NATO ‘far from obsolete’, Pentagon says

NATO ‘far from obsolete’, Pentagon says

In the wake of the terrorist attacks on 22 March 2016 in Brussels, and in solidarity with Belgium, the flags of the 28 member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are lowered to half-mast. (Photo: NATO)

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has called the alliance "obsolete."

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, (NATO), is “far from obsolete” the Pentagon said Tuesday, after Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called the alliance “obsolete.”

“NATO is far from obsolete. We think NATO is as relevant as ever right now in the current environment,” said Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook, highlighting what defense officials have called growing Russian aggression.

Trump has criticized the 28-member transatlantic treaty organization, calling it “obsolete” and disproportionately “expensive for the United States.”

“NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger — much larger than Russia is today,” Trump said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Trump said the organization should be “readjusted to take care of terrorism.”

His remarks follow the March 22 Islamic State group attacks in Brussels, that killed at least 35 people and injured more than 300 others.

Trump first questioned the 67-year-old organization’s value during an interview with The Washington Post’s editorial board a day before the attacks.

“As a concept is good, but it is not as good as it was when it first evolved,” he said at the time.

Fellow GOP presidential contenders John Kasich and Ted Cruz have criticized Trump for the remarks.

Cruz called Trump “hopelessly naive.” Ukraine, once the world’s third largest nuclear power, gave up its arsenal in the mid 1990s in exchange for a promise by the U.S. to help protect its sovereignty.

Democrats also expressed disagreement with Trump. Hillary Clinton responded that Russian President Vladimir Putin would like to divide Europe and a weak NATO would aide in this mission.

“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin,” she said.

Cook said the U.S. wants “allies to continue to do their part, but, we think, again, NATO’s as relevant today as it’s been in sometime.”

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