01/16/2014 09:13 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Should The U.S. Be Spying On Its Allies In The Region?

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A Debate

The reported snooping by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) on world leaders is a rich teachable moment. It shows the underside of international relations. Spying on other governments—including friendly ones—is a pillar of modern foreign policy and a vital tool to protect against modern security threats like international crime, terrorism, cyber-attacks, drug trafficking, climate change, and stealing technology. As the saying goes, friends today may be foes tomorrow...

Versus --

Governments are supposed to protect their nations from foreign threats, and good intelligence is critical to that task. And while spying on enemies is not particularly controversial, things get more complicated when clandestine intelligence operations are directed at friends and partners. There has to be a careful balancing of benefits and potential for damage—especially if activities become public...

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