I think war is a part of the human condition. I wouldn't call it necessary though, especially as population control. Nature provided built in population control long before violence caught up to the death rate. Disease, famine and disasters have historically done just fine wiping out millions of people at a time. Politically, it just comes down to what people are willing to kill over.
The reason there was never a race war or wars over religion in the US is because most people decided it wasn't worth it. Instead, we yell at each other relentlessly and somehow a conversation develops. Then everyone calms down and decides what to do. If the decision doesn't work, we start the whole fing process all over again. What we don't do in the US that so many other countries do, is murder the first person that criticizes our beliefs and continue slaughtering anyone that agreed with them. So what am I saying, that the very society whose government is waging perpetual war should be held as example of peace? Yes I am. Its just that Americans in general have done a lousy job of pushing our values all the way to the top. Its like pushing mud uphill.
War exists because as strange as it sounds, its easy. For war not to exist means people actually have to swallow the pride and think about a solution to the problem. Hell, they may even have to give up something and compromising is counter intuitive. Putting faith in someone else's idea is scary as hell and it means maybe everything cant be had for nothing. Maybe we even feel less secure because the idea of talking it out is seen as a weakness others could exploit. So, why bother going through all that when enough bullets will get rid of those pesky ideas altogether. Want to see war as a truly necessary part of life? Throw a dart at a map of Africa and look up the history. Then look at the standard of living, the economy and everything else that makes life bearable.
All that said, the military/industrial complex has advanced cool technology in all kinds of ways. There are silver linings and at least in the US one of them has been the increasing aversion to war in the first place. Nothing beats a good defense force and if its good enough and used wisely, no one will f%^k with you. Its the unwise use of force that makes war seem necessary. Really, its just people being selfish jerks.
This turned into more of a Op-ed than a post...mmm sorry bout that. I blame the OP for the loaded question. No pun intended.
Join the NRA Here!
"You can have it fast, cheap and accurate...pick any two."~Me
"Educate and Inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them." ~Thomas Jefferson