Turkey May Block Rasmussen as NATO Secretary General

US Backs Hawkish Danish PM for Top Job, But Turkey May Foil Bid

The United States has endorsed Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to replace Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as Secretary General of NATO in July, adding its voice to Germany, France and Britain in supporting the candidate. His appointment would have to be unanimous however, and that may be difficult.

Turkey, another NATO member, seems to have serious reservations about Rasmussen. Officials pointed to the seething resentment stemming from the 2006 cartoon published in a Danish newspaper. Rasmussen was also instrumental in blocking Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.

Rasmussen was an outspoken supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, famously declaring in the Danish Parliament the day before the attack began that “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know.”When pulling the troops out of Iraq last year he described himself as “favorable to sending more troops to Afghanistan,” declaring that victory in the war was “essential.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.