If the task given to Javier Solana by the May 2003 informal Council meeting to draft a European strategic concept came as a surprise, it was because it happened at a time when the CFSP seemed to be in shambles as a result of the fierce intra-European debate over the American-led invasion of Iraq. Only a few months before, on 10 February, Belgium, France and Germany had provoked what seemed to be the worst crisis yet for both the CFSP and the transatlantic Alliance when they broke the ‘silent procedure’ introduced by NATO Secretary-General George Robertson to approve a number of US requests in the framework of the planned invasion. Although on 19 February consensus was reached on defensive measures to assist Turkey in the event of any Iraqi incursion, other proposed measures, including advance planning for a post-invasion NATO peacekeeping mission in Iraq, were silently removed from the agenda (Pailhe 2003). Seen to be too evidently framed in a war logic at a moment when they felt non-military options were still available, Belgium, France and Germany could not consent to such measures without betraying the principles of their own foreign policy. Fierce recriminations across the Atlantic as well as between EU member states were the result.