BRUSSELS, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 18th Jan, 2017 ) - Europe must pull together or risk being sidelined as Donald Trump signals the end of a postwar transatlantic partnership credited with keeping the peace for the past 70 years, analysts and officials say. Fears about the US president-elect's isolationist stance became a reality this week when Trump challenged basic assumptions about the role of an "obsolete" NATO and backed the break-up of the European Union.
The shock was palpable among countries who up to now have considered themselves among Washington's closest allies but now face a sobering new reality when the billionaire businessman is inaugurated on Friday. Europe already faces a host of problems -- Britain's impending EU exit, a nasty stand-off with Russia, and turmoil in the middle East and North Africa driving terrorism and the worst migrant crisis since World War II. Against this backdrop, Europe could now have to take the difficult but very costly steps required to provide security for itself after decades of sheltering under the US security umbrella.
"If EU leaders fail to pull together and speak up much more loudly than before, they risk being sidelined," said analysts Stefan Lehne and Heather Grabbe, writing for Carnegie Europe. "To the extent that Washington engages with Europe at all, it will likely deal with countries individually. When a leader opposes his agenda, Trump's government may well seek to play off one European against another."