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Dutch-American Daalder U.S. choice for NATO ambassador

Brookings Institution fellow

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WASHINGTON - U.S. president Barack Obama has named a Dutch-American, Ivo Daalder, to be his next ambassador to NATO in Brussels. A senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a political think-tank in Washington, Daalder is considered by some as a champion of the idea to create a league of democracies as an alternative to the UN. The appointment is notably causing concern in Russia. A Washington insider, Daalder just recently launched his newest book, In the Shadow of the Oval Office. It is a historical study about the role of the National Security Advisor in the U.S.

As ambassador to NATO, Daalder will be working closely together with National Security Advisor James L. Jones.

Daalder, who was born in The Hague in 1960, moved to the United States when he was seventeen. He had developed a fondness for the U.S. after his father - a professor emeritus at the university in Leiden - had taken the family to temporarily live there for two separate periods. Ivo Daalder stayed in the U.S. and acquired U.S. citizenship in 1994.

UN defective

The appointment is seen in Russia as a step toward the expansion of the alliance with the help of the countries such as Australia, Japan and South Korea. Russian analysts say such a renewed alliance could even replace the United Nations. According to them, Daalder is a champion of a concept which was originally suggested by U.S. Senator John McCain.

The Russians say that McCain and Daalder, as well as their associates have argued repeatedly that the UN was a defective organization, because many of its members are dictatorships. They say that the organization is incapable of pursuing its mission of preventing wars and conflicts in the world. A club of democratic states instead must seek solutions to international issues. The Russians say that Daalder pushed the idea that NATO must become such an organization in 2006 at the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia.

The United States was forced to use military force abroad, eight times from 1989 to 2001. Republican and Democrat administrations each intervened four times. The UN Security Council failed to be a regulator for foreign intervention: the council neither prevented nor solved any crisis of the recent decade - Rwanda, Kosovo, Darfur, Iraq and North Korea. According to a Pravda article, Daalder blames opposition by non-democratic countries in the Security Council, particularly Russia and China.

Daalder believes that NATO and its global democratic partners must be involved in the decision-making process regarding the use of force in foreign countries.