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What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Say it again
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing

What do you think?

-- Jeannette Silver (j-nette@j-nette.net), August 30, 2001


There does not seem to be much point in military spending in peace time. Money from taxes is better used for education and healthcare. Living standards of people especially in some developing countries can be raised if military spending were reduced. Countries spend on weapons because they do not want to be caught unprepared if a rival of theirs decides to attack them. War does break out. We have seen it and are seeing it in former Yugoslavia. Then countries with big military capabilities play a crucial role by trying to act as peacekeepers. Thankfully in Macedonia Albanian rebels are disarming.

-- Ana Nossikova (ana_nossikova@yahoo.com), September 04, 2001.

Ah...the military. Speak softly and carry a big stick? The best offense is a strong defense? The best military is one that flies around doing nothing? It is hard to say. Part of the problem is that the production of weapons of mass destruction is one of the US's number one businesses. If someone is fighting somewhere then it is good for our economy. Then we can also utilize our troops as peace- keepers, so it is a win-win situation provided that it does not get too close to home.

War, what is it good for? Well, WWI and WWII did more for the social liberation of women in this country than probably any other force I can think of. Also, things invented by the needs of war and the military turn out to be usefull to the rest of us, like the internet for example. One more thing: research on the effects of mustard gas on the body led to the invention of chemotherapy.

-- Sara (sestassen@hotmail.com), September 04, 2001.

Well I was originally going to say that war is indeed good for nothing. How does killing people solve problems? One country (or several) gets into a dispute with another and the way to settle it is to see which side can kill off and destruct more of the other, thus "winning" and ending that argument. Huh??? In that respect I still say war is useless--a waste and a way to accomplish nothing by destroying much.

But reading Sara's response reminded me that while war is a horrible thing, some good has come out of it throughout history. I didn't know about the chemotherapy example, but wow--that's fascinating! What I did know about was the advances in aircraft and spacecraft that have come from war. As an aerospace engineer I have to say that in a way I'm glad the Germans were working on the V-2 during WWII because that program was the start of rocketry and thus the reason my career exists. Luckily for the world, the V-2 was not used to its capacity until after the war ended. The Germans moved to the US and began working on rockets mostly in the name of science and technology. A few decades later, the Cold War spurred on the space race between the US and Russia. The main reason we went to the moon was to beat the Russians there. I don't want us to go to war, but NASA was much more efficient when it had a political reason to be efficient.

Here's another thought: on our planet, human population runnith over...is war a way to keep that at bay? It sounds cruel I know, but it's a quick way to get rid of a lot of people. Then again, what if the people who died were my relatives, my friends, my co-workers? Nope--I still don't really like the idea of war, despite the benefits it may bring.

-- Beccaly (becca@alumni.virginia.edu), September 06, 2001.

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