News / USA

Can Pressure Bring Snowden to US?

The U.S. government is accusing Edward Snowden of espionage for leaking classified information about American surveillance programs.

Ariel Cohen, with the Heritage Foundation, said this is a huge embarrassment for the Obama administration, given the security breach.

“Somebody with so much access is allowed to just board the plane carrying, allegedly, four laptops with him and skipping to Hong Kong - that is a failure of security of enormous proportions.”

Snowden did not stay in Hong Kong as Chinese authorities allowed him to leave for Moscow.

White House spokesman Jay Carney strongly criticized that decision.

“This was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive, despite a valid arrest warrant and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the U.S.-China relationship," he said.

Washington urges Moscow to expel Snowden to US

Carney also urged Russian officials to expel Snowden to the United States.

But Charles Kupchan, with Georgetown University, says in China and Russia, there are domestic political pressures to help Snowden.

“There is a certain frustration and impatience with American lecturing about domestic freedoms, the lack of democracy, domestic surveillance - and now, all of a sudden, the United States has been shown carrying out its own surveillance,” said Kupchan. “I think there is a certain amount of what one might call ‘schadenfreude’ - enjoyment on behalf of others of the plight that the United States finds itself in.”

Some analysts are asking what the United States can do to pressure Moscow to expel Snowden.

“There are lots of issues in play with the Russians from Iran to Afghanistan, to the issue of intelligence cooperation in dealing with extremism, to the question of missile defense and arms control,” said Charles Kupchan. “But does the United States really want to take one of those issues in which it has clear geopolitical interests and tie it to Snowden? I think the answer is that that kind of linkage is problematic.”

As for China, Kupchan said the United States doesn’t want to end up doing things that harm its own interests.

“And in that respect, I don’t think the U.S. has a lot of sharp arrows in its quiver. There is a lot at stake with China and yes, the U.S. can and should express its displeasure with the fact that Hong Kong let Snowden out,” said Kupchan. “But it’s hard to see powerful punishments that don’t in some ways work to the disadvantage of the United States.”

Kupchan says in the final analysis, it is better for the United States to let the Snowden affair run its course.

Andre de Nesnera

Andre de Nesnera is senior analyst at the Voice of America, where he has reported on international affairs for more than three decades. Now serving in Washington D.C., he was previously senior European correspondent based in London, established VOA’s Geneva bureau in 1984 and in 1989 was the first VOA correspondent permanently accredited in the Soviet Union.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

update At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid