- In-Country Power
- International Power
- Military Strength
- Special Skill: Awesome Arsenal
- Official Title: Secretary General
- Government: Military Alliance
- Years Left in Office: To 2013; an additional year of service is possible
- Political Classification: N/A
- Education: MS in Economics
- Age: 64 (born January 26, 1953)
Anders Fogh Rasmussen Facts and Information
- Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the 12th secretary General of NATO
- The Secretary General is the head diplomat who serves as the chief bureaucratic official and spokesman
- NATO is the world's largest and most powerful military alliance
- NATO’s mission has a new-found urgency due to Russia’s aggressive resurgence in 2014
- NATO can also be viewed as the military arm of “Team West”
If you then have been following any of NATO’s actions over the last 5 years (and there has been plenty of NATO action in the time) you have probably heard the name Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Rasmussen is the Secretary-General of NATO, which means that he is sitting on the highest position possible in NATO…the bureaucratic commander-in-chief, if you like. The USA may be the foundation stone of the NATO force in the field, but has always allowed the actual day-to-day decision-making and central bureaucracy to be run by the Europeans. As such, an American is always in charge of NATO military ops, and a European is always the head of the NATO organization as w whole. And that current head brings us back to the Fogh of war…Anders Fogh, that is….
As General-Secretary of NATO, Rasmussen is the top civilian chief of the Western defense alliance, which currently includes 28 member countries. The Secretary General is in charge of leading the political arm of NATO cooperation; this includes summits and Ministerial meetings. In addition, the leader works as NATO’s public face and acts as a global spokesman for the alliance. Most of the previous general-secretaries have been former foreign ministers, defense ministers, or senior diplomats for their country. The general-secretary must have both foreign policy, military knowledge, and the ability to knit together compromises, as all decisions in NATO are unanimous. And currently, they all unanimously love the Ras-! So who is this -Mussen man?
Born on January 26, 1953 in Ginnerup, Denmark; Rasmussen entered politics early in his life. He has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Aarhus, but he decided to stay with politics. At the age of 25 he was elected to Danish parliament, and was the youngest member of the parliament at the time. In 1982 Rasmussen’s party became part of the Danish government, and he was appointed State Treasurer.
When that government later on lost power, Rasmussen was appointed chairman of the Liberal party. He sat in opposition in 9 years, but they eventually won back the power. Since he was the party’s head, Rasmussen became the Prime Minister of Denmark following the Liberal’s victory. During his time as Prime Minister, Rasmussen had big results; he improved the country’s economy, improved social security, and reformed the education system. Rasmussen also supported the US in their wars against Afghanistan and Iraq; showing his support for NATO.
In 2009 Rasmussen was elected to General Secretary of NATO, becoming the first Dane to take over the position. Former leaders tended to be from larger nations, like Great Britain, Germany, and Italy. Because Denmark is such a small country and doesn’t have much influence in European politics, it was a surprise that Rasmussen was chosen as the new General-Secretary.
Since Rasmussen’s accession to the job he has succeeded with many tasks. Rasmussen reformed the system from within. During a NATO summit in Chicago he gave a number of strategic plans including ‘smart defense’, implying a better financial management of NATO. Furthermore, Rasmussen managed to make an overall plan for NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. This was very demanding, both militarily and politically. The Afghanistan task was not easy as the US and Europeans had different views on the subject. Rasmussen has had a good relationship to the key players in NATO which is a result of the good connection he had to these countries during his time as Prime minister in Denmark.
Indeed Rasmussen has succeeded with a lot of tasks since he became the General Secretary but there is also something he hasn’t succeeded with: making friends with Russia. The idea was to make Russia a more integrated partner in the Western defense alliance, post-USSR. But today, Russia is running their own show, especially with Vladimir Putin’s resurrection as the president. Recent events in Ukraine show good ol’ Vlad isn’t afraid to show NATO the finger and do what he wants in the region. With East-West relations reaching a new low,
Why is it important to know this guy? To sum it up in three words: he heads NATO. This alliance of western powers, born in the Cold War, consists of traditional western powers, a few small nations, and a couple ex-Soviet Republics. Militarily, it is the strongest international organization on Earth, and represents some of the biggest economies on the planet. Bringing everything together is Article 5 of their charter, which dictates that an attack on any NATO member will be met with military response from all member nations. This article is critical. If Ukraine had been a NATO member, the situation in Crimea would have lead to WWIII, with Anders at the head of it all.
So our main NATO man with the main NATO plan, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has been involved in the highest levels of world power politics for the better part of the last 25 years. He has been able to complete many tasks for the Defense Alliance in some fairly hard cases such as the Afghanistan war, and its subseuqnt drawing down of forces. Fogh also oversaw the NATO “assistance” in overthrowing former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, tried in vain to warm up ties with Russia, and currently (May 2014) is having to spend his last year in office ramping up NATO operations in Eastern Europe in order to scare the Ruskies back into line.
Say what? Yep. What a difference a Ukrainian revolution makes: Rasmussen is now in charge of a major revitalization and movement of NATO efforts! Just when many peeps were predicting the demise of NATO as a functional effective unit whose time had passes, the Russians go and invade Ukraine! And of course the fun may not be over yet! Who knows how much more territory the ever-crafty Vladimir Putin intends on absorbing before he is check-mated back into line. And Fogh is the man who will likely be that check….well, him and whoever takes over NATO after him.
Since NATO members Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania all have Russian minorities within them, and Poland stays ever scared of a Russian resurgence, NATO has a new-found life and a commitment to counter Russian aggression in these areas…it’s as if the Cold War is back on! And that is exactly why NATO was created in the first place! Holy history repeating itself! Rasmussen is currently maneuvering massive shows of NATO force in those countries, and in Eastern Europe in general (including the Black Sea area around Crimea).
Will NATO have to face off against an aggressive Russia? Will Ukraine join NATO in order to counter Russian influence? Has a new Cold War just been kicked off? We don’t yet know the answers to these questions, but one thing the Plaid Avenger can say for sure:” NATO is back, baby! In full force, with a brighter future than ever! And that is why you need to know the person in charge of this entity, our man man Rasmussen….at least until 2015 when he steps down, but he could find himself and his organization in full-on confrontation before he even gets to that point! Stay tuned!