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NSA Issue, A Storm in a Tea Cup?
|by Satis Shroff|
After the speech of the US President and the interview with Klaus Kleber (ZDF), two positions were defined but no change of course, and the work of the NSA was defended by President Obama.
The latter emphasized that small correction will be undertaken and friendly states will be further tapped if the national security demands it. Even Chancellor Merkel is expected to take the matter lightly. The reason is that Germany doesn’t belong to the same category of friends, and doesn’t enjoy the same status, as Britain, New Zealand and Australia.
It’s an open secret that Britain tends to fraternise more with the USA than with Europe due to historical reasons. After all Britain is the mother country of the thirteen original colonies of the USA, and the English language is common; although the founding fathers believed in a shared philosophy rather than linguistic unity as illustrated by foreign accents which are typical features of American speech. More and more US states have declared English as the official language to ward off the Hispanic, migratory expansion within its population.
Britain and the USA have shown mutual support in military matters: the USA came to the rescue of Britain in the World War I and II. Britain supported the USA in Korea and Vietnam. The USA helped Britain win the Falklands in 1982 (Thatcher era) and later both countries fought in the Gulf War in 1991, and also during the Hindukush war. Given all these mutual military operations, it’s only normal for the USA to regard Britain as its most reliable and staunchest ally and friend across the Atlantic. On the other hand, Britain tries to reconcile the US and EU interests, even though PM Cameron has remained reluctant towards an European Union membership, much like his predecessors. London doesn’t want to lose its competence to Brussels.
During the German Unity celebration in Stuttgart where I was invited, the Federal President Dr. Gauck stated that Germany ought to take an active part in the diverse military operations of the Nato and the US and not remain a passive logistic supplier. Germany’s next move in this direction is to send the German-French brigade to Africa to support France. It might be mentioned that Germany has been training the Afghan policemen since a number of years, even though there are doubts whether they will be able to withstand the Taliban attacks in the future.
With the collapse of the Iron Curtain around 1990 the USA gained supremacy as a superpower and world police. The EU is strong as an economic power but rather weak as a political unity. When strategic decisions have to be made, the US President is way ahead in comparison to the leaders in Brussels. On the other hand Brussels has gained strength as a competitor on the world markets, in addition to Russia, China, India and other Asian Tiger states.
Industrial espionage isn’t new, and the USA isn’t the only nation that taps the world, despite the warnings of Snowden. It is only normal that the US takes the defence of its own national security and its national interests seriously. Finding and maintaining an equilibrium between citizen’s rights and national security is a delicate balance, and what President Obama has promised was not a sweeping change in the activities of the NSA; which is furthermore obliged to collect communication data world wide in the form of e-mails and calls. The NSA collects 200 million sms-messages each day. The USA isn’t interested in curbing its own activities through a no-spying-agreement with Berlin. President Omaba does want to regain and restore the confidence of his foreign colleagues. But national security has top priority as usual. The European and South American leaders and citizens will have to comply and follow a policy of appeasement towards the USA. That’s all.
According to a German political barometer, the average German citizen is more concerned about the new waves of immigration than about the NSA-issue. Other relevant themes are the employment-markets and jobs, old age pension and gerontological security, the development of consumer prices and wages. Date protection and data collection by secret services interests only 3% and has a rating of place 15.
Believe it or not, not a single German citizen sought help from the fundamental Law Court in Karlsruhe regarding the NSA-issue, which normally receives 6000 constitutional complaints annually. Is this is sign of tiredness with the espionage them or resignation?
As far as the future is concerned, the USA and its Nato allies will have to move towards a common understanding on how the secret services can get along and coordinate with each other at a high level, even though the interests of the USA and UK and the Nato vary in such matters. In Europe the secret services become active only when an individual is suspected, whereas the British and US secret services collect all available information data first, then evaluate it and seek out suspected persons and terrorist-cells in their own and foreign countries.
Be that as it may, the Nato secret services need the USA and vice versa: the free trade agreement between Europe and the US is a poor card in this game, for both parties have a lot to lose. The message is clear: united we stand, divided we fall.
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