while also
supporting partners in the region.
Removing nearly all of our military presence puts a stop to this perpetual conflict in two ways: 
First is the Iranian Standoff
Rouhi ‘20 explains that Washington’s aggressive approach against Iran has started a series of escalatory
moves and countermoves. 
Bishara ‘19 writes that these actions only empower Iranian hardliners who pressure their government to
provoke the US, inevitably evoking violent reactions.
Rouhi furthers that as the situation becomes more dire in Iran’s eyes, it is now extremely likely that they
will withdraw from the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and pursue nuclear weapons. 
Fortunately, Depetris ‘20 explains that removing our military presence from the Persian Gulf would be
the biggest step towards de-escalation because it has only served to increase tensions in the region.
Second is Reviving the GCC
 
The Gulf Cooperation Council was established in 1981 with the purpose of resolving conflicts and
maintaining unity within the Persian Gulf. 
Unfortunately, Elise ‘20 reports that despite having significantly more advanced armed forces and over
11 times the amount of military expenditure, the GCC has been unable to effectively combat Iranian
challenges.

Young ‘20 explains that bilateral talks with the US inhibit the creation of a coalition. This is because
countries in the Persian Gulf have political differences that dissuade cooperation. Ultimately, this has
undermined the united front against Iran, with no trust between the gulf states. 
Forcing the reuniting of the Persian Gulf is key as Cordesman ‘18 finds, while Iran is often accused of
being aggressive in the region, every Iranian action simply exploited the self destructiveness and lack of
unity of the Arab States. 
Indeed, Ashford ‘18 concludes that as long as America remains the strongest force in the region, GCC
states will continuously fail to form alliances they would have otherwise.
Reviving the GCC is the only possible path to peace. Fontenrose writes a few days ago that escalation
will inevitably result in conflict as Iranian hardliners mistrust and block negotiations with the US. 
Fortunately, the GCC is the one organization that could be the hero and form lasting peace because it
shares interests with Iran and has much more to lose.
The situation is ripe for change. Long ‘19 adds that Gulf states like Oman are uniquely positioned to
defuse regional tensions as they actually maintain close ties with Iran. 
For this reason, Velasco ‘17 quantifies that regional organizations like the GCC are 6.7 times better at
forming lasting peace agreements compared to outside actors.
The overall impact is preventing war. 
Haltiwanger ‘20 finds that a conventional war with Iran would kill hundreds of thousands of people,
reverberate across the entire Middle East, and draw in great powers such as China and Russia. 
Contention Two is the Saudi Situation
Our military presence gives unwavering confidence to our currently reckless allies. 
Tabatabai ‘18 explains that Saudi Arabia has become extremely reliant on the US, with our diplomatic
support and military presence driving their continued aggressive policies. 
With this overconfidence, Parsi ‘20 reports that the Saudis have initiated proxy wars against Iran in
numerous places throughout the region including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, angering and
provoking Iran. 
These wars must be stopped. 
Fortunately, Parsi 20 furthers that last year, when the U.S. appeared to back out of the region, the
Saudis and Emiratis calculations tilted toward diplomacy rather than aggression seeing as they simply
had no choice but to cease their recklessness. For example, Saudi Arabia began negotiations with the
Houthi rebels that eased tensions in Yemen and brought the number of Yemeni civilians killed by
airstrikes to zero.

In Yemen alone, Lynch ‘19 quantifies that 482,000 people are estimated to die if the war continues
through 2022. 
Even worse, The Small Wars Journal 18 furthers that these proxy wars are reaching a boiling point where
they could break out into an all-out war between Iran and Saudi Arabia as they continuously ease up
closer to their borders. 
Thus, we affirm.

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