On Sunday, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) addressed an issue that we at the Make US Strong campaign think needs as much attention as it can get: the connection between global food security and keeping America safe. At a hearing on global agriculture, Senator Roberts said:

“You know why [food security] is important? In the next few decades, we are going to have to feed 9 billion people, if we continue to do that from a humanitarian standpoint, feeding the malnourished and hungry, it will help contribute toward world stability. You show me a country that cannot sustain itself with a food supply and I will show you a country that is in complete chaos. … If you are not stable and can’t feed your own citizenry, you have big problems. That’s where terrorism starts.”

robertsofficialphoto Senator Roberts is right.  Struggling nations can’t maintain stability, let alone economic development and rule of law, without food security.  Providing food security to populations in volatile regions such as the Horn of Africa ultimately contributes to our own national security here in the America.  When weak and fragile states lack the capacity and infrastructure to meet basic needs of citizens, terrorist groups gain legitimacy by providing charity to those in need.  Effective, efficient development, including food security, helps regions  meet the basic needs of their populations so they are not sought elsewhere.

Kudos to Senator Roberts for talking about this important issue that so immediately impacts global stability — and American security.