In these pages I suggested that a revised Kirkpatrick doctrine could help American policymakers find ways to deal more systematically with authoritarian states. Five commentators have since raised thoughtful objections to this thesis. I welcome these comments, as they advance my original objectives—first, to advance discussion of the differences among authoritarian states and, second, to engage opinion leaders on how American policy should treat them. Space constraints do not permit a rebuttal to each of the objections raised, so I will respond by addressing a few of the critics’ recurring themes.
Svante E. Cornell
The American Interest, March 25, 2020