There's no decision yet on whether to send U.S. troops to Liberia as peacekeepers, but defense officials say the U.S. military commander in Europe has been told to get ready for such a deployment.
The officials say a "warning order" was sent overnight to General James Jones, asking that he give an estimate of how the situation in West Africa might be handled.
There's international pressure for President Bush to send up to 2,000 troops to help enforce a cease-fire in Liberia. It has been wracked by fighting between rebels and forces loyal to President Charles Taylor.
Secretary of State Powell says advisers haven't yet given Bush a Recommendation, so he hasn't yet made a decision.
Powell repeated the administration's position that Taylor needs to leave, in order for stability in Liberia.
The secretary of state says there's a "severe humanitarian crisis" that must be dealt with in Liberia. And he says there's concern for the safety of U.S. embassy officials.