Why We Fight is a political documentary directed by Eugene Jarecki. The documentary examines the United States military-industrial complex. It focuses on the nation's military and foreign policy along a fifty year time line. It pays special attention to the Iraq War in 2003. The documentary opens with a telling quote by former United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The former president warned in his final address to the nation before leaving office in 1961 that America must guard itself against abuses by the government to use the military-industrial complex for war profiteering. The documentary then goes on to examine how various administrations have used this complex as well as their true motives.
Why We Fight poses a question for viewers. Did this military-industrial complex work to reduce war and violence around the globe, or did it rather work quietly to increase the propensity for war and violence?
The documentary asserts that the American public was continually misled by the government during the decades of the war. The documentary uses primarily an interview strategy to get facts from a variety of personal and reputable sources. Included in the list of interviewees are the politician John McCain, former defense policy administrator Richard Perle, military historian Gwynne Dyer and many others.
The real life stories of individuals affected by the complex are also recounted. This includes the story of a Vietnam War veteran who asked the military to write the name of his dead son, who was slain in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, on every bomb dropped in Iraq. There is also a story of a young soldier who joined the military because he was poor and in debt.
Ultimately, Why We Fight provides facts to support the idea that the military-industrial complex aggravated war for profit during that time period. It encourages viewers to address any such abuses of power in the future.