Eight months into his presidency, Donald Trump is still only starting to elaborate his foreign policy. Some crucial areas, such as Russia policy, remain largely undeveloped. With regard to U.S. support for democracy abroad, however, his intentions and actions are clear: he seeks to shift the United States away from the broad commitment to actively supporting democracy’s global advance that former president Ronald Reagan established in the early 1980s and that all U.S. presidents since, Republican and Democratic alike, have pursued in at least some substantial ways. Compounding this shift is the damage the new president has inflicted on U.S. democracy as a model for others. Yet despite all this, important elements of U.S. democracy support—pro-democratic diplomacy in countries under stress, democracy assistance, and engagement with democracy-related multilateral institutions—remain at least partially intact. And Congress maintains strong bipartisan backing for democracy and rights support. U.S. democracy policy is under severe strain, but writing off the United States as a key supporter of global democracy, as some observers in the United States and abroad are already doing, is premature.

Thomas Carothers
Thomas Carothers is a senior fellow and co-director of Carnegie’s Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program. He is a leading authority on international support for democracy, human rights, governance, the rule of law, and civil society.
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Top-Down Trouble

As a presidential candidate, Trump repeatedly signaled a lack of interest in or concern about violations of democratic norms and rights in other countries, a strong disinclination to prioritize democracy support in U.S. foreign policy, and an admiration for repressive strongmen, from Russia’s Vladimir Putin to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Since taking office, he has turned those words into action. He has uncritically embraced multiple nondemocratic leaders, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Trump chose one of the least democratic countries in the world, Saudi Arabia, for his first international trip as president, and basked in the attention lavished on him by Saudi Arabia’s repressive leaders. Visiting Poland in July 2017 at a key moment of worrisome democratic backsliding in that country, he avoided speaking to the issue and instead joined the Polish government in attacking the free press.1 Of course, U.S. presidents often cultivate cooperative relations with selected nondemocratic leaders for the sake of various security and economic interests. But Trump has moved with unprecedented alacrity, even enthusiasm, to embrace autocrats, many of whom were previously given at least a partial cold shoulder by the United States.

Through such actions, Trump has reassured and emboldened autocrats across the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. Hungary’s autocratic prime minister, Viktor Orbán, for example, hailed Trump’s election as the end of “liberal non-democracy.”2 Following Trump’s inauguration, he declared that, “We have received permission from, if you like, the highest position in the world so we can now also put ourselves in first place,” and ratcheted up his crackdown on independent civil society.3 Since Trump met with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in May 2017 and reassured him that “there won’t be strain with this administration,” Bahrain has intensified its smothering of the peaceful Shia opposition.4 It is impossible to document the full scope of what might be called the “autocratic relief syndrome” engendered by Trump’s ascendancy. But it clearly represents a remarkably wide and significant phenomenon, one that fortifies the broader sense in global politics that democracy’s advance has not just stagnated, but slipped into reverse.

Trump’s lack of interest in international democracy support is not merely a narrow blind spot. It is an integral part of his larger discomfort with the long-standing U.S. commitment to an international liberal order. It fits with his questioning of an international system of free trade, core alliance relationships, and major multilateral institutions, such as the United Nations, and his broader belief that the very idea of a positive-sum approach to international order is basically a sucker’s game.

While Trump is the leading edge of the new administration’s turn away from democracy and human rights support, he is not alone. His secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and his national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, do speak about not just pursuing U.S. interests but also U.S. values abroad. Yet in speeches, writings, and other ways, both have signaled their inclination to downgrade U.S. attention to democracy and human rights concerns for the sake of burnishing relationships with useful autocrats. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has spoken forthrightly against human rights abuses abroad, even with respect to U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia, yet her speeches are continually outweighed by the actions and words of President Trump and his top advisers in Washington.

Tarnished Example

President Trump has inflicted a body blow to U.S. democracy promotion not just with his foreign policy actions, but also with the damage he is doing to U.S. democracy itself. The single most important element of U.S. democracy promotion has always been the positive U.S. example of what democracy is and can achieve. Of course, the example has taken multiple hits in the past few decades, such as the disputed presidential election in 2000 and the growing gridlock in the U.S. Congress during the early 2000s. But these and other problems pale next to the current situation of a U.S. president who broadcasts a toxic mix of antidemocratic instincts and actions—ranging from attacking independent media and judges, to asserting without evidence that profound fraud occurred in last year’s presidential election and calling for the prosecution of his main electoral rival.

