Return to Transcripts main page
Interview with U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Former Chairman Mike Mullen; Interview with Europe Former NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Richard Shirreff; Interview with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; Interview with Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari; Interview with "MegaThreats" Author Nouriel Roubini. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired November 07, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. And welcome to AMANPOUR live from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Here's what's
In a race with winter to rebuild from the rubble, our report from the Bucha region. And the battlefield assessment from former chairman of the joint
chiefs, Mike Mullen, and former NATO deputy commander, Richard Shirreff. Then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N SECRETARY-GENERAL: The clock is ticking. We are in the fight of our lives and we are losing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The COP27 Climate Summit starts in Egypt, the ultimate distressed test for tackling our existential crisis. With much of his
country underwater, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, joins me. Plus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOURIEL ROUBINI, AUTHOR, "MEGATHREATS": I hope that we can avoid this cold war from becoming hot war but we are on a collision course with China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The sage who foresaw the 2008 economic collapse, Nouriel Roubini, talks to Walter Isaacson about his fears for the future and his
new book "MegaThreats".
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in Kyiv.
And amid the rolling blackouts that you can see behind me, the coming winter is sure to be the new battleground all across Ukraine. As the past
four weeks of Russian attacks on energy infrastructure forced legions of engineers to work around the clock, trying to prevent a total collapse of
the grid here. For many residents, especially in towns and cities badly damaged earlier in this war, monumental efforts to rebuild homes, as well
as traumatized minds are going full steam ahead. Here's our report from the suburbs that felt the full force of Russia's failed attempt to take Kyiv
back in February and March.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voiceover): On the outskirts of Kyiv, the bridge into Irpin in the Bucha district was a life saver for those who managed to flee the early
Russian advance. In the seven months since these scenes, the horrors of what those troops left behind have been fully exposed and residents have
been quietly rebuilding. Mykhaylyna, the deputy mayor of the Bucha region, is taking us to meet residents who are rebuilding.
But throughout this heavily destroyed residential area, it's a race against winter. As temperatures start to plunge and blackouts continue. Money is
tight but spirits are high. At the very least, they need to replace glass in the windows and patch up holes the size of tank and artillery rounds.
Tetyana (ph) shows us pictures of her apartment's small bedroom, destroyed in March, rebuilt now. Her story is hair raising and miraculous. Hunkering
down in the basement for 10 days under Russian occupation, this is the picture of the Russian tanks arriving just 15 minutes after she fled.
When we left, they were shooting at us from behind, she tells me. Now, I realize what kind of a second birthday I got. What kind of a gift? Because
those people who left right after us were shot.
As this city tries to put the pieces back together again, there is another, more sensitive, perhaps even more difficult kind of rebuilding underway.
The U.N. children's fund UNICEF has placed pop-up tents full of warmth, light, and care. All these children have been traumatized and some have
been forced to witness unspeakable horrors. This is Bucha district, after all, ground zero for Russia's war crimes. Eugene Lopatin is the regional
manager for this program.
EUGENE LOPATIN, UNICEF REGIONAL MANAGER: They started to tell some really cruel things. I cannot even describe how cruel they were. Some people --
some children saw invaders raping their mother or beating their father.
AMANPOUR (voiceover): Kesanya (ph) volunteers as a psychologist here. Seeing parents whose children have had to them in silence or spend long
periods with no bathroom breaks.
And the body remembers this. And even after reaching safety, the child cannot go to the toilet, she says. It's the same with speech. The parents
have told them to keep quiet. So, the child closes its mouth and does not know when they can talk again.
And so, they turn to these kinds of games. And Katarina (ph), the volunteer art therapist says, she sees them gradually come out of their shells and
start to smile and connect again.
They seem to forget about their inner stress when they're making something like this, says Katarina.
Back in the construction zone, Mykhaylyna, has her own harrowing story of loss and recovery. She says her first husband was killed in Donbas during
the first Russian invasion in 2014.
MYKHAYLYNA SKORYK, DEPUTY MAYOR, BUCHA CITY COUNCIL: Like, when you lost your beloved, you have to find a new motivation how to live. How to go on.
How to feel alive again. So, when I thought what would motivate me to live, I decided that, look, I'd like to have a boy. A boy called Philip as my
first husband wanted. And I met another man and realized that plan, you know.
AMANPOUR (on camera): That's fantastic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, the spirit and the will to live is really strong here for their country and for their children's future.
Meantime, on the battlefield, Ukrainians say that Russian forces near the key southern city of Kherson are now dug in three layers deep against
unanticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive. Kherson is the only regional capital that Moscow has managed to capture since it's February invasion.
And the fate of the city is extremely significant for both sides. It's hard, sometimes, to get a real sense of the state of play on the ground in
this grinding war. So, let's get inside from former U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman, the retired admiral Mike Mullen, and the former deputy NATO
commander general Richard Shirreff.
Welcome back to our program, both of you. I just wondered if you could, perhaps, just weigh in on really the spirit that was -- you know, that we
saw when we met those people in Irpin. I mean, that's the Bucha district. They couldn't have suffered worse pain. And yet, you see these people who
are nowhere near giving up. Admiral Mullen, what do you think?
MIKE MULLEN, FORMER CHAIRMAN, U.S. JOINT CHIEF OF STAFF: I agree, Christiane. I mean, the peace says an awful lot and is really uplifting in
terms of the spirit, the determination, and the resilience. Even as Putin and the Russian military have taken this different tack to try to put them
out of power at a really critical time, they see me bouncing back from that as they have throughout the war.
So, I would -- you know, I -- and I take great hope or I have great hope for the future with respect to where this eventually goes because of that
incredible resolve, the depth of the people of Ukraine. Not just their military, but of the people and the political will that's behind it.
AMANPOUR: And General Shirreff, you know, each of those civilians who I talked to say that their spirit and whatever they do in the rear, so to
speak, is all designed to support the military who's fighting for them in the trenches and in the mud and in the cold right now. What do you think,
knowing the European battleground and the battlefield, what do you think this national spirit means on the frontlines?
RICHARD SHIRREFF, FORMER NATO DEPUTY SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, EUROPE: Well, ultimately -- and firstly, one has to marvel and be just full of
respect and admiration for the spirit that your conversations have demonstrated. I mean, this demonstrates of the iron will and determination
of the Ukrainians to defeat the Russians. And as military history shows again and again to quote Napoleon, "The moral list of a physical as three
is to one."
The Ukrainians will do it. The Russians are on the back foot. But it absolutely behooves us all in the west to continue to give the Ukrainians
the support they need, the support they deserve. If we can give them the tools to do the job, I am convinced that they will do the job. And that
spirit will shine through.
AMANPOUR: I'm just going to point out that you're wearing the red poppy. It's the annual symbol of Armistice Day, the end of the war that the
British and Commonwealth troops, you know, they celebrate and they commemorate. So, it's an important moment right now. All these years since
the end of the two world wars in Europe.
So, let's talk about Kherson. And let me ask you both what you make of this slow but somewhat methodical activity in and around Kherson. Admiral
Mullen, can I ask you what you think is going on there in terms of what we hear the Russians say that asking or telling citizens and civilians to move
They say, or at least the Ukrainians are pointing out, that they're now dug in several layers deep. What do you think one can expect?
MULLEN: Well, Christiane, I mean, several months ago, all of us were talking about getting to some version of a stalemate. Certainly, that was
as winter approached. I had several people tell me in September that winter had already arrived from the fighting standpoint and that clearly has not
been the case because the Ukrainians continue to make progress. But literally since Kyiv, the lines of communication, the logistics challenge,
the battlefield challenge has just -- they've been extended.
And so, the further east that the Ukrainians go, I think the tougher the fight. And certainly, Kherson as a regional capital will be significant,
not just physically significant but I think really significant as to the eventual outcome. I think the more Ukraine reaches to the east, the tougher
the fight is going to be, much less in the middle of the winter which is, obviously, now setting in. So, I think we can expect a very, very difficult
battle, to come in the next few weeks and months with Kherson very much at the -- in the middle of it.
AMANPOUR: General Shirreff, what is the value, the strategic value of Kherson, apart from the fact that the Russians took it practically on day
one. It's the only major city that they've taken. And they're desperate to hold on to it. Its position is crucial, right, for both sides.
SHIRREFF: Exactly that. I mean, losing Kherson would be a humiliation for Putin. But the Kherson is the key to the Black Sea coastline. And if the
Ukrainians regain Kherson, then the Russians are going to be pushed back to the west -- into the eastern side of the Dnipro. And that gives Ukraine
access again to the Black Sea. And of course, that means that they're not just dependent on Odessa to get their grain, their steel out to the rest of
the world, but they can use other ports as well. So, Kherson is of strategic importance.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you both because what we seem to have seen is a subtle and not so subtle shift in the balance of artillery power. Maybe not
physical numbers in terms of manpower but certainly in the effectiveness of what the Ukrainians are using thanks to all the NATO equipment that is
Now, it was reported in one of the newspapers that a Ukrainian commander on the ground, you know, basically said that if the Russians, as sort of ill-
equipped as they are right now, hang on to Kherson. It could be their Stalingrad. And I just wondered, Admiral Mullen, what you make of how the
Ukrainians are using all of this new kit that is coming in and what more do you think they need?
MULLEN: Well, I think they've actually been extraordinary in terms of their ability to respond. I was very happy to see reported publicly in the
last day or two that the air defense systems, I think one from the U.S. and one from Spain, have arrived because that's not an insignificant threat as
well and supporting them in that regard. In addition to the systems that we've provided thus far, plus the intelligence sharing that we clearly have
And I think, in a way, and it gets this Black Sea issue, I think if Putin loses control of the Black Sea, you can almost say that he's lost the war.
It is one of the reasons he took Crimea, originally, so that he wasn't going to lose his fleet capability, his navy fleet capability in
Sevastopol. And I think we do -- as it gets harder and harder financially for many countries to support, I think we also need to keep in mind how
vital that sea lane is to support the food issues that are throughout the globe right now because of this war. There are many countries that were on
edge before the war started in terms of food insecurity and that has been badly exacerbated.
