The war in Ukraine unleashed in early 2022 may temporarily obscure the long-term trend that the United States is shrinking its military footprint in and around Europe, as the defence posture of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Central Europe suddenly was bolstered by tens of thousands of additionalUS troops. For as long as the war drags on, certainly, these reinforcements will stay in place. But if, and when, the war ends or shifts to attrition warfare stretching out for years, as was the case after the 2014 annexation of the Crimea, one can easily envisage changes in how European governments manage security and defence issues among themselves and in relation to their North American counterparts.While the debate on transatlantic security so far has played out in two distinct modes, either focusing on the economic side of burdensharing or projecting a vision of European strategic autonomy, there is a need for a more sober understanding of the future division of labour, one that would be grounded in the right blend of economics and deterrence. The main suggestion of this article is that stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean ‘split the difference’ and strike a new grand bargain on the basis of their respective strengths.Once key issues of financial equity and military deterrence have been adequately addressed, European governments will still have their work cut out for themselves. They must elaborate solutions to specific challenges at the sub-strategic theatre level and at the same time navigate the complexities of optimizing defence reforms, aligning regional force designs and rendering foreign policy compatible with the strategic priorities of the European Union (EU) and Europe at large.