drillNATO staged a major military exercise in Latvia on Saturday in a practical demonstration of NATO leaders’ commitment to defend its Baltic member states in the face of an assertive Russia. A NATO meeting in Wales on Friday agreed to form a new rapid reaction force and to step up exercises in eastern Europe in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.¬†Allies in the Baltics fear Russian President Vladimir Putin could use the same rationale as he used to explain intervention in Crimea – defending Russian speakers – to justify an attack against one of the NATO countries in the Baltics, which also have Russian-speaking minorities. More