In an interview with European media, President-elect Donald Trump said NATO was out-of-date and ineffective on the world stage.
“It’s obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Trump told German-based Bild, according to Bloomberg.
“Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should,” he said and added that NATO “didn’t deal with terrorism.”
Trump strongly criticized NATO during the presidential campaign with similar statements, including the allegation that members are not paying what they're obligated to under the organization's treaty. And in the European media interviews, he doubled-down on that criticism.
“I took such heat, when I said NATO was obsolete," Trump told the Times of London, according to Reuters. "It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right."
Trump added: “A lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States. With that being said, NATO is very important to me. There’s five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much."
In a July 2016 interview with The New York Times, Trump said the U.S. government pays more into NATO than the European nations it was designed to protect and said he hopes to negotiate a better deal.
“If we cannot be properly reimbursed for the tremendous cost of our military protecting other countries, and in many cases the countries I’m talking about are extremely rich,” Trump said, adding: “With massive wealth. Massive wealth. We’re talking about countries that are doing very well. Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, “Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.”
Numbers about how much the U.S. contributes to NATO vary. But according to a White House fact sheet, U.S. taxpayers pay for 22 percent of NATO Common Funded budgets, which comes out to approximately $685 per year, but does not include all of the U.S.' NATO funding.
The total Common Funded budget paid for by all 27 members amounts to $2.8 billion.