AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you to put your analyst cap on now, based on your war experience. In Iraq, drawdown of combat forces, and yet troubling reports that the linchpin to success, bringing the Sunni groups on, the Sunni awakening may be crumbling. Reports that the Sunni awakening cells are being recruited or defecting or being kicked out by the Iraqi government back to Al Qaida.
SHELTON: Very, very disturbing but I would say not unexpected. I think that, you know, all along, we've said we were going to provide an environment that the Iraqi people could form a government, but that's up to them to really come to the...
AMANPOUR: Right, but if those people go back to Al Qaida, doesn't that imply that there could be more violence, that you will continue to have that division between Sunni and Shiite?
SHELTON: Without a doubt, Christiane. And I think all along, you know, if you listen to the leaders in the Middle East, like King Abdullah, a great friend, who would say what -- what it will take to rule Iraq will be a strong government, a strong man. Hopefully not like Saddam, but someone that can keep those three factions apart.
AMANPOUR: And in Afghanistan, again, one of the things that they are trying to emulate is to bring the Taliban in, like they tried to do with the Sunnis in Iraq. What do you think of bringing the Taliban in? Do you think negotiations will work?
SHELTON: I think that we've got to be very careful. I believe that the Afghanistan people will be very, very concerned -- and we see reports now, the warlords are even starting to get concerned about how much control the Taliban will have. Trying to strike some type of an agreement with them I think is a reasonable course of action, but Karzai's government has got to remain in charge and governing that country.
AMANPOUR: And how long do you think it will take? Obviously much publicity and much attention about President Obama's summertime 2011 withdrawal or rather drawdown. Do you think that that's possible?
SHELTON: I am very, very concerned. We couldn't ask for better military leadership. Our men and women are doing a great job, but we're dealing with a 14th century culture, the second most corrupt nation in the world. And now we've got to have Karzai be in position by 2011 to really maintain control as we start to pull our combat forces out, and I'm not too -- I am not sure we haven't given our military a goal that is a bridge too far.
AMANPOUR: A bridge too far. What do you think about -- Wikileaks obviously has come out with another huge amount of documentation about the Iraq war this time, and they focused quite heavily on subcontractors. I've seen them in the field. They are quite controversial in many instances. Is American war fighting changing? Is it being outsourced too much?