In all of this, Trump is speaking from the very same script that antidemocratic strongmen have been using in recent years, causing his words and actions to resound especially loudly in autocracies. For example, Cambodia’s authoritarian prime minister, Hun Sen, recently denounced a CNN report critical of sex trafficking in Cambodia, noting that “it is fitting that CNN was blasted by President Donald Trump. I would like to say that President Trump is right: U.S. media is very tricky.”5

Trump’s chaotic incompetence also badly wounds the U.S. example. The spectacle of a U.S. president manifestly unprepared for the job and uninterested in understanding and responding in a serious way to the country’s many challenges terribly tarnishes America’s global image. Today an American who tries to persuade an official from a nondemocratic country that his or her country should adopt democracy in order to ensure effective leadership and governance is likely to be met with raised eyebrows and a simple question: “Really?”

Trump’s lack of respect for the truth does special damage to U.S. democracy and rights support. As documented by the Washington Post, during the first six months of his presidency, Trump made more than 800 false or misleading statements.6 For decades, besieged democracy and rights activists around the world have treasured the impact of U.S. officials speaking uncomfortable truths to foreign power holders about their violations of democratic norms. Having a chronic liar as American president greatly undercuts this power.

In search of a silver lining, some U.S. democracy promoters have quietly bruited the idea that foreigners watching the current U.S. political scene will see not just an undemocratic president, but also strong independent institutions and a mobilized civil society checking such a leader, and thus learn about the resiliency of U.S. democracy as well as its flaws. This may prove somewhat true. The decisions by some judges to reject the Trump administration’s hastily issued executive order in early 2017 limiting immigration from various Muslim-majority countries, for example, were widely noted internationally. Yet thus far at least, the negative elements of the present political situation dominate international perceptions. And even with these shows of resilience, the fact that a democracy like America could elect such a leader and plunge into a sustained period of political turmoil will not be forgotten for many years around the world.

Trump not only sets a damaging example of U.S. democracy at work, he has openly expressed disdain for the United States as a democratic model. In 2015, when questioned about his affection for Vladimir Putin, and Putin’s record of killing critical journalists, Trump responded: “Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too.”7 In 2016, candidate Trump mocked the idea of the United States as democratic exemplar, declaring that “when the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don’t think we are a very good messenger.”8

Softening the Blow

Some voices in the Washington policy community try to soften this harsh picture through several lines of argument:

But they do care: One such line of argument is that while Trump and his top foreign policy advisers have been going easy on some autocrats, they have been pressing other dictators on their democratic shortcomings. Trump framed his recent modification of Obama’s policy line toward Cuba as a response to Cuba’s antidemocratic intransigence. The administration has imposed new economic sanctions on the Venezuelan government as punishment for its antidemocratic policies. Secretary Tillerson publicly chastised the Iranian government in May 2017 for its democratic failings. According to this argument, Trump has not walked away from support for democracy; like previous presidents, he is just inconsistent.

One problem with this argument is that Trump and his team have so far only raised democracy concerns with very few countries. Rather than supporting democracy being the norm and embracing autocrats the exception, the balance has been reversed. Furthermore, what little attention Trump and his team have devoted to democracy abroad has been directed most pointedly to countries the United States considers hostile in a broader geostrategic sense. Democracy concerns do not appear to be asserted out of some serious attachment to principle, but rather as a club to beat up on disfavored governments. Trump’s philosophy on democracy thus appears to skeptical foreign observers as profoundly cynical—for my antidemocratic friends, anything; for my enemies, democracy.

This is tough-minded realism: A second line of mitigating argument holds that Trump’s approach on democracy and human rights should be understood not as a deviation beyond the normal bipartisan boundaries of U.S. policy but instead as a tough-minded embrace of realism. There are indeed realist elements in the outlook of Trump and his team. Their tendency to treat foreign policy interests and values as intrinsically separate categories, and thus to argue that values are secondary while interests are paramount, is a standard tenet of realism. So too are their doubts about the capacity of the United States to have much effect on the political direction of other societies, and their tendency to view democracy support as all about lecturing friends or, even worse, trying to impose democracy upon them.

