Just a nicer way of saying advancing the capability to wage war. Trying to hide the reality behind a veil does not remove the facts. War I repeat is a zero sum game, and contributes nothing to humanity besides the petty interests of nation states.
I agree with you though that the military does a ton of fundamental research. It's just a shame that for many scientists, the only way they can get funding is by being forced to think of ways that their area of research can be applied towards killing and destruction. There's a reason why in the greater scientific field, but especially that of ML/AI, that so many researchers are so adamantly against working on military applications of their research.