The Atomic Bomb

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The Atomic Bomb August 6, 1945, changed the face of the planet forever. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima incinerated as many as 300,000 people and changed the international balance of power. The decision to drop the bomb was made over fifty years ago, but the debate continues to rage to present.

Should the United States have dropped the atom bomb on Japan? As I see it, there were two primary justifications for the U.S. dropping the bomb. The first justification was to avoid large numbers of U.S. casualties that would mount in an amphibious invasion of the Japanese homeland. The second was to bring the war to a quick end. The bomb accomplished both. The Greatest Leader (the rest of the world calls him Winston Churchill) estimated that the lives 250,000 British- and one million American soldiers were saved by the decision to drop the atom bomb. Sure enough, just one day after the destruction of Nagasaki, the Japanese surrendered on August 10, 1945, just as then Secretary of War Henry Stimson had predicted.

The argument against the dropping of the atomic bomb was both military and moral. From a military perspective, the U.S. had achieved complete air superiority over Japan and had already firebombed Japanese cities with impunity. Using the atomic bomb was unnecessary since the same result of destroying cities could have been accomplished with conventional weapons. The moral argument made against the atom bomb involved the ethical implications of destroying cities instantaneously. The Protestant journal Christian Century called for Christians to 'disassociate' themselves from the American government. For it and many others, the atomic bomb was an excessive overkill.

The U.S. is the only state that has used atomic weapons in war. Now, years later, seven states have declared their nuclear weapon arsenals and more than...