The Japanese government is marking the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima. On August 5, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing an estimated 150,000 people. Three days later, it dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, killing an estimated 50,000 people. A week later, Japan would unconditionally surrender, marking the end of World War II.
The decision to drop the atomic bomb has been hotly debated since 1945. Critics of the decision contend that the use of such devastating weapons against a largely civilian population, constituting a war crime under international law. Defenders of the decision argue that the decision brought the war to a speedier close, saving countless lives and shortening the conflict by years.
What do you think? Was the US decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki justified? If you were advising President Roosevelt at the time, what would you have counseled? Why?