Germany confronts America
It is true that countries expect other countries to spy on them, even friendly nations. It is also true the officials of one country will always seek channels to get inside information about another country’s leadership. At the same time, America’s intelligence gathering apparatus is out of control as it does what is pleases. Even though the German government should have expected the US to spy on the German People and the German government, the fact that they have evidence of what American’s spies were doing warrants action. Although insiders of America’s spy apparatus and political system dismiss ongoing revelations of the CIA’s operations against Germany as the status quo, the German People were certainly never going to react well to such intrusions. After all, neither would the American People. In fact, the US government would probably react to such a blatant incursion by Germany in a similar fashion.
With that in mind, the US is clearly the dominate partner when it comes to the German-American relationship; however, Germany is also the economic center of Europe. Where America’s status as a global superpower affords the US leverage over weaker nations as well as the privilege to be hypocritical, Germany’s status as a regional power and America’s need for Berlin’s cooperation on issues like the Ukrainian Crisis puts Germany in a position where it must submit to US dominance or preserve its credibility as a world power. Given Germany’s dominance of European policy and America’s need for German cooperation, Berlin chose to act in its interests when it kicked the CIA station chief out of Germany then reaffirmed the importance of the German-American partnership. In doing so, German Chancellor Angela Merkel took control of the situation politically and strategically. As US retaliation could lead to escalation and America cannot afford to lose the support of Berlin at this time, the Obama Administration will simply have to take it on the chin and do something to appease Germany.
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