Shambles: yes, you re-state the area of agreement between us, but actually I think you miss my point about the cold war. I don't believe that - except for the Cuba crisis, which showed how precarious the situation was - there was (militarily and politically) a serious concern about the possiblity of a war between "east" and "west". The "threat" of war was just a bogey-man which initially suited the politicians of both sides. In the East it "justified" keeping enormous armies - which allowed control of the populations, and the governments to fulfill their political committment to full employment. In the West it "justified" massive "hidden" subsidies to the increasingly high-tech. arms industries, with spin-off benefits to high-tec industry in general.
Trouble is, what was initially as convenient to the east as to the west locked them into a path of relative technological decline, which increased the divergence in average "standard of living" between East and West and so guaranteed the non sustainability of the Soviet system. And once that became clear the West made damn sure the cold war was maintained up to the point where the East was on its knees, economically, in order to impose its limited economic "vision" on that part of the world.
Or leastways that's how I'm convinced it is!!
G. Cue song: Oyster Band "Six Grey Men".