But Trump’s line has elements unrecognizable in conventional realism. Realism certainly acknowledges the need to cooperate with autocratic regimes when it serves the economic or security interests of the United States. It does not, however, call for gushing over dictators and embracing them as political soulmates. Furthermore, whereas realism looks to hard-nosed bargains in which concessions are made to problematic foreign leaders for the sake of clear gains on economic or security grounds, Trump embraces dictators for no apparent quid pro quo, as part of no serious calculation of interest or pursuit of gains. What, for example, has the United States gotten from the government of Egypt that it was not getting previously in terms of security cooperation after Trump fawned over President Sisi?

Also alien to traditional realist dogma is Trump’s disparagement of U.S. democracy. Realists may not believe in investing much diplomatic capital to advance democracy abroad, but they would certainly not favor tossing away America’s traditional global political prestige for no apparent return. Where is the sober-minded realist cost-benefit calculation in that? More generally, a realist foreign policy that strikes calculated bargains in service of U.S. national interests requires a high degree of internal coherence, message discipline, and nuanced policy elaboration, characteristics largely absent from Trump’s foreign policy to date.

It’s still too early to tell: A third mitigating argument is that Trump’s line on democracy abroad should not provoke serious concerns either because it is still too early to tell what his foreign policy will be in practice or because his seasoned advisers will make the important decisions and rein in his off-the-ranch instincts.

It is true that many elements of his foreign policy still need to be elaborated, and that considerable divergences will occur between statements he has made and actions he will take. Yet on democracy he has already done much, and has done so decisively. His embrace of autocrats and disparagement of U.S. democracy, both in words and deeds, have been heard worldwide, creating perceptions that cannot be modified easily. It may still be early days for some areas of foreign policy, but with respect to support for democracy and human rights, Trump’s administration is already well along a road to nowhere.

With regard to his seasoned advisers, they will certainly restrain some of Trump’s instincts and intentions. They have done so, for example, on policy toward Afghanistan. Their influence (as well as congressional pressure) shows in the positive recent decision by the administration to withhold some military and economic aid to Egypt in response to Egypt’s continued intransigence on its antidemocratic governance. But sometimes they will not trim the president’s sails, such as when Trump went against the views of Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary Tillerson in deciding to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Moreover, the bully pulpit component of democracy policy—the president’s public profile and statements (including his tweets)—is crucial. No amount of quiet diplomacy by experienced advisers can patch up the damage inflicted by a president who waxes lyrical about dictators, disparages democracy promotion, and demonstrates an obvious disdain for basic democratic norms and institutions at home.

What Remains

Although the president’s role is crucial, democracy policy is a complex, multilayered endeavor, with multiple important elements. Diplomatic efforts well below the level of the president and his top advisers often contribute significantly to democracy support. Democracy assistance can do much good. Engagement with multilateral institutions and initiatives is a valuable multiplier. Congressional support and pressure can help preserve and advance work in these three areas and more broadly. The damage done so far under Trump in these various areas has not yet been extensive, although much uncertainty exists about how they will fare as the Trump presidency unfolds.

Pro-democracy Diplomacy

A crucial element of U.S. democracy policy is diplomatic efforts below the level of presidential engagement to support democracy in specific countries at crucial junctures—using diplomatic as well as economic carrots and sticks to try to halt democratic backsliding; unblock dangerous political standoffs, especially around disputed elections; or bolster countries that are moving ahead democratically. U.S. diplomats in-country—often led by a capable, strong-minded ambassador—may drive such efforts, or they may emanate from the State Department in Washington, with support from White House staff, the U.S. Agency for International Development, key players on Capitol Hill, and diplomats in the field.

