The process of shaping a European security architecture masks what amounts to a struggle for the realignment of political power in a Europe where the Soviet Union has collapsed, U.S. forces are being reduced, and Germany is unified. The European security system, in whatever form it eventually emerges, will embrace East European and Baltic countries, as well as the European republics of the former Soviet Union. For now, NATO remains the only effective security mechanism, tying the United States to Europe. But Europeans will seek to construct their security policies around the European Economic Community (EC). Whatever structures emerge from the EC summit in Maastricht in December 1991 will be transitional. The outlook for a common EC security policy this decade remains remote. While Europe churns toward a political realignment, steadiness will be the best U.S. approach.