Sept. 13 2006 1:11 PM

An Op-Ed on "NATO Expansion" in the Style of the New York Times
Hacks who once debated the question "Whither NATO?" now churn out op-eds on the topic "Bigger NATO?" The opening week of the Hackathlon sics our lazy but productive deadline warriors on the important but dull issue of NATO expansion. Their assignment is to construct a 750-word (or thereabouts) op-ed in favor of--or against--the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and to write an appropriate headline.

       A cheat sheet of three NATO briefing papers was provided to our contestants. All three papers are available on the Web.
       1) From the libertarian Cato Institute, "The High Cost of NATO Expansion: Clearing the Administration's Smoke Screen."
       2) From the liberal Brookings Institution, "Enlarging NATO: A Questionable Idea Whose Time Has Come."
       3) From the U.S. government's United States Information Service, "Report to the Congress on the Enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Rationale, Benefits, Costs and Implications."