NATO just picked a new General Secretary, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Rasmussen was the candidate supported by the US and opposed by Turkey and several Eastern European members of NATO. I guess the US still has some influence after all.
Turkish opposition was linked to Rasmussen's opposition to Turkish entry to the EU and the Danish cartoon issue which many politicians in Muslim countries have used a political cause celeb. But they eventually went along with Rasmussen's appointment.
Rasmussen is a member of the Venstre party. Venstre means "Left" in Danish but the party is actually Liberal. That is, they support smaller government and secular, progressive social policies. Rasmussen's foreign policy while governing Denmark has been characterized by close ties with the US. Danish troops are serving in Afghanistan and had been serving in Iraq as well. Rasmussen's appointment probably means Obama will have an ally at NATO HQ in rallying the other NATO countries to deploy more troops to Afghanistan.
Leading members of the Danish Venstre party are jockeying to replace Rasmussen now. One of the leading candidates is also named Rasmussen (no relation). If it's him, it would mean that Denmark will have three prime ministers in a row named Rasmussen none of them related to each other.