From the New York Times: Mrs. Merkel also never bothered to come up with a candidate to replace Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as NATO secretary general this year. In the end, the Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, got the job. Germany is not even pushing hard to ensure that it keeps the post of assistant secretary general for political affairs when the incumbent returns to Berlin this month. This important post, traditionally held by Germany, includes the Russian dossier.

“I can’t tell you if Germany will hold onto that job,” said a NATO diplomat who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The thing is, Germany is much, much more cautious than it used to be about any new roles for NATO. It is not forward looking. It is very hesitant, as if it is pressing on the brakes.” (photo: Atlantic Council)

What makes Germany’s unwillingness to aim for the top jobs in these two organizations so surprising is that it could have them for the asking. “Germany could get any position it wanted here in NATO,” the NATO diplomat said.”