Vice President Cheney suggested Monday that the Sept. 2 terrorist strike at a Russian school may signal a shift in how the Putin government and others in Europe view the fight against terrorism: They will become more aggressive.

"There's been in some circles . . . in Europe, for example, a lot of our European friends have been somewhat ambivalent about this whole proposition with respect to how we deal with these terrorist attacks," Cheney said. He had been asked at a town hall meeting here in southeast Iowa whether he believed the siege would prompt Russia to be more forthcoming in assisting the United States in fighting terrorism.

The vice president did not directly mention any foreign governments that have refused to support the war in Iraq. But he said, "I think some of them hoped that if they kept their heads down and stayed out of the line of fire that they wouldn't get hit."

The attack on the school in Beslan, which killed at least 328 people, cannot help but prompt many governments to rethink their isolationism, Cheney said, noting that Russia, for example, "of course did not support us in Iraq."

"What happened in Russia has demonstrated conclusively that everyone is a target," he said. "I think there will be a higher degree of cooperation from all countries as we move forward."

-- Lisa Rein

Vice President Cheney foresees Europeans becoming more aggressive against terrorists.