The trans-Atlantic relationship has long resembled a heavy object spotted in the sky: from snapshots alone it is hard to tell if it is airborne – albeit perhaps in descent – or simply plummeting to earth. Recent years have provided no shortage of troubling visions of Euro-American discord, yet it has proven impossible to reach consensus on whether the picture to which they add up shows standard variation in altitude, the beginning of steady decline, or the early stages of a precipitate, disastrous fall (Cox 2006).