'This Week' Transcript: Sens Kerry and Lugar

Senator Kerry and Lugar on START
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AMANPOUR: Hello again. It was a historic day yesterday, as the Senate voted to repeal the ban on gay men and lesbian women serving openly in the military. This has been a very active lame-duck Congress, with major pieces of legislation on the table, and next up, an expected vote on the arms control treaty with Russia, one of the president's top foreign policy priorities.

The two senators responsible for getting the votes for that treaty are with me this morning, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry, and the ranking Republican, Senator Richard Lugar.

Gentlemen, thank you very much, indeed.

LUGAR: Thank you.

KERRY: Glad to be here.

AMANPOUR: Before we get to the upcoming business of START, let's talk about the repeal of "don't ask/don't tell." Historic. What does this mean for the U.S. military and for the country?

KERRY: Well, for the country, it means that our citizens will no longer have to lie and live a lie on a daily basis or be denied the opportunity to serve their country. Gay people have served the United States with distinction. They've won awards. They've given their lives all through our history. We had a policy that asked them to lie about it. They no longer have to do that.

I believe it fulfills an enormous promise of equality in our country. It's an historic day.

AMANPOUR: Senator Lugar, you did not vote to repeal "don't ask/don't tell," and yet the majority -- the vast majority, 77 percent of the American people, say that it's time. Why did you not do that?

LUGAR: I was influenced by those who are in combat presently in Afghanistan and the testimony of the Marine commandant that the adjustment that would be required by this is one that really ought not be take place, and -- and given the -- the -- the problems of combat and -- and Afghanistan currently.

AMANPOUR: So do you think it's going to be implemented? I mean, Secretary Gates, Chairman Mullen have said it will take some time to implement, but they are sure, like many other militaries around the world, that it will be implemented without too much of an issue, if at all.

LUGAR: Well, that was sort of the enabling clause of what we voted on yesterday, that this is pushed back until somehow these adjustments can be made.

AMANPOUR: Let's get...

KERRY: Can -- can I just say, quickly? I understand completely what Dick Lugar and John McCain and others were expressed, which is a view that some folks in the military still have. And I think that's why many of us felt it was so important for the Congress to do it, because if the courts did it, then there wouldn't be this capacity that Dick just referred to that allows Secretary Gates and the military to decide how they're going to implement it.

AMANPOUR: Well, another big struggle is the START treaty, the New START treaty, nuclear treaty between the United States and Russia. And I know you've been furiously lobbying to get this done. Do you believe that there will be a vote, that it will pass?

KERRY: I believe it will pass, and I believe there will be a vote.

AMANPOUR: And you, Senator Lugar? Will your members, the Republicans in the Senate, have enough numbers to pass this? Two-thirds of the Senate has to vote on it.

LUGAR: Several Republicans will support it, and I join the chairman in believing that there are the votes there. The problem is really getting to that final vote.

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.

To throw away all of those opportunities simply because some feel the Russians are no longer relevant or -- or we should just simply build whatever we want to quite apart from the Russians seems to me is an illogical stance, but we're hearing a lot of that. AMANPOUR: Well, you have spoken about Russian cooperation on Iran, North Korea, and all the other areas of -- of vital American national security. Also in Afghanistan, it seems the Russians are now allowing the U.S. to re-supply forces in Afghanistan. The president unveiled the Afghan review, the war review this week, and it seems saying that there's not fast enough progress, but decent progress on the ground. But one of the key issues remains the sanctuaries and the re-supply of Al Qaida and Taliban into Afghanistan from Pakistan. What more can the United States do to get Pakistan to close those borders? LUGAR: I'm not certain there is much more we can do. Our diplomacy has worked full time. So have our agreements with the Pakistanis, in terms of their own security. But at the same time, the Paks don't really have control over a lot of the territory. People have been coming and going for -- for decades, as a matter of fact. We -- we just have a problem there that -- quite apart from the fact the Taliban are re-entering some of the northern parts of the country, quite apart from the fact that even after we expel Taliban from towns, there's not much governance in many cases, and debates on billions of dollars of infrastructure we're trying to get built in Afghanistan, sometimes without the cooperation of the central government. AMANPOUR: Related to this, we opened the papers this weekend to find that the CIA station chief in Pakistan has been outed and has had to leave, basically, in fear of his life. The ISI now saying, "We didn't do it." They deny having made his name public. Do you believe Pakistan's at fault there? And do you think that this is going to be a major setback for U.S. policy right now there? KERRY: No, I don't believe it will be a major setback, and I think we need to stop having public debates about what Pakistan is at fault for or not at fault for and what we're not at fault for or at fault for. That does not help this process. Pakistan, it's -- it's a very fragile democracy that has emerged out of eight years, nine years or whatever, of the Musharraf dictatorship. There are huge economic difficulties facing them, huge internal difficulties facing them. They've made many decisions that, in fact, put themselves at risk in many ways. The drones are very unpopular, all through Pakistan. And yet they're allowing us...

