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Opinion | Today’s Opinion: NATO is having a nerd party. Students should too.

Opinion | Today’s Opinion: NATO is having a nerd party. Students should too.

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It’s NATO Week in Washington — a carnival of sorts for hypercompetent, policy-oriented nerds. See: Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s opening speech at Nats Park that sounded more like a grenade toss than a stove.

The treaty organisation is celebrating its 75th anniversary at this summit, a triumph that is however tempered by doubts about the sustainability of the alliance. David Ignatius writes that these concerns could just as well be enshrined in the NATO Charter.

“Europeans are always worried about America’s reliability,” David says, “just as Americans are always irritated that Europeans are not doing their part to provide for the common defense.” He gives a brief history of this problem and explains why its enduring nature is “oddly reassuring.”

In fact, the Editorial Board writes that NATO is particularly well-strengthened at this point, thanks to President Biden’s leadership in recent years. Biden has increasingly made this achievement a central plank of his re-election argument. However, the administration writes that Biden’s continued campaign could ironically put NATO at risk—by boosting the electoral chances of former President Donald Trump, who would undermine the alliance’s work if he were to win this fall.

And what a job! In a joint op-ed, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives said Nancy Pelosi and leader of the Belarusian democratic opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya writing about NATO as a bulwark against tyranny “advancing in Eastern Europe,” particularly in Belarus, ruled by the so-called last dictator in Europe — not surprisingly the staunchest ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Our allies and partners should take steps to support the pro-democracy movement on the ground in Belarus while increasing pressure on Putin’s crony,” they admonish the organization. It’s the kind of work NATO has been doing successfully for three quarters of a century.

For long-neutral Sweden, however, this week in DC marks a first; the country only joined NATO in March. But it is catching on quickly. In an interview about Russian aggression with Post associate editor Lally WeymouthThe Prime Minister of Sweden once again emphasises that Europe must defend itself.

Hunter: Biden has six years for NATO, and Colby King has three more on Biden. He writes, from one elder to another, that there is no shame in the president leaving the race with his head held high.

Go to a party. Go to the woods.

Students are studying less than previous generations. Fine. What is really worrying is that students are celebrate fewer.

In his first data-driven piece for Post Opinions, summer intern Aden Barton notes that a steady decline in college partying (read: Fireball shots) has been accompanied by an even steeper decline in overall student socializing. Not surprisingly, scroll time has followed the opposite trend line.

Recent graduate Aden came to this realization too late to ditch his homework in favor of one more late-night trip to the dining hall (“I was a misguided grouch, too focused on my generation’s dedication to study,” he writes), but he hopes that those still studying realize that “quality time with friends is an antidote to the high-stakes extracurricular and pre-professional juggling act that characterizes modern student life.”

There is also a good example of an effective remedy for stress, at any age, and that is simply sitting in the woods. Leana Wen writes that research has increasingly confirmed the benefits of the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku: letting yourself be engulfed by the forest and experiencing it slowly with all five senses.

Today we have another post from our quintet of talented writers scattered across the country, with updates on how their states are handling the elections. This one covers sailing on Lake Washington (and the push to tax the guys who own the boats), the power of black Georgians to become king, and a potluck for all Pennsylvanians to save democracy.

But my favorite is Dave Barry’s message on behalf of Florida (“yes, I speak for all of Florida”), reporting that Governor Ron DeSantis has people ready to crawl into their bathtubs for protection, just as the ongoing hurricanes do.

Hunter: Biden is trying to connect with “ordinary” people across the country by re-positioning himself as an insurgent against the Democratic establishment that is eager to oust him. Gene Robinson writes. Will it work?

  • Iran’s new president is not the liberal reformer the West makes him out to be, writes Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and he could not change Iranian foreign policy even if he wanted to.
  • The United States’ top recession indicator is flashing yellow, Heath Long warns in an explanation of what the “Sahm rule” is and why it is important.
  • Today’s Supreme Court has become a conservative mirror image of the activist, progressive Warren Court of the last century, writes law professor Richard Re.

Plus: Many readers really responded to David Bonior’s piece about learning piano at a later age. We would love to hear more from you. Have you ever taken up something you always wanted to do? Write to us here.

It’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s… The Bye-Ku.

What comes after November:

Do you have your own news haiku? Send it to me by emailalong with any questions/comments/ambiguities. See you tomorrow!