War, What is it good for?

There was a question on a website in relation to a computer game I have (Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising).  The question was "War, what is it good for?"

Apparently the best answer wins some neat stuff...

So I thought about it.  Originally I was just going to respond 'Absolutely Nothing'.  But then I realized that is not exactly true.

"War" is deeply entwined into our primal past.  It is something we have always had to deal with, and sadly, something we will likely always have to deal with in the future.  Whether it be fighting over territory or resources, or fighting over beliefs, or even the war at home, on our city streets as the war on drugs, and domestic violence wages on with little progress.  Any sane person looking at that will likely not see any 'good' behind any such 'war'.  War usually means fighting and death on both sides.  How can the loss of life be good?  When it comes down to it, it is not good.

That being said, wars which are started in order to try to restore civil rights to a countries population are the only wars being fought for a good overall cause.  To free people who have been living in terrible conditions.  The success of such wars will bring a positive outcome on the whole human race at the hands of the fallen soldiers who have sacrificed themselves for our freedom and liberties.

Wars fought for money, resources, territory, or religious reasons are all wars which will not move mankind forward.  The soldiers who give their lives in these wars usually do so in vain - even if they may not realize it.  Therefore these wars are wars in which the outcome is overall indifferent in the overall state of being of all mankind, and is therefore a pointless waste of life.

Terrorism and secular cults who do not technically control nations, however they do wage (usually religious) wars on various countries, fall into the previous category.  While they alone believe their actions to be 'right', they are not helping move mankind forward.  Therefore their wars are generally always self centered.  Those who fight these terrorist groups are trying to preserve peace and stability and prevent the pointless waste of life, so any 'war' which is waged against such groups is a positive step for mankind.

Apart from moral and ethical reasons, wars usually increase economies.  Industries boom, and unemployment usually drops to record lows as the need for resources increases.  Generally this is a good thing.  Wars have a history of moving our industrial, medical and scientific communities forward at a quicker pace then they would otherwise be working at.  Many great inventions in common use today, including the computer your using to read this email, were developed due to technologies developed during wartime - for use in wartime activities.  This was also true prior to the 20th century.  In fact I would reckon a guess that (at least) 80% of all major technological advances in history have happened, or are due to research which happened during wartime.

Therefore in conclusion, apart from the moral and ethical reasons, I would have to say that war is good for causing the development of new technologies to help us move forward and make our everyday lives easier.