'This Week' Transcript: Sens Kerry and Lugar


AMANPOUR: But the chairman, Senator Kerry, says that it will happen early this week.

LUGAR: Well, he would know as well as anyone. I think...

AMANPOUR: Do you doubt it?

LUGAR: I think we still have a good number of amendments to be heard, and we will do our work shortly today, as a matter of fact, to try to move things on. AMANPOUR: And on the substance of the complaints by Senator McCain and others that this treaty somehow impairs and impedes the United States' ability for its missile defense shield, what are the facts that you can tell them about that? KERRY: The most significant fact of all is that the general in charge of our Missile Defense Agency, who is responsible for this program, says unequivocally, in testimony between the Armed Services Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, and publicly, there is no restraint, zero, none, no restraint whatsoever on our missile defense capacity. Secretary Gates says it. Secretary Clinton says it. The -- the intelligence community says it. All of our military leaders want this treaty. So...

AMANPOUR: The words in the preamble, are they legally binding? KERRY: No, there is no legal binding statement whatsoever. There is a sort of statement that for political purposes was necessary to -- to achieve what we achieved. The important thing is, the Russians wanted to have a binding statement precluding us from having missile defense. There is nothing in there that restricts our missile defense system. The president made that crystal clear in a letter he sent to the leadership. I read it on the floor yesterday. And he has said he disagrees with whatever statement the Russians have made publicly. We are proceeding forward on the understanding within the treaty. Within the four corners of the treaty, there is zero restriction on U.S. missile defense. AMANPOUR: What happens if it is not ratified? What does this mean for the security of the United States? LUGAR: Well, it's a very bad picture. The importance of this is that the Russians are important to us. We're hearing on the floor that the Russians are one thing, but it's almost as if this is a generation ago. Now it's North Korea or Iran. We're saying, as a matter of fact, it's very important to have boots on the ground in Russia inspecting what is occurring, verifying what is occurring, as we have had, so we don't make vast mistakes in terms of rebuilding all of our armed forces or taking other actions. Furthermore, it's very important that we have negotiations with the Russians, as we will proceed then, to take a look at the tactical nuclear weapons, other ways the Russians can work with us against nuclear in Iran or North Korea.

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