List of authoritarian regimes supported by the United States
Over the last century, the United States government has often provided, and continues to provide today, financial assistance, education, arms, military training and technical support to numerous anti-leftist and anti-Islamist authoritarian regimes across the world. A variety of reasons have been provided to justify the apparent contradictions between support for dictators and the democratic ideals expressed in the United States Constitution.
Prior to the Russian Revolution, support for dictators was often based on furthering American economic and political priorities, such as opening foreign markets to American manufacturers. Following the rise of communism, the United States government also began to support authoritarian regimes that it felt were combating movements aligned with communism, including socialist and democratic socialist movements, especially in Latin America. Such assistance continued despite the belief expressed by many that this contradicted the political ideals espoused by the US during the Cold War. Support was also geared toward ensuring a conducive environment for American corporate interests abroad, such as the United Fruit Company or Standard Oil, especially when these interests came under threat from democratic governments. Support for authoritarian regimes has been justified under various ideological frameworks as well, including the Truman Doctrine, the Kirkpatrick Doctrine and the "War on Drugs".
From the 1980s onwards, the United States government began to fear that its interests would be threatened by the increasingly popular Islamist movements in the Middle East, and began to work to secure cooperative authoritarian regimes in the region, while isolating, weakening, or removing, uncooperative ones. In recent years, many policy analysts and commentators have expressed support for this type of policy, with some believing that regional stability is more important than democracy. The United States continues to support authoritarian regimes today. However, international relations scholar David Skidmore believes that increased public pressure is motivating a shift away from supporting authoritarian regimes, and towards supporting more consensual regimes instead.
Authoritarian regimes currently supported
|Date of support||Country||Regime||Notes|
|1991–present||Azerbaijan||Heydar Aliyev; Ilham Aliyev|
|1959–present||Singapore||People's Action Party|
|2011–present||Vietnam||Trương Tấn Sang|
|1945–present||Saudi Arabia||House of Saud|
|1999–present||Bahrain||Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa|
|1972–present||Qatar||House of Thani|
|1970–present||Oman||Qaboos bin Said al Said|
|1971–present||United Arab Emirates||United Arab Emirates|
|2014–present||Egypt||Abdel Fattah el-Sisi|
|1999–present||Djibouti||Ismaïl Omar Guelleh|
|1979–present||Equatorial Guinea||Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo|
Authoritarian regimes supported in the past
- Allegations of United States support for the Khmer Rouge
- "Dictatorships and Double Standards"
- Foreign policy of the United States
- History of the Central Intelligence Agency
- List of authoritarian regimes supported by the Soviet Union
- Operation Condor
- Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly called the School of the Americas)
- School of the Americas Watch, advocacy group critical of the above
- United States and state-sponsored terrorism
- United States and state terrorism
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