It is such a simple question that has caused about as much controversy as the question of religion and whether God exists. It is a question in which everyone will have an opinion, one that will split the people of the United States and the whole world right down the middle. This query causes fuming debates between advocates of war and peace. And the funny thing is that it is such a simple, yet extremely vague, question consisting of three words only.
Is war necessary?
I have found in my numerous debates and arguments on this topic that there is not exactly a right or wrong answer to the question. There are many who lie on one end of the spectrum that state that war is necessary to attain equilibrium in the world and defend countries' boundaries and liberties, and there lie others on the opposing end, saying that war only causes massive casualty rates for small victories and therefore, peace creating stable relationships is the best way. In this article, I am going to analyze both sides of this argument, so that if this is a question that you have thought little about, you can join the other millions of Americans that have debated long and hard to get their voice heard.
War is necessary.
Many people that advocate the above statement feel that our country, the United States of America, would not exist without war. We gained our independence from Great Britain after fighting an eight year war known to many as the American Revolution or the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). Many say, and I believe this to, that there is a possiblility we would still be a British colony if the war never took place. But there is nothing to validate the above situation.
What can be validated through knowledge and statistics is that during times of war, the United States does make more progress in industrialization than in times of piece. Many items made or tested for military use during wartime become standardized items for the growing normal population during times of peace, thus stating that without the military needing these items, we would not have them for ourselves. Some of these items include, but are not limited to, super glue (made during World War II in an attempt to make precision gunsights for fighters, but proved to be too sticky), silly putty (was tested during World War II as synthetic rubber, but was not sturdy enough), and Listerine (first used as a wartime surgerical disinfectant).
Many who also support the fact that war is necessary are patrons of the phrase Dulce et decorum est, Pro patria mori, which means "it is always right and honorable to die for your country." There is always honor and a kind of respect that soldiers receive for protecting our lives from the many people around the world that want to hurt us (example: The Taliban). In many ways, we would not be in the position of power in the world we are today without war, and the soldiers that fight are among the bravest men and women that are known to any of us. The dedication and nationalism they bring to our country is inspiring and we all could learn something from a soldier who has seen it all.
Peace creates lasting stability.
Many people that support this statement usually think about two things. The first is that war is just a lot of bloodshed and they do not look at anything as a victory unless there are no casualties presented. The second is the high costs of war, both militarily and economically.
The Iraqi War, that just recently ended a couple of months ago after eight years of "war on terror," is the prime example used by peacekeepers who want to persuade others that war is not always the answer. I was never a fan of the War in Iraq and neither were many Iraqis. One poll conducted among Iraqis stated that 47% of them would support an attack on intervening U.S. troops and that 78% of them wanted the troops gone within one year. That never happened due to many decisions by our government at the time. But the number of casualties presented in this war were much lesser than in other wars: a total of 6,372 fatalities combined in Iraq and Afghanistan. This number is increasingly less than World War II, where casualties reached around 1,000,000. Nonetheless, 6,372 deaths is 6,372 too many when there is a chance that war could have been prevented.
Many who advocate peace also feel that war can be prevented in other ways such as conferences, treaties, and political talk with leaders of other nations. They feel that the United Nations, in some ways, should attempt to smooth over disputes that can end up in physical altercation. These people state that violence should only be used in protection of the boundaries of our own country for national security purposes, and that cutting down the military significantly and ridding of physical altercations would result in a surplus of money that could be used elsewhere to help the economy.
Now based off of what you read, is war necessary?
This question is based completely off of opinion; you are no less of a person if you answer one way rather than another. Whichever way you sway, there are millions of people that agree with you, whether you support war efforts or protest to end them.