Spy vs Spy

Former Carter Adviser Brzezinski Faults U.S., German Handling of Spy Scandal, Alliance Tensions

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Mr. Brzezinski’s statements on the U.S.-German spy scandal reflect how the crisis is perceived in Washington, D.C.

  • Facts


    • U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden detailed U.S. spying efforts in Germany.
    • Until recently, the U.S. was eavesdropping on the cellphone of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
    • Earlier this month, German authorities detained a member of the Germany’s foreign intelligence service for allegedly giving 218 documents to U.S. agents.
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Zbigniew K. Brzezinski
Brzezinski said Germans should not lose sight of the real threat: Russian aggression in Ukraine. Source: AP


In a recent column in Handelsblatt, Germany’s former foreign minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, harshly criticized the United States over its spying in Germany and abroad.

In an interview in Washington, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former security adviser to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, weighed in on the issue. Mr. Brzezinski said Germans should keep things in perspective and not lose sight of the real threat: Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Mr. Brzezinski, the Americans have infiltrated the Bundesnachrichtendienst, Germany’s intelligence service. Do you understand and appreciate why Berlin is now asking the head of the CIA in Germany to leave the country?

It would have been smarter and more constructive if they had asked him to leave behind closed doors. The de facto expulsion overdramatizes the whole case.

Doesn’t it give the U.S. government something to think about when even a person staunchly committed to transatlantic ideals like Hans-Dietrich Genscher is disgusted when he sees no appropriate reaction from the Americans about the accusations of espionage?

My impression is that talks are most certainly taking place informally, as the matter warrants. Perhaps the Americans should express their regret in some form or other in addition. But no one should think that the USA has hostile intentions.


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