AMANPOUR: And yet the backbone of U.S. success right now there.

KERRY: The backbone of our success. They have -- no one a year ago would have thought the Pakistanis would have 147,000 troops in the western part in the territories. Nobody would have thought they would have gone into Swat and gone after the insurgents or South Waziristan. Their soldiers have a two-year tour. Their army has been somewhat stretched. And I've spent hours with their chief of command, General Kiyani. I believe they know exactly what they want -- we want them to do, what they have to do, and I believe at some point it's going to happen. AMANPOUR: Well, one of the key American diplomats who was loud and clearly telling him America's strategic vision and what they had to do was Richard Holbrooke, America's point man on Afghanistan and Pakistan. His loss, his death this week, how is that going to affect this process? KERRY: Well, it's -- Christiane, you knew him, we all knew him. It's an enormous, enormous loss. I mean, Richard -- you know, some people could always find him, you know, too strong in his point of view or, you know, too focused on what he wanted to get done, but I'll tell you something: He was a diplomat of extraordinary ability who knew how to get things done, who had a vision.

He was moving things. The team he put together to work on this is one of the most exceptional teams of people I've seen assembled in Washington, D.C. They -- they really understood where they were trying to go. And it's a loss, and it's going to be -- difficult shoes to fill, no question. AMANPOUR: Senator Lugar?

LUGAR: He was a dear friend. And -- and more importantly, he was trying to get the money into Pakistan that John and I had fostered in a so-called Kerry-Lugar bill. Now, the Pakistanis liked the idea of a five-year program. They liked the idea of money for schools and legal enforcement and the rest of it. But getting it there, who -- who runs it? How can you monitor it? This took all the diplomatic skills of Richard, and he still wasn't quite there with it.

But in answer to the question about Pakistan, all we can do, we are trying very hard diplomatically, a five-year program, because it is critical. If the Al Qaida are over there and the Taliban go back and forth, things are not going to continue to work well in parts of Afghanistan without change. AMANPOUR: Senators, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us on these very important topics. And we'll be watching the debate in the Senate this weekend.

AMANPOUR: And we're going to pick up the discussion of the administration's review of the Afghanistan war on our roundtable and, as they take their seats, listen to President Obama's words about the war from three of his major speeches in the past two years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Many people in the United States and many in partner countries that have sacrificed so much have a simple question: What is our purpose in Afghanistan? We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Huge challenges remain. Afghanistan is not lost, but for several years it has moved backwards. Our forces lack the full support they need to effectively train and partner with Afghan security forces and better secure the population.

This continues to be a very difficult endeavor, but I can report that thanks to the extraordinary service of our troops and civilians on the ground, we are on track to achieve our goals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: And joining me now, George Will, political strategist Donna Brazile, Chrystia Freeland, global editor at Reuters, and Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post.

Thank you all for being here. Let's go, George, to you regarding the Afghan review. Republicans still solidly on board. American people, though, the majority say, no, we've got to get out. How long do the Republicans stay with this war?

WILL: Well, let's step back a minute. When the president announced simultaneously the surge in December 2009 and the beginning of withdrawal in the summer of 2011, conservatives said he's a reluctant warrior. Not true. He's waging this war with -- with real vigor at this point.

