'This Week' Transcript: Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.)


AMANPOUR: Jeffrey, thank you. You mentioned stalemate and also divided country. And joining me now from the rebel-held city of Benghazi is ABC's Alex Marquardt.

Alex, how are these rebels dealing with being unable to really capitalize on all of the help the no-fly zone is giving them?

ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, they're not able to capitalize because they are outmanned, they are outgunned, and they are not able to organize. They don't have the weapons to face Gadhafi's superior firepower. So they're forced to beat a retreat.

They don't have any sort of leadership. So when they retreat, they do so in a disorganized fashion, very quickly, no one showing them how to hold the line, how to retreat.

So we're seeing now glimmers of hope that they'll be able to organize. Experienced officers on the frontlines trying to corral these groups into units, keeping people back without any sort of training.

And for the first time on the frontlines on Friday we saw the general who is technically in charge of these forces, General Abdel Fattah Yunis, welcomed with a hero's welcome. So signs that there is some leadership coming to the frontlines that is so desperately needed by these rebels.

AMANPOUR: Alex, thank you so much.

Rarely has a president faced a foreign policy puzzle this complex. President Obama, of course, came into office pledging to repair America's relationship with the Muslim world. Now that relationship is tested like never before. Joining me to discuss the path forward, the president's former national security adviser, General Jim Jones. He's now a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Thank you for joining us.

JONES: Thank you, Christiane. Good to be here.

AMANPOUR: Let's first talk about Afghanistan, since that seems to be a real crisis again at the moment. This pastor who burned the Koran, is unrepentant. Do you think despite the freedoms envisioned and expressed specifically in the American Constitution, he should not have burned that Koran?

JONES: Oh, I don't think he should have done that at all. I think it's extremely irresponsible, and look at what it has led to.

AMANPOUR: You also heard Mike Boettcher's report, a fierce firefight along the Pakistani border, one of the worst that the Americans had been involved in. Right now, do you think the United States forces can pull down significantly in July?

JONES: Well, I think that there can be and there will be some reduction of force in keeping with the agreement made at Portugal at the NATO summit in December to target 2014 as, in President Karzai's own words at the London Conference, "This is when I want to be able to control my entire country."

AMANPOUR: But can it be done responsibly, if you'd like?

JONES: Yes, I think so. I think it can be done responsibly. And we'll have to see what it looks like. A lot of it hinges on what happens on the other side of the border with our friends, the -- our neighbors the Pakistanis.

If Pakistan turns to what some of us think they should have done more effectively for a long period of time now, attacking and removing those safe havens that cause us so much difficulties, and if we can get some sort of coordination with their forces, then I think you can in fact...


AMANPOUR: You say if. You don't seem convinced that they're playing their part.

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