Britain's Defense Ministry says it has put several thousand troops on standby for possible deployment as peacekeepers in the Afghan cities of Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.
A spokesman said (today / Wednesday) the forces could be mobilized in 48 hours, but stressed that no decision has yet been made to deploy them on the ground.
The spokesman described the move as a precautionary measure, aimed at providing, what he called, a stabilizing force to allow the United Nations to create a new Afghan government. He said the troops would also help launch a full-scale humanitarian aid operation for the Afghan people.
Several thousand British troops are already involved in the U-S led war against terrorism in Afghanistan.