Perilous Partners

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-09-07
  • Publisher: Cato Inst
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Liberal democracies such as the United States face an acute dilemma in the conduct of foreign relations. Many states around the world are repressive or corrupt to varying degrees. Unfortunately, American national interests require cooperation with such regimes from time to time. To defeat Nazi Germany during World War II, the United States even allied with the Soviet Union, despite the barbarity of Josef Stalin's regime.

But such partnerships have the inherent danger of compromising, or even making a mockery of, America's values of democratic governance, civil liberties, and free markets. Close working relationships with autocratic regimes, therefore, should not be undertaken lightly. U.S. officials have had a less than stellar record of grappling with that ethical dilemma. Especially during the Cold War, policymakers were casual about sacrificing important values for less-than-compelling strategic rationales. Since the 9-11 attacks, similar ethical compromises have taken place, although policymakers now seem more selective than their Cold War-era counterparts.

Perilous Partners, authors Ted Galen Carpenter and Malou Innocent provide a strategy for resolving the ethical dilemmas between interests and values faced by Washington. They propose maintaining an "arm's length relationship" with authoritarian regimes, emphasizing that the United States must not operate internationally in ways that routinely pollute American values. This book creates a strategy for conducting an effective U.S. foreign policy without betraying fundamental American values.

Author Biography

Ted Galen Carpenter is senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He is the author of 18 books and the editor of 10 on international affairs, including The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America; Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America; and Korean Conundrum: America's Troubled Relations with North and South Korea.

Malou Innocent is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. She was a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute from 2007 to 2013. She is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and her primary research interests include Middle East and Persian Gulf security issues and U.S. foreign policy toward Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China.

Table of Contents

Part One: Washington's Questionable Cold War Allies
Chapter 1 Uncle Sam's Backyard: Friendly Latin American Strongmen
Chapter 2 Chiang Kai-shek: America's Troublesome “Free World” Client
Chapter 3 A Preference for Authoritarians: The U.S. Backs South Korean Dictators
Chapter 4 From Jinnah to Jihad: Washington's Cold War Ties with Pakistan
Chapter 5 Cold War to Holy War: The U.S.-Saudi Alliance
Chapter 6 Subverting Democracy: Supporting the Shah of Iran
Chapter 7 Navigating a Quagmire: Sustaining South Vietnamese Dictators
Chapter 8 Heart of Darkness: U.S. Policy toward Mobutu's Dictatorship in Zaire
Chapter 9 Flying Blind in Manila: Enabling Ferdinand Marcos
Chapter 10 The “Good Communists”: Tito and Ceausescu
Chapter 11 Playing the China Card: Strategic Rapprochement with Beijing

Part Two: America's Authoritarian Partners after 9/11
Chapter 12 Pyramid of Cards: Washington's Policy toward Egypt from Mubarak to El-Sisi
Chapter 13 From “Golden Chain” to Arab Spring: The Sordid Tale of U.S.-Saudi Ties
Chapter 14 Janus-Faced Partners: America and Pakistan after 9/11
Chapter 15 Tangled Tales of the Silk Road: Washington and Central Asia's Tyrants

Part Three: Concluding Observations
Chapter 16 Closing the Values Gap: Protecting Security, Preserving Values

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