A post-NSA partnership


After the NSA affair led to a diplomatic chill, representatives of Germany and the US are now talking about their shared values at the Munich Security Conference​​. But the question is: How can these values ​​prevail?


It has been 60 years, US Secretary of State John Kerry recalled, since he sat in the train to Berlin as a young boy in the early 1950s. He had to cross the inter-German border to arrive in the divided city. "I can remember guns rapping on the windows of my train when I dared to lift the blinds and try to look out and see what was on the other side."

In Berlin, where his father worked at the time, he rode his bike through the streets of the still-devastated city. Occasionally he encountered signs that proclaimed that a building had been rebuilt with funds from the Marshall Plan.

Referring to his colleague sitting next to him, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, he said, "Chuck and I feel this Atlantic relationship very much in our bones. Both of our families emigrated to the United States from Europe, and both of our fathers signed up to fight tyranny and totalitarianism in World War II. And we both watched the Berlin Wall go up as we grew up, and we grew up as Cold War kids."

Transatlantic renaissance

Kerry's and Hagel's speeches at the beginning of the second day of the Munich Security Conference were a sort of counterpoint to the poisoned atmosphere in the wake of the NSA affair that had burdened EU-US relations in recent months. They emphasized how strong the underlying foundation of the relationship still is. The two politicians' sophistication was supposed to present an image of an America beyond the digital superpower that apparently..

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