"Neither side would allow themselves to believe the other side was as frightened as they were."
— Senior British intelligence officer, quoted in Peter Hennesey's The Secret State: Preparing for the Worst 1945-2010 (2010) p.1
"The Cold War didn't just end, it was won!"
— Society of the Strategic Air Command, Motto
"We didn't win the Cold War, we were just a big bank that bankrupted a smaller bank because we had an arms race that wiped the Russians out."
—Norman Mailer offers his own opinion on the subject.
"Some American politicians and pundits are too quick to claim that containment of Soviet Communism worked. Those who do usually have even today only a very vague idea about the country that was the target of containment. Reagan's overzealous admirers continue to claim that his anti-Communist crusade and SDI won the Cold War. [However,] it was Reagan the peacemarker, negotiator, and supporter of nuclear disarmament, not the cold warrior, who made the greatest contribution to international history. [...] However misguided, Gorbachev's 'new thinking' ensured a peaceful end to one of the most protracted and dangerous rivalries in contemporary history. [...] Gorbachev and those who supported him were not prepared to shed blood for the cause they did not believe in and for the empire they did not profit from. Instead of fighting back, the Soviet socialist empire, perhaps the strangest empire in modern history, committed suicide."
—Vladislav Zubok, A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (2007), pp.343-344