World War II

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Why shouldn't the United States have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan? Please answer with three criteria.

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Greg Jackson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The most commonly cited argument against the use of the atomic bombs against Japan is that they were inhumane. They killed over 200,000 people in the blasts alone. Many more died later as a result of burns and radiation-induced sickness. The bombs killed civilians indescribably. The atomic bombs were not used against military targets, but rather against whole cities and their civilian populations. It is true that the firebombings of cities occurred throughout the war. Tokyo itself had already been devastated by the use of conventional firebombs resulting in around 100,000 deaths. However, it has been argued that the type of injuries and wholesale destruction caused by nuclear fission is completely unacceptable in war.

It has also been argued that the use of atomic bombs was unnecessary because Japan was already on the verge of defeat. By the summer of 1945, their Pacific empire had been dismantled by the American island-hopping strategy. They had retreated from much of mainland Asia and...

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