For the last few weeks, there has been a debate going on in Pakistan that if the USA has been discretely trying to topple Imran Khan's government. In an Urdu speech, a government spokesperson said that the US ambassador to Pakistan called on the opposition leaders and justice in the Lahore High court while Imran Khan was visiting Russia for gas pipeline negotiations.

He also said that the US embassy also supplied funding for horsetrading.

However, my question is - Who was the last head of state/government that CIA tried to topple either with success or without success?

Please, provide an authoritative reference.

  • 2
    The linked article seem just propaganda, painting as Imran Khan as someone opposed to the US.
    – FluidCode
    Mar 26, 2022 at 14:52
  • @FluidCode, Their arguments are: (1) IK didn't give drone base in PK, (2) IK maintained CPEC with China even though this goes against US interest, (3) IK started an aggressive anti-India campaign regarding Modi's Nazism, the annexation of Kashmir, and open-air prison in Kashmir when India is a strategic partner of the USA, (4) IK pursued an independent foreign policy, (5) exposed US double game against PK e.g. drone strike inside PK and abusing PK even though PK was fighting USA's war and lost 80000 people, and lost $123 billion in the shape of a deteriorating economy.
    – user366312
    Mar 26, 2022 at 16:58
  • What is the threshold for "trying to topple"? Does a single nasty comment on social media suffice? Or nothing less than arming a group? Mar 26, 2022 at 17:34
  • 1
    What is the threshold for "trying to topple"? --- funding the opposition and giving advice on what strategy to follow; guaranteeing them US support in the future in the face of ongoing corruption charges. One opposition leader is already an absconder sitting in the UK; helping to drop all charges against him would be a major favor for the opposition.
    – user366312
    Mar 26, 2022 at 17:59
  • @user366312 "Their arguments are:" (1) Giving or not the bases did not stop the US drones. (2) US made a weak opposition to the whole belt and road initiative, even some US puppet state in Europe participated. The opposition seems to be only in the words. (3) An Asian version of the classic cold war useful to consolidate power for both governments, why should the US mind? (4)(5) Both local politics with little effect on the international stage.
    – FluidCode
    Mar 26, 2022 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


The last time that the USA (and the CIA as the intelligence agency of the USA, see "Timber Sycamore") was publically attempting regime change was in 2015, when Obama said "Assad must go" and attempted (without success) to topple the Syrian government.

The last time that the CIA secretly attempted to change a government isn't known.

But it would be reasonable to speculate that the CIA is active in Russia, and part of that role is to enable and support Russian opposition to Putin, with the ultimate goal of toppling him. This is currently ongoing.

  • 1
    Wouldn't the last paragraph constitute an interference into Russian internal affairs, like when Russians helped Trump to get elected?
    – Roger V.
    Mar 26, 2022 at 14:19
  • 4
    @RogerVadim The main issue in saying this is an interference is to prove it and prove this is illegal, for CIA in RUssia as for FSB in Trump's election. People, either American/Russian or foreigners, speaking in USA/Russia is not a crime Mar 26, 2022 at 18:01
  • The CIA, being part of the executive branch, would likely not have any 'topple Putin' operations dating from between January 2017 and January 2021. I've never done a coup, but 14 months for Russia seems short and short-sighted.
    – user121330
    Mar 26, 2022 at 20:40

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