There was an analysis on Quora of the number of deaths associated with the Cold War. The USA did contain communism and then communism failed economically. The USSR and China have now converted to some form of capitalism. Although Russia is more of a Kleptocracy.
A loose definition of casualties “linked” to the cold war the gives a death toll between about 10.8 and 25 million by estimating related civil wars, interventions and genocides. It would rank as the 9th deadliest “war” in history
Note – many of these deaths would have happened in the absence of the Cold War. North Vietnam and South Vietnam would have still fought and there would have still been boat people. The Civil war in China would still have occurred.
Also, the communist multi-generational dictatorship of North Korea is a left over Cold War era problem. So ignoring or insufficient or ineffective intervention can also be a problem.
How much sooner or less violent could the wars and conflicts have been ?
The USA and China might have been able to meet sooner. Nixon visited in 1972 and announced it in 1971 and was elected in 1969.
The total number killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan could be in excess of 2 million. There are also deaths in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, and beyond.
Iran is providing support and sponsorship in several areas.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funding some groups.
Pakistan supports some groups.
Is it possible that the major funders (individual and state) and behind the scenes funding nations could be usefully engaged to damp down the conflict and the terrorism ? Are there other policies and programs that would make terrorism a less enticing option for those that choose that path?
Can technology (Blockchain) and computer currencies that track all transactions be applied in a way to de-escalate the conflicts.
Background on the rough Cold War Casualty count
158,000 Greek Civil War
3,000 Executed in East Germany
6,222–6,722 Hungarian Revolution
2,469,287–3,272,955 Korean War
2,500,000–6,000,000 1945–49 Chinese Civil War
200–300 Iranian Revolution
200,000 Guatemalan Civil War
100,000 Congo Crisis
5,000 Cuban Revolution
4,198 Bay of Pigs Invasion
2,825 Dominican Civil War
400,000–3,000,000 1965–66 Indonesian Genocide
966,000–3,812,000 Vietnam War
240,000–300,000 Cambodian Civil War
1,700,000–3,000,000 Cambodian genocide
20,000–62,000 Laotian Civil War
100,000 Hmong genocide
200,000 Degar genocide
200,000 Boat people
95,000 Reeducation Camps
65,425 Foreign Intervention In Indochina Wars
60,000–80,000 Operation Condor (3,000 Pinochet, 13,000 Vidella, et al.)
10,822–21,601 Yom Kippur War+14,119 Ogaden War
430,000–1,500,000 Menghistu Haile Mariam Crimes Against Humanity
500,000 Angolan Civil War
60,000–308,000 East Timor genocide
500,000–2,000,000 Soviet Afghan War I