US General Christopher Cavoli took office on Monday as the new commander-in-chief of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He succeeds fellow countryman Todd Walters.
The transfer of power was accompanied by a ceremony on Monday at the NATO Military Forces Command Center (SHEP) in Mons, Hainaut. Cavoli will be primarily responsible for the planning and implementation of all NATO operations. The “Supreme Commander of the Allies in Europe” (SACEUR) is traditionally American, while Europe appoints the Secretary-General of the Treaty Organization.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Cavoli, a US Army general, is taking up the position amid “the return of brutal conflict to Europe”. He referred to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
And the coalition decided last week during a summit in Madrid to strengthen the military presence on the eastern side and put more soldiers – 300,000 – on high alert. This new “power paradigm” should be implemented in the coming months.
The general was born in Würzburg, Germany in 1964 to an Italian-American family. He joined the US Army in 1987 and served in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places. He also holds a master’s degree in Eastern European Studies from Yale University. He is also the commander of US forces in Europe and speaks French, Italian and Russian.
Stoltenberg also praised Poulters, a US Air Force general who has held the position since 2019. “You were the right commander, in the right place, at the right time,” he said. Stoltenberg also awarded him a medal.
Cavoli is the twentieth sassure. The first to hold this position was American General Dwight Eisenhower, who became the 34th president of the American states.
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