However, in the 10th year of the longest war in the nation's history, our military -- superb military, funded as well almost as the rest of the world's militaries combined -- is facing an adversary with no artillery, no armor, no fixed-wing aircraft, no helicopters, no intelligence service. Wherever we meet them, we beat them. That's not the point. The point is, are we achieving more than, as the review just said, gains that are fragile and reversible?

AMANPOUR: Rajiv, you've been on the ground more than 12 times over the last couple of years.

CHANDRASEKARAN: There are pockets of progress, but overall it's still a very difficult, very grim picture. When you put more U.S. boots on the ground, you do get short-term security improvements. That's what we've seen around Kandahar. The review notes that.

But the bigger strategic questions, getting Afghan governance up and running, getting them to deliver basic services, getting them to build the necessary, most basic frameworks of a state so they can take responsibility of a situation, that still seems a long way off. And -- and this strategy hasn't yet yielded those sorts of gains and benefits.

AMANPOUR: And on the ground, also, the issue of constant re-supply of Taliban from Pakistan's side, but also there are internal divisions, stresses within the administration also on -- on this war. And you've been talking about it.

CHANDRASEKARAN: Indeed. I don't think the review that just came out suggests by any stretch of the imagination that there's agreement within the administration. They've kicked the can down the road until the spring, early summer, when the president is going to have to decide just how many troops to withdraw, and it's looking like there will be a meaningful troop drawdown by next summer. The skeptics are not convinced.

AMANPOUR: Donna? Because actually the can has been kicked down to the beginning of 2015.

BRAZILE: That's correct. Look, when the president went to Europe to the NATO summit and agreed with the framework that we would stay there until 2014 or longer, we now have a conditional sort of transition, so to speak.

But I agree. Unless the governance, unless we can get President Karzai to delegate more authority to the governance, to the local governors, not pick all of the people, give the tribal leaders some say into who will run things so that all of the money is not just trickling down from the top, unless we get the people there in Afghanistan to buy into what we're doing, our military have done a superb job, but there's nothing that follows once the military clears the landscape.

FREELAND: You know, I think we're accustomed to separating the discussions about foreign policy and domestic economy. But I think when it comes to Afghanistan, really, a key issue is going to be both the U.S. domestic economic debate and just how the economy is doing.

It's incredibly expensive, and unemployment is still really high. As you see the economic debate focus on actually cutting government spending, I think the national tolerance which we're already seeing is quite low among Republicans, as well as Democrats, for paying for this is going to diminish.

AMANPOUR: So let's -- let's jump to that. And the domestic, economic debate which was shown, I think, quite glaringly, wasn't it, in the -- in the Senate this week with the spending bill.

WILL: Absolutely. The -- Harry Reid decided to call the bluff of the Republicans with this $1.1 trillion spending bill, full of earmarks, many of them put there by Republicans. Indeed, the two senators from Mississippi, both Republicans, were the two largest earmarkers.

He called the Republicans' bluff, and it turns out the Republicans weren't bluffing. They swallowed their own earmarks, took them off the table, defeated the bill, which included, by the way, a billion dollars in enforcement mechanisms for the health care bill. So the war that was going to consume the next year over spending and small skirmishes has already begun.

AMANPOUR: Let me play this interesting exchange that our own Jonathan Karl had with Senator Cornyn on this issue of earmarks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Going through this bill, there's earmark after earmark from the both of you, I mean, millions of dollars in earmarks from the two of you and from other senators. How do you have any credibility on this? Why -- why do you have earmarks in here?

CORNYN: Because we're going to vote against the bill. This is the wrong way to do business.

KARL: Senator, were you wrong when you put these earmarks in before?

CORNYN: Karl, this is not just about earmarks. Earmarks are a symptom of wasteful Washington spending that the American people have said they want reformed.

KARL: Is that an acknowledgement that it was wrong to put the earmarks in, in the first place, I guess is my question? Was that -- I mean, that's the old way of thinking. Was that a mistake?

