I think you are probably right. And there should be a place in this game, the most obvious choice being highsec, where the small, casual and new can splash around without having to compete with the big boys. But I still don’t see why they can’t layer on top of that (essentially the NPC corps) optional conflict drivers that give those corporations who want to take additional risks, additional rewards. You make them small rewards, and ones tied to regional highsec activities to discourage the big blocs or PvPers from just claiming the rewards and the locals to try to take them for themselves. Sure, the organized highsec mercenary groups might come to dominate them (like they have many highsec POCOs) or use their military supremacy to demand tribute or whatever, but at least there would be some reason to fight for something and create some game play and goals for highsec corps. People still do regularly fight over POCOs in highsec, and not just the big merc groups. Just add more of that.
That would be a much better bridge to the rest of the game than just having a completely non-competitive space where there is nothing to fight over.
It just seems to me like the war mechanic is going to waste. You have a perfectly good mechanic to allow controlled fights between defined groups, an interesting PvP dynamic not present in the rest of the game that is perfect for smaller groups, and yet you provide almost no objectives to make use of it to fight over something.
Sure, there are people that will still use the war mechanic because they like the fight itself, but I am convinced the game would be more healthy (and wars used much more) if you provided real, even if not especially valuable, objectives to fight over rather than just rely on players to make up excuses or even just declare war randomly on each other.