Since the 1980s, this sort of pro-democracy diplomacy has become a common element of U.S. foreign policy, as pro-democratic norms and experiences have been gradually socialized into the foreign policy bureaucracy. It is not yet clear how much this will continue in the Trump administration. Many career diplomats remain in place around the world and are thus far largely continuing established policies from previous years. For example, a career diplomat U.S. ambassador, Patricia Alsup, with support from a career assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, worked diligently and effectively in the first several months of 2017 to continue the diplomatic push started in late 2016 to help The Gambia get though a troubled election. This included rapid mobilization of democracy funds, support for the pro-democratic role by the Economic Community of West African States, and nuanced diplomacy with key Gambian political actors.

Yet if such efforts do not receive general encouragement as well as specific backing at key moments from the top levels of the State Department and the White House, they will diminish in frequency and impact over time. And if adequate resources are not available for timely injections of assistance or the tactical use of democracy assistance programming, they will suffer further. More generally, pro-democracy diplomacy requires an empowered, dynamic State Department, capable and inclined to engage forthrightly in complex political junctures abroad and to delegate significant responsibility to in-country initiatives by seasoned diplomats. Thus far at least, Secretary Tillerson has not shown signs of creating such an agency, instead demotivating and disempowering the career staff both in Washington and abroad and gravely weakening the department more generally.

Many important tests lie ahead in countries where democracy is at risk, such as Colombia, Hungary, Kenya, Moldova, Myanmar, Nigeria, Poland, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Ukraine. Often it is in such countries that are not in the daily headlines where U.S. democracy policy is most influential. Supporting democracy in such places is not a matter of pursuing soft-minded idealism in distant corners. In these states, and many others, supporting democracy directly reinforces important U.S. economic and security interests, be it helping an important counterterrorism partner like Kenya achieve political stability through democratic institution-building or backing a vital security partner like Ukraine in its efforts to consolidate a difficult democratic transition. By frequently emphasizing the mistaken idea that values and interests are separate and often in conflict with one another—as opposed to pursuits that are closely interrelated and often mutually reinforcing—Secretary Tillerson, National Security Adviser McMaster, and other key members of the Trump foreign policy team have cast doubt over the prospects for active, effective pro-democracy diplomacy under Trump.

Democracy Assistance

Assistance programs aimed at fostering democracy—such as support for strengthening parliaments, political parties, the rule of law, election administration, civil society, or independent media—stand alongside and often work hand-in-hand with pro-democracy diplomacy. The Trump administration’s initial moves relating to democracy assistance were sharply negative. Its first international affairs budget called for deep cuts in assistance—approximately 31 percent overall—that included major reductions in democracy assistance.9 But this was just a proposed budget; Congress will largely determine the actual numbers. The signals thus far indicate much less of a cut overall and possibly little reduction in democracy aid, or even an increase for some lines of democracy funding. The fiscal year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill passed in May 2017, for example, basically straight-lined the international affairs budget and included a 40 percent increase in the State Department’s Human Rights and Democracy Fund.10

At the same time, however, dollar amounts are not the only or even the primary determinant of the impact of U.S. democracy assistance. Democracy aid is most effective when backed up by active support for democracy promotion on the part of U.S. foreign policy principals. And the general enterprise of U.S. democracy aid is inevitably dulled by the continuing diminishment of the U.S. model of democracy. Thus, how vital and how effective U.S. democracy assistance will be during the Trump years remains an open question.

Multilateral Engagement

Support for and engagement with multilateral institutions and initiatives that seek to advance democracy is an especially useful area for the United States, as it helps decrease the perception abroad that U.S. democracy promotion efforts are only assertions of U.S. geostrategic interests rather than elements of a wider effort by the community of democratic nations.

There are many examples of U.S. multilateral engagement on democracy issues, some going back decades, some more recent. For example, the United States has been a major funder of the United Nation’s Development Programme’s extensive democracy programs and of the UN Democracy Fund, and a significant player on the UN Human Rights Council. At various regional multilateral institutions, the United States has also been an active force, such as through its funding for and support of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Additionally, the U.S. government has played a founding and sustaining role in other relevant multilateral initiatives, such as the Open Government Partnership and the Community of Democracies.

It is not yet clear what approach the Trump administration will take in this realm—whether it will get past the president’s knee-jerk negative reaction to all things multilateral and embrace the value of burden sharing, leveraging U.S. influence, norm-building, and other positive features of working multilaterally. President Trump has disparaged the United Nations even while his UN ambassador has been taking the institution seriously and engaging effectively. The administration’s early 2017 budget blueprint foresaw deep cuts to U.S. funding for numerous international organizations.

