America’s spying rattles its friends

US president Barack Obama has yet again “found himself trying to placate” foreign allies who have “discovered the extent” of US spying in their countries, says Julian Borger in The Guardian.

The scandal, which erupted after it was revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on 35 world leaders, including French president François Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel, raises the question of whether the “edge such secret eavesdropping provides is worth the reputational damage” it creates once it is out in the open.

“With each leak,” says Borger, “US soft power haemorrhages, and hard power [...]

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