Donald Trump has branded NATO "obsolete", claiming it has not tackled terrorism, before stating that the military alliance was "very important" to him.
The US President-elect reiterated criticism made during his campaign and said "a lot of" the 28 countries in NATO were not paying their fair share.
In an interview with The Times, he laid blame at it being designed "many, many years ago", and added:
"It's obsolete because it wasn't taking care of terror. And the other thing is the countries aren't paying their fair share so we're supposed to protect countries."
"But 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."
But in a conflicting message, adding to uncertainty over the alliance's future, he went on to describe its value to him. He said:
"With that being said, NATO is very important to me."
Earlier this week, retired General James Mattis, Mr Trump's choice to be in charge of the Pentagon, accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of trying to "break" NATO.
Cover image courtesy of Gage Skidmore.
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