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English

Debate on the Use of Warfare

This house believes that war is not justified under most circumstances.


There is no way that war can be condoned, as it has no purpose and little positive effect for all concerned. War massacres communities of people, that is an irrefutable consequence and cannot be justified under any circumstances.

War has very few positive outcomes for all countries concerned. War causes devastation for property, resources, land, generations of people, families and friends are separated and loved-ones are lost. Technology is a factor which sometimes gains, but it is not a price worth paying. The First World War clearly showed how war was a pointless waste of life. The land fought over was once fertile farmland but by after the war, in1918, it had been reduced to barren trenches and barbed wire. The whole First World War was triggered by the death of a Hungarian Arch Duke, who was killed by a student. This lead to a chain of events which putting fear and panic into the leaders of the nations at the time and consequently a world war was started. There were many poster, on walls in Britain, at the time stating: "Join the Army and Fight for Your Country!", fight for what?! Ask anyone you like, can anyone explain what was the purpose of the First World War?

Soldiers are not the only casualties of a war, since 1918 there has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of civilians killed, caught in the conflict. For the average war today it is usual to have 9 out of 10 people killed in war, are not involved in the fighting, many of the fatalities are mothers and children. There is no reason why children should be involved in the conflicts brought about by adults in power, in the past decade alone children, 10 times the population of Cornwall, have been severely traumatised by the effects of war. Since 1986 one and a half million have been killed for a reason they do not comprehend. Is it right to slaughter children in their thousands? Could it have been stopped? Nope, Britain evidently does not see how the deaths of children could be stopped, in poorer countries than themselves. They perceive no harm in shipping arms worth 6 billion, to 3rd World countries, Britain is sure that no-one will be harmed in the process.

Britain has a leading role in supplying poorer countries with the arms they need to start a war. There trade is certainly not morally correct as Britain and other major arms dealers, persuade countries with massive development problems, like India or Nigeria, to spend money on military equipment instead of food, shelter, health and education. This can be shown by a simple example: for the price of one British Aerospace Hawk aircraft, 1 million people, in India, could have clean water for life. Apart from war the British Government supplies military, paramilitary and police equipment to governments responsible for sustained human rights abuses, including detention without trial, torture and extra judicial killings. British made armoured cars exported to Indonesia which have been used to break up protests in the streets. The role of the international arms trade is, in my opinion, very corrupt, whatever country is involved. The fears of 3rd world countries are being exploited, causing giant problems with their national dept, which in turn makes the profits of the banks of First World countries soar.

The vast majority of wars are civil-wars, wars which occur within the boundaries of a country, these included territorial disputes, freedom fighting, rebellion against the government, religion and racial disputes. War has rarely, if ever, had the desired effect of the people initialising the war. When people fight over land or resources, the land, resources and civilisation is often destroyed. In the First World War much of the very fertile territory fought over was later left as wasteland. Vietnam irreversibly wrecked the whole population of Vietnam and US soldiers were killed by the thousands. Intervention by the US did not have any positive effect for any countries involved, showing that powerful intervention does not work. The Gulf War caused 10 billion tonnes of crude oil to be burnt, adding to global pollution levels, and destroyed sea life throughout the Gulf. The cost of warfare could have doubled the living standard of India and the millions of civilians radiated or gassed could have not have had to face, eternal infertility, cancers of the skin, throat, lungs, eyes and brain tumours, as well as ruined farm land which add to their poverty. Gulf War instances should not be regarded as worlds apart as the effects have yet to reach a climax.

The crisis in Iraq has lately been cause for concern. Iraq was supposedly building weapons of mass destruction (technology which was supplied from Britain before the Gulf War) which worried many people around, just in-case Saddam became a raving lunatic and decided the planet needed a new look (I hasten to add that he is already a raving lunatic but I could not think of anything else to describe him). Someone appeared to be particularly concerned about the situation in Iraq, which conveniently took the spotlight off his private affairs. It is not correct to over hype a war in which thousands could have died, just to protect the love affairs of Clinton. What war will he materialise to protect his latest sexual harassment allegation? The situation might have been devastating, if the UN hadn’t questioned his all-out strike on Iraq. What is the point of a security council if nations to not agree outside the council and decide to take matters into hand.

The British Army have also played their part in the war by televising a demonstration on the effectiveness of smart bombs. The demonstration showed how the latest technology was being used to target specific bunkers and detonate enemy shelters at a touch of a button. Did they forget to mention that the bombs have a hit rate of 40%? Did they also forget to state that it is not very easy to spot an averaged sized bunker, half the size of the average living room, at a height of a mile, whilst travelling at 800m/h? They are, in fact little more accurate than bomb dropped in the Second World War, at least the planes weren’t travelling as fast. The substance carried in a smart bomb could easily wipe out a hospital, killing hundreds of innocent people.

War is increasingly becoming more dangerous due to the capability of the super-powers which believe that nuclear weapons act as a deterrent to war. The UK, US, Russia, China, India and France have nuclear weapons. These weapons have unnecessary power and have the capability of killing and maiming millions of innocent people. Some nuclear bomb have the capability of destroying the earth twice over. Even the storage of such weapons causes radiation which often kills and causes cancer to thousands of people world-wide. Nuclear warfare should not be used as a deterrent as the power is totally out of proportion. This had been demonstrated by the bombing of two Japanese cities Nagasaki and Hiroshima, which were both wiped out at the end of the Second World War. The force was unnecessary as German allies had already surrendered and the Japanese had no support to continue the war on their own.

The attitude of war must change. It has no place in modern society, there have been countless instances of the terror of war, only a few of which have been illustrated here. As we move into a new millennium, our perspective of war should be changed. Power is a part of human nature, people are eluded into believing war delivers power. War does not: it delivers death. A cease to war must require a little effort from all. Please consider this simple question: Would you prefer to be at war, or in peace?


Thank you for reading my English debate. If you want to comment or critisise on whether you agree, please send the form below.

Please note: This is a debate written to one side of an argument and I may not personally agree with all the comments here.

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