U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle said Friday that the war against Iraq would last "weeks and months rather than years" and added that an international Middle East peace conference was not inevitable after the war.
Quayle, in an interview with British Broadcasting Corp., said the allied war against Iraq would not be long in comparison to other conflicts."This is not going to be a long campaign. This is not going to take years. I think we will be able to conclude it in weeks and months," the vice president said.
Quayle, who returned to Washington after two days in England, met with Defense Secretary Tom King to review the allied policy. Speaking to reporters afterward, the vice president vowed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would not set the timetable for the war by provoking a ground campaign.
"We are in no hurry to commence the ground campaign. We're very comfortable sticking with the strategy we have," he said. "The strategy right now is to continue the air campaign, to continue to target the military assets. I would say thus far the strategy has been quite successful."
Quayle told the BBC that an international Middle East peace conference to settle the Palestinian question was not inevitable once hostilities ended.
"We're not going to talk about an international peace conference. That's what Saddam Hussein wants," the vice president said. "We're not going to reward Saddam Hussein with the international peace conference."
He said the United States had decided to try to resolve the Palestinian crisis with bilateral talks between Israel and Palestinian representatives. Israel opposes an international conference, fearing it would be forced to accept a settlement at odds with its interests.