When Dean Acheson, secretary of state to President Harry S. Truman, sought a title for his memoirs, he hit upon a quote from the 13th century Spanish king Alfonso The Wise: "Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe."
It provided an apt name - Present at the Creation - for a book about a small group of policy-makers who, in the aftermath of the second world war, became midwives to a new world order.
The Truman administration was witness to the creation of the state of Israel, an independent India and the new nation of Pakistan. It backed the infant Bretton Woods institutions designed to create a new world financial order.
And, having watched China "fall" into communist hands, it decided to fight the spread of communism on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere.
The sweeping foreign affairs of the Truman administration, fuelled by the growing anxieties about Soviet Russia, a destitute Europe and the collapse of colonialism at the onset of the nuclear age, were ultimately condensed into a single strategy: NSC 68.
It contained the central idea of "coercion", demanding an increase in military spending, an expansion of US military forces overseas and the tightening of western alliances to contain and deter the communist threat.
Rather self-consciously, policy-makers in Washington have spent the past summer months drafting and re-drafting what they like to think of as a successor document for a different age.
The National Security Strategy, published on Friday, is designed to articulate America's plans in an age of "shadowy networks" of extremists and unpredictable tyrant regimes.
"America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones," the 33-page paper said. "In the cold war. . . we faced a generally status quo, risk averse adversary. . . Traditional concepts of deterrence will not work against a terrorist enemy whose avowed tactics are wanton destruction and the targeting of innocents."
The events of September 11 last year set the tone of the strategy. Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser who pulled together the strategy, likes to refer to the fall of the Berlin wall and 9/11 as "book-ends" on a chapter of uncertainty in US foreign policy. September 11 made clear a new kind of threat to the US.
And the terrorist attacks, which came without warning, underpin the most contentious, ground-breaking proposal: the use of pre-emptive military action as a measure of self-defence.
The administration's argument is that in an age of imminent, but unpredictable danger, it does not want to wait for proof of a threat to its interests.
At the centre of the strategy is America's belief in the triumph of democracy and free markets and its sense of its own responsibility as the sole military superpower to "defend the peace".
Just as NSC 68 grew out of the Truman doctrine - "the support of free peoples who are resisting subjugation" which he promised before Congress in 1947 - so too this strategy is the extension of a Bush formula.
"We will defend the peace against the threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent," Mr Bush said in a speech at West Point in June.
In its fine print, though, the document is the distillation of thinking which dates back well before September 11 and which stretches far beyond Mr Bush and his national security adviser.
The Defense Planning Guidance papers drawn up by Dick Cheney, now vice-president, when he was defence secretary in the administration of George Bush senior have been filtered into Friday's strategy paper.
Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, has been a public advocate of pre-emption. Administration officials have insisted in recent weeks that there is ample precedent for a doctrine of pre-emption, in spite of previous administrations - including the Reagan White House - opposing any pre-emptive strike as outside the norms of international law.
Well before September 11 and the deployment of the US military in Afghanistan, Mr Rumsfeld had set to work on what had long been called "the revolution in military affairs".
There was input from some of the other ideologues who staff the upper echelons of the Bush administration - notably the deputies: Paul Wolfowitz, number two to Mr Rumsfeld, and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Mr Cheney.
The reference in the strategy paper to "supporting moderate and modern government, especially in the Muslim world", echoes some of what Mr Wolfowitz said in his academic spells out of government when he focused, among other things, on America's relationship with the Islamic world.
In the final version, Ms Rice's hand was clear. The call to "expand the circle of development" through democratisation, free markets and free trade carried on themes she made public when she was Mr Bush's foreign policy adviser in the 2000 election campaign.
And the development of a new strategy of "co-operative action" with the centres of global power - if you like, the beginnings of a new "great powers" theory - had the mark of a former academic who now sits a few doors down from the president.
The Bilderberg Group
The Invisible Power House
(Unofficial and incomplete list of Bilderberg participants)
May 24-27, 2001
Allaire, Paul A. - USA, Chairman, Xerox
Andersen, Bodil Nyboe - Denmark, Governor, Central Bank of Denmark
Balls, Ed - UK, Spads, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Chief Economic Adviser
Balsemão, Francisco Pinto - Portugal, Professor of Communication Science, New University of Lisbon; Chairman, Impresa SGPS; Former Prime Minister.
Barnevik, Percy - Sweden, Chairman, Investor AB and ABB (Asea Brown Boveri Ltd.)
Bergesen, Jr. Finn - Norway, Administrative director, NHO (Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry)
Bernabè, Franco - Italy, International Board of the World Economic Forum; Special Representative of the Government of Italy to the Balkan, Board member of Peres Center for Peace (President - Uri Savir).
Beytout, Nicolas - France, Editor -in -Chief, Les Echos
Black, Conrad M. - Canada, Chairman, Telegraph Group Ltd.
Bon, Michel - France, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of France Télécom
Bruton, John - Irland, Leader, Fine Gael
Burda, Hubert - Germany, Publisher, Burda Verlag (magazines)
Burgmans, Anthony - Netherlands, C.E.O, Unilever
Cebrián, Juan L. - Spain, VC, Sogecable, S.A. (TV Broadcasting)
Collomb, Bertrand - France, Chairman and Chief Executive of Lafarge; Director, Total Fina Elf Group (petroleum & chemicals), Atco; Supervisory Board, Allianz; Board of Directors, Credit Commercial de France
Couchepin, Pascal - Switzerland, head of the Swiss Federal Department of Public Economy, (Swiss Federal Councillor)
Courtis, Kenneth S. - Canada, Vice President for Asia of Goldman Sachs, Inc.; International Research Council of the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS) in Washington and Economic Strategy Institute in Washington.
Dam, Kenneth S. - USA, Deputy Secretary at Treasury, Council on Foreign Relations (New York)
Etienne Davignon - Chairman, Société Générale de Belgique, Former Vice Chairman of the Commission of the European Communities
David, George A. - Greece, Chairman, Hellenic Bottling Company SA.
Dodd, Christopher J. - USA, Senator, D, Connecticut
Donilon, Thomas E. - USA, Executive Vice President, FannieMae
Draghi, Mario - Italy, President of the Economic and Financial Committee, Council of the EU - Director General of the Treasury
Eisenhower, Susan - Tufts University, Asst. Director, Communications and Media Studies
Eldrup, Anders - Denmark, Finance Minister; Danish government representative to SAS (airlines)
Ergel, Gazi - Turkey, Merkez Bank
Feldstein, Martin - USA, professor of economic at Harvard University; President, National Bureau of Economic Research.
Fischer, Franz - E.U. Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
Glickman, Dan - USA, Former Secretary of Agriculture
Graham, Donald E. - USA, Publisher, Washington Post
Gros-Pietro, Gian Maria - Italy, Chairman, ENI S.p.A.( Italian energy group)
Hagel, Chuck - USA, Senator, Nebraska
Halberstadt, Victor - Netherlands, Professor of Public Economics, Leiden University
Hedelius, Tom - Sweden, Chairman, Svenska Handelsbanken; Vice Chairman of the Board, Ericsson
Heinonen, Olli-Pekka - Finland, Minister of Transport and Communications
Höegh, Westye - Norway, Chairman of the Board, Leif Hoegh & Co ASA
Hoeven, C. H.
Hunkin, John - Canada, Chairman and C.E.O., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Huyghebaerth, Jan - Belgium, Almanij NV
Johansson, Leif - Sweden, C.E.O., Volvo
Johnson, James A. - USA, Johnson Capital
Jordan Jr., Vernon E. - USA, Senior Partner, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Field
Kissinger, Henry A. - USA, Kissinger Associates; Former Secretary of State
Jack Sheinkman - Chairman of the Board, Amalgamated Bank
Kopper, Hilmar - Germany, Chairman of Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank
Kravis, Henry R. - USA, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Lamy, Pascal - International, EU, European Commissioner
Lévy-Lang, André - France, Former Chairman Paribas
Lewis, Bernard - USA, Emeritus Professor of Near Eastern History, Princeton University
Lipponen, Paavo - Finland, Prime Minister
Lord Bernard Weatherill - UK, former Speaker of the House of Commons, Convenor of the Cross -Bench Peers
MacMillan, Margareth - UK, Dean, University of Newcastle
Manos, Stephanos - Greece, Member of the Greek Parliament & Former Minister of National Economy; President of the Liberal Party
Martins, G dO.
