This title is voluntarily a bit provocative. The US National Security Agency (NSA) has not specifically the purpose of “finishing Europe off”. The agency is in charge of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) in the service of the US government (USG). Its role is to spy and there’s nothing really shocking in the fact that it is interested in any communication that could help the USG to optimize its strategy and decisions. What’s however attracting growing discontent from Europe’s public opinions, this is the alleged scope of its spying on some of the closest allies of the US, namely Germany and France.
The absence of limits and the sense that the NSA seems not to deal with its allies differently than with its enemies is deeply shocking. Worse, the revelations as for its generalized enterprise of indiscretion come – terrible timing for some, happy coincidence for others – at one of the worst moments in the history of the building of Europe as a potentially decisive showdown between Greece and the Troika is ongoing. It’s difficult to advocate “Europe” when the citizens learn, bitter and angry, that the NSA allegedly spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel who was protected by the BND which spied on French high ranking officials for the NSA.
The ad infinitum imbroglio could be a comedy were there not potentially serious consequences for Europe. If the NSA did achieve its main purpose, namely spying, it confirmed the doubt that besets most the Europeans as for a fundamental question, what is “Europe” actually? That Germany can spy on France, against Europe, while the US benefits from it, maybe now is the time to finally clarify the situation rather than afflicting those who are doubting, and rightly so. In the meantime, Russia is enjoying the tempo.