At it's heart EVE is a game of conflict. This ranges from the macro-scale of massive coalitions down to the micro-scale of little corporations who try to eke out their niche in New Eden. Ostensibly the heart of high security in empire-space provides a safe haven for the workers who provide the materials of conflict. In hisec industrial ships fly hither and thither packed full of the raw materials of construction or completed wares being hauled to market. Of course, these conceivably safe trade routes are nothing of the sort. Your wise and wary industrialist tempers his risk to the hands of the marauding gankers who occupy pinch-points on the most frequently trodden paths. Impatient or ill-advised industrialists may pack just enough value into their ships to tip the balance of risk/reward in the carefully manicured equations of these gankers. Doing so is an almost guaranteed death for the unlucky industrialist but those are the choices to be made and the risks to be taken. And there are wardecs...
A declaration of war, more commonly known as a wardec, is a means to temper the relative safety of hisec space. An essential strategy in any war is disruption of enemy supply lines. Without wardec mechanics any force in New Eden would be able to resupply indefinitely (well, until they ran out of ISK that is). From this point of view the wardec is an essential tool in New Eden life. A wrinkle in the mechanic is the ability for any corporation or alliance within EVE to declare war on any corporation or alliance they feel the desire to. No rhyme or reason is required. A token payment is offered up to have Concord turn a blind eye and weekly repeat payments extend the war into perpetuity. Strategies and objectives are irrelevant in these 'wars' initiated by these bored and wealth alts of nullbears. Just as they desire risk-free mining and ratting rights in the supposed dangerous regions of nullsec, they equally desire risk-free shooting of random pilots who are doing little more than restocking ship supplies in hisec. The phrase "war is meaningless" pales to insignificance when related to New Eden wars.
From the above it is pretty clear my alliance has been on the receiving end of a wardec. In fact we've received two wardecs in the past two days. In the real world this would be as a result of the breakdown of diplomacy but in New Eden nobody has a clue why we were selected for this honour. In the real world two forces would face off against each other to attack or defend strategic objectives in a series of battles. The outcome of the series of battles would determine the victor of said war. In New Eden at least one side (us) doesn't know what the objectives are. Only the aggressing corps can confirm the likely truth - there aren't any objectives. We could go and hunt those responsible for declaring war on us. Their killboard shows an almost exclusive habitation of Jita so finding them isn't tricky. Experience tells us if we take a force large enough to challenge them they will dock, likely to go play something else. For a total cost of almost quarter of a billion ISK, what's the point?
A long time ago when New Eden was half the age it is now a wardec meant time for me to play something else. Just prior to moving into wormholes I realised I could hang out in lowsec where the wardec corps were too scared to go. These days it makes little difference to me as I can be shot in space any minute of any day I'm online. A wardec makes little difference to the vast majority of my corp as they too can be shot every minute of any day they are online. The people it does negatively affect in my corp and alliance are the most active ones who like to spend time out of the hole running missions or incursions when the rest of us aren't around. The wardec means our most active pilots do something else. If all the targets of our brave aggressors are forced offline then the aggressors also log off and play something else. When you really think about it, the only real use of wardecs is to reduce active pilot numbers in New Eden. It is highly unlikely that this is in the best interests of EVEOnline so what is the fix?
I honestly wish I could answer my own question. The existence of a mechanic allowing corps to declare war on each other is essential for far-reaching real wars. How to temper abuse of said mechanic so it doesn't force pilots offline in the face of war which cannot be fought is the tricky part of the equation. Possibly some way for the aggressor to declare what their objectives are and define their success in the war based on those objectives is somewhere for CCP to focus on. Failure to achieve declared objectives during the war requiring reparations be paid to the defending corp would hopefully force potential attackers to pick interesting fights and go out searching for completion of those objectives. Surely that would be preferable to passively hugging the Jita 4-4 dock ring? That's got to be more boring than mining, right?
And my plans for these current wars? I'll be in Jita, Amarr and any other trade hubs I feel like. I'll be buying the ships, mods, ammo, POS fuel and anything else I want or need. I'll be doing all this in perfect safety. How? My hauler alt will take care of it all. No worries. No dramas. No wars.