"The damage is hard to overstate. This is not just the US bugging a head of government who happens to be a close ally and Europe's pivotal leader. She also grew up under the German Democratic Republic and the surveillance of the Stasi secret police. She is right to regard this revelation as a serious breach of trust," writes the Financial Times in an editorial.
"There is much talk today about the risks of a new era of American isolationism and a lack of U.S. leadership in the world. It is important to remember that isolationism can be triggered not only by a potential retreat from global affairs, but also by the rather imprudent use of America's hard and soft power on the world stage," writes Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg for Project Syndicate.
"We are not reassured by the often-heard explanation that everyone spies on everyone else all the time. We are not advocating a return to 1929 when Secretary of State Henry Stimson banned the decryption of diplomatic cables because 'gentlemen do not read each other's mail.' But there has long been an understanding that international spying was done in pursuit of a concrete threat to national security," the New York Times writes in an editorial.
The United States has intensified support for African forces searching for Joseph Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army warlord infamous for recruiting child soldiers, and is advising African troops in Congo, Uganda, and South Sudan in order to capture the leader, thought to be hiding in the Central African Republic (WaPo).