Quick Look: Food Security in USAFRICOM

May 2023 No Comments

Authors: Bragg, B. (NSI, Inc.) & Astorino-Courtois, A. (NSI, Inc.)

This report was produced as part of SMA’s 2022-2023 “Anticipating the Future Operational Environment” (AFOE) Effort.

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This report provides a concise, highly visual overview of the food security subsystem of the AECM (AFRICOM Exploitable Conditions Model). In addition to enabling analysis of causes and consequences of food security (and insecurity) in USAFRICOM’s AOR, it identifies three possible leverage points where interventions by the US could improve food security on the continent:

  1. Expanding US support for agricultural training in culturally relevant and sustainable ways.
  2. Maintaining government stores and emergency food funds, along with established distribution systems.
  3. Expanding US support for public health initiatives in countries experiencing food crises, which could mitigate some of the longer-term physical health impacts on vulnerable populations.

It also takes a more detailed look at the current (as of May 2022) stressors on food security in Africa, identifies vulnerable country locations, and examines factors fueling that vulnerability.

Examination of the implications of food security for competition with China finds that China’s activities in Africa are part of a larger, multi-layered strategy to enhance its international influence, often in direct opposition to that of the US and its partner countries. Though individual Chinese influence activities in this area may appear non-threatening, when combined, they can threaten US or partner interests. NSI’s Quick Looks are concise reports on a specific sub-system of one of our models, in this case the AFRICOM Exploitable Conditions Model (AECM). The analyses in Quick Looks are centered around a focus node (variable) of particular interest. They are designed to present complex information in a highly visual, clear, and consistent format that enables the reader to quickly gain an overview of a concept of interest, as well as its implications— both direct and indirect—for their mission and priorities.


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