Looking at the United States' relations with China, an emerging world power that threatens American hegemony, is instructive. How much of a threat is China?
Richard C. Bush III, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, says, "Most experts would define 'threat' to mean a combination of capability and intentions. There's no question that China is building up its capabilities, but China has displayed no intentions of using those capabilities against the United States."There you have it: capability of attacking the United States, its forces, or its allies, and intentions of doing so.
The resolution puts no qualifier on the immediacy or imminence of the threat, which could lead to a potential negative line of attack. Consider again:
"Our Pentagon is in charge of seeing a threat and building against a threat. Unless political leadership is out in front, keeping the cooperative elements higher in priority and reassuring the other guys, the self-fulfilling prophecy is in danger of taking hold," he says. "As Joseph Nye says, if we treat China as the enemy, it will become the enemy because of how it perceives what we do."The neg can argue that the resolution permits a rather loose reading of threat, which only raises the potential for disastrous consequences--as the recent Iran intelligence flap demonstrates in a very real way.
Update: A sharp-eyed reader notes that the threat may not have to be toward the U.S., as I pointed out when the resolution first arrived. If I may quote myself:
Does the resolution imply that the threat must be toward the United States, or would it include a unilateral action taken in the name of global security?I think the latter would be answered with a "yes."