Dwight D. Eisenhower's Presidency

Start Free Trial

Was Eisenhower's judgement of the Domino theory accurate?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In retrospect, President Eisenhower was not correct when he expounded his domino theory.  The dire consequences of the loss of Vietnam that he warned of did not come to pass.

When Vietnam fell to communism, it did not set up a chain of falling dominoes.  It is true, of course,...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In retrospect, President Eisenhower was not correct when he expounded his domino theory.  The dire consequences of the loss of Vietnam that he warned of did not come to pass.

When Vietnam fell to communism, it did not set up a chain of falling dominoes.  It is true, of course, that some nearby countries did become communist.  For example, Laos and Cambodia became communist countries.  But that did not lead to a more widespread expansion of communism.  Thailand did not become communist.  Indonesia and Malaysia did not become communist.  The Philippines and Japan and Australia most certainly did not become communist even though Eisenhower at least implied that that might happen. 

Of course, Eisenhower could not have known this and so we cannot blame him too harshly.  He had to think about what might happen instead of only thinking about things that were certain to happen.  So, while he was wrong, his theory was surely at least plausible when he put it forward.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team