If it's fair to say that the Cold War was "easier" than the situation we find ourselves in now, it might also be fair to ask: "why?". Here are three main reasons why, Mr. Kerry:
1. We had actual leaders in charge who never heard of "leading from behind". They took the Constitution and their oath of office seriously, and they made decisions based on what served American interests best. They understood that they worked for the People. They had backbone. (Okay, there was Jimmy Carter, but hey…) They projected competence, and when they drew a "red line", everybody knew they meant it. They knew who our friends were, and they knew who our enemies were, and they acted accordingly.
2. They weren't afraid to let the military do their job. They understood the need for a strong military, and they made sure ours was well funded, well trained and well equipped, and when the time came for the military to act, they listened to the Generals. There is a reason we have a civilian Commander In Chief, but anyone who is worthy of the title knows when to get out of the way and let the military do what it does. (LBJ's handling of Viet Nam proves my point). And they never would have dreamed of treating the military as some sort of social experiment.
3. They didn't walk around with a long face.