General Powell demands 'total' Iraqi withdrawal

December 06, 1990|By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite | Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,London Bureau of The Sun

LONDON -- Gen. Colin L. Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday that the United States would settle for nothing short of "total, total withdrawal" of Iraq from Kuwait to resolve the Persian Gulf crisis.

Rejecting partial Iraqi withdrawal as a basis of a peaceful settlement, he said, "Saddam Hussein better take into his calculus that the American leadership is not going to blink on this until the last Iraqi soldier leaves Kuwait."

Addressing the Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies in London, the general said he continued to hope that the crisis could be resolved by diplomacy, the use of sanctions and "the opprobrium of world opinion."

If it came to war, he said, "We will use overwhelming force to win decisively as quickly as possible with as few casualties as possible."

The multinational force was mustered in the Persian Gulf "for overwhelming reasons of international security," he said.

The general also declined to predict how long a conflict might last, or to project the form or size of any permanent U.S. security presence in the region.

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