'This Week' Transcript: Christina Romer, George Will, Liz Cheney, Al Hunt, Judy Woodruff and Robert Reich

So there is clearly a problem here. I disagree with George. I don't think that the events, the briefings that were provided this week have begun to give Americans any comfort that there is a real understanding of the threat the nation faces and what it's going to take to be able to defeat that threat.

STEPHANOPOULOS: President can do more?

REICH: George, I -- I think neither the Bush administration nor, so far, the Obama administration really has geared up our entire defense and homeland security system to take account of what is not a single Al Qaida. I mean, it is an Al Qaida that is a hydra-headed monster. It's appearing in many, many different places. The only thing that it is centralized is the strategic direction and maybe some training.

It's very, very difficult to -- to get at all of this. I mean, Yemen -- who really thought about Yemen? Why Yemen is on the...


CHENEY: ... thought about Yemen...


REICH: Well, but -- but -- but, Liz, the point is that -- I mean, Yemen is running out of oil. It's running out of water. I mean, I'm -- I'm reminded of what small countries used to do during the Cold War. If they wanted attention and aid, they would -- they would say, "Well, there's a communist insurrection here."

Yemen has, you know, an Al Qaida branch. And Yemen is not fighting that Al Qaida branch all that hard because it's a way of getting a lot of international aid and attention to Yemen.


WOODRUFF: And, George -- and -- and what I think is stark is that we're now talking about Yemen. The U.S. is spending, I think, $63 million in Yemen this year, compared to $2.6 billion -- $2,600,000,000 -- in Afghanistan, $1.4-something billion in Pakistan, where we have been told is the -- you know, is the headquarters, the heart -- the beating heart of Al Qaida. So, clearly, there's going to have to be some...


HUNT: Well, let me -- can I just say this, George? I think this story -- look, it was scary. It was awful. But this -- this guy was an amateur. This guy was a neophyte that -- whose name I can't pronounce who tried to do the Christmas Day bombing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A well-backed amateur, though.

HUNT: What?

STEPHANOPOULOS: A well-backed amateur.

HUNT: Well, I'm not even sure of that. I think a far scarier story was what happened to that CIA outpost in Afghanistan. I think that's a much more important story, because what that shows -- they were able to use a double agent to -- to blow up and kill six or seven CIA agents. And what -- I think Al Qaida has been weakened. Someone said it earlier. We had killed an awful lot of those people over the last couple years. But I think it still shows their cunning, their relative sophistication.

And what I worry about is for all the focus now on airline security and making airplanes safer that the next effort is not going to be an airplane effort. It's going to be bioterrorism.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but that -- that -- that is...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... concern. And what is especially scary about this attack in Afghanistan is you saw cooperation among the Taliban in Pakistan, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Al Qaida in the Middle East.

HUNT: But just quickly, going to President Kennedy's saying, you know, victory has 1,000 fathers, there's all kinds of groups trying to claim credit for this.

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