The geopolitical landscape of the Cold War era was characterized by the ideological struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. Amidst this tense backdrop, a theory emerged that would shape US foreign policy and play a pivotal role in propelling the nation into the quagmire of the Vietnam War: the Domino Theory.

This theory, driven by fears of communist expansion, had profound implications for American strategy and decisions in Southeast Asia. This article delves into the origins of the Domino Theory, its impact on Cold War politics, and its role in steering the United States toward intervention in Vietnam.

The Domino Theory Unveiled

The Domino Theory, often attributed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, posited that if one country in a region fell to communism, the surrounding countries would also follow suit like a row of “falling dominos.”

“You have a row of dominoes set up—you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly,” Eisenhower explained.