Mathews, Jessica T. - USA, Carnegie Endowment
deMontbrial, Thierry - France, French Institute of International Relations
Monti, Mario - Italy, EU - Commissioner for Competition (internal market, financial services, financial integration, customs, taxation)
Mosdorf, Siegmar - Germany, Minister of Science and Technology; Parlimentary Secretary of State
Moskow, Michael H. - USA, President , Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Moura, Vasco Graça, EU, 1st Vice President, Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport
Monroe-Blum, Heather - Canada, Vice-President for Research and International Affairs, University of Toronto
Nashashibi, Mohammed - Finance Minister for Palestine Authority
Nass, Mattias - Germany, Deputy Editor, Die Zeit
Olechowski, Andrzej - Poland, former presidential candidate
Ollila, Jorma - Finland, President and C.E.O., Nokia Corporation; Member of the board of directors, Ford Motor Company and UPM-Kymmene (large timber/paper company)
Ospel, Marcel - Switzerland, President & Group Chief executive, Union Bank Of Switzerland (UBS - total assets $ 1,1 Trillion)
Padoa-Schioppa, Tommaso - Italy, President of the International Center for Monetary and Banking Studies; Member of the G -7 & G -20 Deputies; Chairman of the G -10 Committee on Payments and Settlement Systems
Padgrotsky, Leif - Sweden, Trade Minister
Pearl, H. Frank - USA, Chairman & C.E.O of Perseus; Founder & Chairman, Rappahannock Investment Company and Counterpoint Press.
Pehe, Jiri - Czech Republic, former advisor to President Havel
Perle, Richard - USA, Chairman and chief executive officer, Hollinger Digital, Inc.; Director, Jerusalem Post
Persson, Göran - Sweden, Prime Minister
Pragnell, M. P. - UK, Director, AstraZeneca plc
Prestowitz Jr., Clyde V. - USA, Founder & President, Economic Strategy Institute (areas of expertise: Globalization, Asia, Technology Policy, Business Strategy); former senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment
Raidl, Claus - Austria, Director, Boehler Uddeholm AG (steel)
Ramqvist, Lars - Sweden, Chairman & C.E.O., Ericsson (worlds third largest mobile phone manufacture); Board member, Skandia & Volvo
Rattner, Steven - USA, Investment Banker, Director, Quandrangle Group; US Treasury advisory committee on IMF matters; old hand at Davos meetings of the World Economic Forum; Chairman of New York Channel 13
Riotta, Gianni - Italy, Publisher, La Stampa
Robertson of Port Ellen, George - Secretary General, NATO
Rockefeller, David - USA, Chairman of the International Advisory Committee, Chase Manhattan Bank; Founder and Honorary Chairman of the Trilateral Commission
Rodriques Inciarte, Matías - Spain, Banco Santander Central Hispano
Roll of Ipsden Eric - UK, UBS Warburg
Sanberk, Özdem - Turkey, Turkish Ambassador to the U.K.; Director General, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
Scholten, Rudolf, A. - Austria, Österreichische Kontrollbank
Schrempp, Jürgen E. - Germany, Chairman of the Board, DaimlerChrysler
Seidenfaden, Tøger - Denmark, Editor-in-Chief, Politiken - one of the biggest Danish newspapers
Shevtsova, Lilia - Russia, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Visiting Professor, University of California at Berkeley & Cornell University
Siedentop, Larry A. - USA, Fellow of Keble College & lecturer on political philosophy at Oxford University; Author of Democracy in Europe
Sieghart, Mary Ann - UK, Editorial writer, Times of London
Sofia, Queen of Spain
Taylor, J. Martin - Chairman, WH Smith Group, Adviser, Goldman Sachs
Thornton, John L. - USA, Director, Ford Motor Co.; former President of Goldman Sachs Group; Member, CFR and the Brookings Institution
Treschcow, Michael - Sweden, C.E.O., Electrolux AB
Trichet, Jean-Claude, France, Banque de France
Vasella, Daniel L. - Switzerland, Chairman & C.E.O., Novartis (Pharmaceuticals)
Virkunen, Janne - Finland, Senior Editor -in -Chief, Helsingin Sanomat
Wallenberg, Jacob - Sweden, Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken
Wallenberg, Marcus - Sweden, C.E.O, Investor; Vice Chairman of the Board, Ericsson
Whyte, Kenneth - Canada, Editor -in-Chief, The National Post
Wolf, Martin - UK, Associated Editor/Economics Commentator
Wolfensohn, James D. - President, The World Bank
Wolff von Amerongen, Otto - Germany, Chairman and C.E.O., Otto Wolff Industrieberatung und Beteiligungen GmbH.
Queen Beatrix - Netherlands
H. R. H. the Prince - Netherlands