The global science community heard early in 1939 that German physicists had discovered the splitting of a uranium atom; there was concern about the possibility that Nazi scientists could cause widespread destruction by using the energy to produce explosives. Scientists Albert Einstein, who survived Nazi persecution, and Enrico Fermi, who also escaped Fascist Italy, are now living in the United States. They agreed that the President should be aware of the risks to atomic energy in the hands of the Axis Authority. In March, Fermi went to Washington to express his dissatisfaction with federal administrators (Kelly 5-8). Einstein did write a memo to President Roosevelt that initiating the formation of atomic research project. Roosevelt, however, saw no need to such project but stated that he would proceed slowly. In 1941, the American attempt to devise and construct an atomic bomb caught its name- the Manhattan Project.
A break took place in December 1942 when Fermi led a team of physicists to generate an atomic controlled nuclear chain reaction in the University of Chicago. Other processes have taken place (Kelly 6-9). In 1945, the world got into the nuclear age following the setting off of the initial atomic bomb. The Manhattan Project generated 3 bombs; the 1st bomb called the gadget and was utilized as an experimental model. Because of the huge costs and slow creation rates for explosive material, no additional assessments were carried out (Alexieff 181-184). The second bomb known as little boy which was detonated in the Hiroshima town and the last one was known as fat man which got detonated in Nagasaki city.
Nuclear development went on all through the war. The danger of a German bomb was not a actuality and as Nazis got defeated in 1945, none of the sides had manufactured functional bombs. Nonetheless, pressure to finish the weapons was huge. An atomic bomb was regarded as a main substitute to the feared land raid of the Japanese land. Numerous scientists who had manufactured these bombs were in opposition to its usage and asserted that the bombs ought not to be utilized for moral grounds (Alexieff 186). They additionally cautioned of a weapon battle that may come up after the war. Others, nonetheless, believe US did not attack Japan in contrast it was defending its country because Japan attacked them first.
The history of Manhattan Project stayed confidential for a long time. Harry S. Truman, who was the vice president then, was not even aware of the project up until the demise of President Roosevelt in 1945. The Manhattan Project permitted the US to unchain the obscurities of atom; however, it additionally brought about the greatest vicious conception of warfare known to humanity (Fehner, and Gosling 6). The project was the precursor in nuclear expansion and power and symbolized the start of a period of nuclear weaponry and scientific innovation.
The rationalization for the utilization of atomic bombs during the World War II was deliberated upon, the people against the idea blaming the scientists and military operators for not responsibly using the scientific discovery. As the Manhattan project continued, scientists became more centered on the outstanding discoveries than the implications. In due time, they got to know that the bomb was going to be employed. A few wanted to quit the project for ethical reasons; they refused to contribute to the annihilation of humanity (Bernstein 30-35). Numerous populaces presented their viewpoints against the utilizing off atomic weapons, stating that other nations could soon be atomic powers as well and the peace and safety of the world could be at risk. In spite of objection, the US chose to go ahead with the employment of atomic bombs. The government and its proponents thought that they were doing the right thing and it was the only means to end the war. They were afraid that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) could attempt to widen communism if the war continue.
Following the announcement of the Manhattan project, the use of bombs in Hiroshima which lead to the loss of lives made some scientists felt guilty. Scientist and director of Manhattan project J. Robert Oppenheimer once stated that when one sees something that is technically sweet, he or she goes ahead and does it. When at first the bomb never exploded, some scientists felt relieved. However, when there was a successful employment of the bomb in Nagasaki, many scientists felt it was not necessary and there was no moral justification for it. Numerous scientists were happy with their accomplishment and discoveries, however, the use of bombs was what disturbed many (Bernstein 42). They felt that it was reckless and uncalled for. Other means could have been employed. Some felt that the public should have been informed of the effects of the bomb.
In the battle of the war, President Truman, the then president of the United States noted that the Japanese did not surrender easily in spite of their defeat Japanese was already wounded and their defeat was just imminent. The employment of atomic bombs by President Truman was deemed unnecessary by many historians who believed that Japan had already been defeated (Stimson and Harry 50). By utilizing the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US showed their power. After its use, many historians have seen the US from battling the Japanese to fighting the Soviet Union. Realizing that following admit defeat of Germany, the soviets were promised to be warfare against Japan, the US decided to stop the warfare first prior to Soviet Forces moving to East Asia. The bomb was intended to stop soviet spreading out to the pacific and to show Joseph Stalin that United States had weapon that can wipe out any country globally.
President Harry S Truman and his advisors were preoccupied with the atomic bomb since it assured the US a situation as the definite winner of the war, independent of soviet aid (Fehner, and Gosling 8). This was important since President Roosevelt’s and Truman were unwilling to acknowledge the support from Russia. Additionally, they did not agree to give Russia postwar acknowledgments that could have come with the wartime aid.
