The United States and Britain are now ready to go to war with Iraq as "ample" forces have been massed in the area, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Thursday.
"We are at a point where, if the president makes that decision, the Department of Defense is prepared and has the capabilities and the strategy to do that, " he said in an interview with Public Television.
The military build-up could see six aircraft carriers and 200,000 troops in the Gulf by the end of this month, US defense officials said.
Rumsfeld stressed that many countries will take part in the war effort. "There will be a large coalition," he said.
Plans are in place to deal with a full range of possibilities if US and British forces attack Iraq, including possible use of chemical and biological weapons by Iraq, Rumsfeld said.
Rumsfeld said US military operations will circumvent Turkey if the US fails to strike a deal with it for its support in a war against Iraq.