To what extent did the domino theory exacerbate the cold war? Jordan Heiman
December 19, 2014
Word Count: 1807
Plan of Investigation
This investigation will evaluate the question, “to what extent did the domino theory exacerbate the cold war?” To further determine the degree that the domino theory heightened the cold war, the following sources will be evaluated; JSTOR, EbscoHost, and Google Scholar. The investigation will revolve around a large range of time, the 1950’s through the 1980’s and more specifically taking place in the between the United States and Soviet Union. The domino theory had a striking impact on exacerbating the cold war. Evidence from NSC-68 directly proves the significance of the domino theory in helping cause the Cold War. The question directly relates to the civics and government class and the preamble by associating with providing for the common defense. This paper focuses on the category of providing for the common defense due to the foreign policy that led to the reasoning behind wars that involved the United States.
Summary of Evidence
NSC68 was a classified document composed by the U.S. government until 1975. ●
the paper basically stated that the Soviet threat would soon increase from the addition of more weapons, with the possibility of nuclear weapons. ●
Therefore, the paper then argued the U.S. needs to build up a more massive army and weaponry.
In NSC68, the United States National Security Council came up with these ideas on the theory that the decline of the Western European powers and Japan following WWII had left the United States and the Soviet Union as the two dominant powers.1 The paper said that the U.S. did not want to attack the Soviet because they believed that attacking them would not kill of their army and would lead to retaliation2 Direct Evidence from Domino Theory
The Domino Theory was accepted as fact during the Cold War by all American presidents at the time in regards to foreign policy3 The theory’s influence was not overwhelming, however, even during the early 1950s President Eisenhower’s administration had questioned the domino theory and concluded that the ‘loss’ of Vietnam would not be a disaster for the ‘free world’ and that Laos and Cambodia were in little danger4 Protesting that the new cashier was changing the rules in the middle of the deal, Stalin tried other tactics. In early 1946, he made demands directly on Turkey. Truman thought of sending an aircraft carrier to the region, but tension eased….Only “force of arms” could stop Stalin. Truman agreed with this early version of the Domino Theory.” The president replied, “We might as well find out whether the Russians are bent on world conquest now as in five or ten years.5 The domino theory said that Vietnamese surrender to communism would prompt the fall of Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia6
Information about the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union was driven towards to, “impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.”7 ● Estimates of the effect of the Vietnamese domino falling varied from communism spreading to the immediate neighbors to the loss of all land in the region including Australia and New Zealand8 ● The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union left the political leadership of the United States unprepared. Military interventions had been undertaken in Korea and Vietnam with enormous loss of life, also in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and huge amounts of military aid had been given all over the world..Several trillion dollars had been taken from American citizens in the form of taxes to maintain a huge nuclear arsenal and military bases all over the world all primarily justified by the Soviet threat.9 ● United States foreign policy was not simply based on the existence of the Soviet Union, but was motivated by the fear of revolution in various parts of...
Cited: "American Experience: TV 's Most-watched History Series." PBS. Accessed
December 16, 2014.
"Domino Theory." Princeton University. Accessed December 15, 2014.
LaFeber, Walter. "The Cold War." In The American Age, 470. New York, NY: Norton, 1994.
"NSC-68, 1950 - 1945–1952 - Milestones - Office of the Historian." NSC-68, 1950 -
1945–1952 - Milestones - Office of the Historian
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