NATO’s new Secretary General knows a thing or two about keeping a big operation airborne. In the 1960’s, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer flew cargo planes in the Dutch air force. It was a task, some say, that was every bit as daunting as trying to maintain the relevance of the world’s largest military alliance.
Created during the Cold War to defend Europe and its allies against Soviet aggression, NATO today is scrambling to redefine its role while maintaining its presence in places like Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Add to that the rift between the U.S. and Europe over the war in Iraq and you have what NATO’s new chief says is work cut out for him. Putting transatlantic relations on the road to recovery.
Jamie Shea, director of Information for NATO