In the June 24 article, “Derrière Snowden, Une Partie Géopolitique Antiaméricaine” (“Behind Snowden Case, A Geopolitical Anti-American Contest”), Laura Mandeville argues that the Edward Snowden affair is creating a dangerous alliance between countries with various degrees of opposition to Washington (China, Hong Kong, Ecuador and Russia) in order to weaken its international standing. According to Mandeville, a sort of “international association of authoritarian regimes” is working against Washington.
Although it has its moments, Mandeville’s view is fanciful and impractical. It would be more realistic to conclude that these countries, traditionally opposed to U.S. foreign policy, are simply conducting their own individual foreign policies. For example, it is likely that China (which holds 25 percent of U.S. national debt) and Hong Kong are attempting to translate their economic power into a political strategy. Ecuador is already giving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange refuge in its embassy in London. Russia also appears interested in using its soft power to challenge the position of the United States in the matter.
Mandeville seems to believe China, Hong Kong, Ecuador, and Russia are forming an imaginary leftist axis against the U.S. war on terror. However, it is likely that these countries have been unintentionally wrapped up in the Snowden case and that in reality their policies oppose U.S. foreign policy for wildly different reasons. All these nations apparently want to send a message to the United States, advising Washington not to overstep its boundaries by monitoring the private life and communications of citizens around the world.
Samuele Tamburini, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
In response to Le Figaro: Derrière Snowden, une partie géopolitique antiaméricaine (“Behind Snowden Case, A Geopolitical Anti-American Contest”).
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