A Gnawing Hunger: Food Policy and Great Power Conflict, A U.S.-China Case Study

The Strategy Bridge – While much analysis has focused on how fishing and other related maritime resource disputes play into great power competition and the national security implications for the U.S., comparatively little analysis has focused on the impacts of any disruption of not only the Chinese fishing fleet but China’s international food imports in the event of a Pacific conflict. Although China remains more vulnerable than the U.S. to food disruption in such a scenario, the ripple effects of a Pacific war will force China, regional actors, and even the U.S. to carefully manage national food policies, with drastic consequences should their attempts fail. In a future Pacific conflict, food policy and management by all parties is, to paraphrase Sir Michael Howard, a likely root of either victory or defeat for any unprepared participants.