Accession Number:

ADA509074

Title:

Food Security (CSL Issue Paper, Volume 14-09, September 2009)

Descriptive Note:

Issue paper

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

9.0

Abstract:

For a majority of Americans and western Europeans, sufficient food is readily accessible and its cost is a relatively small percentage of their annual income. This, however, is not the case for almost a billion people around the world, including large numbers in the strategically important states of Egypt, India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Ethiopia. In these countries, and in others, food insecurity has been or is a contributor to regional or domestic instability. In 2008, in Bangkok, Thailand, rice farmers stayed awake in shifts at night to guard their fields from thieves. In Egypt, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso food riots broke out. Slightly over two months after these incidents, in a single week in May 2008, there were significant food-related protests, civil disturbances, and riots occurring in 13 other countries, including Russia. Even if many of these instances were principally driven by the high costs of food, rather than absolute scarcity of resources, it must be accepted that there were significant repercussions for stability and good governance in countries critical to U.S. National Security interests over the past eight years. The United States and its NATO allies have learned from recent conflicts and stability operations that Risks to Allied security are less likely to result from calculated aggression against the territory of the Allies by other nation states, but rather from the adverse consequences of instabilities that may arise from serious economic, social, and political difficulties... Therefore, even though the Department of State and Department of Agriculture are already focusing on fulfilling President Obamas pledge during his inaugural address, the Defense Department, the entire U.S. interagency community, and the international community as a whole need to consider the full range of potential national security ramifications associated with food security.

Subject Categories:

  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Agronomy, Horticulture and Aquiculture
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Food, Food Service and Nutrition

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE