Of course, the argument was a sham. The proponents of empire, standing army, and CIA knew that the possibility that the Cold War would ever end was virtually non-existent. They knew that the "communist threat" could be used as a perpetual justification for the existence of America's warfare state and its ever-growing budgets and army of contractors and subcontractors. The statists just loved big government and figured that they had come up with the perfect scam to achieve it on a permanent basis.
And then the unexpected happened, which sent the national-security state and its proponents into a state of fear and panic. The Cold War ended. Suddenly, the justification for the national-security state apparatus, which had fundamentally altered the American way of life, was gone.