These seem to be questions that should be posed to people like Ellis Amdur.
I'd love to hear something from Ellis Amdur; I'm a big fan of his writing. Not to speak for him, but my -impression- (which may well be incorrect) is that he views aikido as a study of body principles or something similar, blended with O-sensei's peculiar mystic beliefs.
However, I've heard it pointedly argued that top-level martial artists do not bother with "principle-based" training -- or rather, they learn their principles through the same techniques they employ in their competitions. E.g., top wrestlers don't do tai-chi to improve their takedowns, and champion kendoka don't devote a significant amount of their training time to kyudo. I know Jason DeLucia was talking about aikido as helpful to him, but I think he qualifies as merely an exception.
That said, intellectually it seems entirely reasonable that "principle-based" training could be helpful. Is it possible that martial artists from a hundred years ago -did- find principle-based training effective, and that's where aikido came from? If so, what kind of martial artists were they?
But neither can you make the one technique a stand-alone project or combat strategy. If uke's arm bends in a judo form of "pong energy" (often seen in rondori as elbows slightly raised) the ikkyo principle of "anvilling" may suffice but then again, other techniques in your quiver may be calling out to you.
Would it be fair to construe this as a vote for "aikido's about principles"? This leads me back to the quandry I mentioned above: while that makes perfect sense to me, I can't think of many people who claim to get demonstrably better at their type of budo through principle training in techniques unrelated to those they employ. I'm not sure that martial artists of old felt any differently.
If on the other hand you mean that aikido techniques were intended for fairly direct application in a judo-like grappling situation (with jackets), I'm curious to know more. It sounds like Shodokan aikido and Kodokan judo outlaw each others' techniques in their respective randori, and I haven't heard of any cross-style matchups.