Even as the Europeans are being asked to re-define themselves, they are also being forced to deal with the onset of the War on Terror. Fear and disorientation are already natural responses to events such as the 9/11 attacks, and more generally to the outbreak of any war, and the Europeans in addition must realize that they are ill-prepared to fight on their own, and highly vulnerable if the struggle escalates. At first, they and the Americans reflexively sought each other out, invoking the common self-defense provisions of the NATO charter and loudly proclaiming their unity in the struggle. Two years later, the Europeans seem hardly willing collectively to hold America's coat for the fight, and those who take to the streets in protest against US policy may be hoping that the Islamists have noticed, even while America chooses to look away. Whether such a calculation is anything more than wishful thinking - whether it might reduce, even if only marginally, the risk of 9/11-like outrages taking place in Europe - is impossible to say. Over the long run, however, this tactic may leave the Europeans even more exposed, especially if America finds its economic and other interests better served elsewhere, and chooses to remember who its friends were and weren't when it mattered.