To take one example, the administration’s approach to the Organization of American States (OAS), which plays a useful role in supporting democracy in the Western Hemisphere, has not been encouraging. The administration’s budget blueprint included deep cuts to the organization, cuts OAS officials argued would “cripple” the organization.11 Additionally, the administration undercut the critical June OAS summit, where the Venezuelan foreign minister walked out of the meeting and a U.S.-backed resolution against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro failed to pass, after Tillerson declined to attend.12 The administration has also shown marked ambivalence toward the Community of Democracies, a multilateral initiative that the United States was fundamental in establishing in 2000 and currently holds the presidency of. Secretary Tillerson has significantly delayed deciding on basic elements of the long-planned September 2017 ministerial meeting of the Community in Washington, sending a clear signal of disregard for an uncontroversial organization dedicated to bolstering democracy worldwide.

Congress’s Role

Congress plays a crucial supporting role in all three of the areas described above, through its control of the international affairs budget, its ability to impose economic sanctions, the direct contacts by senators and representatives with foreign leaders and citizens, and its power to hold the administration’s feet to the policy fire on specific country cases. Over the last few decades, Congress has built a record of strong support for U.S. democracy policies, with significant bipartisan backing in the Senate and the House. As part of its growing frustration with and willingness to challenge Trump on foreign policy, Congress will likely try to mitigate some of the administration’s retreat on democracy issues. The 2017 Russia sanctions legislation that Congress passed in June and July and Trump signed in August was a sharp indication of the willingness of Congress to step out in front of the administration and effectively take the lead in setting policy with respect to a crucial country.

Bringing Persistence Home

Analyses of the democracy policies of new U.S. presidents often mythologize the past. The new president’s actions are compared, unfavorably, to some imagined earlier time when the United States forthrightly, consistently, and effectively promoted democracy abroad, matching inspirational rhetoric with determined action and propelling democracy forward in the world. The United States has played an important, sometimes vital, role in advancing democracy’s fortunes in the past several decades. But inconsistencies and shortfalls have always dogged these efforts, with democracy struggling for a place among other interests and priorities that often impel Washington to downplay democracy in its dealings abroad. Democracy deeds have almost always fallen short of democracy rhetoric. And colossal mistakes have been made in some cases, such as the ambition on the part of some in former U.S. president George W. Bush’s administration to use the invasion of Iraq both to democratize Iraq and to spread democracy throughout the region.

Even keeping this cautionary reality fully in mind, the approach of President Trump is a startling and dispiriting deviation from the sustained bipartisan consensus that democracy and human rights can and should both figure prominently in U.S. foreign policy and largely reinforce rather than conflict with U.S. economic and security interests. Trump’s enthusiasm for repressive strongmen, open disdain for the idea of the United States as a model for others, and heedless trampling of democratic norms at home have put the country in a much worse place on democracy and rights than it has been for many decades. His words and actions have thrilled and emboldened autocrats all around the world while demoralizing pro-democratic activists struggling against repression and democratic backsliding in many countries. And they have stunned many partners in Europe and elsewhere who are part of the democracy promotion endeavor, making them question the value and even the possibility of continuing to cooperate with the United States on these issues.

All is not lost. Significant commitment, knowledge, and capacity on supporting democracy and human rights abroad still exist in many parts of the U.S. foreign policy and assistance bureaucracies, in Congress, and in the wider community of U.S. nongovernmental organizations dedicated to democracy building. Many professionals in these institutions are determined not to let the present ill winds emanating from the White House deter them. Numerous U.S. diplomats abroad and in Washington intend to continue to employ diplomatic and economic levers to help troubled democratic transitions abroad move forward and blunt backsliding autocrats. Providers of U.S. assistance plan to keep carrying out programs to help foster democratic reforms and activism abroad. U.S. officials and activists engaged with multilateral organizations that support democracy globally are dedicated to preserving crucial forms of U.S. support for and work with these institutions.

