GNSI Decision Brief: China’s Energy Insecurity
Scholars and policymakers alike have used energy production and consumption as a measure of a state’s power and influence.i A state’s energy sector indicates the potential for use in the production of war materials or as an export to use as leverage over other nations. China produces and consumes more energy than any other country in the world and has done so since 2006 and 2009 respectively. Chinese consumption continues to outpace its production as its demand for energy grows.ii China’s large, aging population (around 1.41 billion people) and fast-growing economy have pushed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to look for ways to secure energy resources and the land or sea routes that deliver them.iii Understanding the Chinese domestic demand for energy and the need to secure energy resources will provide insights into the CCP’s foreign policy objectives.
GNSI Decision Brief: Hunger as a Weapon
Tad Schnaufer and David Himmelgreen
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs places physiological needs as the foundation of all others.i The needs of food, water, and shelter are referred to as objects indispensable to survival (OIS). A person will think of little else until these basic needs are met, hence the power OIS have over populations. The concept of hunger as a weapon dates to the beginning of written history with Homer’s Iliad describing the siege of Troy. In war, military leaders often consider foodstuffs as it relates to their war effort while analyzing ways to use this basic need against their foe. As the quote attributed to Napoleon goes, “an army marches on its stomach.” Russian’s scorched earth policy during Napoleon’s 1812 invasion would lead to his Grande Armée’s defeat from lacking access to provisions from the countryside. This brief will examine the methods of starvation that militaries have used and continue to use in warfare. It will also explore how the United States and its allies can build resilient food supply chains to withstand crises and conflict.
Designed to be a concise analysis of specific issues and/or topics to provide decision-makers in the government, military or industry the ability to make informed policy decisions. Crafted in a timely manner, Decision Briefs will highlight information required to make effective plans and actions on the topic.
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