It must be really tough for a military leader now when a war has to be fought with great restraint. Putting your own mens welfare after the 'enemies'.
It did not used to be that way. Once upon a time it was two different leaders or governments have a disagreement and have people fight for them. The winner was the one left standing and they would then take the other leaders people and lands adding them to thier own. or they would decimate the others holdings making the value nil. Brutal and simple, Romans were good at this, Carthage anyone?
No real simple answer to the question are wars bad? Depends on the war, which depends on the winner, which depends on what the war was about.
'Wars are bad cuz people die', is a really bad criteria for defining wars badness.
I think the worst idea is to have a political body run a war.