How the West Aided Democracy’s Decline

WIB history February 17, 2017 0

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at left in Egypt in 2016. Pentagon photo Podcast — America loves a good foreign dictator by...
Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at left in Egypt in 2016. Pentagon photo

Podcast — America loves a good foreign dictator

by MATTHEW GAULT

According to presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, the United States is a shining “city upon a hill.” It’s a beacon of democracy in a dark world full of cruel dictators and vicious despots. But history shows the United States has been more than willing to side with despots in the name of stability.

This week on War College, we talk to Brian Klaas, a Oxford University graduate and expert on political violence, about his new book — The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy.

According to Klaas, powerful countries should stop forcing democracy down the throats of their less stable counterparts and avoid settling for despots to achieve stability.

He makes the case for coopting the rank-and-file of old regimes into new ones to prevent state collapse, and for using tactical military force and foreign aid money to coax tyrants out of power.

Plus, he explores “counterfeit democracies,” and a new city upon a hill in West Africa: The Gambia.