Tom, I think I agree with your greater idea about the development of the theme of the music without necessarily focusing it on war as a specific. I think so much of the Monitor is about stepping back and realizing that, even in the most extreme of situations, the most blunt of thought is never going to serve you most effectively. The idea that if you attack something with a broad sword, you're going to lop off more than you can chew. I think they intended to add nuance and depth as the narrator gets further into the complexity of emotional development and societal discomfit.
And I think this is a top 5 of the year album without a doubt. I knew I'd love it, I knew it'd take awhile, and I'm glad I've finally caught up to the album in terms of my listening.