Foreign policy was a centerpiece of Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign and his presidential transition. China and Taiwan, ISIS, the Iran deal, and possible cooperation with Russia—each has been addressed by the president-elect and covered extensively by the media. Now that he has taken office, however, President Trump has inherited another issue that did not feature prominently during the campaign, but on which thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars in exports depend: tension with European allies over surveillance by the NSA.
The 2013 leaks by Edward Snowden badly harmed American credibility in Europe. A YouGov poll in 2015, two years after the leaks, found that Edward Snowden remained more admired in Germany than President Obama. Perhaps most troubling, in the year after the leaks the share of Germans calling for a more “independent” approach to the transatlantic relationship jumped from 40 percent to 57.3 percent.
High-level relationships between the United States and European officials have largely healed—partly out of necessity, partly because foreign-policy professionals are more jaded about espionage than ordinary citizens are.
Read the full article at The National Interest.