The European Commission has announced that it will negotiate deals to prevent countries like Pakistan from providing travel data to the United States — except when the US already suspects a particular traveler or is otherwise investigating a particular case. In other words, the European Commission wants to bar the kind of wholesale data exchange that’s needed to spot at the border terrorists who have successfully disguised themselves as tourists. And it plans to withhold all European travel reservation data from Pakistan unless the Pakistanis agree to join a data boycott of the United States.
Remarkably, Brussels is pursuing this data boycott despite a solemn promise to the United States that it would not take such action.
Still, I bet the Europeans would still like us to provide data to them:
European security officials said Wednesday a terror plot to wage Mumbai-style shooting sprees in Britain, France and Germany is still active and that sites in Pakistan — where the threat was intercepted two weeks ago — are being scoured for al-Qaida operatives.
The plot was still in its early stages and not considered serious enough to raise the current terror threat level, officials said.
But it was serious enough for America to drop some HE on terrorists:
Security officials said Wednesday a terror plot to wage Mumbai-style shooting sprees or other attacks in Britain, France and Germany is still active and that recent CIA strikes in Pakistan were aimed at al-Qaida operatives suspected in the threat.
Huh. I bet some data sharing helpe out for that. But the Euros probably think we'll continue to do their dirty work even if they cut us off from information we need to protect our country.
Or perhaps I'm being unfair. Maybe the EU types will just use European assets to defend themselves--sorry, I can't even type that with a straight face.
I thought the mere presence of George W. Bush made Europeans too angry to cooperate with us against terrorism. Isn't this sort of multi-lateral, intelligence and police based cooperation supposed to be easier now? doesn't Europe find it useful?
Yet again--and not for the last time, I'm sure--I must bemoan my lack of nuance in understanding how things are supposed to work in foreign relations. I'm sure it is clear to the Zakarias of the world.