I've seen quite a few "War is not the Answer" bumper stickers around Lexington these days; yes, we're in a college town, and even with their crazed Big Blue sport fandom and being in a Southern town, the UK folks do drift a tad left, like just about any non-church-school academics do.
Our local lefties are right on this one. War isn't the answer. If wars go on and on without a conclusion (WWI, for example), they serve little purpose other than making funeral homes and arms merchants rich.
Getting the bad guys to behave is the answer. If responding with military force doesn't move the bad guys towards civilized behavior, then military force isn't the answer.
The bumpers stickers bring out a reflexive response to a boomer of a certain age, who'll fill in the lyrics from What's Going On with "...for only love can conquer hate." However, there are times, as ANC-backer Vusi Mahlasela pointed out, where "armed struggle is an act of love."
Sometimes love needs to pin an intruder to the floor or even pack a rocket launcher or AK-47.
War isn't the answer, but force can be part of the process of reaching an answer. Any violence needs to be done for the right reasons and at the right levels; I would have been within my rights to knock the stuffing out of the poor stoner who threatened me back in February, but I quickly realized that it wouldn't do any good.
Most likely, our peace-loving driver was thinking about Iraq. If our present can help get the Sadrites and the Sunni hard cases to behave, then we're doing our job; the powers that be have been leery of coming down to brass tacks with Sadr until recently, leaving things a war of attrition that hasn't helped anyone.
However, things are heading in a more civilized direction, as the Sadrites are on the ropes; force may well have been the answer in the long run, but it took them way too long to use it decisively.