Friday, June 29, 2012

The Policy Debate 2012 Infrastructure Topic - Aff ideas

Some AFF Ideas I Like

Thinking about the policy resolution and doing some basic research to support a decent topic analysis I have some idea for Affirmatives that are initially, fairly standard in that they try to avoid topicality issues (well, hopefully), they uphold the stock issues and are not overly complex.  I am not going to detail this much beyond describing the basic premises and thought process behind the ideas.  Bear in mind, these are not coming from any camp files, other blogs, or discussion boards and right now, I have no clue what kinds of actual Neg arguments are going to emerge.

These Aff ideas need developed, researched and reviewed.  They are conceptual and certainly will invite kritiks, counterplans and other challenges if not properly setup so as to avoid obvious topicality issues.  So I leave it the clever debater to do the real work.

NextGen Air Traffic Control
NextGen is the USFG's next generation air traffic control system which is envisioned to solve a number of technical and operational issues inherent in our obsolete, World War II vintage air traffic management systems.  The new system will be mainly a satellite-based system. There is currently funding but the project is falling on difficulties and facing cost overruns because it is not being funded to the level needed and there seems to be a higher level of FAA involvement than necessary.  A reprioritization, increased funding, decoupling of pork-barrel projects, and proper oversight can get this project back on track.  Generally projects that are not fully committed, that is they are done in long phases under limited budgets are difficult to manage over the long term and prone to costly inefficiencies.  While a portion of the project requires retrofit of existing commercial aircraft, this Aff should focus on the infrastructure comprised of the satellite based navigation system implemented in conjunction with the FAA, NASA and DoD.

Suborbital Flight Investments
This Aff would provide a substantial increase in the investments for the development and deployment of the Suborbital Commercial Air Systems used to transport goods and people around the world.  Such ventures are currently ongoing as the USFG provides funding and oversight to stimulate the emerging industry.  This Aff is a little tricky because the industry will mainly be a private, commercial operation.  To avoid topicality dispute, the Aff needs to focus on the USFG investment in the development of the industry because there is a huge potential spill-over effect with good solvency and many potential advantages.  While it may be possible to leverage some ideas from last year's space topic, certainly Neg teams can do the same and leverage the disadvantages.

NIPP (Concept) for Transportation Infrastructure Protection
This is the National Infrastructure Protection Plan proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is rich with ideas for Aff cases.  This program looks very interesting from a debater point of view.  Now, admittedly there may be some challenges to the idea that critical infrastructure is topical.  I think the Aff needs to work off the general concept of NIPP conceived by DHS and not necessarily NIPP itself.  In fact, the Department of Transportation has a plan as well, and there can be little doubt the programs will merge to various degrees.  The basic idea is to provide the investments required to implement a plan to secure and protect the infrastructure from, not only human enemies but other Affs could explore protection from natural disasters.

Intelligent Transportation System
Intermodal transport deals with the use of different transportation modes. For example, a cargo container may be transfered to a U.S. port via container ship, then moved onto a train, and finally onto a truck for delivery to the destination.  Despite emerging technological development in each of the modes, there is very little integration between them:
(Kiran 2007) The industry is structured around each individual mode of transportation and because of intermodal transfers often require the coordination of government entities and multiple private entities, physical and organizational bottlenecks sometimes develop the affect the performance of the entire freight system. Conflict between the intermediaries, who in the past have functioned predominantly within their own respective mode, has impeded the formation of mechanisms to coordinate access to intermodal equipment, facilities, and the flow of information between modes during intermodal operations.
Development of an Intelligent Transporation System will provide for the intermodal tracking of freight and solve bunches of harms and basically offer a range of advantages.  Variations of this Aff would cover people transportation and make commuting and traveling, safer, easier and least in the debate world.


  1. Do you think Kritiks will play as big a role in the upcoming debate year?

    1. If you mean a bigger than usual role, probably not, but there will certainly be half a dozen pretty solid kritiks as there are every year (additionally, some good ones that are just poorly structured, linked and argued). I have begun looking at some kritiks of my own and may present some ideas later and I may also present some ideas about how to overcome the more common kritiks once the camp files are released.


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