Much has been said about the National Security Strategy that U.S. President George W. Bush released one year after the terrorist assaults of September 11, 2001. The Strategy's declaration that the United States would strike first to prevent attack even before an enemy possessed the capability to attack-a point in time much earlier than when tradition would have condoned an act of anticipatory self-defense-provoked considerable comment. Debate within America encompassed multiple points of view; nonetheless, and perhaps not surprisingly, much of the debate reflected an American perspective. This essay, in contrast, considers the Strategy from a European perspective, one that prefers pluralist dialogue to paternalist dictate. The discussion proceeds on the belief that to study U.S. action from a vantage point outside the United States from the perspective of an external audience-will lead to better understanding not only of that audience, but also of the United States itself.