From Heritage: Rasmussen’s experience working at the heart of the European Union gives him an inside edge on how best to reshape NATO-EU relations. The reintegration of France into NATO’s military command structures, coupled with the Obama Administration’s inclination toward a deeply integrated European Union (EU), threatens to hand over the primacy of NATO in Europe’s security architecture to the EU.

If NATO’s primacy in European security affairs is lost, so is the security bargain and indivisibility of U.S.-European security. Creating a second defense alliance in Europe, with its own operational headquarters, security strategy, and military staff will inevitably come at NATO’s expense. Therefore, in seeking strong European partners to bear a greater share of the global security burden, Rasmussen must underscore the primacy of NATO and define a working relationship with the European Union that delivers better complementarity for missions such as Afghanistan.