The former Vermont governor is under fire from rivals for lacking national security experience.
Dean, who is vying with eight other Democrats for the right to challenge US President George Bush in 2004, hopes to plug the gaps in his resume by laying out a foreign policy portfolio and introducing key advisers on international and military issues in California on Monday.
Dean’s speech will blast Bush for “endangering” American leadership overseas through “an arrogant, unilateralist” foreign policy and leading the United States “in a radical and dangerous direction,” the aide said.
A linchpin of his own manifesto will be a comprehensive worldwide effort to prevent terrorism through shared intelligence, greater law enforcement cooperation, squeezing “terrorist” financing and more joint “anti-terror” operations, a campaign aide said on Saturday.
“Just as important as finding (Usama) bin Ladin, is finding and eliminating sleeper cells of nuclear, chemical, and biological terror,” Dean will say in a speech in Los Angeles.
“Our global alliance will place its strongest emphasis on this most lethal form of terror.”
He will call for the United States and its partners to contribute to an international fund to prevent “terrorists” from getting weapons of mass destruction, the aide said.
It would build on an existing US programme to deactivate and destroy chemical, biological and nuclear arms called Nunn-Lugar after its sponsors, former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia and Sen. Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican.
Former US Vice President Al Gore
Dean’s major opponents for the Democratic presidential nomination have said they support expanding Nunn-Lugar, created in 1991 to work with Russia and former Russian states to reduce the threat posed by the legacy of the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal.
The programme has been credited with deactivating about 6000 nuclear warheads.
On the campaign trail, Dean criticises Bush for pushing through trillions of dollars in tax cuts but failing “to find the money to buy the enriched uranium stocks in the former Soviet Union” that the United States is entitled to do under Nunn-Lugar.
“If that stuff gets in terrorists’ hands, then we really do have a security problem in America,” he told town hall meetings on Friday during a swing across Iowa, where the first major test of the nominating season will be held on 19 January.
Iraq war opposition
Dean’s insurgent, Internet-driven bid for the White House has been built around his outspoken opposition to the Iraq war.
“If that stuff gets in terrorists’ hands, then we really do have a security problem in America”
He has used the issue against rivals who voted for a congressional resolution authorising the US-led invasion, charging that they were tricked by Bush.
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, struggling to catch Dean in New Hampshire, which holds a key primary on 27 January, has accused the former governor of flip-flopping on his signature issue by supporting a failed resolution that would have allowed Bush to wage war without congressional approval.
Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, without naming Dean, has said that after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, now is not the time for “rookies” in the White House.