As Fareed Zakaria noted on his CNN GPS program today, smart people are starting to make that case that Snowden’s leaks have served U.S. national interests, moving to a more “multi-polar internet” as one commentator notes.
Most national security professionals still don’t agree, but this may be a change in the dominant view. Edward Luce’s main arguments:
- “Snowden reminds us there is more at stake over America’s sprawling data intelligence complex than hunting terrorists.”
- “Nowadays anyone can download enough classified information to construct Tolstoyan epics about US espionage. Here too, Mr Snowden’s actions have been helpful.”
- Obama now has the reason to reform the national security system, to repair the post 9/11 overcorrection.
To sum up, Luce notes that America’s soft power is taking a relative hit over these NSA spy leaks, and the US President has a chance to change the view of US power, from its “coming to stand for Big Brother” to an emphasis on the positive aspects.