List of authoritarian regimes supported by the United States

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Reunion of SEATO leaders in Manila, 1966, with the presence of authoritarian leaders Nguyen Cao Ky from South Vietnam (first from left, with Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt at his side), Park Chung-Hee from South Korea (third from the left), Ferdinand Marcos from Philippines (fourth from the left, with New Zealand Prime Minister Keith Holyoake at his right) and Thanom Kittikachorn from Thailand (second from the right, with US President Lyndon B. Johnson at his side)

Over the last century, the United States government has often provided, and continues to provide today, financial assistance, arms, and technical support to numerous 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 American constitution.[1]

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.[2][3] Such assistance continued despite the belief expressed by many that this contradicted the political ideals espoused by the U.S. during the Cold War.[4] 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 regimes.[1][4][5] Support for authoritarian regimes has been justified under various ideological frameworks as well: the Truman Doctrine, for example, or the "War on Drugs".[1]

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 friendly authoritarian regimes in the region, while isolating and weakening, but not removing, unfriendly ones.[6] 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.[7][8] 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.[9]

Authoritarian regimes supported[edit]

Latin America[edit]

Presidents Emílio G. Médici (left) and Richard Nixon, December 1971. A hardliner, Médici sponsored the greatest human rights abuses of Brazil's military regime. During his government, persecution and torture of dissidents, harassment against journalists and press censorship became ubiquitous. A 2014 report by Brazil's National Truth Commission states that the United States was involved with teaching the Brazilian military regime torture techniques.[10]
U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger shaking hands with Augusto Pinochet in 1976.

Asia[edit]

Middle East special envoy Donald Rumsfeld meeting Saddam Hussein on 19–20 December 1983.

Africa[edit]

