"Secondly, if - as sometimes stated - we only really advance technologically when we're busily killing each other that's a shining endorsement of neither humankind, nor technology."
Of course that is bollocks. Tech advances happen all the time.
War does speed the process up because people don't get so hung up on safety/testing. If a product has some problems but gives a military advantage then it will get used.
For example consider a hypothetical case where someone invents a new way to make parachutes twice as fast and half the cost, but there is glitch whereby one in a thousand parachutes fails to open. That new parachute would get deployed pretty smartly during a big war because the benefits of doubling your parachutists outweighs the costs of killing 1/1000 parachutists. The numbers even work for parachutists since doubling the number of people in a group way more than doubles your chances of survival.
Where this breaks down is during a protracted low-key war that is far away. The majority of people are not in war mode and think with health and safety mindsets. They'd want that 1/1000 glitch to be found, fixed and tested before the new parachutes get deployed. The nett result is a longer war and more paratrooper deaths.
Militarily it makes sense to deploy with the known 1-13m error and fix it off-line. That gives you the use of an improved (though imperfect) tech. When you're exploding a huge warhead, 1-13m error is probably insignificant anyway.