So, in a way, it really is Kherson has the possibility of being a real standoff position that could turn the outcome of this war one way or the
other. And then lastly, as it turns against -- continues to turn against Putin, you know, my biggest worry is that somehow being desperate and
losing, he'll turn to the use of nuclear weapons, which I think changes everything. And we need to figure out as best we can how that could never
happen. And that's a very, very complex and difficult task as well.
AMANPOUR: I'm going to get to that in a moment because obviously it is the big thing that worries and scares everybody.
But let me just ask you, you're an admiral. You understand better than any of us the sea, the war on the sea and the laws of the sea. You saw that the
Ukrainians used to suicide drones against parts of that fleet that you're talking about near Sevastopol in Crimea. How important is that then given
what you just said about the vital nature of that whole coastline for Russia? What more damage do you think the Ukrainians could do there?
MULLEN: Well, as I understand it, I think the Russians have moved their fleet, you know, basically out of range. Certainly, of the kind of missile
where the Moskva was sunk. But if I look at Moskva and I look at the, you know, the recent action with respect to the Ukrainians impacting, I'd say
the Russian fleet is pretty vulnerable. And I don't know that they could hold up very well in a kind of conflict. And it's almost -- it's an
So, I would expect the Ukrainians to continue or certainly to support that. Obviously, the Russians will use that fleet as much as they can to control
both access and trade in and out of the Black Sea. And certainly, impacting that in ways where they can't do that would have a huge impact on the
outcome of the war as well.
AMANPOUR: General Shirreff, in terms of the air defenses that they're getting, as admiral Mullen said, and I spoke to two senior U.S. senators
here just at the end of last week. The NASAMs, the other, sort of, upgraded air defense systems which are beginning to come in now are obviously a
vital need to the attack on the cities clearly. But what do you -- what -- how do you see the lay of the land and whether the Ukrainians can actually,
you know, convert their current artillery, sort of, advantage, if you like, into more victories in that part of the country?
SHIRREFF: While the Ukrainians have given us a master class in operation design campaign planning and the implementation of that. Particularly with
spectacular successes east of Kharkiv and in the Donbas earlier -- last month and the month before last. We're in -- getting into the, you know,
weather is bad. As you'll be witnessing it firsthand now. And of course, the mud makes it much more difficult, hence the slowing down. And also,
down in Kherson, the ground makes it much more difficult to move.
So, you know, hence the slow but steady successes. I think also, what we've seen is very clever use of the long-range precision missiles artillery that
they've been gifted. They've integrated that very successfully into the way they operate. I think the cry need now must be the -- must be air defense.
So, we've got to keep up the pressure. As well as the offensive maneuver capability. I think the requirement for air defense is paramount given the
pounding that Ukrainian cities and energy and power supplies are taking, because it's going to be a very long cold winter unless we give them the
means to protect themselves more effectively.
All that, I think, can be taken together given the way the Ukrainians have operated. As well as the way the Russians have operated, we haven't really
talked about them, points to me to ultimately to Ukrainians achieving their military objectives. But it's not going to be quick. It'll run -- probably
run on through this winter or I think we will -- we are likely to see more gains coming up.
I'm worried about the Russians because, you know, the Russians have demonstrated how awesomely bad, frankly, they have been. We all expected
them to be much better than that. They've collapsed in many cases now in east of Kherson. There are reports of some quite effective Russian units.
And I don't think we're likely to see the sort of spectacular collapse that we saw on September though.
But nevertheless, my senses the Russians are on the back foot. Ukrainian morale is high as a kite. Whereas the Russians are not. Their morale is
poor. They've got real problems with their mobilized forces. Large numbers of whom have been put into the fight with minimal training and are being
slaughtered and being killed or being taken prisoner.
And that message is going get through. Who wants to die for Putin in a foreign land when, you know, when they don't need to. And I think the
Ukrainians will capitalize on that. And I think we should see more gains from the Ukrainians. But it won't necessarily be as spectacular as those we
saw last month or the month before.
AMANPOUR: Just briefly, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has said that some 50,000 or 40,000 of these newly mobilized Russian forces are
currently in country and ready to take part in the battle. They do have a lot of numbers whether they're effective or not remains to be seen
throughout the rest of this war.
But I just want to briefly ask you to follow up on what Admiral Mullen said. Do you think that NATO has configured itself and has delivered a
strong enough warning to President Putin not to use any kind of nuclear weapon because if you notice over the last couple of days, he, his defense
secretary have said, we're never going to -- well, we're not going to use them is in Putin's word, neither militarily nor politically necessary.
SHIRREFF: Well, I think President Biden has been very, very clear about the unacceptable -- unacceptability of the use of nuclear weapons. But --
and as you say, the rhetoric from Russia has been somewhat dialed down. But nevertheless, it remains a very, very dangerous threat. And it is a threat
we must take seriously.
