'This Week' Transcript: Rahm Emanuel

Beyond that, General McChrystal, in words I think he'd probably like to take back, said when we went into Marjah we were going to bring in a government in a box, a transportable government. Well, we don't know how to do nation building and counter-insurgency, as Petraeus defines it, is nation building. And, in fact, when the purpose is to extend the writ of Kabul throughout the country, that terrifies Afghanistan, because the Kabul government is even more brutal than it is corrupt.

MARTIN: So, your argument then is there ought to be a hard date for a drawdown and there ought to be a real drawdown, too?

WILL: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: But we don't even know what our goal is at this point. What is the goal being in Afghanistan? And we should at least identify the goal. If it is to get rid of these terrorist camps we could probably do that from the air. I mean, every single we read-I heard the introduction, we have hit the milestone of more than 1,000 deaths of American troops. They've got civilian deaths.

TAPPER: Longest war in U.S. history.

VAN SUSTEREN: Actually, I'm looking forward to next week's interview with Leon Panetta. See what he says about this. But this is not exactly a war that, regrettably, that we're winning. Look at the Soviets were there through everything they could-who had it for 10 years and they ran away from it. You know, this is not a war that is going well for us.

TAPPER: Michel, you and I were speaking before the show and you were intrigued by the story that appeared in "The New York Times". A different story, talking about the $1 trillion dollars worth of mineral value that was suddenly found, although, if you look back at other stories, you know, the mineral wealth in Afghanistan has been written about for, literally, more than a century. But this was a new report from "The New York Times". What was your take?

MARTIN: Which was leaked, and I'm just curious about what the intention of it was. Just to say that this is worth it because -- it is now worth it to stay in Afghanistan because there are these mineral resources that -- who will...

TAPPER: Do you think that was the case, that was...


MARTIN: Who will be (inaudible) these resources? Is it to shift the argument to saying that this is a war over resources as opposed to over national security?

WILL: I think Michel's skepticism is warranted. It came after weeks of very bad news, and here's the answer to your question, Greta. What are we -- our mission is lithium. We're going to get the minerals. I mean, it's absurd. In the first place, it's decades away from being extracted. Second, it raises the stakes for the Taliban to want to win. Third, the corruption in Afghanistan will be cubed by the corruption that always goes with extraction industry.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I think they were -- I think they were trying to suggest that this would be their great economy, that they would finally have some money, because we're making all our efforts to destroy their economy, because what their economy is, for better or for worse, is drugs. And so you know, we've got to destroy their economy. Then what do they have? Well...


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