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NATO Secretary General Succession Race

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The departure of NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg later this year has relaunched the race for his successor. Stoltenberg, the former Prime Minister of Norway, has served as the Western alliance’s top civilian official for nearly nine years and has overseen NATO through several international crises.

The choice of his successor will be symbolic of NATO’s direction and it is being speculated whether the alliance will appoint a woman or someone from Eastern Europe.

NATO has been headed by a series of Western European men for seven decades and the appointment of a woman or an Easterner as the Secretary General is being considered as a possibility.

With NATO’s strategic focus shifting towards the Eastern flank, the alliance is facing calls to appoint someone like Lithuania’s Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte or Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

Both have taken a tough diplomatic stance against Russia, which may be seen as a positive by some allies but may also count against them in some capitals.

The Netherlands is reportedly considering to propose its Defense Minister, Kajsa Ollongren, for the position.

Britain, which has already provided three Secretary Generals for the alliance in the past, is also being speculated as a potential candidate.

Its Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is often cited as a possible choice, but this may not be well received by the 21 NATO allies who are also members of the European Union.

On the other hand, NATO’s southern flank has figures like Italy’s former Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis as potential candidates.

A non-European Secretary General could also be appointed for the first time, with Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland being a wild card option.

However, there is currently no consensus among the NATO allies, with some suggesting that US President Joe Biden’s White House has not yet given the succession much thought.

Jens Stoltenberg took office at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels on October 1, 2014 and has been a respected Secretary General.

He was a bridge between the European allies and Washington under former US President Donald Trump, who was a frequent critic of NATO. Stoltenberg has overseen NATO’s response to several international crises, including the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022 and the ongoing war, the most brutal on European soil since the 1940s.

In conclusion, the departure of Jens Stoltenberg has relaunched the race for his successor as the Secretary General of NATO. The choice of his successor will be symbolic of NATO’s direction and it is being speculated whether the alliance will appoint a woman, someone from Eastern Europe, or someone from a different region altogether.

The potential candidates are from various regions and backgrounds, but there is currently no consensus among the NATO allies.

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Ameer Ali Salman
Ameer Ali Salmanhttps://themarkhortimes.com
Founder, Markhor Times. I write and i distribute.

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