So why is President Obama visiting Estonia? Here’s a cogent explanation from Heritage Foundation analysts Luke Coffey and Daniel Kochis: “This visit is a welcome announcement. Up until the recent events in Ukraine, the importance of the Baltic region to NATO and the threat Russia posed to it was generally overlooked by the Obama administration. The visit sends an important signal to friends and foes alike in the region that the U.S. takes Baltic security and its obligation under NATO seriously,” the pair say.
“The U.S. should seize on the momentum of the President’s visit and push for concrete actions to bolster security in NATO’s Central and Eastern European member states. As the Afghan mission winds down and Russian aggression increases, getting back to the basics of collective security should be the top priority for the alliance. There is no better place to start than the Baltic region,” Mssers Coffey and Kochi continue.
They also note that the visit can highlight and reinforce just how far Baltic nations have come in embracing economic freedom and democracy since the Cold War.
“A visit to Estonia sends the right message, but how the U.S. and NATO follow through on their promises will be watched even more closely,” the analysts add.
C-SPAN2 will carry Mr. Obama’s visit live at 8:30 a.m. ET, incidentally.
Here comes yet another dire warning: Either the Islamic State or other U.S. enemies could “inflict existential damage upon this country by attacking its vulnerable electric grid.”
So says the Secure the Grid Coalition, an ad hoc group of analysts and experts, who fret about porous borders, bold militants and electromagnetic pulses. They will get vocal and make their case on Wednesday at the National Press Club with a panel that includes Frank Gaffney, a former assistant Defense Dept. secretary, Michael Maloof, a former senior Defense analyst and Peter Vincent Pry, former career CIA analyst. See their reasoning here: SecuretheGrid.com
A REAGANITE AT THE WASHINGTON POST
A family dynasty is about to end at The Washington Post when Katharine Weymouth steps down as publisher on October 1, to be replaced by Frederick J. Ryan. Ms. Weymouth was advised of the impending change by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos in mid-August; the news organization announced it on Tuesday. Mr. Ryan, 59, is an attorney and entrepreneurial-minded media entity who founded Politico seven years ago and was the former president of Allbritton Communications, which was bought by Sinclair Broadcasting, the deal finalized only last month.
Mr. Ryan’s political heritage is an interesting dynamic. He served in the Reagan White House beginning in 1982, and was ultimately named “Assistant to the President,” this according to White House records. Mr. Ryan went on to write two books about Ronald Reagan, is a board member of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and remains close to Nancy Reagan.
“Ryan’s background in Republican politics also is certain to raise questions about the direction of The Post’s editorial page, among the most influential in the nation,” wrote Post reporter Craig Timberg. “Ryan said he planned to keep the newspaper’s current executive editor, Martin Baron, and its editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt. Ryan said he did not anticipate changes in The Post’s editorial policies and would protect the independence of the newsroom, saying Baron ‘does a superb job’.”
The publisher-in-waiting appears ready to rumble. “You don’t shrink your way to success,” he said. “The Post is on the move.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 48 percent of Americans say it would be “very difficult” asking to borrow money from their parents.