WILL: Well, I think they're prepared to cut the administration some slack and move as far as they can in this way on the assumption that, A, that these sanctions, which are more severe than they had thought they would get, are going to work and, if not, that they would have a partner in attacking Iran. But they will attack Iran, if that is the option.
JORDAN: But I do think that it's not just in -- in the White House and in America, but around the world, that they know America is very war-weary. You know, a servicemen and women have served now, Americans, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and people are really tired. There is fatigue of war.
So even though they're saying, you know, all options are on the table in Iran, everybody kind of knows that it's...
AMANPOUR: And for years you were bureau chief in London. You've traveled all over the world. Sitting in Europe, Japan, India, all the places where you've been, what does -- what do you think people are looking at as the potential of another U.S....
JORDAN: I think that they're a little disappointed in Obama. Remember when he was elected that there were spontaneous parties in Africa, in Europe, and in Asia. They couldn't believe, they were so excited about America's ability to -- to turn from George W. Bush to Barack Hussein Obama. And they -- they were jumping up and down. They thought he would be an intellectual, somebody that would grab foreign policy, and they feel neglected.
AMANPOUR: You wrote a column -- and yours has come out today -- super-broke, super-frugal superpower, bringing this whole economy back to the issue of -- of foreign policy. And you said, you think the world had too much American power? We'll see what it's going to be without it, because it's coming to a geopolitical theater near you. What do you mean?
FRIEDMAN: The column, Christiane, was about a book Professor Michael Mandelbaum's written called "The Frugal Superpower," and it basically argues that, for all the economic reasons we're talking about, that foreign policy is a lagging indicator, basically, foreign and defense policy.
That is, the economy keeps remaining weak. Eventually, that will reflect in our ability to project power around the world.
Now, when Great Britain receded as a superpower, the provider of global public goods and global governance, we, the United States, were there to pick up right, you know, all the pieces and all the power. There is no one behind us, not a China, not a Russia, not an E.U. And so it's going to make for probably a more dangerous and destabled world.
AMANPOUR: And if America pulls back -- do you think it's going to pull back from interventions?
FRIEDMAN: I don't know when -- I don't know how. But one thing for sure is that we are going to go -- we have to decide what is desirable and what is vital. And on Afghanistan, maybe desirable, but is it really vital?
AMANPOUR: What does that say to the American people who -- who like their exceptionalism and like their optimism and being part of leading the world?
WILL: Exceptionalism and optimism has never historically been tied really with remaking the world, particularly in places like Afghanistan. The second-in-command in Afghanistan, General Rodriguez, was asked this week when the December re-evaluation of Afghan policy comes up, will you be able to mark significant progress? He said progress, but he flinched from the word "significant."
Mr. Gates, Secretary Gates, says the American people have to know that we will not be fighting here in 15 years, not 15 months, 15 years. That's not good enough.
AMANPOUR: Thank you all so much. And the roundtable continues in the green room at abcnews.com/thisweek, where you can find our fact checks in conjunction with PolitiFact and our reporter's notebook stories from around the world from our ABC correspondents.