And I'm certain that in the Pentagon and in other NATO capitals, there will be some significant wargaming about the potential reactions to any form of
nuclear weapons. Together with very close monitoring by all our intelligence services of potential rollouts of nuclear warheads and the
like. And I have no doubt some pretty careful messaging into the Russian chain of command at all levels about the unacceptability of the use. And
so, I think the message is probably pretty clear. But nevertheless, it remains a threat we have to take seriously.
AMANPOUR: And finally, to you Admiral Mullen, when we all three talked one of the times, it was the first day of this war, you had expressed concern
that the lightning nature of the Russian invasion could lead to, you know, going to the borders with Poland. I mean, people were concerned about how
rapidly Russia could progress. It didn't happen, obviously as we've seen.
But you've also recently said and I'll quote that you think, "The United States should do everything possible to lead both countries to the
negotiating table." That doesn't go down very well here. And I wondered on what basis do you think there is any negotiating room or opportunity right
MULLEN: I think that's a key question, Christiane, because certainly President Zelenskyy keeps reiterating there is no basis, as far as he's
concerned, while Putin's in power. I think, I'm one to believe Putin is going to stay in power. There are people that would like to see him go. I
just don't think that's going to happen. Every war comes to an end. Every war typically comes to negotiated end. And there needs to be guidelines and
boundaries, you know, that get created into which a negotiation can occur. Not least of which before Putin is so desperate that he might pull the
trigger on a nuclear weapon.
So, I am very much still in that camp. I know that that goes against the grain, if you will. I think it's a far reach to think everything is going
to return to the Ukraine. That said, you know, I don't know that for sure. Again, I am praiseworthy of everything the Ukrainians have done. It's just
a really dangerous time quite frankly.
AMANPOUR: Yes, yes.
MULLEN: And we need to -- this war needs to end without those weapons being used. I fear greatly that actually if those weapons come out, we are
pretty close to World War III. And a war with Russia no longer just Ukraine and Russia, it's the U.S. and Russia.
AMANPOUR: Admiral Mullen, General Shirreff, thank you for being with me tonight.
Now, Russia's invasion of this country and, of course, the consequence of soaring food and energy prices has shunted climate change down the list of
global priorities. In Egypt, leaders are now meeting for the COP27 Summit. The world is nowhere near its goal of keeping global warming under 1.5
degrees Celsius. The U.N. says, progress on cutting emissions is, "Woefully inadequate." Since the last climate summit, just last year, COP26 in
Glasgow. The Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put it bluntly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N SECRETARY-GENERAL: Global temperatures keep rising. And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate
chaos irreversible. We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, poor countries feeling the brunt of climate change are pushing for financial compensations from rich countries like flood hit
Pakistan. A shocking one third of the country was underwater during recent heavy rains. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is the foreign minister and he's
joining me now from the COP27 summit.
Welcome back to our program. So, let me ask you, Mr. Foreign Minister, do you believe -- and you had the group of countries that are asking for
damage and loss, I think it's called, do you believe this is the summit where you will get it?
BILAWAL BHUTTO ZARDARI, PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER: Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be back on your show again. You're absolutely right, Pakistan
is at the moment share of the G77 group plus China are representing developing countries. And absolutely, actually, we've been successful in
adding loss and damage now onto the agenda of -- as a result of COP27. So, we have adaptation mitigation and a third agenda item now as a result of
successful negotiations. And loss and damage is a topic will be included.
From a Pakistani perspective, from a developing countries perspective, particularly having gone through these historically catastrophic floods, as
you mentioned, a third of the country underwater. One in seven people affected. It was only after having experienced this that we suddenly
realize that there is no international financial mechanism to address a catastrophe of the scale.
So, we're hoping with now loss and damage as part of the agenda, we'll be able to work with the International Community going forward. And if today,
when Pakistan was hit with such a tragedy, if this facility was not available, we're hoping that the next country to be hit by a tragedy of
this scale will have some sort of mechanism available as far as loss of damage is concerned.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, we understand the Pakistan, for instance, has barely no carbon footprint. The rest of the world has a massive carbon
footprint in terms of the developed world. And that's one of the rationales that you all demand, compensation and damages. I was interested to hear
your minister for climate change, Sherry Rehman.
She basically said -- or at least, somebody said that, you know, the wonderful, fabulous, historical Notre Dame Cathedral, when it burned, in an
instant, they raised something like 900, you know, million dollars -- Euros to repair it. The world promised $100 million a year to mitigate your
issues and it has not provided it. The most it's provided is $90 million. I may be talking in billions. But the fact of the matter mother is it's a
10th of what you need compared to a cathedral in Paris. My question is how do you expect to win your case in the public arena?
ZARDARI: So, as far as loss and damage is concerned. I think rather than emphasizing this as some sort of, you know, compensation. We should look at
this as a collective responsibility. And because loss and damage is a fact, I can show a lot of loss and damage to Pakistan. The small island nations
will be able to show you the loss and damage that happens to their countries.
