When World War I ended, it was not referred to as such. It was given many names, such as The Great War and the War to End All Wars, but no one at the time decided that another World War, maybe even bigger and better, was just down the road so we should call this one World War I. It wasn't until the Second World War that the earlier conflagration got its label as the First World War. I hope we can all agree on the foregoing as being accurate. Fast forward to 2017.
Many observers have taken to calling the tension of the last few years between the U.S. and Russia a new Cold War. I'm not sure I agree with the description or assessment, but who am I to buck a trend? So, following the old adage, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," I'm joining those referring to our current difficulties with Russia as a new Cold War. With that in mind, I'm going to take a page out of the hot war-renaming playbook. From this moment on, I'll refer to the Cold War that I participated in and that presumably ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union as Cold War I. Naturally, I'll refer to the Cold War in which we find ourselves currently engaged as Cold War II. In my view, the label makes it easier to distinguish one era from another in a way that is less cumbersome than other styles. We'll see if I'm out in front on this one or, as is usually the case, simply out in left field.