The meeting last week between President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel improved communications between the countries, but also highlighted unresolved problems.
The Obama Administration is working with Ms. Merkel to keep Germany and the rest of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in synch with the United States on dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. She is not, however, taken by the idea of drawing NATO into a more antagonistic position toward Russia.
Resentment remains over U.S. National Security Agency surveillance of German communications, including Ms. Merkel’s cell phone. Mr. Obama tried to assert that the problem has been solved, and that Ms. Merkel is one of his “closest friends.” It didn’t really work.
Germans have lived through a dismal history of privacy violations, and are not going to believe readily that U.S. spying has stopped. Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel have a way to go before full trust and cooperation are restored.