Was Vietnam War Justified: Persuasive Essay

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In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said “You have a row of dominoes set up. You knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is a certainty that it will go over very quickly (“Civil Rights,” 169). The most glaring problem with this statement is that countries are not dominoes. Domino Theory is the idea that if one nation falls to communism, others surrounding it will fall, and subsequently the nations next to those nations, and so on. The term “Domino Theory” was coined by President Eisenhower. It was used when referring to the spread of communism throughout Southeast Asia. After communism began to spread in Vietnam, U.S. foreign policymakers thought that if Indochina fell to communism, other Southeast Asian countries would follow suit. This theory was the United States' justification for getting involved in the Vietnam War. However, after Vietnam fell to communism, the rest of Southeast Asia remained unaffected. Domino Theory is now discredited and for good reason. Domino Theory came into existence due to the fear of Communism, and there was not much solid evidence to support it.

President Eisenhower held a news conference on April 7th, 1954. During this news conference, he was asked about the strategic importance of Indochina to the free world. He responded with three reasons why Indochina was important. The first reason was that Indochina produces tin and tungsten. Both of these were very important resources. His second reason was that the world could not afford to lose more people to communist dictatorship. His third and final reason was that if Indochina fell to communism, other countries near it would also fall to communism. He referred to this as the “falling domino” principle. It would soon come to be known as the Domino theory and would be used as America’s justification for entering the Vietnam War.

Domino Theory was the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy-makers' national strategy of containment, which led to the U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam War. According to John Pike, “The national strategy of containment demanded the U.S. stop communist aggression into the countries of Southeast Asia.” This strategy was largely based on the domino theory. Communism was the enemy of the U.S., and policymakers wanted to protect the interests of their country. Therefore, it was necessary that the U.S. involved itself in the Vietnam War.

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President Eisenhower popularized Domino Theory after he introduced it as the falling domino principle at his 1954 news conference. He believed the theory to be true and supported the U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam War. He deemed it necessary that the U.S. stop the spread of communism, especially in Southeast Asia.

Fear of communism was rampant in the U.S. throughout the latter half of the twentieth century. This meant that the domino theory caught on quickly, and it was instantly supported by the majority of Americans. The Vietnam War came, and the U.S. got involved largely due to the Domino theory. Preventing the spread of communism was at the top of America’s agenda.

Despite the efforts of the U.S., after the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnam fell to communism. However, no other Southeast Asian countries did the same. This negatively impacted the credibility of the Domino theory. If no other countries fell after Vietnam, then they were surely not like dominoes.

Domino Theory is not seen as accurate and has little credibility today. According to Milan Vesely, most critics today regard the Domino Theory as inaccurate. This, of course, proves President Eisenhower and his foreign policy-makers wrong. Their fear of communism drove them to create this paranoid theory which led to unnecessarily involving America in a war it didn’t have to be a part of. According to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 58,220 American troops died during the Vietnam War. 40,934 of these were killed in action. We could have avoided these senseless deaths had America not entered the Vietnam War.

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Was Vietnam War Justified: Persuasive Essay. (2023, August 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/was-vietnam-war-justified-persuasive-essay/
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Was Vietnam War Justified: Persuasive Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Aug 29 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/was-vietnam-war-justified-persuasive-essay/

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