The November 11, 2013, news article in the New York Times namely “Spying Scandal Alters U.S. Ties with Allies and Raises Talk of Policy Shift” discusses the shift in policies amongst the US and its allies. Smale and Sanger state that as the US and European negotiators advance a foundational trade accord which is intended to tie Europe and America together, European major business firms such as the Deutsche Telekom, the giant telecommunication firm in Germany are considering adopting strategies which will confine the information exchange within Europe. The main reason behind these intention is to avoid unnecessary data exchange across the Atlantic which result in the information being at the hands of the US’ National security agency. The segmentation of the internet to avert dependence on American firms which are forced to delve their data on internet and phone usage to the respective intelligence agencies by a court order or contract; have become a focus of talks amongst European politicians and businessmen. These individual demand that the any trade accord which will be adopted should encompass data privacy protection which the U.S readily wants to avoid. This concrete backlash has been a consequence of the spying scandal which revealed the monitoring of the communications of German chancellor, Angela Merkel (Smale and Sanger, “Spying Scandal Alters”). The issue has also become a focal point of debate within the U.S. government; with individual arguing whether the country should alter its foreign policies as it had been spying on its allies over some time. While the US government officials have defended the actions claiming that it is important to partner with countries than collecting information about them, the government has largely decline to talk publicly on the matter in spite of the assurances made to the German government. On the other side, the German official have been loud in the demands to have the U.S respect the international laws alongside the domestic laws. In addition to the power shifts demanding adjustments in the US foreign policy, the countries are experiencing a delirious moment governmentally and politically. Sad to the Germany, the US has been reluctant claiming no one know what might be required.
As indicated in the article, the US defense and foreign policy has for long offended it allies. Over the past years, the US government has been involved in various spying activities on its European and other allies; with the claim that it is essential to protect economies against cyber threats emerging from cyber criminals. Irrespective of the stand one takes concerning the spying scandal; there is little debate on the either lateral of the political corridor which the government’s handling indicates fault in the US foreign policy. It has confronted all the conventions, rules and wisdom which has been accrued on the international stage. For over a century, the US head of governments have trailed a careful path when the state of security comes at stake. Republicans and Democrats alike have made their decisions with the camera off the correct actions, crafted a strategy with advisers confidentially to have work the decisions, marshaled prodigious resources to guarantee victory, brought together the political will domestically and overseas to go ahead and then announce publicly their actions.
Is there any reason for the U.S. to spy on its allies?
Should the US change its foreign and defense policies to respect the international laws and the policies of its allies?
Smale, Alison and Sanger David (11 November 2013) “Spying Scandal Alters U.S. Ties With Allies and Raises Talk of Policy Shift” New York Times. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/spying-scandal-alters-us-ties-with-allies-and- raises-talk-of-policy-shift.html?_r=0