Counterterrorism, Middle East

Past In-Person Event: Evaluating regime change and its alternatives

Since the catalyzing horror of the 2001 attacks, the United States has undertaken a broad approach to attempt to counter terrorism, including changing regimes hostile to American interests.

From Iraq to Libya—and potentially Syria, Iran, and North Korea—Washington has pursued policies to change regimes' behavior. When sanctions and pressure have failed, rather than manage problems and hedge against risks, presidential administrations have sometimes opted to launch regime change campaigns to reorder societies in distant lands.

But have these efforts delivered the promised outcomes? If not, is it a failure of tactics or strategy?

What, if anything, can the U.S. do to accelerate political change in foreign countries without creating negative, unintended consequences? Does toppling regimes—not only through military interventions, but also any attempts short of kinetic operations—unleash forces beyond our control? What strategies might deliver better results for American security and prosperity?

Our upcoming briefing will provide analysis of the principles, practice, and dynamics of relations with unsavory nations.

Event Speakers


Senior Fellow & Military Expert

Defense Priorities


Non-Resident Senior Fellow

Defense Priorities