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Annefloor de Groot

CON
We, the con, strongly negate the RESOLVED: development assistance should be prioritized over
military aid in the Sahel region of Africa.
In order to parameterize the round, the con would like to provide the following definitions:
Development assistance: flows provided by official agencies with the main objective of
economic development and welfare.
Military aid: Military aid can take many different forms, including grants, loans, or credits to
purchase defense equipment, services, and training.
Sahel region of Africa: The area covers all or part of 12 countries from the Atlantic coast to the
Red Sea.
Contention one: ‘Building on quicksand’
Sub-point A: Prioritizing Development assistance over military aid would be economically
counterproductive. Just like building a house on quicksand would end up being a tremendous
waste of time and money, trying to implement development assistance in a politically unstable
region with a lack of any type of security would also by very counterproductive. With the
countless number of terrorist groups trying to take a stand against development interests of the
West, security must be a priority over development. A great example of trying to prioritize
development over security can be seen in the USAID project in Afghanistan to build the Gardez-
Khost Highway in a region with much instability. With 364 attacks on the Highway, the costs of
the project are overrunning dramatically. In fact, according to the New York Times, cost over-
runs are expected to be around 300%, with an expected final cost of approximately $176 Billion.
In addition, according to the African Security Brief, high profile abductions threaten vital
tourism and economic investments, such as the Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline intended to transport
Nigerian gas across Niger and Algeria to Europe by 2015.
Sub-point B: Prioritizing Development assistance over military aid would make the region even
more unprotected. According to The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization,
corruption, civil conflict, smuggling of goods and people, drug trafficking, and terrorism all
contribute to insecurity in the region. In addition, according to the United Nations Office for
West Africa, the continuing scourge of drug trafficking in the Sahel and the increasingly
sophisticated operations launched by drug cartels is an issue of great concerns. Furthermore, the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found in a Security Council in December of 2013
that, “The vast profits generated from these illicit flows undermine good governance and
legitimate economies, and fuel corruption. The funds enable criminal organizations to maintain
their operations and possibly support terrorist activities across West Africa and the Sahel.”
Resolving this ever-so-dangerous issue through military aid is crucial for the security of the
region, since drug trafficking and such crime is only increasing as time moves on. Of course,
development assistance could never solve for any of these pressing issues. In fact, prioritizing
development before military aid could actually increase the severity of some of these matters.
For instance, not only is development assistance economically counterproductive when done
before having the necessary security, but it can actually aid the very root cause for the need of
development in the first place. Drug trafficking and smuggling both require one very important
factor, which is sufficient transportation. The more road projects built, the better it is for the
traffickers, which in-turn supports these terrorist organizations which caused much instability in
the region.
2: ‘Hitting two birds with one stone.’ Military aid can bring about stability, which will pave the
way for developmental aid in the region. According to the European Union External Action
Service, „deteriorating security conditions pose a challenge to development cooperation and
restrict the delivery of humanitarian assistance and development aid.‟ Meaning, the only
sufficient way of solving the issues in the Sahel would be to first prioritize military aid, which
will in turn make developmental aid much easier. William E. Ward, a general of the US army,
stated that after training to counter terrorism, they have seen a great change in the Malian army‟s
level of performance. In fact, he states, “You may recall that, last summer, the Malians suffered
some pretty substantial defeats on the part of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Part of the
outcome of this most recent training happened in January from one of the members who
participated who said, had I had that training prior to or had those who encountered that incident
last July, had they had this training, the outcome would have been different.” Furthermore, the
Institute for European Studies states that before any longer-term focus on economic
development, political stability and government accountability can be achieved in the Sahel, the
immediate concern is restoring security, and without security there can be no sustainable political
and economic development.

For these Reasons, we strongly urge a con ballot for Starr‟s Mill DS.