The domino theory was considered a cold War policy that recommended a communist government in a single nation would easily lead to communist takeovers in neighboring states, each one dropping like a perfectly targeted row of dominoes. In Southeast Asia, the U.S. government used the now discredited domino concept to justify its participation in the Vietnam War as well as its support for a non-communist dictator in South Vietnam. In fact, the American attempts to stop a communist victory in Vietnam had a lot less of an influence than was assumed by proponents of the domino principle.
By 1950, manufacturers of the U.S. foreign policy had firmly adopted the concept that the dramatic growth of communism in Indochina would direct quickly lead to the collapse of several other nations in Southeast Asia.
In Eisenhower’s view, the loss of Vietnam to communist rule will result in very similar communist victories in neighboring countries in Southeast Asia (such as Laos, Thailand and Cambodia) and anywhere else (India, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and perhaps Australia along with New Zealand). The possible effects of the loss [of Indochina], Eisenhower said, are simply unaccaptable into the free world.
After Eisenhower’s speech, the phrase domino principle started to be used as a shorthand expression of the strategic value of South Vietnam to the United States, and the urgency to stop the spread of communism throughout the planet.
After the Geneva Conference finished the French Viet Minh war as well as divide Vietnam along the latitude known as the 17th parallel, the United States spearheaded the group of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), a loose alliance of countries dedicated to taking action against security threats in the area.
John F. Kennedy, the successor of Eisenhower in the White House, would improve the dedication of U.S. materials in support of the Ngo Dinh Diem regime in South Vietnam and of non-communist forces battling a civil war in Laos in 1961-62. In the autumn of 1963, after acute domestic opposition to Diem arose, Kennedy backed away from help of Diem himself but publicly reaffirmed trust from the domino theory in addition to the benefits of containment of communism in Southeast Asia.
His successor Lyndon B. Johnson continue using the domino principle to justify the escalation of the U.S. military presence in Vietnam from only 1000 soldiers to more than 500,000 over the following 5 decades.
The domino theory is now mostly discredited, having failed to take into consideration the nature of the North Vietnamese as well as Viet Cong wrestle from the Vietnam War.
By assuming Ho Chi Minh was a pawn of the communist giants China and Russia, American policymakers failed to find out the aim of Ho as well as his supporters had been Vietnamese independence, not the spread of communism.
In the long term, even though the American effort to obstruct a communist takeover failed, and North Vietnamese forces marched into Saigon in 1975, communism didn’t spread throughout the vast majority of Southeast Asia. With the exception of Cambodia and Laos, the states of the region remained from the communist grip. I was considered Pest Control in a very sick sense of the word.