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View Diary: Snowden Walks : Asylum Granted (30 comments)

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  •  US influence greatly diminished? Or a trade made? (1+ / 0-)
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    Whatever else one can say about the Russians, they are pragmatic and, generally, cautious.

    Therefore, it's surprising that they would grant Snowden asylum, irritating the United States.

    There are several possibilities, none of which are mutually exclusive.

    Perhaps the Russians don't think the US can or would impose any costs to granting asylum.

    Perhaps Snowden offered something of value. That need not be secret information. For example, he might be willing to work as a security consultant for Russian business or even the Russian government.  

    Or perhaps the Russians believe they will gain something in the form of international influence by publicly standing up to the US.

    What is true, without question, is that US influence has diminished. It can no longer persuade, and it can longer threaten strong non-aligned states. This was totally unnecessary, since the US could have granted Snowden whistleblower status and had him back in the US. That, of course, would have required a commitment to end NSA abuses.

    Great going, guys.  

    •  The politics are complex (1+ / 0-)
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      And Russians don't have to do much to give the US a black eye on this.

      Since they have no treaty obligations to return Snowden and an obligation under international law to receive and consider his application for asylum, it's not only a US option to express "disappointment" and pursue other remedies in the courts of diplomacy and public opinion.

      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 04:47:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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