Should We Fight?

Hello all! I haven’t been on in half a year! I have been busy with school and stuff, so this is the first chance that I’ve taken to post something! I have a little opinion post for you. It is an informative/opinion/persuasive essay that I wrote for my final assignment in one of my classes. Tell me what you think! Also, when does everyone get out of school? I get out tomorrow!!! 🙂

Here’s my paper:

Dwight Eisenhower, in his “Chance for Peace” address, said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” During the 20th century, the United States government tended to get involved in wars quite frequently, those including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Iran-Iraq War. There are benefits to fighting, but what the government needs to focus on is not defending the United States but nurturing it. “Eisenhower believed…that America should be prepared to operate internationally in concert with others. At the same time, he recognized the danger that the vast expenditure associated with such preparedness could distract the nation from meeting her internal responsibilities” (War and The Republic: Why We Fight 26). Rather than wasting money on war, the government should use that money to care for citizens of the United States because giving people food is more important than giving people weapons, winning a war does not help people without healthcare, and defending against unknown adversaries does not provide shelter or clothing for people. 

Annually, the United States spends twenty billion dollars on nuclear arsenal. This much money can provide food for five billion people every year. The amount of money that the U.S. government spends on nuclear arsenal can feed almost the whole world for a year.  This is a red flag, and the government needs to do something about it; it does not cost very much money to feed people healthy food. A low-price military assault rifle costs one hundred fifty dollars at the least, one thousand fifty dollars at the most. A loaf of bread costs two dollars. For every high-price assault rifle, five hundred twenty five loaves of bread can be bought. Food is essential to live, but weapons are not. The government can save a great deal of money if they hold off on purchasing weapons and start providing low-priced, nutritious food so low-income families can afford it. The United States is a wealthy country, so there is no reason healthy food should be expensive. The fact that millions of people in the United States cannot afford to eat healthy food is ridiculous. The government is so focused on other countries that they do not notice the malnourishment of their own country. They do not notice the insane amount of people who go without food for days, or are forced to eat fast food because they cannot afford nutritious food. As a result of this, there are many more obese people who are poor than there are obese people who are wealthy. While troops are sacrificing their lives in Afghanistan, people back in the United States are sacrificing their lives, too. These people are parents who give up their meals so their children can eat, and this food is not anywhere near nutritious. Sacrifice and death is not any more important in the military than it is every day in the United States.

The government should be spending money on healthcare instead of war because even if the United States wins a war, the only thing citizens obtain from that victory is a feeling of triumph. They do not get a promotion, or less taxes, or a higher paycheck. Winning a war does not substantially help the citizens of the United States; only people in the military have free healthcare. Becoming involved in a war costs a large amount of money, which can be spent on providing healthcare for people who need it. The United States government needs help choosing their battles and knowing when to interfere with other countries; it is a huge waste of money if the United States is involved in a pointless war and they lose. The government never knows for sure if they will win the war they are fighting, but providing healthcare will always help people in need. Just because a family does not have enough money to afford healthcare does not mean they do not deserve to feel safe and secure. All citizens deserve healthcare, no matter what their socioeconomic status is. Healthcare, amongst other basic human rights, such as shelter and clothing, should be available to everyone, not just people who can afford such things. 

Dwight Eisenhower stated in his “Chance for Peace” address, “We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.” In 1953, this statistic was accurate, but today, twenty-six thousand people can be housed for the price of one destroyer. Since then, the price of destroyers has tripled, along with the number of people who can be housed. The government does not need to spend any more money on defense weapons than is absolutely necessary because it is more important to provide homes and clothing for people than to protect the country from unknown enemies.

Do not forget that the U.S. Army provides soldiers with free health insurance, shelter, clothing, and food during service. Soldiers also receive a free college education, along with getting paid, which provides jobs for many people. In addition to soldiers, the weapon manufacturing businesses also benefit from war. The military-industrial complex is the connection between the government and the defense industry. This relationship is very beneficial to the defense industry because in return for the mass amount of weapons bought by the government, the defense manufacturers receive money. The only people who benefit from war are soldiers, the U.S. government, and the weapon manufacturers and contractors. Sometimes the soldiers do not benefit, though, because they die in combat. The government may lose out, too, because they could pay someone else less for weapons of the same quality. They could also buy less weapons and save a lot more money. The majority of the U.S. population is mostly civilians who do not serve in the military or work in the government, so even if war is beneficial to a few groups of people, it does not help the country as a whole.

“Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together” (Eisenhower, Military-Industrial Complex speech). This statement is still true. The United States cannot function smoothly if it is off-balance, if there is more inclination towards war than peace. The government doesn’t realize that before looking to other places to bring liberty to the United States, they must look inward. They need to focus on the well-being of their own nation first because, in the words of Socrates, “to move the world we must first move ourselves.”

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2 thoughts on “Should We Fight?

  1. Cami this is so beautifully written!. I am heartened and moved by your insightful ,eloquent, , accurate essay .Thank you.! I think you should enter it in a bunch of contests! Can I pass it on to some peace activist friends to share?

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