CORNYN: You've asked the question about five times, and I've tried to answer it to the best of my ability.

Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: What was it all about?

WILL: Well, exactly that. I mean, elections have consequences. The Tea Party has been heard. The Republican Party, everyone in the Republican Party feels they have a zero on -- on their back of their -- of their suit jacket. They're going to behave.

This was a momentous moment when you got the appropriators -- it's often been said by John McCain that there are three parties in Congress, Republicans, Democrats, and appropriators, who are aligned to themselves (ph). They lost.

AMANPOUR: Was it momentous or did the Republicans have to back down? Would they have wanted those earmarks to go through? In fact, many Democrats want the earmarks. Senator Harry Reid says it's our right.

BRAZILE: Well, the truth is, is that under the Republican leadership, back in the last eight years -- I got to start watching Saturday night football -- but under the Republican leadership, we saw the deficit grow.

And finally the Republicans are now having to read the script that the Tea Party has written for them. The truth is, is that the Republicans, as well as the Democrats, will have to get very tough on spending. It's going to be very difficult, when three-fifths of the budget is already appropriated: the military, 20 percent; Social Security, 20 percent; 21 percent of the budget is for Medicare, Medicaid, the children's health program; and then you have 14 percent left for an array of programs.

The president will have to make tough choices, but the Republicans finally will have to come to the table and do the right thing and try and get spending under control, but it's just not a spending problem. We also have a revenue problem.

AMANPOUR: So what happens with the notion of bipartisanship? People can point to any number of this legislation that's gone on in this lame duck. Some show bipartisanship; some don't. What does this say going forward for the -- for the new Congress?

FREELAND: I think it's going to be more partisan and more inflamed than ever before. I think that one of the analyses that we saw after the tax deal was, "Oh, hurrah, this might be the beginning of a new era of bipartisanship."

But the tax deal was easy. I think of it as the Santa Claus deal. It's really easy to cut everybody's taxes and then have more money for poor people. Everybody's happy.

The rubber hits the road in 2011, because that's going to be about cutting things that people want, and that will be really difficult. And as Donna says, like a serious -- seriously attacking the deficit is going to mean looking forward to also increasing taxes. Someone's got to pay the...

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: But we were not all happy with the tax cuts.

WILL: But there will be some bipartisanship in the sense that -- what do you have, 23 Democratic seats up in the Senate this time around?

BRAZILE: Yes, 22.

WILL: Some of them who came in six years before '12 in 2006, which was an usually good year for Democrats, and they're in some marginal seats. Therefore, you're going to see some of them crossing the aisle to support the Republicans on spending cuts.

CHANDRASEKARAN: But it generally I think will play better for the president as he stands up to these -- these efforts to -- to really, you know, attack spending over the course of -- of the spring. You know, I think -- I think when this comes down to a confrontation, he's in a much better position.

AMANPOUR: Just want to put up this -- as we talk about this, this cartoon from the Economist. Basically, a large elephant is seen choking President Obama and the heading reads "Republicans will make conciliatory gestures, you know, hand around the neck."

And I guess I put that up because so many people have said this was a great victory for President Obama. Some even on the conservative pundits have said that the Republicans got snookered by this -- by this tax deal. But didn't really have much choice, did he?

WILL: No, he had no choice whatever. Here's what happened this week. The president lost the spending bill he wanted that had the health care funds for him. The president lost on his tax pledge, which was to cause an increase in taxes on -- on more affluent Americans. And in Virginia, a federal judge declared the centerpiece of his centerpiece -- that is, the health care mandate -- unconstitutional. And a federal judge in Florida signaled he might say the same thing.

AMANPOUR: Donna, what happens with that?

BRAZILE: Oh, first of all, the federal judge in Virginia -- I mean, this -- this -- this ruling was so narrow. And he didn't use the commerce clause, George. He used the necessary and proper clause, which sounds redundant. So I don't think that will stand. I still believe overall the health care bill will continue to move forward.

Now, look, the president is going to have to show some of the kind of leadership he showed this week, I think, in getting "don't ask/don't tell" passed, if he gets START passed this week. This will be a good month for the president.

