Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:3PM
scott rickard
scott rickard

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has become too large and has been involved in “illegal wars” in the Middle East and elsewhere, a former American intelligence linguist says.

“Unfortunately NATO has become so large and so big and absolutely unnecessary and it's operating way outside of their original terms,” Scott Rickard told Press TV on Tuesday.

“It's operated in illegal wars in Syria, illegal wars in Libya and elsewhere,” Rickard said.

NATO’s over-expansion has greatly increased its operating cost and most members of the military alliance are not contributing enough to its budget, the analyst said.

“NATO has become incredibly too large and unfocused [and] at the same time the US is paying 70 percent of NATO,” he said.

US President-elect Donald Trump, who is due to be sworn in as president on Friday, said Sunday that NATO was “obsolete” because it had not defended against terrorist attacks.

European nations have said they are “astonished” by Trump’s comments about NATO, which has been a cornerstone of Europe’s defense policy since the end of World War II.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Trump's remarks contradicted views expressed by designated US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

"Obviously the comments from President-elect Trump, that he views NATO as obsolete, were viewed with anxiety," he said.

His French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault added that the best response to such remarks was simple – Europeans uniting.

Trump also said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made "a catastrophic mistake" by allowing more than one million migrants to enter the country.

He also threatened German automobile companies with high import tariffs if they manufacture their cars in Mexico and export them to the US.