The US and Russia alliance were not good to say the least. The two presidents together with other lawmakers dreaded the prevalence of communism especially in the Eastern Europe and Asia; the places assumed that Soviet premier Joseph Stalin could opt to govern since because he supported the allies win the warfare. Roosevelt had a working relationship with Stalin; however Truman disregarded it when he took office (Fehner, and Gosling 12). He preferred a hard line approach toward communism. This was seen towards the end of the war. While Roosevelt may have given Stalin some influence in the Eastern Europe so as to uphold amicable foreign relations, Truman was adamant. Therefore for Truman the atomic bomb offered a perfect excuse to keep Russia and communism away from Europe and Asia hence eliminating any acknowledgments owed to Stalin for Russian involvement (Stimson and Harry 50). Truman’s intention of using the bomb was seen soon after completion since he never informed Stalin about it; rather he just stated he had a weapon of immense vicious force. Truman was guarded in order to shock the Russians and Japanese.
Truman was draw to the efficacy of the bomb. It replaced the sluggish and pricey utilization of armies that had to move across Asia and eradicated the complex harmonization needed of tactical military plans. It also substituted the complexities present in Russian contribution in the pacific. Even though Stalin had pledged to fight war in august 1945, the bomb was easier and beneficial military substitute for the US. Additionally, it was powerful to eliminate a whole civilization and beat Japan to surrender. Truman opted to use this powerful weapon, bomb as a sign of power with the intention that Americans can share the credit for ending the war. Truman applied what historian is known as atomic diplomacy, i.e. he employed the bomb as an alternative to negotiation with Stalin (Stimson and Harry 52). For Truman, the bomb displayed many things to Stalin. One the US had triumphed over Japan devoid of Soviet Assistance and henceforth would not grant Stalin post war acknowledgements, secondly United States was leading in atomic pursuit and lastly that Truman had a harmful weapon and was ready to employ it if need be.
The bomb gave Truman confidence which can be said bordered arrogance and a sense of independence and control. Bombs were dropped precisely before Russia began the war so that the US has undisputed power of the peace process. The US ended the war independently and managed to save millions of lives therefore the world was indebted to its achievements (Hubbard 362). The bomb was a remarkable demonstration of technological expertise and military approach, both a milestone in technological field and brave choice making.
Moral and Ethics of Atomic Weapons
Atomic weapons have the capacity to wipe out a complete civilization. It has proven to be very dangerous and very destructive that its ethically in employment has been debated upon severally. As discussed earlier, President Truman use of atomic bomb raised many concerns among the scientific, historians, law makers as well as the general public. A country possessing a destructive weapon poses a huge fear as it can fall to the hands of a vile dictator who might exploit their powers to oppress the poor nations (Finnis, Joseph and Germain 10) . Note in the bombing of Japan, the most victims were actually innocent civilians. Legal and ethical issues continue to plague humanity. What the world is confronted with is the nuclear deterrence with its dependence on the horrific destruction of large numbers of innocent individuals, devastation of the environment rendering it inhabitable to generations to come (Granoff 11).
With the power struggles amongst the superpowers in the world, that is the United States, China, Russia and currently the North Korea, there a massive world war III is imminent. And with the advent and advancement of technology, these nations are equipped with powerful nuclear weapons capable of destroying the entire humanity in the world (Granoff 13). International laws do not entirely prohibit the use of nuclear weapons so it can be started that the world has minimal legal protection. Deterrence proponents assert that atomic bombs are not tools for waging war but rather political instruments aimed at preventing war by depriving it of any possible rationale. This theory can be seen by the use of President Truman where he employed atomic bombs to show supremacy and power.
The key issues in nuclear weapons are the loss of innocent lives and the destruction of the environment thus becoming detrimental to human kind. This often has begged the advocacy establishment of laws by the international community from many human rights groups (Menu et al. 8). The five nuclear declared stated actually happen to be the super powers who are currently fighting. These states are United States, France, China, Russia, and United Kingdom.
Nuclear weapons may seem necessary when the security of a country has been threatened, however, the aftereffects is what has been ethically debated upon. How would its employment be done without causing unnecessary implications on the innocent lives and environments. The international community is tasked with a lot of issue in regards to the laws governing the the nuclear weapon use. With the pudding world war III, it is faced with the challenge of safeguarding the safety of the world.
Alexieff, A. “The Manhattan project.” Defense Nationale et Securite Collective (2010): 181-186.
Bernstein, Barton J. “Roosevelt, Truman, and the atomic bomb, 1941-1945: a reinterpretation.” Political Science Quarterly 90.1 (1975): 23-69.
Fehner, Terrence R., and F. G. Gosling. “The Manhattan Project.” (2012).
Finnis, John, Joseph Boyle, and Germain Grisez. “Nuclear deterrence, morality and realism.” (1988).
Granoff, Jonathan. “Nuclear weapons, ethics, morals, and law.” BYU L. Rev. (2000): 1413.
Hubbard, Bryan. “Reassessing Truman, the bomb, and revisionism: The burlesque frame and entelechy in the decision to use atomic weapons against Japan.” Western Journal of Communication (includes Communication Reports) 62.3 (1998): 348-385.
Kelly, Cynthia C. “The Manhattan Project.” Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, New York Google Scholar (2007).
Menu, Main, et al. “Deterrence or Disarmament?: The Ethics of Nuclear Warfare February 4, 2016.”
Stimson, Henry L., and Harry S. Truman. “The decision to use the atomic bomb.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 3.2 (1947): 37-67.