How is the «use_force» argument used for the «store.links» block?

The «use_force» argument is used only in the single place:

It is handled here:

So it allows to preserve a section in a «hamburger» menu even if the section is empty.
The store.links section is intentionally empty during a layout rendering, because it will get contents by the following JavaScript code:

So its contens is cloned from the «header.links» block.