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In the wake of revelations that the American government tapped the cellphone of Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, trans-Atlantic relations have reached a low point not seen since the Iraq war.

In fact, the current crisis may be worse: Back then it was a question of policy disagreement; this time, it is a matter of broken trust and personal humiliation, the worst thing that can happen to a political leader.

For Germans, it is particularly painful. We remember well the days of the Cold War, when East Germans like Ms. Merkel were spied on by the Stasi. Again, in some ways this is worse: The Stasi wasn’t our friend; America is.…  Seguir leyendo »

Germans used to joke that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s penchant for communicating via fleeting text messages effectively marked the end of traditional historiography. Well, at least American spy agencies seem to have kept full track of the behind-the-scenes communications — in Berlin and beyond.

Regrettably U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration have yet to comprehend the scale and severity of the damage caused to America’s credibility among its European allies. The problem is not that countries spy on each other (they all do). Rather, it is the extent of U.S. intelligence gathering and America’s attitude toward allies that is most damaging.…  Seguir leyendo »