International political fragmentation
With the termination of the Cold War, assumptions about the political unity of the West became questionable. The political "West" is not a natural construct but a highly artificial one. It was brought about by the severe and continuing threat to security posed by an overtly hostile "East". It is doubtful whether it can survive the disappearance of that enemy. The common historical features shared by Western countries pre-dated the Cold War but had not created or sustained a united West before the appearance of the common enemy. Despite such commonalities, relationships among Western countries have been marked by division and by particularly bloody internecine conflicts throughout their history. Unity has only proved attractive when one or more countries was in imminent danger. Political unity as exemplified by "the West" is a concept of last resort.