It's a fact that we have to address. And we all have to work together to achieve that end. I wouldn't frame it personally as compensation or
reparations. It is a shared responsibility of the global community to come together to address not only adaptation, not only mitigation, but also loss
You're absolutely right. Pakistan is -- we contribute less than one percent, in fact 0.8 percent of the carbon footprint. But we are the eight
most climate stressed country on the planet. And in that sense, it's a -- this is an incredible injustice. While we didn't contribute as much as
other countries perhaps to climate change, we're feeling the brunt of the damages.
While the financial commitments, as you mentioned, it's not 100 million, it was 100 -- I think, it was 100 billion per annum and unfortunately no, that
target has not been met. We understand the world is facing incredible economic difficulties as a result of COVID, the war in Ukraine, and a whole
host of other issues.
So, while we still need to, sort of, emphasize to all those countries that made that pledge that we may have missed the target or we may be on track
to miss the target, but that doesn't mean that we're still not obligated to meet that hard pledge. We also have to come out without the box solutions,
financial instruments that will allow us to finance adaptation, finance mitigation, and come up with ways to finance loss and damage.
AMANPOUR: And you're absolutely right. Those figures I was talking about was in the billions, you're absolutely right. Again, to say you've only
received a 10th of what the world promised. So, let me say, that you do have some quite important support for your position from the United
Nations. As I found out when I spoke to the head of the U.N. climate program. Here's what he told me just a few days ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON STIELL, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, U.N. FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: The fact that loss and damage has been brought to the fore and is
in focus how much oxygen it takes up. I believe it's actually a positive sign because at last an issue of such significance, especially, for the
And for that there to be put on the agenda and discussed in a substantive give way, seeking constructive outcomes can only be positive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, I wonder if you are as optimistic as he is. And particularly, you mentioned that we've been discussing, obviously, and I
mean Ukraine, the fallout from the Ukraine war putting so much more economic stress and all sorts of stress on international commitments.
ZARDARI: Absolutely. So, I think there's two things. As far as the United Nations is concerned, people say that the United Nations aren't -- isn't
working. And while the -- you know, we may want more from the United Nations. From our perspective, the U.N. has been fantastic.
The U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has been a champion for Pakistan. He immediately arrived as soon as the flooding happened. He was
in Pakistan before the U.N. General Assembly with me visiting flood affected areas. He championed our cause at the United Nations. He was at
the Pakistani pavilion today at COP 27. And hopefully will be working with us going forward for our donors, conferences, et cetera.
We would have been out of the news of the agenda. You know how quickly things change in this front. So, the United Nations and the support from
the U.N. secretary general for Pakistan for climate, in general, is absolutely admirable. We have to be -- well -- I mean, there is a lot of
reason to be pessimistic but we have to find reasons to be optimistic. And one of the reasons I am optimistic is I believe it's an incredible
achievement particularly on behalf of the G77 plus China that we have got loss and damage onto the agenda. Which means the world will be working on
ways and means to address this issue.
As far as the Ukraine crisis is concerned, you're absolutely right. This has devastated economies, not only, sort of, Russia and the Ukraine, but
across the world. Fuel prices are high, everywhere from America to Europe and in Pakistan as a result of the difficulties from this conflict, and on
top of the COVID crisis, and on top of that, we're dealing with this climate catastrophe.
It's an incredibly difficult situation which is why we hope and pray for dialogue and diplomacy to take place in the pursuit of peace so this war
can end. So, these conflicts of mankind can end and we can focus on the greater existential threat to the human race as climate change.
AMANPOUR: Let me just stick with the war for the moment. Number one, I don't know how badly Pakistan has been hit by the whole -- I know just said
energy but also the grain crisis because so much of the world's grain, particularly, to the global south comes from this area.
But secondly, I wonder what you make of the fact that many people in the developing world, whether it's in Africa or where you are or further afield
tend to buy Putin's argument. That this is the fault of the International Community, it's the fault of the west, it's the fault of NATO, sanctions,
et cetera. They're kind of buying Putin's narrative. What do you make of that when we all know that none of the issues regarding grain or the
transport of grain, it's never been sanctioned.
ZARDARI: OK. So, I can't speak for others. I can certainly speak for myself. I don't think that we're buying Putin's narrative. But I think that
the world is a complicated and a difficult place. We, from the Pakistani perspective, we've just come out of the forever war in Afghanistan. That
has had catastrophic consequences, not only for that country but has implication or my country as well. We see that the COVID pandemic which was
a once in 100-year pandemic technically not over, still affecting the entire world.
So, it's not so much about who's at fault or what went wrong or what's going on, vis-a-vis Ukraine, but you're absolutely right, it does directly
impact us. As far as wheat is concerned, one of the main countries that Pakistan used to import their wheat from was the Ukraine. Obviously, war
going on over there meant that our food security issues are definitely hit by that. Aside from sanctions, this -- there has been an effect on global
fuel prices that's also affecting us as well.
I think no matter what everyone's perspective is, whether they're neutral, whether they're commit it from the Russian perspective or the western
perspective. We can all agree that we ultimately want to see this conflict end so we can focus on the important issues, on the existential threat to
the human race which technically should unite us, you know, across the world from the west to the east so we can tackle climate change. Survive as
Then a going forward, we can, you know, fight over our, sort of, our conflicts once we've solved this major issue. Otherwise, there's not going
to be a planet for us to fight for.
