US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on another European road trip just to make sure those rational and pragmatic Europeans understand the threats from the US.
Speaking at a press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Pompeo underlined the US stance with the thickest of marker pens and reiterated the US threats with serious authority.
“We also had part of conversations about other elements of China,” said Pompeo. “We’ve been pretty clear about how we view the risk connected to Huawei and 5G infrastructure. The internet of the future must have Western values embedded in it.”
Pompeo’s first mission is to address the Chinese threat, of which Huawei is considered a major cog, but that is not taking up all of his time.
“We have a second mission which is to educate our friends about these risks as well,” said Pompeo. “We talk to them plainly and openly. They’ll make their own decisions, Germany is thinking about it, but we will speak to them openly about the risk we see and how we think they can be mitigated. In the case of Huawei, our concern it that it is not possible to mitigate those [risks] anywhere inside of a 5G network.”
Pompeo clearly feels his European counterparts do not comprehend the severity of the Huawei threat, and he has taken it upon himself to lead the crusade in educating the world on the risk.
And if the world doesn’t understand, access to US intelligence will be withdrawn.
One of the issues which might cause further friction is the inability for the US Government to distinguish between core and non-core elements of the network. This is what Europe is basing its decisions on, allowing Huawei to operate in the ‘dumb’ parts of the network but not the core. For the US, this is not good enough, and never will be.
We expect a lot more huffing and puffing from the White House propaganda machine and the fear-mongering puppets of Trump over the next couple of weeks, though it will be interesting to see whether the US follows up on threats to reduce visibility of its intelligence data.