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


JONES: Well, I don't -- I'm not convinced. I think there was some good progress made in the Swat Valley and in North Waziristan a year or so ago. But it hasn't been sustained. There still seems to be that reluctance to engage comprehensively and buy into an overall plan that would, I think, really help Pakistan in the long term.

AMANPOUR: All right. General Jones, stay with us because up next we will talk about Libya. Will Libya become Obama's Iraq, as some are now suggesting? And it's a question you'll hear more and more in the coming days. I will ask General Jones if he sees an end in sight.



ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: There will be no American boots on the ground in Libya. Deposing the Gadhafi regime, as welcome as that eventuality would be, is not part of the military mission.


AMANPOUR: Defense Secretary Robert Gates testifying on Capitol Hill Thursday. He is on the record saying that stopping the violence in Libya is not a vital national interest of the United States. But America is in the game now. And the big questions, for how long? And to what end? Let's bring back retired General Jim Jones, who was President Obama's first national security adviser.

Welcome back again. On Libya, Secretary Gates has said on this program and on several last week, that it was not in the vital interest of the United States. Do you agree?

JONES: I agree with that.

AMANPOUR: You agree that it's not in the vital interest?

JONES: I agree that it's not a vital interest in the sense that it affects the security -- the vital security of the nation. But we are part of an alliance. We are one of the global leaders, if not the global leader. And we have to do -- it is in the vital interest -- more in the vital interest of Europeans, when you consider the effects of massive immigration, the effects of terror, the effects of the oil market.

AMANPOUR: So the United States is now in it. You can call it what you want. But it's a third armed conflict.

JONES: We're a part of it. We are transitioning to a supporting part, only the United States could have gotten there as quickly as it did.

AMANPOUR: The United States is making a great fanfare about now giving over to NATO. But you were a former SACEUR, a former NATO commander. NATO, to all intents and purposes, is an American organization. It's run by an American commander. The chain of command is American. The biggest command and control and resources are American. This is still an American-led operation, right?

JONES: I'm not sure I completely agree with that. We have, you know, in the sorties that are being flown now, as I understand it, it's roughly 50-50. And it's going to go down to where the Americans are going to be supporting and reconnaissance, search and rescue, intelligence, refueling, things like that.

There are 40-some-odd ships off the coast, only 10 are American. There are 40 flag officers from different countries involved, only 10 of which are American. So it really is a -- I think it's encouraging to see allies stepping up at a level that we haven't seen before. I mean, it has been good.

AMANPOUR: What is the endgame? I mean, really, what is the endgame? We've seen two weeks of bombing. Gadhafi is where he is. Yes, there have been some high profile defections. The president has said Gadhafi has to go.

JONES: And this is the next piece that's the difficult piece. Because...

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...