On May 15, Foreign Policy published a biweekly column featuring Scowcroft Center Deputy Director Matthew Kroenig and the Cato Institute’s Emma Ashford discussing the latest news in international affairs.

In this column, they debate the risks, downsides, and rewards of facilitating regime change. The column opens with a discussion of US opposition to Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, and Dr. Kroenig argues there are great benefits to having a friendly democracy in Venezuela, while the costs of giving diplomatic support to the opposition are low.

He later contends that while regime change may often fail, “making the attempt can still be in the U.S. national interest if the successes result in big payoffs.”

Kroenig and Ashford also considered challenges in international institutions such as the World Trade Organization. They concluded with a debate about whether the United States should work with Russia to counter China.

There might still be an Iron Curtain across Europe if it hadn’t been for Washington’s consistent efforts to support freedom and democracy overtly and covertly during the Cold War.

Matthew Kroenig

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