Is it Time for a Canadian as NATO SecGen?



by Brett Boudreau
Read The Full 'Up For Debate' Discussion on Frontline Defence
April 26, 2018

The ‘decade of disdain’ for NATO, under the Prime Minister Stephen Harper / Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay / Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier period, marked a nadir for Canada-Alliance relations. Recently, there have been earnest efforts to repair the bond, but Canada remains far from any serious consideration as the prospective source of a future NATO Secretary-General.

Last December, NATO’s 29 member nations unanimously extended Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s four-year term for another two years, to 30 Sept 2020. Of the 13 leaders since the position was created in 1952, the Netherlands and the UK have each been the source country for three Secretaries General, Belgium twice, and Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway and Spain once each. Canada does not deserve, should not expect, and should not want to join that list anytime soon.

The four main reasons for this can be summed up in four Cs (capability, contributions, candidates, and continent). Canada’s real military capability is low, relative to other key, long-standing members and partners (such as Australia). Actual contributions to the Alliance, as well as filling important headquarters positions, remain overly modest. There is a decided lack of Canadian candidates with the necessary experience and gravitas. And, we happen to be on the wrong continent....


Image credit: NATO

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Michael Shannon
    commented 2018-04-28 19:39:59 -0400
    Canada shouldn’t provide head of NATO simply because NATO is about Americans coming to rescue Europeans- who no longer are in peril. Canada’s primary role on NATO’s formation was to set an example for the US. Given the end of the Warsaw Pact and the massive disparity in power between the European parts of NATO and Russia there’s no real reason for Canada to be in NATO let alone supply it’s titular head. Of course DND would argue we should stay put- but with three LGen positions at stake that would be expected.

No events are scheduled at this time.


Passport? What passport?

by Martin C. Barr (feat. Andrew Griffith), Laval News, June 29, 2022

Oil production test looms for OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia, UAE

by Editorial Staff (feat. Ellen Wald), S&P Global, June 29, 2022

Eric Nuttall & Amrita Sen - Oil & Energy Update

by Eric Nuttall (feat. Amrita Sen), Nine Point Partners, June 29, 2022

All talk, no traction

by Maura Forest and Andy Blatchford (feat. Robert Huebert), Politico, June 29, 2022

U.S. pushes for Russian oil price ceiling. Feasible?

by Matt Levin (feat. Ellen Wald), MARKETPLACE, June 28, 2022

Russia Ukraine Update

by Susan Bonner (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), CBC Radio One, June 28, 2022

Un sommet de l’OTAN pour tenir tête à la Russie

by Marie Vastel (feat. David Perry), Le Devoir, June 26, 2022

A geopolitical alternative system of co-operation for nations

by Staff Reporter (feat. Swaran Singh), The Zimbabwe Mail, June 26, 2022

Analyst says high oil prices spurs little drilling

by Lee Harding (feat. Kevin Birn), Western Standard, June 26, 2022

It’s time for Canada to get serious about defence

by John Ibbitson (feat. James Fergusson and Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 25, 2022

Trudeau meets with Rwandan president, expands diplomatic mission in Kigali

by CBC Newsroom Staff (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Newroom, June 24, 2022

With New Threats Looming, Canada Commits Billions to Air Defense

by News Desk (feat. Andrea Charron), New Express News, June 24, 2022

Drop in oil prices is not a quick fix for global inflation

by Editorial Staff (feat. Amrita Sen), The National, June 24, 2022

Highs and Lows of the Spring Sitting

by Peter Van Dusen (feat. Andrew Griffith), Prime Time Politics, June 24, 2022

Oil Incurs Second Weekly Loss As Analysts Differ On Inflation, Demand

by Ship and Bunker News Team (feat. Amrita Sen), Ship And Bunker, June 24, 2022


Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9


Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6


Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]


Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.


© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email