Scandinavia’s NATO Heads: Jens Stoltenberg and Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Both the current Secretary General and his predecessor hail from the Nordic countries. We profile the men who’ve led NATO through a turbulent decade…

Jens Stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg served as Prime Minister of Norway from 2000-2001, and again from 2005 to 2013. Now aged 63, before the premiership he worked as an environment and finance minister. Nicknamed the ‘Norwegian Tony Blair’ for his Labour policies, his time in office involved the fallout from the 2011 attacks, along with the 2008 financial crash. Taking the NATO helm in 2014, he dealt with President Trump’s ambivalence to the alliance, and was then tested by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This year, he led continuing diplomatic efforts to help welcome Sweden and Finland into NATO.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

As Prime Minister of Denmark from 2001 to 2009, Rasmussen worked with Stoltenberg in their previous capacities. Rasmussen earned allies in the US and UK with his support of the 2003 Iraq War, and enacted tax and municipal reforms at home. As Secretary General of NATO from 2009 to 2014 (he took over just four months after stepping down as prime minister), Rasmussen oversaw coordination of NATO’s response to the 2011 Libyan Civil War, as well as continuing engagement in Afghanistan. He founded the Alliance of Democracies organisation in 2017.

This article is a Fika Online exclusive.

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