Here is a blog of mine where I address some of the issues I believe you are talking about.
I believe what you are talking about is budo, as opposed to bujutsu. Studying martial arts for the sake of self development, vs. study for practical fighting skill.
What I was saying in my first post, was Aikido as a budo; a way of self development, or "enlightenment" seems to be lacking. The reason I say this is because so many of us (I wouldn't exclude myself here) seem to be no more enlightened then the average Joe.
I would love for to to explain why you feel that way because you have trained very hard think outside the box and often display humility in your posts.
We never did get a chance to practice together Chris I hope that changes someday but perhaps this discussion would be more fruitful with some great food after a hard practice.
Despite all my training and life experiance with the Martial Arts there would be no way for me to answer that question. Having studied Military History and been an Enthusiast (aka Grognard) of Conflict Simulations (aka Wargames) Since 1970 the only thing I could draw upon is books like John Keegans "The Face of Battle" Ernest Sledge's "With the Old Breed" and the recent well researched War Drama Passchendaele and frankly Melee Combat seems to be nothing more than Mass Umitigated Slaughter No matter what era or training you have. The whole point would be just to survive. Modern Combat is so horrible that our Armed Forces try as hard as possible to use technology to "stand off" conflicts between our soldiers and enemy combatants.
How Aikido would factor in such a scenario is beyond me.