July 2, 2013

SMART DIPLOMACY: Snowden Fallout: Bad PR For Obama In Europe.

The report, based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, has gotten a number of politicians up in arms across the Atlantic. Françios Hollande described the allegations as unacceptable, and a spokesman from German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested the US was treating its European allies like Cold War enemies.

We’ll have to wait for the details to come out to see whether or not this is a tempest in a teapot. Espionage is a complicated game, and allies do sometimes keep an eye on each other in ways that aren’t exactly aboveboard. Indeed, the Times piece referred to a 2003 report alleging that the Justus Lipsius Building in Brussels, where many Eurocrats have their offices, was allegedly bugged by other Europeans.

Nevertheless, apart from the national security implications, the Snowden leaks have certainly caused a major PR headache for the administration. President Obama’s first-term ambition to restore America’s image in Europe after that rotten cowboy Bush had tarnished it appears to be in serious trouble.

And, frankly, it wasn’t doing all that well before.