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regime change

Meaning: forced change of government after a foreign military invasion

For example:

  • Our forces entered Iraq to carry out our policy of regime change.

  • Forced regime change is only legal under international law when approved by the United Nations.

Note: For advanced learners: "Regime change" is doublespeak when it's used as a euphemism for invading a country and replacing the government with one that supports one's own economic or strategic interests. It isn't doublespeak, however, when used to mean a change of government or leader brought about by a country's own people, either through democratic elections, street protests or revolution.

Quick Quiz:

"Regime change" is doublespeak when used to describe the

a. military takeover of a country

b. voting in of a new government

c. overthrow of an unpopular regime

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Contributor: Matt Errey