British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been named as NATO’s new Secretary General. The British newspaper The Telegraph reports that leading Conservatives are pushing him forward for the post, which will be released next September when Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg is expected to resign.
For the time being, Johnson is still Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but he will soon be out of a job if his party has chosen a successor in six weeks. According to The Telegraph, the Americans would prefer a British NATO leader over someone from the European Union because there is more and more talk about their own defense policy. Previously, former Prime Ministers Theresa May and David Cameron and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace were named as possible successor to Stoltenberg.
According to Conservatives, Johnson would be a good choice because he has been tough on Russia recently. The UK has supplied many weapons to Ukraine, and Johnson has a good personal relationship with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Since all member states must unanimously elect the Secretary-General, all EU countries that are members of NATO must also agree. However, Conservatives already have doubts about whether someone like Emmanuel Macron would accept Johnson’s appointment, as the two have regularly clashed over the implementation of Brexit in recent years.
Stoltenberg’s NATO leadership term expired next September, but member states have asked him to stay an extra year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Norwegian former prime minister has led the Western alliance since 2014 and is already the longest-serving secretary general.