When the US and Australia hold their annual top-level security consultations in Washington on Wednesday, they will doubtless exchange the usual bromides about the enduring value and strength of their alliance.
But the Australia defence and foreign ministers might also want to vent a little as well to their counterparts about the diplomatic mess that the former US intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden, has landed them in.
The revelation that the National Security Agency, America’s eavesdropping body, had bugged the mobile phone of German’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, provoked a crisis in Washington’s ties with Berlin. Mr Snowden has given Australia its own “Merkel moment” this week, with the publication of leaked documents detailing how Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate bugged the phones of top Indonesian leaders. Read more