'This Week' Full Transcript: Dec. 6, 2009

GATES: Well, we don't know for a fact where Osama bin Laden is, if we did, we'd go get him. But...

STEPHANOPOULOS: When was the last time we had any good intelligence on where he was?

GATES: I think it has been years.


GATES: I think so.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So these reports that came out just this week about a detainee saying he might have seen him in Afghanistan earlier this year?

GATES: No, that's...

STEPHANOPOULOS: We can't confirm that.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So do you believe that one of the reasons we haven't had good enough intelligence is because the Pakistani government has not been cooperating enough?

GATES: No. I think it's because if, as we suspect, he is in North Waziristan, it is an area that the Pakistani government has not had a presence in, in quite some time. The truth of the matter is that we have been very impressed by the Pakistani army's willingness to go into places like Swat in South Waziristan, if one had asked any of us a year or more ago if the Pakistani army would be doing that, we would have said no chance.

And so they are bringing pressure to bear on the Taliban in Pakistan, and particularly those that are attacking the Pakistani government. But frankly, any pressure on the Taliban, whether it's in Pakistan or in Afghanistan is helpful to us because al Qaeda is working with both of them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned the actions the Pakistani government has taken. Is Balochistan next? Is that where they have to go next to take out the Taliban?

GATE: Well, I think that the Pakistani government, we sometimes tend to forget that Pakistan, like Afghanistan, is a sovereign country. And Pakistani -- the Pakistani army will go where the Pakistani army thinks the threat is. And if they think that threat is Balochistan, that's where they'll go. If they think it's in North Waziristan, they may go up there. Or they may just winter in where they are right now.

But these are calls that the Pakistanis make. We are sharing information with them. We have had a steadily developing, better relationship between our militaries.

And we will help them in any way we possibly can, but that's their call.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Back to Afghanistan, Secretary Clinton, some have suggested that one of your envoys -- the president's envoy, Richard Holbrooke -- should begin negotiations with those elements of the Taliban who are willing to talk to him.

Do you agree with that?

CLINTON: Well, George, we have said -- and the president made it clear in his speech at West Point -- that, you know, there are two different approaches here.

One is what could be called reintegration. And that is really looking at the lower-level members of the Taliban, who are there through intimidation and coercion, or, frankly, because it's a better living than they can make anywhere else.

We think there's a real opportunity for a number of those to be persuaded to leave the battlefield.

Now, the problem, of course, once they leave -- and we have a lot of evidence of this -- they'll get killed if they're not protected. And that's one of the reasons why we're trying to get these secure zones.

STEPHANOPOULOS: In other words, they don't believe we'll stay.

CLINTON: Well, and also, just, we need to secure the population. It's one of General McChrystal's principal objectives.

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