'This Week' Transcript: Adm. Mike Mullen

VIDEO: Adm. Mike Mullen on This Week


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Welcome to viewers here and around the world. I'm Christiane Amanpour.

And at the top of the news this week: nuclear secret, a report of a major advance in North Korea's nuclear program. What new threat does it pose? And how will it impact the president's disarmament agenda and his push to get the Senate to ratify his START nuclear treaty?

OBAMA: This is not about politics. It's about national security.

AMANPOUR: This morning, the nation's top military official, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. Plus, the escalating war in Afghanistan. His views on night raids, relations with President Karzai, and deadlines for U.S. withdrawal.

Then, hot zone. As Haiti reels from a cholera outbreak, we ask, what happened to the global pledge to rebuild the nation?

And G.M.'s new start. Was the bailout good for America after all? Analysis on our roundtable with George Will, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, Ed Luce of the Financial Times, and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

Plus, the Sunday funnies.

LETTERMAN: The Capitol Hill Christmas tree arrives this week. And as soon as it gets to Washington, it will die in committee. Did you know that?


ANNOUNCER: From all across our world to the heart of our nation's capital, ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour starts now.

AMANPOUR: Hello again. And with reports of a new nuclear facility in North Korea and a new deadline in the Afghanistan war, there's a lot to discuss with our guest, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

President Obama returned late last night from the NATO summit in Lisbon where the United States and its allies are now talking about another deadline, the end of 2014 to hand over combat operations to Afghan forces. To make that happen, American and NATO forces are escalating the war right now, and so we start with a powerful report from ABC's Mike Boettcher in Afghanistan.


BOETTCHER (voice-over): When Lieutenant Colonel Steve Lutsky last saw 10-year-old Sadekela (ph), he was bleeding to death on the side of a road.

LUTSKY: His mom was yelling out that, "My son is dead. My son is dead."

BOETTCHER: Now he is recovering at a U.S. military hospital. The lives of the American officer and the Afghan boy intersected on this stretch of highway in Khost province, when a car bomber trying to kill Lutsky and his men attacked their column.

(on-screen): The American convoy was traveling this direction. The other way, civilian vehicles. They slowed down when the convoy passed. So did a suicide bomber. And inside his car, he had 600 pounds of high explosives.

(voice-over): The soldiers were not hurt, but the explosion killed one child and injured three others, including Sadekela (ph). Now angry at the Taliban, Sadekela's (ph) family is grateful to the Americans for saving his life, a small but important victory in a war where not killing civilians is more important than killing the enemy.

TOWNSEND: It buys us credit, in the sense that there's a little more respect for us and there's a little more trust for us.

BOETTCHER: America's top officers tell Afghans that it's the Taliban who are killing civilians, a message undermined by President Karzai's claims that U.S. special operations night raids are killing innocent people.

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