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Obama agenda: Puerto Rico

The New York Times previews the president’s trip on Tuesday to Puerto Rico. “When President Obama arrives here on Tuesday — becoming the first American leader to visit officially since John F. Kennedy in 1961 — his feet will be planted firmly in San Juan’s historic district but his words will be aimed mostly at Puerto Ricans in Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. Not that there is anything wrong with that, many Puerto Ricans say. After five decades of cold shoulders from a succession of presidents, most Puerto Ricans are primed for a presidential visit, even if it is brief and unlikely to sway the longstanding debate over Puerto Rico’s identity as a United States territory.”

Defense Secretary Gates, on his farewell tour, made this warning to NATO: “In his final policy speech as Pentagon chief, Gates questioned the viability of NATO, saying its members' penny-pinching and lack of political will could hasten the end of U.S. support. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in 1949 as a U.S.-led bulwark against Soviet aggression, but in the post-Cold War era it has struggled to find a purpose.”

“‘Future U.S. political leaders - those for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was for me - may not consider the return on America's investment in NATO worth the cost,’ he told a European think tank on the final day of an 11-day overseas journey.