French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sit before the first working session of the North Atlantic Council at the NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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For NATO, its two-day summit beginning Friday may be the most crucial since the Cold War.Here are some key challenges, and what NATO heads of state and government are expected to be doing about each: RESURGENT RUSSIASince its creation in 1949, NATO has seen its No. 1 responsibility as protecting its member states, which currently number 28, and their inhabitants, now nearly 1 billion.At Warsaw, building on decisions taken at NATO's last summit in September 2014, leaders will agree to beef up the alliance's presence in member countries that feel especially threatened by Russia.A post-summit meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, which groups envoys from NATO nations with their Russian counterpart, is scheduled for July 13, at alliance headquarters in Brussels.The Warsaw summit will also order creation of a new Intelligence Division at NATO headquarters to organize and streamline handling of civilian and military intelligence among alliance members. The unit could lead to NATO's greater involvement in efforts to detect and foil extremist plots inside and outside alliance member countries.
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