Monthly Archives: July 2022

A Debater’s Research Guide To NATO’s 2022 Madrid Summit

Last week, NATO held a summit meeting in Madrid, Spain. Leaders from NATO member and partner countries gathered to “discuss important issues facing the Alliance,” “set NATO’s strategic direction for the future,” and “ensur[e] that the Alliance will continue to adapt to a changing world and keep its one billion people safe.”

For students preparing to debate the 2022-2023 high school policy topic about NATO and emerging technology, the Madrid Summit was a significant event. Some arguments that were designed before the summit no longer make sense, and many new arguments can be constructed based on evidence reacting to the summit.

In this post, I will share resources to help students more effectively understand and research the summit and its implications for the topic.

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Researching The NATO Emerging Technology Topic: Recommended Congressional Research Service Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is Congress’s think tank: a policy research institute housed within the Library of Congress that produces non-partisan reports for members of Congress and their staff members.

The research produced by the CRS is extremely valuable for debaters. Their reports are an excellent source of issue briefings that can help students quickly get up to speed on a policy issue. They are also a useful source for topicality, inherency, “normal means,” and other descriptive (“factual”) evidence. Think of them like Wikipedia entries, but written for a policy audience and with more depth and details. (Not surprisingly, many CRS researchers are former debaters.)

When learning and researching a new topic, CRS is always one of the first sources I consult. I was reminded of this today when Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted on her Instagram story about the importance and value of CRS reports:

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