US President Joe Biden’s somewhat evasive, but not impossible, response to the question of a Briton taking up the post of NATO Secretary General has increased speculation about the candidacy of Defence Minister Ben Wallace. The head of the British MoD is the recipient of the President Lech Kaczyński Promethean Award.
During a press conference, when asked about the possibility of a Briton taking up the role of NATO Secretary General, US President Joe Biden offered a response that was somewhat evasive yet left room for speculation. This has fueled increasing conjecture surrounding the potential candidacy of Ben Wallace, the current Defence Minister of the United Kingdom. Notably, Wallace is the distinguished recipient of the prestigious President Lech Kaczyński Promethean Award.
Following a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, US President Joe Biden held a press conference at the White House on Thursday. During the conference, he fielded a question regarding the potential for a Briton to assume the role of NATO Secretary General once again, given the positive remarks made by both leaders about British-American defence cooperation.
While President Biden refrained from explicitly mentioning Ben Wallace by name, it remains uncertain whether he had the British Defence Minister in mind as a potential candidate for the NATO Secretary General role. However, Wallace is the only Briton who has been mentioned among the potential successors of Jens Stoltenberg, and it is widely known that the British government is actively lobbying for his candidacy. It is highly probable that this topic was one of the key subjects discussed during Prime Minister Sunak’s meeting with President Biden on Thursday.
Wallace, it is believed, would be interested in becoming secretary-general.
“I’ve always said it would be a good job. That’s a job I’d like. But I’m also loving the job I do now,” he said recently, adding that the role of secretary-general “is a fantastic job and NATO is an incredibly important part of all our securities”.
“But it’s not for me to decide. It’s for all the other allies,” he pointed out.
An argument in favour of Ben Wallace’s potential candidacy for the NATO Secretary General position is rooted in the likelihood that he may serve as the Defence Minister only until the next autumn. The reasoning behind this lies in the indications that the Conservative Party might struggle to retain power after the forthcoming House of Commons election, which is expected to take place around that time.
George Robertson was the most recent British NATO Secretary General, occupying the position from 1999 to 2003. As for Jens Stoltenberg, his tenure was initially set to conclude in September of the previous year. However, in light of the conflict in Ukraine, NATO members collectively determined that Stoltenberg should extend his term by an additional year.
Ben Wallace has also been honoured as the recipient of this year’s President Lech Kaczyński Promethean Award, a prestigious accolade presented by niezalezna.pl news outlet.