The Centauri are really a parallel of the Austro-Hungarian empire (or at least 18-19th century europe)
You're the first I've seen to suggest Austro-Hungary. I usually associated them with France by way of Italy, but yes, either way, 18th-19th Europe.
Anyway, colonial society in Battlestar Galactica is an obvious parallel for early 21st century America, so surely it can get off on the same excuse?
It doesn't make a bit of sense to me that you can praise Bab5 for its 1940s influences but criticize BSG for its contemporary influences, also, if Bab5 has a whiff of wartime, BSG has, very obviously, a whiff of the war on terror. There's a lot of BSG that likes to be thinly veiled allegory for the present day, after all.
Perhaps you're right, but B5 did'nt wholly copy 1940's uniforms and clothing, only suggest culture had some similarities, remember the comedy duo popular in the series - Rebo and Zooty - portrayed in at one episode by Penn and Teller (and referred to in a couple of earlier ones). Very reminiscent of a a combination of Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Bros.
Yes, I agree that there could appear parallels with the feeling of being threatened by some unidentifiable foe currently refered to as the 'War on terror'. But it could also be a parallel for the flight of the Jews from Egypt.