domino theory, the notion that if one country becomes Communist, other nations in the region will probably follow, like dominoes falling in a line. The analogy, first applied (1954) to Southeast Asia by President Dwight Eisenhower, was adopted in the 1960s by supporters of the U.S. role in the Vietnam War . The theory was revived in the 1980s to characterize the threat perceived from leftist unrest in Central America.
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