The Cold War was just as much a war as any other and required a massive commitment of manpower, material and funding.
The post-World War 2 landscape was just as unsettled as was that of The Great War fought decades before. With the rise in independence of former colonies, a battle brewed between the East and West where the Soviet Union and the United States (one-time wartime allies) had respectively emerged from the fighting of World War 2 as global superpowers. The race was on to convert the nations of the world to either ideology and this meant a constant state of war or potential war anywhere in the world. The notable battlgrounds of the period became Korea and Vietnam and these were fought as 'proxy wars' by the two sides. The Middle East, Africa and South America were also regions in flux. In the end, the West won out as the Soviet Empire collapsed for a plethora of reasons, both internal and external. Before the end, both sides had committed immensely to a another potential grand war in Europe by investing in large fleets of tanks, logisitcal vehicles and artillery systems should the Cold War ever had gone 'hot'.