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“Ideally we’d like to see someone in that post who would give the United States its due within the NATO apparatus,” says a Defense Department staffer. “But there’s no way in hell the U.S. would go along with a German or a Frenchman given their behavior.”
That leaves a limited number of traditional, or old-line, member states to draw on. The previous NATO secretary general was from Spain, ruling out that country as a source for a replacement. The U.S. would probably support an Italian or Dutch nominee. Another possibility might be from Poland, which has expressed support for the United States and its military positions over the past 18 months.p> NETHERCUTT’S NEW LIMITS br> Based on the poor performance of Washington Gov. Gary Locke as the Democratic Party’s talking head after President Bush’s State of the Union address, Republican Rep. George Nethercutt is locked in on challenging him in 2004.