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If a nation willingly leads its citizens into war, does it really care about its citizens at all?

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Ashly Hintz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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That’s an interesting debate question. The overarching concept of war in general is very controversial. Is it actually beneficial? That’s a tough question to answer. However, with the question at hand, there are two main ways to look at it.

First, as implied by your question, the government is essentially deciding to throw young innocent men and women into the fray and risk their lives. The age old adage is that rich old men send the poor young men to die to settle their squabbles. In this way, the nation is only taking care of the interest of the elites and is just voluntarily sending people to imminent death, and in that way, they don’t care about their citizens.

On the other hand, if there is a legitimate justification for the war or when people voluntarily sacrifice their lives for potential death, it’s something of a different story. Many people in the military believe they are working for something more important than themselves as individuals—the safety of their country, the spread of freedom, the prevention of terrorism, etc. In this situation, the government makes the tough decision to send them into a necessary conflict that they are willingly volunteering for, and they’re doing it for the betterment of the world or their nation at large. In that way, you can argue that they do care about their citizens.

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