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America's continuing tango with right-wing dictators

US policy towards such individuals has shifted frequently according to changes in the world order. But whatever Washington does next, it should ensure it doesn't allow new dictators to replace those booted out.

President Franklin Roosevelt first appeased Adolf Hitler (left) with friendly economic policies to persuade the German to turn from aggression to cooperation. But the US leader abandoned the policy when Hitler began his conquests.

EVER since the 1920s, American presidents have often preferred constructing alliances with Right Wing Dictatorships (RWDs) run by military strongmen in order to achieve three US goals:

  • Maintain stability abroad in the first half of the 20th century;
  • Prevent Soviet expansion
  • ...

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