The EU has developed a common foreign and security policy which in many ways differs from the current US policy. There are several reasons for these differences. Unlike the US the EU is not a unitary state, but a system of states with distinct traditions and interests growing into a higher unity. The EU policy process is characterized by compromise and legal and bureaucratic limitations, and is dependent on being regarded as legitimate by its member states. The EU also has a broader view of both the ends and the means of the security policy compared to the US, underlining the importance of “comprehensive security”. EU, at least earlier, has a more limited geographical perspective than the US, concentrating more on the challenges from neighbouring areas, its periphery. Last, but not least, the threat from International terrorism is not as highly securitized as it is in the US, underlining that the means used to counter terrorism should be in accordance to international norms. These differences have caused problems within the West, especially after the American attack on Iraq. The ambitions of the EU of being an independent security actor have weakened NATO as the main Western security institution. NATO is further weakened by the American policy of letting to task define the alliance, that is NATO being used only in situations where it is seen as relevant, otherwise “coalitions of the willing” is preferred in Washington. Countries, still relying on NATO for their defence, mainly because of the uncertainty in relation to Russia, try to upheld NATO as a relevant security institution for the US. The problem, however, is that US policy has to be seen as legitimate for internal reasons in the countries concerned.