The Vietnam war was fought as a proxy war between Russia and the United States, this has been well understood for many years.
TV and pop culture influenced by American propaganda and a renewed interest in nationalism helped drive our American cultural psyche toward a proxy war with the Soviet Union. The long term effects of this preparation and conditioning is evident in our perception of war and influenced our thinking so much so, that our music and daily life turned to more nationalist and conformity during this time period. The anti-war movement itself anticipated the ultimate show down as a no win draw where millions die.
While a full scale war with the Soviet Union was avoided, the mindset and potential always has and does remain possible. It's certainly an interesting study to ponder if the preparations for this were not influenced by our government through propaganda as early as they were if the natural American tendency to think of themselves as invincible would have prevailed and we'd never as a nation arrived at the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) concept before more engagements took place.
The effect of this conditioning on our way of life and thinking led to food storage and survivalist practices that might not have ever even been visited. Self-sufficiency on a level not previously contemplated. Our recognition individually and resolve to self preservation as well as a concept of preserving our way of life on a national level.