Thanks for that clarification. I wasn't familiar because it doesn't say rape; it says the soldiers could take these women as wives after a battle (Deuteronomy 21). To be honest, I'm not sure how to tell the difference in a non-romantic relationship. The Bible doesn't go into the marriage proposal or waiting period except, off the top of my head, with Rebekah, Ruth, Abigail and Mary. Beyond allowing a month to grieve (more time than Rebekah or Abigail had), the bigger picture was God providing a protection to captive women so that they wouldn't be used and discarded. If she didn't please him (the very common, flimsy reason men gave for divorce), he had to set her free and not sell her into slavery or mistreat her.
I guess either way it would be problematic--killing everyone would be genocide and keeping some alive was rape. What would the third alternative have been? The Bible is not pacifist--God has recognized that on this earth there is a time for war and a time for peace. The New Testament limits this more to spiritual warfare and peace with God, but does not condemn military service either. As for kidnapping, the only instance I'm aware of was not prompted by God, but Israel's *brilliant* plan to keep their rash oath not to give their daughters to the men of Benjamin in marriage (Judges 21).
In any case, I'm not God, nor do I claim to understand everything completely. You call it red herrings; I call it context and wouldn't use them to justify selfish motives or mistreatment of others. You reach the conclusions you reach and I do the same. That is the freedom I value and I believe you do as well.