AMANPOUR: So, Foreign Minister, your -- yes. Your previous prime minister, Imran Khan, was a complicated figure. He happened to be in Russia and was
seen shaking hands with President Putin, the very day after, you know -- or the day of, in fact, the invasion.
Then, you know, just a few days ago he underwent an assassination attempt, he says. Well, clearly, he was shot, somebody was killed in that event. And
he's calling for an independent investigation. He's calling out many of your senior leaders for not doing enough to keep him and his party safe.
What is your reaction to that?
ZARDARI: So, as far as your first point with Mr. Khan's visit with Mr. Putin, we understand how that could have sent a message, the -- sort of, be
misinterpreted that Pakistan was taking sides. But I think, Pakistan has across the political divide agree -- agreed that we want to stay neutral in
this conflict. We don't want to get dragged into yet another conflict. And we want to focus on the issues that so many devastating crises back home
that we have to address.
As far as the assassination attempt, the attack on Mr. Khan, I'd like to, on your program, reiterate my utter condemnation, unequivocal condemnation
of this attack. There absolutely needs to be a free, fair and impartial investigation that brings the fact forward. Whatever anybody might think of
Mr. Kahn domestically, this has been an attack on a former prime minister and an attack on anyone should be investigated in an impartial and proper
AMANPOUR: And it must have been very, very difficult for you. It's the most serious act of political violence since your own mother was
assassinated in 2007. So, I can only imagine what you must of thought. But I appreciate you --
ZARDARI: Absolutely --
AMANPOUR: -- being with us tonight.
ZARDARI: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Go ahead.
ZARDARI: Thank you so much, Christiane. Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Thank you. I'm sorry to cut you off there. I didn't mean to.
Now, from war to the climate. Tonight's program has highlighted the connection between several of the world's most pressing issues. And our
next guest says 10 interconnected threats are endangering our global future. He's known for predicting the 2008 financial crash, economists
Nouriel Roubini now lays it all out in this new book "MegaThreats". He tells Walter Isaacson what that dystopian future could look like and how to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Christiane. And Nouriel Roubini, welcome to the show.
NOURIEL ROUBINI, AUTHOR, "MEGATHREATS": Great pleasure being with you today.
ISAACSON: You're usually talking about quick economic threats. Things involving finance and all. But in this new book, "MegaThreats", you expand.
You talk about social things. You talk about environmental problems. You talk about technology problems. Tell me how all of these are interconnected
and why you expanded your view of the problems are facing.
ROUBINI: I expanded the view of what are the threats that are affecting us because the economic monetary and financial threats and risks are connected
to other ones. They are leading to political strains, to geopolitical tensions and vice versa. To social political and geopolitical tensions are
affecting economic outcomes.
So, in some sense, I'm considering, as you point out, not just the economic factor but the political, the geopolitical, the environmental ones, the
health one, the technological one. There' like a 10 by 10 matrix. Each one of these mega threats affects the other one and is affected back. So, you
have to think of it as being a holistic set of threads that are connected to each other, they're all interconnected.
ISAACSON: So, let's look at this populist backlash that's happening around the world which sort of falls into your category, political threats that
have happened because of economic policies. What's causing this political populist backlash?
ROUBINI: There are many factors but sinces I'm an economist, I stress the economic ones. We've seen a significant rise in income and wealth
inequality within countries, not just in advance economies but even in countries that are growing like for example China and other emerging
markets. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
So, there is economic malaise, there is social malaise, there is inequality. Right now, real wages are starting to fall because of
inflation. And all of this literal (ph) backlash against liberal democracy. There is a view that the economic and financial and the political elite do
not care about workers, about those who are being left behind because of technology, --
-- because of globalization, because of all the disruption that are occurring to create distraction. So, that's leading to a backlash against
essentially establishment parties, whether of the right or the left.
ISAACSON: You talk about the wealth inequality, income inequality. The sense that we don't care about workers anymore. But the way to combat that,
it would seem to me, would be policies that help increase wages, increase incomes. Including monetary policies that are easy. Yet you argue against
those in the book.
ROUBINI: In my view, those economic policies that were loose monetary and credit policies did avoid a great recession from becoming another great
depression. But they inflated other prices, the value of, say, stocks and about 80 percent of all equity in the U.S. is owned by the top 10 percent,
while the bottom 80 percent doesn't own much of those assets. So, it's led to asset inflation, initially. But now it's led to goods inflation.
And goods inflation implies the prices are rising more than wages. Real wages are falling. And because of that, the economic disparities are
becoming even bigger. Unfortunately, some of these economic policies have led to an increase in income of wealth inequality.
ISAACSON: So, what do you do to reduce wealth inequality?
ROUBINI: Well, if we look at the historical record, unfortunately, even progressive taxation policies have had only limited impact in reducing
inequality. There are history books that have been written that show that only civil wars, revolution, wars, famines, literal reduction of
inequality. But that's not the way we want to have a reduction of inequality. It would be a disaster, like it happens after wars.
