Jonah is more than capable of speaking for himself, Lord knows, but earlier today–that is, before Jonah’s second post on the subject–a reader sent along a darned good email:
I think Gman is clearly conceding that we couldn’t actually have easily, if at all, succeeded in an anti soviet hot war in 46. He is merely posing that if, contrary to reality, we had been able to easily and successfully do so, subsequent facts show that this would have been preferable to what containment offered. He is shooting at the general contention that cold wars and containment are always and everywhere preferable to hot wars, not at the policy choices made by Ike or the Gipper. Put it this way, the horrors and costs of the actual Cold War show that avoiding a hot war isn’t cost free, and so may be more costly in the end than a hot war (though not in the actual case of the Sov’s in ’46).
“[T]he horrors and costs of the actual Cold War show that avoiding a hot war isn’t cost free.” Very, very nicely put.