AMANPOUR: OK, let's put up some of the impassioned debate over "don't ask/don't tell."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WYDEN: I don't care who you love. If you love this country enough to risk your life for it, you shouldn't have to hide who you are.

MCCAIN: I hope that, when we pass this legislation, that we will understand that we are doing great damage. Today's a very sad day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Rajiv, you heard what Senator McCain says, and he says he bases it on the feelings of troops on the ground. You've been there. What are they telling you?

CHANDRASEKARAN: There's none of that passion that you saw in the Senate out there in the deserts of Afghanistan. For the rank-and-file in the U.S. military, this isn't all that big of a deal. They don't see a big problem with implementation, and the younger generation just doesn't have the same politicized views as some of the senior commanders and -- and some of the -- the opponents to this, as -- as we heard from Senator McCain.

AMANPOUR: Perhaps that's true overall, but certainly many of the Marines -- a majority of the Marines -- who are really at the tip of the spear have got serious worries. What do you think this is going to look like as it's rolled out? Implementation is going to take a while.

BRAZILE: I think it's going to be a non-event. I really do. I think -- I think we've made so much noise about an issue that most Americans believe that, why? Why? People are willing to die for their country. They're willing to serve. We've lost so many good men and women simply because they refuse to lie. So I think this is a great day for the country. We join the civilized world.

WILL: The Marines are a small service in which every Marine is a rifleman, and their specialty is small-unit combat, and unit cohesion matters. With that said, the Marines have their orders from the commander-in-chief. You tell a Marine to take the hill, the hill will be taken, and therefore they're going to implement it.

AMANPOUR: And the hill has been taken all over the world, by more than 30 countries, which have...

FREELAND: Yeah, that's -- I -- I was going to make exactly that point, Christiane. And I think Donna is right. I think that the big event has happened now. And in real life, we're going to see that this just rolls out. We've seen that other countries have done this. And, you know, I think actually it's going to be the bang and now will be just the slow whimper.

AMANPOUR: All right. And our roundtable discussion continues in the green room at abcnews.com/thisweek, where you can also find our fact checks in conjunction with PolitiFact.

Up next, is American food aid policy actually harming the ability of the world's poor children to develop properly?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Did you learn to read and write?

(UNKNOWN): No.

AMANPOUR: Why not?

(UNKNOWN): "I want to learn, but I can't."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: The vital first 1,000 days of life when we come back.

AMANPOUR: Joining me now to talk more about U.S. food aid policy is Rajiv Shah, the administrator for the U.S Agency for International Development.

Mr. Shah, thank you for joining us. And I might say, before you got this job, you were at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation...

SHAH: Yes.

AMANPOUR: ... so there's a connection here. And I want to ask you, how can this be happening? How can this be happening? Just put the milk powder back at the very, very minimum.

SHAH: Well, you know, the segment you just ran is an incredibly important one, because it highlights the huge problem of child malnutrition. And over the last decade, we've learned a lot about how to address it.

And this administration, led by President Obama, but led also by Secretary Clinton and myself, we've been very aggressive to change the way food assistance takes place and to change the way development happens so that we're focusing on the most effective interventions to really help countries pull themselves out of poverty.

AMANPOUR: Right, that's the big thing that President Clinton was saying there...

SHAH: Right.

AMANPOUR: ... that for many administrations, it's been a failure. Based more on what benefits U.S. farmers than what's beneficial to the people you're trying to help.

SHAH: That's right. And our new approach...

AMANPOUR: What are you doing now?

SHAH: Well, our new approach has been to continue to recognize that we need to be the world's largest, fastest, most effective food aid provider in emergencies, but this is not just about emergencies. This is about helping the nearly billion people who go to bed every night hungry.

And so we've launched a major global initiative we call Feed the Future, which is about helping countries do exactly what your segment talks about, produce more local foods, produce higher quality foods, improve the targeting of children under the age of two and pregnant women, so that they get better micronutrients and they get proteins, and by doing that, essentially creating the conditions that allow us to move away from food aid and allow countries to take care of their own people and their people's nutrition and welfare.

