Resolved: The United States is justified in using private military firms abroad to pursue its military objectives.First, some standard dictionary definitions of justified (excluding those that are obviously not applicable):
–verb (used with object)If "justified" means "shown to be just or right," then the Aff must provide a value of justice or morality (or somesuch), with an appropriately moral criterion. (If constitutionality or international law is employed, it's in the context that either is the correct standard for justice via a social contract, prevailing moral norms, or some other moral argument.)
1. to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right: The end does not always justify the means.
2. to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded: Don't try to justify his rudeness.
5a. (Law) to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done.
If "justified" means "warranted or well-grounded," the Aff could use a purely pragmatic calculus such as necessity, effectiveness, comparative advantage, or cost/benefit analysis.
However, if "justified" merely means "excused," the bar is set rather low: legality regardless of moral or practical concerns.
All that aside, let's look at other aspects of the resolution.
1. Do "private military firms" include all private contractors operating under the aegis of the U.S. military, or only those that run security details or operations in combat zones? For instance, does it matter so much that private firms help provide logistics--if McDonalds runs the mess hall? PrivateMilitary.org defines private firms as
legally established international firms offering services that involve the potential to exercise force in a systematic way and by military or paramilitary means, as well as the enhancement, the transfer, the facilitation, the deterrence, or the defusing of this potential, or the knowledge required to implement it, to clients.In my view, this seems to place emphasis on firms directly engaged in combat operations.
2. Is there a difference between "private military firms" and "mercenaries?" (A case built on international law might want to synonymize the terms.)
3. Note the word "pursue," which, for the Aff, might preclude notions of efficacy (or "solvency," to use the word that's been imported from CX debate).
4. How specifically must we define "military objectives?" This is a prickly question: the extent to which the Affirmative must defend the status quo may be a matter of intense debate. If the Aff tries to argue largely in principled or hypothetical terms, then the objectives may not matter so much; the intent, not the effects, would be most salient. However, the Neg may want to entirely reject the U.S.'s contemporary foreign policy (a sort of pacificist, or perhaps anarchist or anti-capitalist kritik), arguing that any U.S. military objectives, privately supported or otherwise, are completely illegitimate.