Paul Lachine

Les chaperons américains de Merkel

BERLIN – Les Allemands avaient coutume de dire en plaisantant que la tendance qu’a la chancelière Angela Merkel à communiquer par des sms éphémères avait de fait mis fin à l’historiographie traditionnelle. Eh bien, au moins les agences de renseignement américains ont soigneusement gardé la trace de ces communications officieuses – à Berlin et ailleurs dans le monde.

Il semble hélas que le président Barack Obama et son administration n’aient pas encore évalué correctement l’ampleur et la gravité des dommages causés à la crédibilité des Etats-Unis auprès de leurs alliés européens. Le problème ne tient pas au fait que les pays s’espionnent entre eux (ils le font tous). C’est davantage la dimension de la collecte d’informations et l’attitude des Etats-Unis envers ses alliés qui sont les plus préjudiciables.

De précédents litiges transatlantiques sur des questions telles que le changement climatique, les détenus de Guantanamo Bay et la guerre d’Irak avaient déjà exposé une érosion de la compréhension mutuelle, parfois liée à des divergences marquées sur la meilleure manière de parvenir à des objectifs communs. Mais les écoutes sur internet et d’autres révélations troublantes de l’ancien consultant informatique américain pour les services de renseignement Edward J. Snowden sont symptomatiques d’un problème plus sérieux : une crise liée à un manque de confiance réciproque qui risque de provoquer un clivage transatlantique au moment même où une meilleure coopération politique, économique et sécuritaire est plus que jamais nécessaire.

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