The actions of these persons will be weakened by the negative posture at the top of the administration and by damage to the State Department and other parts of the foreign policy bureaucracy. But just as they have learned to take a long-term approach in their work abroad—not letting the daunting vicissitudes of democratization make them give up—they will now need to apply the same determination and persistence to survive and ultimately overcome the negative currents at home. This will mean many things: making the case again and again that strengthening democracy often directly advances U.S. economic and security interests, quietly refuting the idea that democracy support is all about lecturing and imposing, demonstrating the futility of counterterrorism strategies that neglect the fostering of political inclusion and institution building in countries that are generating terrorists, showing a willingness to take action at crucial places where democracy is at risk abroad even when the top bosses at home are uninterested in or uncommitted to such efforts, and sticking with hard, dangerous work in conflict zones and precarious states despite the belittlement of such efforts by a constantly distracted and uninformed president.


1 While in Poland, Donald Trump attacked CNN as “fake news” and “dishonest” before asking Polish President Adrzej Duda if he had similar problems with the media. President Duda has taken part in attacks on press liberty in Poland. Alexandra Wilts, “Donald Trump Attacks ‘Fake News’ as Polish President Responsible for Crackdown Smiles,” Independent, July 6, 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/trump-poland-trip-fake-news-president-andrzej-duda-cnn-a7827751.html.

2 Gregory Szakacs, “U.S. Vote Marks End of ‘Liberal Non-Democracy’ - Hungary PM,” Reuters, November 10, 2016, accessed August 10, 2017, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-election-hungary-orban-idUKKBN135111?il=0.

3 Tom Batchelor, “Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban Praises Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ Nationalism,” Independent, January 23, 2017, accessed August 10. 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/donald-trump-nationalist-hungary-pm-viktor-orban-praise-america-first-a7542361.html.

4 “Trump Says Ties With Bahrain Won’t Be Strained Anymore,” Reuters, May 21, 2017, accessed August 24, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-saudi-bahrain-idUSKCN18H05Y; Noah Browning, “Bahrain Security Forces Raid Home of Shi’ite Spiritual Leader,” Reuters, May 23, 2017, accessed August 24, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bahrain-security-idUSKBN18J0QZ.

5 Julia Wallace, “Cambodian Leader Orders US Charity Out Over CNN Report on Sex Trade,” New York Times, August 2, 2017.

6 “The Fact Checker’s Tally of Trump’s False Claims Since Becoming President,” Washington Post, updated July 19, 2017, accessed August 10, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-claims-database/?utm_term=.ea3fe44747ce.

7 Philip Bump, “Donald Trump Isn’t Fazed by Vladimir Putin’s Journalist-Murdering,” The Fix (blog), Washington Post, December 18, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/12/18/donald-trump-glad-to-be-endorsed-by-russias-top-journalist-murderer/?utm_term=.59473c9f0f45.

8 David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman, “Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack,” New York Times, July 20, 2016, accessed August 24, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/21/us/politics/donald-trump-issues.html?_r=0.

9 Bryant Harris, Robbie Gramer, and Emily Tamkin, “The End of Foreign Aid As We Know It,” Foreign Policy, April 24, 2017, accessed August 24, 2017, http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/04/24/u-s-agency-for-international-development-foreign-aid-state-department-trump-slash-foreign-funding/; “Administration’s Detailed FY18 Budget Request Similar to Skinny Budget,” U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, accessed August 24, 2017, http://www.usglc.org/downloads/2017/05/USGLC-FY18-Budget-Analysis.pdf, 1.

10 “Congress Finalizes FY17 Spending: Slight Boost in Total for International Affairs Budget,” U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, accessed August 24, 2017, http://www.usglc.org/the-budget/congress-finalizes-fy17-spending-slight-boost-total-international-affairs-budget/.

11 Andrés Oppneheimer, “Trump May Weaken OAS – and Efforts to Restore Democracy in Venezuela,” Miami Herald, March 15, 2017, accessed August 24, 2017, http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article138719758.html.

12 Mark Stevenson, “Venezuela Walks Out of Americas Summit in Mexico,” AP, June 20, 2017, accessed August 24, 2017, https://apnews.com/f39e57c6bfe149b2a124c7739d48459c/Venezuela-walks-out-of-Americas-summit-in-Mexico.