An Islamic Domino Theory
By Dr. Paul Cole, Eurasiareview, Feb 24, 2011
During the Cold War, western security policy was shaped, in some cases decisively, by the Domino Theory, which stated that if one country fell under communist control, all of that country’s neighbors were threatened with the same fate. Recent events in the Arab world suggest that there is an Islamic variation of the Domino Theory. If one country overturns an autocracy, then all of autocratic neighbors of that country may follow suit.
The internal story unfolding in each Arab country undergoing regime change, though extremely important, should not divert attention from a question of equal, if not greater importance. What are the implications of regime change in the Arab world for the future of the international system?
Is Conflict Permanent?
After the 1980 U.S. presidential election, outgoing Carter national security officials briefed President-elect Reagan. One of the out-going Carter people said to the in-coming Reagan people, “The U.S.-Soviet conflict is a permanent feature of the international political landscape.” President-elect Reagan responded, “Says who?”
Two schools of thought among Washington’s foreign policy glitterati dominated reactions to Reagan’s comment. The entrenched establishment, whose entire professional life was informed by the political structures of the Cold War, immediately concluded that “Ronnie Ray-guns,” as he was known by his many detractors, was a neophyte whose lack of foreign policy experience was at least naïve, if not a threat to world peace.
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