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Drone Strikes?

SMU Debate hosts event arguing for and against presidential power to command drone strikes.

On January 8, SMU Debate hosted a special event for the national college debate community on the topic of whether or not the United States should restrict the President’s power to engage in international drone strikes.

Four top debate students and professionals in Texas participated in the event, which was held in conjunction with two major tournaments at UT-Dallas and the University of North Texas. Arguing on the affirmative side in favor of restricting presidential power were Nicole Serrano, director of the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance, and SMU student Basma Raza ʼ14, who won the Mid-America National Junior Division Debate Tournament in novice debate last year. Representing the negative side of the resolution were Sarah Spring, director of debate at the University of Houston, and local attorney David Coale, a graduate of Allen High School who won the National Debate tournament while a student at Harvard.

A panel of 12 judges voted 7-5 that Serrano and Raza won the debate through their argument that strikes create more terrorists in places such as Pakistan. Spring and Coale argued that strikes are effective and that removing this presidential tool makes the world more dangerous.

An audience component of the debate allowed the public to argue for or against the resolution as well.

For more information contact:
Dr. Ben Voth
Director of Debate

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