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The Dominos Theory

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 590
  • Category: Theories

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Dominos are small regular tiles made of bone or ivory fragments. When arranged in line, toppling the first domino leads to the falling of the subsequent dominos. Domino experts are able to make long and elaborate arrangements of dominos in a manner that when the first domino in line is toppled, the next domino and so on fall until all the dominos in the arrangement are toppled. The Domino Theory was born in the era of the Second World War when America began contemplating active participation in the war. In response to a question from a journalist, President Eisenhower explained that the invasion of Asia, a large source of raw materials would lead to a domino effect in the sense that the invasions would lead to lack of the raw materials and would then create worse problems for the other continents thus America would not play a direct role in the war.

During the cold war period, it was in the interest of capitalist economies to completely do away with communism. However, communist nations were the sources of important raw materials that were needed by the capitalist economies hence destruction of the communist nations would lead to serious economic problems for the other continents.

During the period of the Second World War, America was the world’s economic superpower. The effect of total German domination of Europe was a threat to this status and therefore America could not sit back and watch as the German Empire continued to expand. This was another example of the domino effect principle because once America became actively involved in supporting the allied forces against the Germans; America would have to prepare for an imminent assault from the Germans. This predicament demanded the increase in production and availability of arms while at the same time. This Domino Theory is currently being applied in Afghanistan where the American government has sent numerous troops to counter the efforts of the Taliban in taking over Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Americans fear that should the Taliban occupy these two areas, the region would become a friendly zone for Al Qaeda who would then mount terrorist attacks against America.

The Domino Theory can also be applied outside politics. An example of the application of the theory is in the computer technology field where the dynamics of the industry present tactical problems that need comprehensive analysis. In the 1990s, floppy disks were the most used medium of external storage. Production plants were faced with a big tactical problem when compact discs were introduced to the market. The compact disc could store over 300 times more information than the floppy disc and compact discs were fast becoming the preferred medium of storage. It is therefore correct to conclude that the advent of the compact disc was the beginning of the demise of the floppy disc.


Eisenhower, Dwight. “Eisenhower Explains the Domino Theory.” Ernest C. Bolt, Jr.

            University of Richmond, 7 Apr. 1954. Web. 17 Dec. 2009.

Ninkovich, Frank. Modernity and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1994. Print.

Obama, Barack. “Full President Obama speech text on Afghanistan          .” Top of the Ticket. Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2009. Web. 17 Dec. 2009. <http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/12/obama-speech-text-afghanistan.html>.

O’Malley, Michael. “The Vietnam War and the Tragedy of Containment.” History 122.  Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, 1999. Web. 17 Dec. 2009. <http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/122/vietnam/lecture.html>.

Silverman, Jerry Mark. “Sturdy Dominoes.” National Interest Online. The Nixon Center, 11 Nov. 2009. Web. 17 Dec. 2009. <http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=22512>.

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