'Strike First' to Become Formal U.S. Policy

The annual document the president prepares for Congress on national security strategy will include a new "strike first" military policy against terrorists and rogue states that possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, the White House said Monday.

The policy, a culmination of changes that President Bush has articulated in foreign relations and national security since Sept. 11, will also include new political and economic reform demands on countries that receive U.S. aid, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said.

"It's part of a charge that the National Security Council has to come up with a broad statement of strategy and policy," Fleischer said.

Bush articulated his "strike first" doctrine in a June 1 commencement address at West Point.

"The war on terror will not be won on the defensive. ... We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt its plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge," Bush told graduating cadets.

On Monday, Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking to the International Democratic Union Party, an association of conservative, democratic leaders around the world, said, "We will not wait until it is too late. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves against future attack, to prepare our military for all future threats, to maintain the global coalition we have built to defeat global terror and to take preemptive action when necessary."

"Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to their terrorist allies," Cheney added.

Containment and deterrence were the policies of the Cold War that suggested that an enemy would not attack the United States because a retaliatory strike would be too devastating.

This is Bush's first national security strategy following his first full year in office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.