Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post throws his hat into the ring and says Canada!
Washington would reward Canada for its valiant combat performance in Afghanistan by putting Defense Minister Peter MacKay in the job. But European countries feel that this is not the time to break a tradition of giving the post to a European (who would presumably have a surer feel for Europe’s complex politics). The all-too-predictable catch: There is no European consensus candidate.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen would be a standout choice, particularly as Denmark’s soldiers have also performed heroically in the Afghan war. But Rasmussen is considering running for a fourth term at home and would have to be drafted by the alliance. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store is another Scandinavian possibility, and Poland and Bulgaria also have candidates running.