In Defense of Food Security Roundtable Reports


On the eve of the first anniversary the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) of 2016, the Schar School of Public Policy and George Mason University and the Stimson Center convened a group of over fifty experts representing the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Department of Commerce, and a range of non-governmental and academic institutions met at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. for a roundtable discussion on the nexus of food security and national security.

This group of U.S. government, military, non-governmental organizations, and civil society convened another roundtable in September 2017 at the National Defense University and another on November 2017 at George Mason University to further discuss the volatile intersection of food insecurity and violent conflict. Food shortages and poor allocation of resources historically presuppose societal discontent, economic downturn, and political change, all of which are known triggers for conflict. At the same time, sustained violence consistently fuels the same shortages and famines. Improving food security regimes is the ultimate preventative medicine for conflict, and the best prospect for sustainable peace.

We would like to thank RTI International for its support of these events, and especially Paul Weisenfeld, Executive Vice President, International Development, and his team in Washington, Amy Sink Davies, Vice President, Food Security and Agriculture, and Kaitlin Lesnick.  A special thanks to Aaron Williams, Senior Advisor at RTI, for ongoing interest. The views expressed in these reports represent those of the participants and the Stimson Center.

Download the readouts from these roundtables above to learn more about the how different experts and practitioners see the linkages between food and national security from a wide range of perspectives.