Do you think the title of this story, The Machine that won the war, is a good one? Why, or why not? What other titles can you think of that would suit the story, without giving away the ending?
Yes, absolutely. "The Machine That Won the War" is a great title to the story. The entire world thinks that the reason the war has been won and is over is because of the great machine called "Multivac." For that reason alone the title is appropriate.
Jablonski, Swift, and Henderson are all sitting back talking to each other about how life will be different now that the war is over. The gathering of the three men is a unique situation, because each knows that the machine is NOT responsible for winning the war, but each man assumes the other two men do not know that. Swift thinks his intuition resulted in the win and thinks that Jablonski and Henderson fully trust the machine. Jablonski thinks his intuition resulted in the victory and thinks that Swift and Henderson fully trust the machine. Henderson believes the same thing. In other words, each man thinks he is the only person alive that knows Multivac is a failure. Hence, it is the machine that won the war.
I also think that the title is a good one because Swift says that he did indeed leave the really tough decisions up to a computer. A much much older computer. A coin! He would just flip it. Machines help people to get work done. Swift flipped a coin, and it helped him get work done. Swift used a machine (a coin) to win the war.
Alternate title possibilities?
"Multivac and the Fate of the War"
"The Power of Technology"
"Not Simply a 50/50 Chance"
"The Future Fight of Technology"