Diplomatic Front: Secretary of State James A. Baker III probably will visit the Persian Gulf area to confer with U.S. allies sometime before the Jan. 15 deadline set by the United Nations for Iraq to end its occupation of Kuwait, Administration officials said.
In various New Year’s addresses, world leaders urged Iraq to seek peace. Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev said there is nothing more sacred to his people “than the preservation and renewal” of the Soviet Union.
French President Francois Mitterrand said comprehensive talks on Mideast problems, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, could come only after Iraq withdraws from Kuwait.
And Japan held out the prospect of renewed economic aid for Iraq if it withdraws peacefully.
Military Front: Iraq ordered 17-year-olds to report for military duty. The conscription of boys in their mid-teens, announced by Baghdad Radio, marked the fourth major military call-up since Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait.
Vice President Dan Quayle told cheering U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia that the United States is ready to use massive force to prevent another Vietnam.
The Pentagon announced that five more U.S. troops were killed in recent days in separate incidents, including two shootings thought to be accidental.
Deaths of U.S. Military Personnel in Desert Shield:
* In or near Saudi Arabia: 52
* Outside the gulf area: 34
* Total: 86