Domino Theory Facts

Domino Theory Facts
Follow communism's quick march to ascendancy in eastern Europe just after World War II and the installation of communist regimes in China and North Korea, American President Dwight Eisenhower stated in a 1954 news conference that way in which countries were becoming communist was similar to a "falling domino" idea, which is where the theory received its name. United States involvement in Vietnam was the first application of the theory after Eisenhower articulated it. Pro-war American politicians argued that if communist North Vietnam was also to consume the non-communist South Vietnam, then it would only be a matter of time before the rest of the region became communist. The domino theory was applied by the Americans to other regions outside of southeast Asia, especially in Latin America, where American presidents did everything they could to prevent communist and socialist governments from coming to power.
Interesting Domino Theory Facts:
The Domino Theory proved to be correct in regards to southeast Asia, as Cambodia became communist under the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975.
Although the Vietnam War was the only war in which the United States sent troops to directly stop the falling dominos, it supported a number of proxy wars and right-wing regimes throughout the world that opposed communism.
Eisenhower gave his "falling dominos" news conference about a month before communists took control of North Vietnam and neighboring Laos.
The United States often allied with people who used tactics just as violent as the communist insurgents and were not above helping topple democratically elected governments, such as that of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973.
In order to stop the spread of communism in South America during the 1970s, the United States military and CIA covertly supported Operation Condor, which was a violent counter-insurgency program devised by the right-wing governments of the continent.
President Ronald Reagan's support of the right-wing Contra rebels in Nicaragua is an example of the domino theory from the 1980s. Reagan and many others believed that if Nicaragua was allowed to be communist, unhindered, than the rest of central America could fall.
Argentine communist revolutionary, Che Guevara, who helped lead the successful communist take over of Cuba in 1958, wrote in 1967 that if there were enough "Vietnams" in different regions of the world then capitalist governments would begin toppling one after another.
Although the Domino Theory is generally considered from the viewpoint of the United States and other democratic-capitalist governments attempting to stop the spread of communism, it can also be viewed from the perspective of the Soviet Union and China attempting to turn countries communist one at a time. The Eastern Bloc's support of various leftist terrorist groups in western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s - the Red Army Faction in West Germany, the Red Brigades in Italy, and Action Direct in France - is sometimes cited as a case of the communist powers attempting to push the dominos in Europe.
The United States invaded the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada in 1983 because they believed Grenada's government was moving too close to communism, which potentially threatened to turn the region into turmoil.

Related Links:
Cold War Facts
Animals Facts