Every so often, the leadership of one country will decide that it doesn't like the leadership of another country. Perhaps there's a longstanding feud between the two leaders, perhaps one wants to take over the other but not look like it, or perhaps the leader of the latter country is bent on causing trouble. Whatever the reason, the first country wants the leadership gone. Enter Regime Change. Popularized during the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, this term can be applied to any number of forms: invasions, coups, assassinations, fixing elections...you name it, it's probably happened. Differs from The Coup chiefly by origin despite being one of the ways Regime Change can occur - coups begin from within the current governing system (often a country's own military, whereas Regime Change generally comes from outside it (propaganda and other PR, of course, will paint the picture as it suits whatever side is telling the story). The two are not mutually exclusive (for example, a general could launch a coup with help from a foreign power), but which one is predominantly portrayed can effect different reactions in the story. Both, however, are different from more drawn-out conflicts like general war in that changes are usually confined to the top levels of government and the policies it implements - wholesale annexation of land or massive, long-lasting social upheaval are usually not part of the picture.
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