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Survival cover

Professor Easley examines the implications of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance controversy for trust and security cooperation among the U.S. and its allies in the journal, Survival.  Responses to the Snowden revelations were less strident in East Asia than in Europe and Latin America, suggesting the importance of domestic political context and cybersecurity concerns regarding China.  NSA activities fit a pattern of “trust but verify” more than a breach of trust.  The biggest “trust but verify” issue in international politics today involves the rise of China, and American allies and partners share a broad set of interests and values on international standards for governance.  These are standards to which the NSA should be held, but that should be more urgently applied to China’s cyber activities.

* Leif-Eric Easley, “Spying on Allies,” Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, Vol. 56, No. 4 (August 2014), pp. 141-156;

About Experts

Leif-Eric Easley
Leif-Eric Easley

Visiting Research Fellow

Dr. Leif-Eric EASLEY is a visiting research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Easley is also an associate professor of International Studies at Ewha Womans University where he teaches international security and political economics. His research interests include contested national identities and changing levels of trust in the bilateral security relationships of Northeast Asia. He was the Northeast Asian History Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University. He was also a visiting scholar at Yonsei University and the University of Southern California’s Korean Studies Institute. He is actively involved in US-Asia dialogues (Track II diplomacy) with the Asan Institute and the Pacific Forum-Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Easley received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.