L’effet Snowden

MADRID – La divulgation répétée d’informations confidentielles par l’ex-consultant de l’Agence nationale de sécurité américaine Edward Snowden a provoqué un débat houleux autour du secret et du droit international, un débat qui a malheureusement occulté la dimension géostratégique de ses agissements. En réalité, les révélations de Snowden relatives aux programmes de surveillance américains, ainsi que le combat qu’il mène actuellement afin d’échapper à l’extradition, en disent long sur l’imprimatur du président Barack Obama à l’égard des relations entretenues par les États-Unis avec l’étranger.

Plus que tous les autres présidents américains entrants de l’histoire récente, Obama a suscité des attentes dans le monde entier. Or, celui-ci s’est révélé s’intéresser principalement – voire exclusivement – aux questions nationales, ce qui a abouti à une politique étrangère axée sur la réaction. L’affaire Snowden met en lumière trois aspects de cette politique : les relations entre États-Unis et Russie, l’influence américaine en Amérique du Sud, ainsi que les relations entre États-Unis et Europe.

La manière dont le Kremlin gère cette affaire est tout à fait révélatrice de l’état de tension qui caractérise les relations entre les États-Unis et la Russie. Depuis l’échec de la politique de « reset » des relations bilatérales entre les deux pays, la Russie entend bien maintenir sa place dans le monde afin de faire obstacle aux États-Unis, ce qui a amené nombre d’acteurs des deux camps à renouer avec une mentalité de guerre froide. En tombant dans ce piège, l’Amérique a fourni au président Vladimir Poutine tout le combustible nécessaire pour marquer des points sur le plan politique et renforcer sa position nationale.

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