An answer from the sages in our past who we are very fortunate to have had, but sages which we have ignored to our great demise in recent times.
An answer that seems today to be totally and completely at odds with the conventional wisdom-hype and propaganda, which is composed of the glorification of the greatest source of the toxins of power.
Our founders were well aware of the question and the answer hundreds of years ago.
They spoke the answer with unmistakable words and with certain clarity:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.(James Madison, emphasis added). The visionary who made that statement was the 4th President of the United States, Bill of Rights author, Congressman, Cabinet Member, and who was also called the "Father of the U.S. Constitution".
The above quote is from his "Political Observations," April 20, 1795, in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Volume IV, page 491-492.
Notice, in the quote above, how Madison equated or associated the toxins of power with disease epidemic concepts, saying that the war toxin "develops the germ of every other" anti-freedom toxin.
War enhances the spread of corrupting toxins.
Clearly, he is saying that war is a corrupting toxin that generates other corrupting toxins, which will eventually destroy what he called "public freedom".
Further, war, the greatest source of toxins of power, is the province of the military, therefore, what Madison said about war applies without restriction to the military.
It is no wonder that President General Dwight Eisenhower warned us, with great concern, about that very dangerous source of the toxins of power we always face.
That is also why war is given the highest number in the tables of toxins on this blog.