De Westerse Alliantie in het digitale tijdperk

MÜNCHEN – Dit weekend zullen Helmut Schmidt en Henry Kissinger meedoen aan een discussie op de Münchener Veiligheidsconferentie (MV); net zoals vijftig jaar geleden toen ze deelnamen aan de eerste ‘Internationale Wehrkunde-Begegnung’ (de voorloper van de huidige conferentie). In de tussentijd hebben veel ontwikkelingen in de wereld ons reden gegeven tot vreugde, maar ook tot reflectie.

Het zijn niet alleen de crises die zich uitstrekken van Oekraïne tot Syrië die er voor zullen zorgen dat de vijftigste MV geen oefening in zelfgenoegzaamheid zullen worden. Het trans-Atlantische partnerschap, traditioneel de pijler van de conferentie, heeft betere dagen gekend.

De Verenigde Staten hebben nu tenminste ingezien dat er veel vertrouwen verloren is gegaan in de afgelopen maanden, vanwege de schaal van de observatie ondernomen door  het National Security Agency. De speech van Barack Obama over hervormingen van de activiteiten van de VS met betrekking tot het inwinnen van inlichtingen, zowel als zijn daaropvolgende interview op de Duitse televisie, representeerden een eerste poging om het vertrouwen van Amerika’s bondgenoten terug te winnen. Maar het betekent op zijn best het begin van een intensieve trans-Atlantische dialoog over het probleem.

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