The United States' extended system of security commitments creates a set of institutional relationships that foster political communication. Alliance institutions are first about security protection, but they also bind states together and create institutional channels of communication. For example, NATO has facilitated ties and associated institutions that increase the ability of the United States and Europe to talk to each other and to do business. Likewise, the bilateral alliances in East Asia also play a communication role beyond narrow security issues. Consultations and exchanges spill over into other policy areas. This gives the United States the capacity to work across issue areas, using assets and bargaining chips in one area to make progress in another.