Vice President-elect Dan Quayle said Friday that Congress shouldn't try to greatly reduce U.S. military spending in response to a Soviet pledge to cut troop strength.

"Let's not forget that the reason that we're making success with the Soviet Union and the world is because we have been able to negotiate from a position of strength," he said.Quayle, who developed a reputation as a hard-liner on defense issues while in Congress, said that even if Mikhail S. Gorbachev follows through on a promise to reduce Soviet troops by 500,000, the Soviets still will "have a very significant advantage" in troops and weapons in Europe.

"I hope that the Congress doesn't try to undercut us and to take away that position of strength," he said. "I hope that the Congress doesn't respond and say, `Well, we can dramatically cut defense spending.' "

Quayle, commenting on a wide range of topics in an interview with reporters from his home state of Indiana, denied suggestions he has been swayed by President-elect Bush's transition team in making staff appointments.

Quayle said he would be "a very close personal confidential adviser to the president" during Bush's term.