Laurent Borzillo – Network for Strategic Analysis – Who will be NATO’s next secretary general?

Read Laurent Borzillo’s article on the Network for Strategic Analysis.

February 2023: Nearly twelve months after Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, and while Kyiv’s allies continue, for some, quibble over the type of heavy weaponry that can or cannot be delivered to Ukraine, the main structures of the security architecture in Europe – NATO and the EU – continue their profound transformation. Given the immediate challenges that NATO faces (NATO’s resurrection; the future integration of former neutral countries; the risk of a new Trumpist administration, including a Trumpian epigone …), the choice of the next NATO Secretary General is all the more relevant to analyse. Quite traditionally – and unlike the European Union – NATO’s internal structures were not seen as a powerful bureaucracy seeking to increase its autonomy. In this respect, scholars rather analyzed decisions relating to the Alliance based on theoretical approaches highlighting the role of the States and their internal actors. However, the latest published work from John Deni, Heidi Hardt, and Leonard August Schuett, focusing mainly on the 2017-2021 period (i.e., Trump’s four years tenure), underlines the leading role played by the Alliance’s Secretary General, as well as several Alliance officials, in the maintenance and development of NATO in recent years.  While NATO has confirmed the departure next autumn of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who has been in office since 2014, who will take over as the head of the organisation?

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