The Liberian government and most civilians are calling for American and UN peacekeepers to come in and stop the fighting between the government troops and LURD rebels. For most Liberians, the rebels are seen as a tribal faction that will take revenge against the inhabitants of the capital and the refugees there. Tribal politics has always played a role in Liberian politics and it is believed that only foreign peacekeepers can halt the fighting and atrocities against civilians.
West African nations are willing to provide about 3,000 peacekeepers, but they want American troops to participate as well. There is a US Navy amphibious task force in the area, with a reinforced marine battalion. The other West Africans also want American logistical support and money to support any peacekeeping. The American leadership is divided over getting involved, feeling that the tribal conflicts are endless and the corruption intractable and that Africans should provide the peacekeeping forces for conflicts among their neighbors. Complicating the situation is the indictment of Liberian president Charles Taylor for war crimes. His term of office ends with the end of this year, and he said he was willing to step down earlier if peacekeepers come in. Apparently he feels that getting arrested by the peacekeepers would at least get him out alive. If the rebels get Taylor, he can expect rough justice.