When Should Have the US Declared War in WWII?

Essay by veryfatHigh School, 10th grade July 2004

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On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan. Hideki Tojo ordered the attack on November 5, 1941. The US military knew about the attack, but they didn't where. Before the bombing, President Roosevelt set up the US's neutrality. However, Roosevelt declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbor. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States. I believe the United States did not do the right thing. They should have declared war against the Axis Powers a couple of months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The army was not adequately prepared at the time of declaration. By declaring the war right after the bombing, the draftees would not have much time getting trained. Most of the enlisted were young men in high school or first couple years in college. They would need more time to prepare than the already trained army. The 10 million draftees needed eight weeks to complete training.

If the US declared war nine to ten weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, then the inexperienced recruits would not need to be rushed to be turned into disciplined GIs. It would also allow time for the draft. When the US declared war, the GIs could rush into Europe to assist the Allies.

The geographic location of the United States compared to the Axis gives them some protection. Germany and Japan are unlikely to attack US on the lower 48 states. The distance from Europe to the eastern coast of the United States is more than 5600 kilometers. From Japan to the western coast of US is over 8000 kilometers. Because Hawaii is far closer to Japan than the mainland, America should build up their defense on Hawaii to prepare for attacks like Pearl Harbor. The location also puts pressure off soldiers.