A NATO spokesperson said British MP Tom Tugendhat's suggestion to name the new building in Brussels after McCain would be "carefully considered" on August 29, CNBC reported. Stoltenberg pushed back on the possibility Friday, the Hill reports, saying, "NATO doesn't have a tradition of naming buildings after politicians."
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, the NATO general continued: "We are 29 [member countries] with a lot of presidents, kings, heads of state and governments, so we haven't introduced that tradition."
"I'm certain that we will be able to honor John McCain, but not necessarily through naming a building," he said.
In addition to pushing for the US' 2003 war in Iraq, which he later called a "mistake" in the memoir he released shortly before passing away last month, McCain advocated a hawkish foreign policy over his long career, which included several terms as an Arizona senator and two attempts to become president, in the 2000 and 2008 races.
"I have to accept my share of blame for it," the late senator wrote in his last book. The Iraq War "can't be judged as anything other than a mistake," he confessed. By 2018, hundreds of thousands of people had already died in US adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, while trillions of dollars had already been spent. Future generations will pay for the "credit card wars" McCain advocated in the early 2000s.
"But it is not merely McCain's views on Iraq policy that mark him as an überhawk. He has also advocated hardline policies toward Iran, Syria, and North Korea, and has even staked out confrontational positions toward such major powers as China and Russia. The evidence suggests that a McCain administration would be even more reckless and aggressive than the current one," Ted Galen Carpenter, then the Cato Institute's vice president for defense and foreign policy studies, wrote in a 2008 report as George W. Bush's presidency started to sunset.
In Bosnia during the late 1990s, "America had no significant economic or strategic interests at stake in that internecine struggle, yet McCain advocated US involvement, apparently for no better reasons than bloodshed was occurring and NATO's credibility appeared to be at stake," Carpenter wrote.