Apparently, the common defence policy is once again mourned by diplomats. It has a habit of going AWOL whenever there is a real crisis abroad. The reason is simple: defence can exist on the basis of foreign policy. Unlike our own government the colleagues have always understood this and have laboured mightily to create a common foreign and security policy, first written into the Maastricht Treaty. Alas, there are no common interests and the usual Monnet method of creating institutions that will, eventually, ensure the content does not seem to work. Real events interfere. Not that our peculiar rush to support a French initiative over Libya can be said to be in our interest or, if it is, it is being kept very quiet.