'This Week' Transcript: Pelosi and Gates

GATES: Well, it -- it is a concern, there's no question about it. But -- but I would say that, again, we walked out on Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1989 and left them basically holding the bag. And -- and there is always the fear that we will do that again. And I believe that's the reason there's a certain hedge.

But what I see is a change in the strategic calculus in Pakistan. As they see these groups attacking Pakistan itself, where they are more and more partnering with us and working with us and fighting these insurgents and 140,000 soldiers in Northwestern Pakistan fighting some of the same insurgents we are.

AMANPOUR: Right. But they're basically fighting the insurgents that are threatening them. They haven't gone into, for instance, these safe havens which still exist, Northern Waziristan. And General Jones, the national security adviser, has told "The Washington Post" that these safe havens are a big question mark in terms of our success rate.

So unless they do that, cut off those safe havens, will you succeed in Afghanistan?

GATES: Well, I think we can but --

AMANPOUR: Even if the safe havens --

GATES: -- but we clearly --

AMANPOUR: -- exist?

GATES: -- we clearly would like for them to go after the safe havens. But they have gone after the safe haven -- some of the safe havens, in South Waziristan and Swat and elsewhere, places where, 18 months ago, I wouldn't have believed the Pakistanis would be actively engaged -- and militarily.

And so the Pakistanis going after any of these groups, I believe, overall, helps us in what we're trying to accomplish, both with respect to Afghanistan and with respect to al Qaeda.

AMANPOUR: But given the way the war is going right now and given the fact that the Taliban are very wily and very adaptable enemies and they do have a place where they can go across the border and hide, can you afford to wait for the Pakistanis to -- to move on into Northern Waziristan?

GATES: I think that the -- first of all, we are increasing our cooperation with the Pakistanis in terms of working on both sides of the border, in terms of trying to prevent people from crossing that border. We are increasing our forces in Eastern Afghanistan that will help us do this. So I think that -- I think we're moving in the right direction here.

AMANPOUR: But you don't have an open-ended period of time. The president has clearly said that the summer of 2011 is a period of transition. And many people are interpreting that in all sorts of different ways, as you know.

The Taliban is clearly running out the clock -- it's trying to run out the clock.

Let me put something up that David Kilcullen, the counter-insurgency expert, a former adviser to General Petraeus, said about the timetable.


DAVID KILCULLEN: They believe that we had stated a date certain, that we were going to leave in the summer of 2011. And they immediately went out and spoke to the population and said, the Americans are leaving in 18 months, as it was then. What are you doing on the 19th month? Who are you backing? Because we'll still be there and they won't be.


AMANPOUR: So that question is out there. So many people are arranging their schedules for 2011 -- the summer of 2011.

But my question to you is this, what can General Petraeus do to defeat the Taliban at their own game?

What can he do now in Afghanistan to avoid this deadline that they're setting for themselves?

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