Senior U.S. defense officials are ruling out pauses, ceasefires or negotiated settlements of the war with Iraq.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ruled out any pauses or ceasefires during an ABC network television interview in which he also acknowledged it is impossible to predict how long the war in Iraq will go on.
In an NBC news interview, General Richard Myers, Chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, also ruled out negotiations that could see Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein remain in power. "There is not going to be a negotiated political solution. This regime is finished," he said.
Both men say the war is going well and that it remains on plan. They are predicting possibly tough fighting for Baghdad, but General Myers said Iraqi troop units guarding the capital to the south have been so badly harmed by coalition strikes that they are now below 50 percent of their original military capability.