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House Intelligence Committee Holds Open Hearing on Rise of Authoritarianism

Washington, February 27, 2019

Washington, DC –  On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence convened  an open hearing on the rise of authoritarianism around the world, autocratic regimes and their practices, the decline in democratic governance and faith in liberal democracy, and the threat these trends pose to the United States.

“The world has witnessed the steady ascendance of authoritarian leaders and illiberal governments in recent years, and the existential challenges these regimes and their underlying ideologies pose to liberal democracies demand our full attention,” said Chairman Adam Schiff. “From Putin’s Russia to Xi’s China, from Duterte’s Philippines to Erdogan’s Turkey, and even among other NATO allies, there is a global rise of autocracy and growing appeal of the authoritarian model, which ought to concern every American. It is our Committee’s duty to understand the security dimension of this troubling trend and ensure the Intelligence Community is adequately postured to assess how 21st-Century authoritarianism will affect our national security, and that of the world community, for years to come.”

To watch video of the hearing, please click here.

The Committee sought testimony about:

  • How modern authoritarian regimes consolidate and hold onto power;
  • Those regimes’ interest in attacking liberal democracy through political influence activities and other forms of intervention;
  • The role of advanced or Internet-based technologies in the authoritarian toolkit;
  • The role of the U.S. Intelligence Community and partner democratic intelligence services in collecting information about and analyzing authoritarianism and authoritarian regimes’ efforts  to assert regional or global influence; 
  • The future of U.S. military alliances and security partnerships with backsliding or “illiberal” democratic countries; and
  • America’s responsibility to recognize and counter the authoritarian threat as the world’s torchbearer for representative democracy and liberal ideals.

The following witnesses attended:

  • Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
  • Former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen
  • Teng Biao, Co-founder, the Open Constitution Initiative
  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program, Center for a New American Security

To read the statements for the record submitted by witnesses, please click here.