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Domino theory

From Academic Kids

The domino theory was the idea that if one key nation in a region came under the control of communists, others would follow like toppling dominoes. The theory was used by many United States leaders during the Cold War to justify U.S. intervention in the Vietnam War. The "domino theory" was applied by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his top advisers in 1954 to describe the prospects of 'communist expansion' in Asia if Indochina were to fall.'

Background

The "Domino Theory" was first espoused by name by President Eisenhower in an April 7, 1954 news conference[1] (http://hs1.hst.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/domino.html), and was originally applied to Indochina, which includes Vietnam. If Communists succeeded in Indochina, Eisenhower argued, they would then successively take over Burma, Thailand, and Indonesia. This would give them a geographically strategic advantage, from which they would be able to win in Japan, Formosa, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand.

The "domino theory" was expounded periodically since 1954 by top U.S. leaders who used it as a justification for expanding military programs throughout the world. The Johnson administration intervened in the latter half of the 1960s with over one-half million troops to keep that "domino" from falling.

Controversy

Supporters of the "domino theory" argued that a communist victory would mean that U.S. alliance guarantees for other small nations would no longer be credible, and a series of communist victories could be expected. Critics of the theory charged that the Indochinese wars were largely indigenous in nature, that no such monolithic force as "world communism" existed, and that the theory was used as a propaganda scare tactic to try to justify unwarranted intervention policies. In the 1980s, the "domino theory" was used to justify the Reagan administration's interventions in Central America and the Caribbean region.

Related articles

fr:Thorie des dominos it:Teoria del domino he:תאוריית הדומינו hu:Dominelmlet fi:Dominoteoria

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