The United States government has been involved in and assisted in the overthrow of foreign governments (more recently termed "regime change") without the overt use of U.S. military force. Often, such operations are tasked to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Regime change has been attempted through direct involvement of U.S. operatives, the funding and training of insurgency groups within these countries, anti-regime propaganda campaigns, coup d'états, and other activities usually conducted as operations by the CIA. The U.S. has also accomplished regime change by direct military action, such as following the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 and the U.S.-led military invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Some argue that non-transparent United States government agencies working in secret sometimes mislead or do not fully implement the decisions of elected civilian leaders and that this has been an important component of many such operations. See Plausible deniability. Some contend that the U.S. has supported more coups against democracies that it perceived as communist, or becoming communist.
The U.S. has also covertly supported opposition groups in various countries without necessarily attempting to overthrow the government. For example, the CIA funded anti-communist political parties in countries such as Italy and Chile; it also armed Kurdish rebels fighting the Ba'athist government of Iraq in the Second Kurdish-Iraqi War prior to the Algiers Agreement.
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