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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff 

In a recent interview with The Times, retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of US Army Europe, asserted that Donald Trump’s opposition to NATO is not rooted in concerns about defense spending but rather his disdain for alliances.

Hodges characterized Trump as a “mafia-type” who is averse to obligations that could constrain his options. According to Hodges, Trump’s aversion to alliances goes beyond NATO member countries not meeting their defense spending commitments.

“Trump hates alliances. He hates an obligation where he’d have to live up to something,” Hodges said. “Mafia-type that he is, he doesn’t want anybody restricting his options. He couldn’t care less about moral obligations. He’s willing to chuck the whole thing away.”

This statement comes in response to Trump’s recent comments at a rally in South Carolina, where he suggested that he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO members not meeting their spending obligations.

The former president’s remarks received criticism, with the White House describing them as “appalling and unhinged.” While some Republican officials have suggested that Trump’s comments were a negotiating tactic, Hodges believes Trump is “absolutely prepared” to abandon Europe if reelected.

“We would be foolish not to take at face value exactly what he says,” Hodges warned. He added that in Trump’s last term, there were individuals around him who could moderate certain actions, but he believes Trump won’t make the same mistake again.

Hodges compared Trump to a “mob boss,” a sentiment echoed by Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who described the ex-president’s behavior as that of a “mob boss” in June 2022.

As Trump continues to express controversial views on NATO, Hodges’ insights highlight the potential consequences of the former president’s approach to international alliances, particularly if he were to return to office. Representatives for Trump and Hodges have not responded to requests for comments at the time of reporting.

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