Column: Surveillance of European leaders damages international trust

European support proves vital for the United States

Column: Surveillance of European leaders damages international trust

It was recently released that the United States has been spying on top politicians throughout Europe, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Francois Hollande of France. This was met with overarching scrutiny among members of the European Union, and especially those within the countries that were spied upon. These recent accusations could lead to a “lack of trust” between European nations and America, according to top officials in Europe. This is the last thing America needs in a time of need. Edward Snowden’s leaks over the summer of National Security Agency surveillance on citizens of the United States already made many foreign nations wary of America’s growing surveillance state status, and further findings will only undermine America’s credibility even more. Just coming off of a shutdown and a near default on our debt, ruining international credibility is about the worst thing that our government could do at this point. Now more than ever are we reliant on international alliances and compliance with American policies. We need to show to the world that our Treasury bonds and our alliances are still as strong and important as ever, not create distrust and shady relations.

Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mark Rogers recently tried to vindicate the NSA’s surveillance of numerous European nations. He claimed that the NSA only took bits and pieces of information, and that European surveillance standards are far too low, so in the end the U.S. was doing France and Germany a favor by monitoring their security situations. This seems like the most convoluted and self-promoting excuse anyone could have thought of. If the House or any other part of our government had true concern regarding the safety and security of France or Germany, it seems as if they simply should have told them and worked out a solution instead of secretly spying on their people and their officials.

At this point, it seems as if it’ll be hard for America to justify its actions. Instead, they’re going to have to rectify with Europe and set a precedent for the future. Hopefully politicians on Capitol Hill can set aside their pride for a while and establish a strong base for which to move past this scandal.

We can only hope this ideal becomes a reality, because Europe’s support is crucial for the success and growth of America. We need both their political and economic support for the years to come. We cannot afford to alienate in any way member of the European Union, because their support will determine how well America responds to some of the calamities we are currently facing. So for the sake of international relations and for the sanctity of our nation, we need to hope that this newest surveillance scandal gets calmed and that relations between America and Europe stay as strong as ever.