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Analyzing the Decision Process to Use the Atomic Bombs by Using Various Models

  • Date Submitted: 05/03/2012 05:45 AM
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Analyzing the decision process to use the atomic bombs by using various models

On the 6th and 9th of August in 1945, the US detonated two nuclear bombs over the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Knowing that vast number of casualties that would result from such actions; how were these decisions made and what factors were taken into account? These are the kind of questions that historians ask, and although some have adopted the belief that “Truman dropped the bomb to end the war quickly”, Davidson and Lytle (2009) present a series of three models that approach the decision from different perspectives with a hope to remove the vestigial information and shed light on the important factors. Exploring different models to analyze actions and decisions are often necessary in the study of history so that one may investigate all the different aspects of a situation accurately.

Social Scientists argue that the reasoning of “Truman dropped the bomb,” embodies the use of the “Rational Actor Model.” This approach to modeling the situation treats the actions of large organizations as the decisions of individuals. It assumes the individual makes lucid, rational decisions and implements the most efficient means in order to accomplish their goals (Davidson 2009).   By taking into account the actors rationality and self-interests, researchers are better able to analyze the decision making process. This is useful because governments do not often announce their motives, and by seeing what was accomplished by their actions the assumption can be made that the motive of the individual was to achieve those actions (Davidson 2009). This model also assumes that any action taken was the most efficient action available, because expecting that a less efficient action would be taken is irrational (Davidson 2009). When applying this model to the decision to drop the atomic bomb, historians arrive at the conclusion that the goal of the American government was to end the war in the...


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