AMANPOUR: The GAO report last year found that the U.N. World Food Programme did purchase food locally in Africa, spent 34 percent less on similar aid provided to the same region by you, by USAID. And another GAO study found that the delivery times for this kind of food, your food, was over 100 days longer for your aid than for local food aid. Plus, there was something like $140 million wasted in shipping. So this is happening still now, as you say you're under review.

SHAH: Actually not. There are two facts that just came out. The first is the United States and USAID is now the single largest provider of resources for locally procured foods. We've gone from zero in our spending in that area to $250 million so that we can buy foods locally, buy the right foods, save money, and just as importantly, create the incentives for small farmers, like Maria (ph), the one you highlighted in the segment, to have the market incentives to improve their own agricultural production and really build a vibrant agricultural economy that helps move themselves out of poverty.

AMANPOUR: So what would you say to Maria (ph) or, indeed, her young daughter, Liliana (ph), who you saw I spoke to there, who they believe she didn't get the right food and she can't make it through school? And as we said, studies actually show a link between developmental stunting and physical stunting.

Is the U.S. farm bill going to change? I mean, what governs what you send abroad, is that going to change? Will there be more nutrients in it?

SHAH: Well, we absolutely are improving the nutrient quality of food aid, but I want to highlight that this isn't just about food aid. This is also about targeting kids under the age of two with clean water and hygiene interventions, making sure we get micronutrient supplements, like Vitamin A and zinc and iron, to pregnant women, and making sure that comes together in a way that achieves real progress.

For one example, our program in Guatemala, which has adopted this 1,000-days approach to solving the problem, has seen a 28 percent reduction in stunting amongst the treatment cohort of kids.

AMANPOUR: Since?

SHAH: In the past two years. And that is so important, because as you know, in the western highlands of Guatemala, 73 percent of the population is poor, it is entirely an agricultural-based economy, and 67 percent of the kids in that part of that country are stunted.

We think this is a solvable problem, and we're transforming the way we do development to make sure we invest in the Marias (ph) of the world who are the small women farmers who can actually be the solution.

AMANPOUR: And so as you take this lead in trying to make these changes, does U.S. law need to change? Does what -- what is prescribed under the farm bill and Title II need to change?

SHAH: Well, you know, we've changed a lot of regulations and how we implement the law to make sure we do this. We're working in partnership with private companies around the world and local companies in Senegal, in Pakistan, in Kenya, and in Guatemala to make sure we're using locally produced foods as much as possible. Your segment talked about Plumpy'nut, which is a peanut-based product. We're also exploring the use of chick peas in other parts of the world where that's the main source of protein.

AMANPOUR: Given that Plumpy'nut exists right now, is that something that the U.S. can -- can make part of its food aid?

SHAH: Absolutely. We're absolutely making a whole range of products part of the food aid. You know, in fact, we were the first and the most significant provider of food assistance during the flood -- immediate flood response in Pakistan.

The major product that we targeted to undernourished children in that situation was a high-energy, high-calorie-value biscuit, because I think we've all now recognized -- and USAID helps support the studies at the Lancet and Tufts University that have demonstrated that we need to move to higher quality, higher nutrition foods.

But I just want to come back to this other point, that part of the solution here is reinvesting in agriculture. And that's why the Feed the Future program that we've launched is really not just about how we do food aid. It's about creating the conditions that allow countries to take care of their populations from an agriculture and nutrition perspective so food aid is not needed in the very long run.

And I really appreciate the segment where President Clinton was talking about how we used to be the world leader in this: 30 percent almost of all of our foreign assistance went to food and agriculture. And during the '60s and '70s, we moved 300 million to 600 million people out of poverty and extreme hunger.

We can do that again, and it can be cheap and efficient and a real partnership with other countries around the world and those we hope to serve.

AMANPOUR: And we'll be watching. Rajiv Shah, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

SHAH: Great. Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And for more information on how you can help, go to abcnews.com and saveone.net.

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