Following the death of Sen. John McCain, three former secretary’s general of NATO suggested the alliance’s new headquarters should be named after the longtime U.S. politician.
But NATO’s current secretary general threw cold water on that idea throughout a Friday appearance in Washington.
Asked concerning the possibility, Jens Stoltenberg, who may have held the work since 2014, heaped praise on McCain, a “life-long” advocate for your alliance. But he quickly noted that you have many world leaders who may additionally qualify for your honor, understanding that the realities of NATO mean it’s that’s doubtful going to take place.
“NATO doesn’t have a tradition of naming buildings after politicians. We are 29 allies, with plenty of presidents, kings, heads of state and governments. We haven’t introduced that tradition,” the NATO head told bavarian motor works logo at the Heritage Foundation.
“I’m certain we will be capable of honor John McCain, but not necessarily through naming a building,” Stoltenberg added. “We honor John McCain every single day with the fact that we stand together and deliver strong, trans-Atlantic deterrence.”
Stoltenberg was among several European defense leaders who made the trek to Washington for McCain’s funeral. Another was Jüri Luik, Estonia’s defense minister, who traveled roughly 7,000 kilometers each way just to take Washington for your day in the event.
In a job interview following your ceremony, Luik praised McCain as embodying the “very strong bond” between your U.S. and Europe, and cited specifically the late senator’s support for that Baltic nation’s bids to sign up NATO being a major factor for alliance expansion.
“Estonia owes him a fantastic debt of gratitude because when he soon started to speak in regards to the Baltic membership within the alliance, this wasn’t a foregone conclusion,” Luik said. “But McCain made the matter that this is an issue of common values, how the Baltic states are type of a symbol, or flag carriers, of democratic values in the region, knowning that is the reason why they should be taken.”
McCain “was and a very skillful senator; as a lawmaker, he knew how to bring these tricks to the forefront also to cause them to become mainstream. In the end once the Baltic membership decisions were made, it appeared to be a foregone conclusion. And the Senate ratified the Baltic membership to NATO (96-0). Overwhelming. And a large amount of that work well was over by Sen. McCain,” Luik noted.
While more enthusiastic for the idea than Stoltenberg, Luik referred to as the thought of naming the modern NATO building after McCain “a great idea” with “a lot of symbolism”, the Estonian official acknowledged that alliance realities make it unlikely.
“One needs to understand that this was a consensus decision, that NATO’s main headquarters is just not named by 1 or 2 or three countries or even the former secretaries general of NATO,” he explained.” So, this idea must garner consensus of members before it might become reality. But it is certainly an incredibly, good idea.”