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Domino Theory Cold War Essay Ideas

By 1950, makers of U.S. foreign policy had firmly embraced the idea that the fall of Indochina to communism would lead rapidly to the collapse of other nations in Southeast Asia. The National Security Council included the theory in a 1952 report on Indochina, and in April 1954, during the decisive battle between Viet Minh and French forces at Dien Bien Phu, President Dwight D. Eisenhower articulated it as the “falling domino” principle.

In Eisenhower’s view, the loss of Vietnam to communist control would lead to similar communist victories in neighboring countries in Southeast Asia (including Laos, Cambodia and Thailand) and elsewhere (India, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and even Australia and New Zealand). “The possible consequences of the loss [of Indochina],” Eisenhower said, “are just incalculable to the free world.”

After Eisenhower’s speech, the phrase “domino theory” began to be used as a shorthand expression of the strategic importance of South Vietnam to the United States, as well as the need to contain the spread of communism throughout the world.

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