I'm running Linux Mint, a Debian-based distro, and I want to remove a package WITHOUT removing its reverse dependencies; or I want to target the removal of one package without removing anything else.
For example: I want to remove PACKAGE_A, but (PACKAGE_X, PACKAGE_Y, PACKAGE_Z) depend on PACKAGE_A and would be automatically removed. I need to keep X,Y,Z installed and only remove A. Unfortunately, if I were to reinstall X,Y,Z it would also reinstall PACKAGE_A.
For the particular package I'd like to remove, there are about 20 dependencies and some dependencies appear to be critical to proper GUI functionality.
On Arch Linux, the pacman documentation says:
To remove a package, which is required by another package, without removing the dependent package:
pacman -Rdd package_name
Since my Debian-based distro doesn't use pacman, how can I achieve the same functionality with apt-get, Aptitude, or the Mint Software Manager?
EDIT: Faheem Mitha's answer was exactly what I was looking for.
dpkg -r --force-depends foo
That removed the package in question without removing the dependencies apt-get and the Mint Software Manager complained about. Thank you!