|America is really not your friend!|
Rather than snooping on Muslim youth at parks and schools, German, French and European intelligence agents need to watch the American embassies and activities of Americans in their own countries.
States (like Germany), both friend and foe to America, are seen as putting their state survival and geopolitical advancement first, above any and all interests. A state's first interest its own security. America's interests, understandably, are a nonexistent in the interests set of a state in the international system. States and their "selfish self interests cannot be trusted in a world of anarchy and self help." In years past here on Yellow Stars, I have cited one book in particular that contains essays by Waltz, Walt, Kupchan, and that is G. John Ikeberry's America Unrivaled: The Future of the Balance of Power (2002). This collection of mostly neorealist essays has quite a lot to say about how American thinkers should "manage European security after the Cold War." It's about maintaining American hegemony over Europe with a sickening arrogance in a world of anarchy and self help." Only America comes first to American thinkers - and those European states that seriously believe that America cares about their security are dead wrong about that! America does not care about German interests, German policies, and German security beyond that which benefits America's interests. Should German interests, German policies, and German security conflict with American hegemony (hence American security) it will be German interests, German policies, and German security that will lose. America does not care about Germany, only what America gets out of the "transatlantic partnership," including at Germany's expense. Once one understands this viewpoint (especially the Germans and other Europeans), one can then understand why America's intelligence community is keen to spy on "good NATO allies" and does not care about how the Germans or other European feel about the Snowden revelations.
It is also about "counter-balancing" and the notion that weaker states will eventually resist American unipolar power in the international system, including in Europe. To "secure peace" America must maintain dominance and hegemony, and "the American way" must be spread in the world. America not only wants to bask in the "unipolar moment," it wants to bask in it as long as possible. A threat to America's unipolar hegemony is taken as a threat to American national security. American hegemony and dominance is seen as a "keeper of peace and a buffer for American security." An ally state, like Germany, had better have American security interests (not threaten US hegemony in Europe) in mind when planning German foreign and security policy. Some neorealists believe that Germany could slide back to the Germany of the 1930s! Because American neorealist thinkers mistrust this from Germany, France, the European Union, as well as Brazil and Russia, American "national security" (hegemony) requires spying to ensure that allies are thinking and acting according to what is best for American "national security" interests (hegemony) and that American neorealist thinkers know what potential rivals, like Russia, are up to and how it could effect American "national security" by threatening American hegemony in Europe and beyond. It's a mindset that whatever is "anti-American" is a threat to American national security, one way other the other.
The dominance of neorealism in American policy making is at the heart of the problem. In American Unrivaled, Stephen Walt proposes "keeping the world off-balance" to "prevent that rise of an anti-American alliance" to balance American dominance and "defend the legitimacy of US Preponderance" (121-154). There should be no doubt that the spying on "good NATO allies" like France and Germany, as well as others, is a part of neorealist strategy to "keep the world," especially Europe, off-balance and keep America dominance. In fact, the arrogance of American neorealists is such that it could be believed that America has some kind of right to know what its European underlings are up to.Those that wish to counter the US and its arrogance in the world need to understand the reality of what American thinkers actually think, and make adjustments to counter America activities. I have always said - with good educated reason - that there is NO such thing as a "equal partnership" with America, and America feels entitled to take everything, including your state secrets.
American neorealists are probably not a bit sorry for the NSA spying - and even if treaties are obtained against American spying - it's a safe bet that America will continue to spy anyway to make sure that the your state and the world is "kept off -balance." In the narrow logic of American neorealist thinkers, "this keeps American safe."
America is your crazy, paranoid and neorealist neighbor that wants to know everyone's business. People need to realize that America in the world is like a crazy, paranoid, nosy neighbor who wants to know everybody's business because this crazy, paranoid, nosy neighbor seriously believes that her neighbors - including her best friends - might be plotting against her, to break in her home at night and attack her...she dominates and has neighbors in the European neighborhood doing her bidding. She at least wants to know if even her friends are saying bad things about her so she can decide if they are really friends, or if they need to be dropped of the 'friend list' she keeps ... and added to the enemies list. In order to "have peace" in the neighborhood, America wants you to think like her. America in the world is really a crazy, paranoid, nosy neighbor in the neighborhood with crazy neorealist notions. She wants to protect her dominate position in the world, especially her dominance of the European neighborhood. You need to take steps to protect yourself from her - even if you are one of her best friends. She doesn't trust you either, even if she says she does!
In one simple sentence: "It's all about keeping the Russians OUT, the Americans IN, and the Europeans DOWN."