Of course, we need progressive taxation so that when globalization or trade or technology increases inequality, because a lot of tech innovation is
capital intensive, skill bias, and labor saving then we tax those that are better off, those that are the winners, and we transfer resources to those
who are left behind.
Now, transferring this resource is not sufficient. People don't want to just have their wealth rechecked (ph). If automation is going to destroy
job, they want to have the dignity of new jobs. That's what many people are against the transfers and welfare. That's much harder because if technology
is going to lead to massive technological unemployment because of A.I., machine learning, robotic and automation, the economic pie is going to be
larger. We can tax those who win and transfer to those who are left behind. But those who are left behind won't have the dignity of work. That's going
to be much harder to address and to obtain.
ISAACSON: Well, you've just said the technology will reduce the number of jobs. I've read you for a long time. You've never made that argument
before. You've always believed that technology would not, in the aggregate, cut down the number of jobs. Why are we in a different period?
ROUBINI: I think we're in a different period because in the past when agriculture jobs fell, people moved into industry. And when people move
from industry to services because there was a revolution of productivity and manufacturing, then we had more service jobs. However today, what's
happening is that A.I., machine learning, robotic, automation is not going to only destroy blue-collar jobs.
However, but many white-collar jobs are now subject also to automation. We initially had only routine jobs that were blue-collar but now cognitive
jobs can be sliced in different tasks. These tasks can be automated and the big revolution is going to be the displacement of millions of people that
are in the service sector.
I'll give you an example. Once we have autonomous vehicles, five million plus lift and Uber drivers are going to be without jobs. five million
truckers, frimsters (ph) are going to be without the job. Social is a benefit. There are hundreds of thousands of people who die of car accident
every year. A million of them are injured severely. We can reduce them by 19 -- 99 percent. But the impact of job is the 10 million jobs are going to
ISAACSON: But wait, let me push back on you. You talk about with self- driving cars, Uber drivers will be put out, or the truck drivers will be put out of work. Talking about things like that. We go back a, you know,
few years and say, OK. Self-driving elevators, we put the elevator operators. Self-pumping gas stations, we put gas station attendants.
But every time we do it, there's an increase in total employment because there is an increase in productivity. Why is this time totally different?
ROUBINI: It's different because the nature of A.I. and machine learning is that not only routine jobs, not only cognitive jobs, but even creative jobs
now can be replaced by the machine.
And of course, there are extreme cases that people are thinking about technologies when you reach singularity. You reach a super intelligence
when essentially even sapiens, our own species is going to become obsolete.
ISAACSON: But, wait, do you see any data for this yet? Do we have any evidence yet that people being put out of work in the aggregate? I mean,
unemployment is so low.
ROUBINI: In the aggregate, we're not seeing it. What I'm saying is that this technological revolution has just started. We are only in the
beginning innings of this and there is going to be a radical change. I believe that 10 years from now, my job as an economist of, say, predicting,
what the Fed will do is going to be replaced by an A.I. Because then an A.I. can take all economic data, all the speeches by every Fed governor and
make a prediction about what the Fed is going to do the next and foresee anything better than an economist.
We are not yet there, but 10 years from now we're going to be there. DALI-2 right now creates art that is better than a human. There are pieces of
music that are being written purely by an A.I. And it's only a matter of time until a piece of music written by an A.I. is going to be in the Top 10
Billboard Magazine hits, at least.
ISAACSON: Among the other things that increase wealth inequality, besides technology, which we've talked about, is trade. Should we have more free
trade or should we try to insource more and have trade in, sort of, more friendly regions and not be so dependent on global supply chains with
countries that may not beast geostrategically connected to us.
ROUBINI: The reality is that the backlash against free trade initially had to do with those who were left behind. Then there were environmental
concerns, then there were labor standard concerns. But now there is a new layer, the geopolitical tensions between U.S. and China and Russia and Iran
and North Korea implied that we are going in the process of deglobalization. Of fragmentation of the global economy, of decoupling, of
Balkanization of the global supply chains.
Now, if you care about security, of course, we should not invest as much in China. Instead of offshoring, we should have reshoring or friendshoring.
Producing in countries that are friends of us. However, that process of friendshoring and of secure and fair trade, as opposed to free trade, has
economic costs. Is, as I say, stagflationary because it reduces potential growth because you are not producing where it is most efficient at least
costly. You're producing where it's more costly. It gives us some national security but increases the cost of production. So, it's one of the factor
that reduces economic welfare, even if it gives you more social political security.
ISAACSON: We are about to go into the midterm elections and people are seeing all these economic shocks, blaming it on the administration. But is
this, you know, U.S. problem or is this pretty much the same around the western world? And if so, are there any countries doing it right?
ROUBINI: The problem with inflation right now is global. The only countries that have still low inflations are Japan, there's a structural
deflation for a while, and China that is repressing its inflation by controlling a variety of prices. But now, there is almost double-digit
inflation, not only in advanced economies, but actually more than double digit in a majority of emerging markets.
