Traditional Cold War narratives assert that the two hegemons, the United States and the Soviet Union, crafted and dominated the international system. These narratives tend to advance a position of American triumphalism in which US policymakers promote democracy and human rights while decrying Soviet totalitarianism and its accompanying socio-political repression. They also strip many Third World countries of their agency, treating them as reactive subjects of the superpower competition. Existing research has a noticeable gap regarding American support for right-wing authoritarian regimes in Asia. This study examines Washington’s relationship with three such countries during the Vietnam War era: Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Republic of China. It argues that in the context of the global Cold War generally and the Vietnam War specifically American policymakers dismissed moral concerns and sidestepped their public promotions of democracy for geopolitical stability. In Indonesia, Washington was complicit in the mass-murder of tens of thousands of known and suspected communists in 1965. It also supported Jakarta’s 1975 invasion of East Timor to undermine Beijing and demonstrate resolve after the fall of Saigon. In Cambodia, Lon Nol received American assurances, and even premeditated plans, for a coup. Thereafter, the United States aided his regime despite its military and economic ineptitude and a mounting insurgency. Lastly, Washington maintained its commitment to Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang after 1949 despite widespread political repression and Chiang’s own delusional desires to invade mainland China.