"Promoting democratic institutions, processes, and values has long been a U.S. foreign policy objective, though the priority given to this objective has been inconsistent. World events, competing priorities, and political change within the United States all shape the attention and resources provided to democracy promotion efforts and influence whether such efforts focus on supporting fair elections abroad, strengthening civil society, promoting rule of law and human rights, or other aspects of democracy promotion.
Proponents of democracy promotion often assert that such efforts are essential to global
development and U.S. security because stable democracies tend to have better economic growth
and stronger protection of human rights, and are less likely to go to war with one another. Critics
contend that U.S. relations with foreign countries should focus exclusively on U.S. interests and
stability in the world order. U.S. interest in global stability, regardless of the democratic nature of
national political systems, could discourage U.S. support for democratic transitions—the
implementation of which is uncertain and may lead to more, rather than less, instability..."