Now, was it bad luck or bad policy? Bad policy being loose monetary, fiscal, and credit easing too much for too long during the COVID crisis. I
think it's both. On one side, we have policies were too loose in U.S., in Europe, in advance economies, in emerging market. But also, with bad luck.
A series of negative supply shocks.
The initial COVID crisis, the shutdown of production, and the shutdown of economic activity, and the blocking of supply chains. Then the Russian
invasion of Ukraine, that brutal invasion that's led to a spike in oil prices, energy, natural gas, food, fertilizer, and industrial metals. And
three, I just got back from Hong Kong. There are still draconian lockdowns. We have the zero-tolerance policy of China towards COVID that is creating
massive bottom nights (ph).
Right, now even Foxconn that is producing Apple -- half of the Apple iPads and iPhones in the world is now in a severe lockdown, 200,000 people. And
you have similar types of lockdowns in Shanghai, in Disney World in Shanghai, and so on. That has lead into a sharp, also, fall of economic
activity in China and creating further disruption to global supply chains.
How much bad luck? How much bad policy? I would say half and half. In Europe, more bad luck, because they are exposed to energy from Russia. In
the United States, monetary, fiscal, and credit policy were way too loose for too long. So, it's a combination of both.
ISAACSON: You say we are in a new cold war with China. Why? What -- why does that make sense for us to be in a cold war with China?
ROUBINI: China is a rising economic and financial and political and geopolitical power. And as you know, this torrent (ph) of the term of the -
- to see the disrupt of what happens when you have a rising power facing an existing power. And as Graham Allison's book about the -- a city's
disruption (ph), in the last 500 years, in 12 out of 16 episodes where you have the rising power facing an existing power, not only do you get a cold
war, but eventually you're getting a hot war. Because there is a rising power that is challenging the hegemonic power of the times.
And we are starting to see a decoupling within U.S. and China in all dimension. Trade in goods, in services, in the movement of investment and
capital, movement of labor, technology, data, information. And the U.S., this past October, has passed, what I call, the beginning of an economic
and technological war against China.
The restriction to the export of semiconductors and semiconductor equipment to China are massive. Massive in a way they're going to lead to China to
react in a way that is going to become dangerous. They are going to feel like they don't want to compete with them only, we want to contain them.
And they are going to become more aggressive. They could counter sanction us by restricting, for example, the exports of rare Earths that are
fundamental for producing semiconductors, green metals, and things of that sort.
During World War II, before Pearl Harbor, U.S. restricted the export of oil and scrap metal to Japan. That made Japan so threatened that they struck us
in Pearl Harbor. We are beginning something that maybe is necessary. Because if we are not trying to control the development of China, not just
of semiconductors, but of their A.I., machine learning, and counter computing, whoever is going to win that race in the future is going to
dominate not only the global economy, but is going to become the military and the security and the geopolitical hegemon of the world.
So, we have this cold war, is getting colder, and is becoming worse and worse by the day. Whether it's going to lead to a hot war or not over the
shift of Taiwan, we don't know. But last week, the head of the U.S. navy said that China may strike Taiwan, not five or 10 years for now, they say
it could happen as early as 2024.
So, these are factual risks that we are facing. I hope that we can avoid this cold war from becoming a hot war, but we are on a collision course
with China whether we like it or not.
ISAACSON: Well, this is a very scary book, as you have told us today. And there are only seven pages, I think, in it about a possible, more utopian
future. So, at least give me a little thought about how things could turn out well and how we can get to a more utopian future?
ROUBINI: Well, in utopian future starts with essentially technological innovation. For example, in the energy sector, if fusion were to become a
successful technology, we could produce and limited the amount of cheap energy with zero greenhouse gas emission. I think in the future, actually,
of resolving climate change is not renewable.
It is growing -- but it's growing way too slowly. Solar, and wind, and so on, but it's going to be fusion. But we may be only 20 years away from
fusion. So, technology can increase the economic pie. It may increase inequality, but then we can tax the winners and transfer to others, or
rescale them or ratio scale (ph) them, and so on. It can reduce problems of that because output is higher. It can resolve lots of problems also, not
just of climate change, but pandemics and other biomedical problems. And the solution has to do with technology first.
ISAACSON: Nouriel Roubini, thank you so much for joining us.
ROUBINI: Great being with you today. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now finally, tonight, a powerful timely message from Pope Francis. As Iranians continue their fight for women's freedom, the pope was
asked if he supports that movement as he returned from a historic visit to Bahrain, which is just across the Persian Gulf.
He said, we have to tell the truth. The struggle for women's rights is a continuing struggle. He denounced patriarchy, saying it kills humanity. And
he said, a society that is not capable of allowing women greater roles does not move forward. Pope Francis has, in recent times, appointed women to
senior roles in the Vatican. But as we all know, the Catholic church continues to bar women and restrict them. They certainly cannot become
That's it for now, remember you can always catch us online, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and, of course, on our podcast. Thank you for
watching. Goodbye from Kyiv.