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It's a con in my opinion. It's a fear tactic that has way too many disadvantages. Shooting radiation particles into the stratosphere for a display of fear..? That shortens the life expectancy of the human race as a whole. We could have simply manipulated them. We could have engineered fake atom bombs, and give them to them as an act of peace. If they try to use them (knowing the intent,) then blow them up. It's a win, win, possibly fool them into trust, or see if they are truly volatile.
You were right to quote that, but your following conclusion isn't concrete due to it. True, no compromise would end the conflict. Yes victory is a definitely an achievement to those who take initiative. That doesn't mean there was only one solution, it also doesn't indicate whether or not a greater victory was about. "When the predator corners the prey, sometimes the prey bites back." America's logic was to avoid that bite and bomb them in the corner. Why not get them into the corner, and maintain them within it.
Well sure you avoided blood shed, but just that one demonstration is enough to change the world. You would risk permanently damaging the stratosphere? Sure this move gained control through fear, but fear wont stop the world from entering an unnatural ice age.