Europe[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c DeConde, Alexander et al., ed. (2001). "Dictatorships". Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, Volume 1. Simon & Schuster. p. 499. ISBN 9780684806570. 
  2. ^ Adams, Francis (2003). Deepening democracy: global governance and political reform in Latin America. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 31. ISBN 9780275979713. 
  3. ^ McMahon, Robert J. (1999). The limits of empire: the United States and Southeast Asia since World War II. Columbia University Press. p. 205. ISBN 9780231108805. 
  4. ^ a b Grandin & Joseph, Greg & Gilbert (2010). A Century of Revolution. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. pp. 397–414. 
  5. ^ Chomsky, Noam (1985). Turning the Tide. Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press. 
  6. ^ Forrest, James J.F. (2007). Countering terrorism and insurgency in the 21st century: international perspectives, Volume 2. ABC-CLIO. pp. 68–69. ISBN 9780275990367. 
  7. ^ Etzioni, Amitai (2007). Security first: for a muscular, moral foreign policy. Yale University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780300108576. 
  8. ^ Beyer, Cornelia (2008). Violent globalisms: conflict in response to empire. Ashgate Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 9780754672050. 
  9. ^ Skidmore, David (1997). Contested social orders and international politics. Vanderbilt University Press. p. 210. ISBN 9780826512840. 
  10. ^ a b Adam Taylor (10 December 2014). Brazil’s torture report brings a president to tears. The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
    • "Notably, the report found that the United States had spent years teaching the torture techniques to the Brazilian military during that period."
  11. ^ Biography of Porfirio Diaz. About.com
  12. ^ Herring, Hubert Clinton (1961). A History of Latin America from the Beginnings to the Present. Knopf. p. 339. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Joseph, Gilbert M. (2010). "Latin America's Long Cold War: A Century of Revolutionary Processes and U.S. Power". In Grandin, Greg. A Century of Revolution: Insurgent & Counterinsurgent violence during Latin America's long cold war. Durham & London: Duke University Press. pp. 403–404. ISBN 978-0-8223-4737-8. 
  14. ^ Noam Chomsky. Hegemony or Survival. p. 64
  15. ^ a b Forster, Cindy (1994). "The Time of "Freedom": San Marcos Coffee Workers and the Radicalization of the Guatemalan National Revolution, 1944-1954". Radical History Review 58: 35–78. doi:10.1215/01636545-1994-58-35. 
  16. ^ Chase, Michelle (2010). Grandin, Greg, & Joseph, Gilbert M., ed. The Trials. Duke University Press. pp. 164–198. 
  17. ^ Thomas M. Leonard (ed). Encyclopedia of the Developing World, Volume 3. p. 1572.
  18. ^ MCallister, Carlota (2010). Grandin, Greg, & Joseph, Gilbert M., ed. A Headlong Rush Into the Future. Duke University Press. pp. 276–309. 
  19. ^ Ríos Montt Genocide Verdict Annulled, But Activists Ensure US-Backed Crimes Will Never Be Forgotten. Democracy Now! May 23, 2013.
  20. ^ Larsen, Neil (2010). "Thoughts on Violence and Modernity". In Grandin, Greg. A Century of Revolution: Insurgent & Counterinsurgent violence during Latin America's long cold war. Durham & London: Duke University Press. pp. 381, 391. ISBN 978-0-8223-4737-8. 
  21. ^ Hugo Banzer. The Guardian. 5 May 2002.
  22. ^ Feitlowitz, Marguerite (1998). A Lexicon of Terror. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  23. ^ Laurence Whitehead (ed). The International Dimensions of Democratization : Europe and the Americas. p. 148
  24. ^ Gould, Jeffrey (2010). Grandin, Greg, & Joseph, Gilbert M., ed. On the Road to "El Porvenir". Duke University Press. pp. 87–120. 
  25. ^ a b Nicholls, David. "Haiti since 1930", in Leslie Bethell, Ed., The Cambridge History of Latin America. 1st ed. Vol. 7. Cambridge: 1990. 545-578.
  26. ^ a b R.M. Koster and Guillermo Sánchez, In the Time of Tyrants, Panama: 1968-1990. (NY and London: W.W. Norton and Company, 1990), Ch. 4.
  27. ^ Diana Jean Schemo (16 August 2006). Stroessner, Paraguay’s Enduring Dictator, Dies. The New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  28. ^ Alex Henderson (February 4, 2015). 7 Fascist Regimes Enthusiastically Supported by America. Alternet. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  29. ^ Winn, Peter (2010). Grandin, Greg, & Joseph, Gilbert M., ed. Furies of the Andes. Duke University Press. pp. 239–272. 
  30. ^ Thomas M. Leonard (ed). Encyclopedia of the Developing World, Volume 3. p. 1365
  31. ^ Pyŏng-guk Kim, Ezra F. Vogel (eds). The Park Chung Hee Era. p. 552
  32. ^ UK, BBC. "Flashback: The Kwangju massacre". BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2014P. 
  33. ^ Prados, John. "JFK and the Diem Coup". George Washington University. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  34. ^ David P. Chandler, A history of Cambodia, Westview Press; Allen & Unwin, Boulder, Sydney, 1992
  35. ^ John McLeod. The History of India.p. 152
  36. ^ Bass, Gary J. (2013). The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide. New York, NY: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-70020-9. 
  37. ^ Precht, Henry (1988). "Ayatollah Realpolitik". Foreign Policy (70): 109–128. 
  38. ^ CIA Admits To Iran 1953 Coup, But Revelations Unlikely To Thaw US-Tehran Relations. International Business Times. August 19, 2013.
  39. ^ "The Philippines: The Marcos Years". Gwu.edu. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  40. ^ "FRONTLINE/WORLD . Philippines - Islands Under Siege . A Conflicted Land: Rebellions, Wars and Insurgencies in the Philippines - 1965-1986: The Marcos Years". PBS. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  41. ^ Markey, Daniel S. (2013). No Exit from Pakistan: America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad. Cambridge University Press. p. 95. 
  42. ^ Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran. Foreign Policy. August 26, 2013.
  43. ^ Former Indonesian Dictator, US Ally & Mass Murderer, Suharto, 86, Dies. Democracy Now! 28 January 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  44. ^ a b c d e f Rothkopf, David. "America's Unsavory Allies". Foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  45. ^ Matthew Yglesias (2008-05-28). "Are Kissinger's Critics Anti-Semitic?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  46. ^ Kasinof, Laura; Sanger, David E. (3 April 2011). "U.S. Shifts to Seek Removal of Yemen’s Leader, an Ally". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  47. ^ Josh Rogin. "America's Allies Are Funding ISIS". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  48. ^ "US support for human rights abroad: The case of Saudi Arabia". CSMonitor.com. 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  49. ^ a b "5 dictators the U.S. still supports". The Week. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  50. ^ Chick, Kristen (14 May 2012). "US resumes arms sales to Bahrain. Activists feel abandoned". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  51. ^ http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2014/7/25/gaza-conflict-spotlights-role-of-qatar-the-hamas-funding-us-ally#.VC8LYcsaySM
  52. ^ http://www.salon.com/2011/02/02/american_allies_dictators/
  53. ^ http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3464.htm
  54. ^ https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33546.pdf
  55. ^ http://www.uae-embassy.org/uae-us-relations/uae-us-timeline
  56. ^ In 1777 during the American Revolution, Morocco became the first nation to recognize the fledgling United States as an independent nation. The US has had supportive relations with Morocco since. This included the US providing weapons systems to Morocco during the Cold War and since. "Joint Statement by the United States of America and the Kingdom of Morocco". www.whitehouse.gov. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary. November 22, 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-02. 
  57. ^ Large, Daniel (2011). Ryle, John, ed. The Sudan Handbook. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 168. 
  58. ^ "Liberia". Human Rights Watch World Report 1990. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  59. ^ Mobutu, Zairian Dictator for 32 Years, Dies in Exile. The Los Angeles Times. September 08, 1997
  60. ^ David F. Schmitz. The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1965-1989. p. 9
  61. ^ U.S.-Backed Chadian Dictator Hissène Habré Faces War Crimes Trial in Historic Win for His Victims. Democracy Now! July 2, 2013.
  62. ^ Knell, Yolande. "The complicated legacy of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak". BBC News. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  63. ^ Ketil Fred Hansen. "Chad’s relations with Libya, Sudan, France and the US / Publications / Africa / Regions / Home - NOREF". Peacebuilding.no. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  64. ^ Stephanie McCrummen (February 22, 2008). "U.S. Policy in Africa Faulted on Priorities: Security Is Stressed Over Democracy". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  65. ^ "Ben Ali Tunisia was model US client - Opinion". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  66. ^ Sundaram, Anjan. "The Darling Tyrant". POLITICO Magazine (March/April 2014). Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  67. ^ the Soviet Union received substantial support from the U.S.after Nazi Germany invaded in Operation Barbarossa in 1941 to the end of the war in 1943, per the version of the Wikipedia articles accessed 2015-04-18 (and many other sources).
  68. ^ Clinton concedes regret for U.S. support of Greek junta. The Topeka Capital-Journal. November 21, 1999.
  69. ^ Birand, Mehmet Ali. 12 Eylül, Saat: 04.00, 1984, pg. 1

Further reading[edit]