The Pentagon on Tuesday said NATO was "far from obsolete," defending the transatlantic alliance from Donald Trump's criticisms.
"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.
"I think NATO is obsolete," Trump told ABC News on Saturday. "NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger -- much larger than Russia is today."
Trump said NATO should be "readjusted to take care of terrorism."
His remarks came after the March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels, where at least 35 were killed and more than 300 injured. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility.
Trump first called into question NATO's value during a interview with The Washington Post's editorial board a day before the attacks, saying NATO "as a concept is good, but it is not as good as it was when it first evolved."
“I’m not even knocking it, I’m just saying I don’t think it’s fair, we’re not treated fair.”
Rival GOP candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has also criticized Trump for those remarks, saying that "abandoning Europe, withdrawing from the most successful military alliance of modern times makes no sense at all." more
He added that withdrawing from NATO would "hand a massive victory to Putin" and a "massive victory" to ISIS.
"ISIS would be dancing in the street at the weakness and isolationism of Donald Trump," Cruz said.