Wonderful you have discovered that wars are never fought for purely altruistic reasons. Maybe you have already covered it, but the granddaddy of stupid, exploitive wars was Vietnam, and a huge slice of American knew it.
Ho was promised after WWII that Vietnam could be united, but corrupt colonial interests in the South wanted no part of it. I often wonder if Kennedy’s assassination was because he was thinking about getting out of Vietnam.
Yes, the Russians lost 20 million dead fighting the bulk of the ground war against Germany. But both the West and Russia were playing cat and mouse games as far as who would control Europe once the Germans were defeated.
As my all time favorite writer, Eric Hoffer, once penned, history is played out by the best and worst of humankind over the heads of the masses, or something to that affect.