The United States is sending more ships and troops to the Persian Gulf region in preparation for possible war with Iraq.
U-S defense officials say Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered the deployment of two more aircraft carrier battle groups and 37-thousand additional soldiers.
Two U-S aircraft carriers are already positioned for the possible war -- one in the Gulf, and another in the eastern Mediterranean. The latest deployments raise the total number of forces ordered to the region over the past month to nearly 140-thousand. Some Pentagon officials have said the build-up could eventually total a quarter-million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.
So far, the only country in the Persian Gulf where large numbers of U-S ground troops are assembling is Kuwait. Turkey has been considering a request from Washington to permit tens of thousands of U-S ground troops to be based there.
The mobilization comes a day after Britain announced a major deployment of its own to the Gulf region. Twenty-six thousand British troops -- nearly a quarter of the entire British army -- will join the several thousand British soldiers already in the region. Britain has been Washington's closest ally in preparing for a potential war against Iraq.
On Monday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dismissed suggestions that it would take months to determine whether or not Iraq is cooperating with U-N weapons inspectors.