This article appeared as part of a feature in the December 8, 1995 issue
of Executive Intelligence Review, and was circuclated extensively by the Schiller
Insitute Food for Peace Movement. It is reprinted here as part of the package:
"Who Is Responsible for the World Food Shortage?"
Dec. 8, 1995
On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger
completed a classified 200-page study, "National Security Study Memorandum
200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas
Interests." The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called
Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) was a grave threat to U.S. national security.
Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200
outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries through
birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had
by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser (the same post Scowcroft
was to hold in the Bush administration), was put in charge of implementing the
plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the
secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture.
The bogus arguments that Kissinger advanced were not original. One of his major
sources was the Royal Commission on Population, which King George VI had created
in 1944 "to consider what measures should be taken in the national interest
to influence the future trend of population." The commission found that
Britain was gravely threatened by population growth in its colonies, since "a
populous country has decided advantages over a sparsely-populated one for industrial
production." The combined effects of increasing population and industrialization
in its colonies, it warned, "might be decisive in its effects on the prestige
and influence of the West," especially effecting "military strength
NSSM 200 similarly concluded that the United States was threatened by population
growth in the former colonial sector. It paid special attention to 13 "key
countries" in which the United States had a "special political and
strategic interest": India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand,
the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.
It claimed that population growth in those states was especially worrisome,
since it would quickly increase their relative political, economic, and military
For example, Nigeria: "Already the most populous country on the continent,
with an estimated 55 million people in 1970, Nigeria's population by the end
of this century is projected to number 135 million. This suggests a growing
political and strategic role for Nigeria, at least in Africa." Or Brazil:
"Brazil clearly dominated the continent demographically." The study
warned of a "growing power status for Brazil in Latin America and on the
world scene over the next 25 years."
Food as a weapon
There were several measures that Kissinger advocated to deal with this alleged
threat, most prominently, birth control and related population-reduction programs.
He also warned that "population growth rates are likely to increase appreciably
before they begin to decline," even if such measures were adopted.
A second measure was curtailing food supplies to targetted states, in part
to force compliance with birth control policies: "There is also some established
precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of
assistance requirements by AID [U.S. Agency for International Development] and
consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases
in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of
what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production.
In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance
to avoid the appearance of coercion."
"Mandatory programs may be needed and we should be considering these possibilities
now," the document continued, adding, "Would food be considered an
instrument of national power? ... Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing
to help people who can't/won't control their population growth?"
Kissinger also predicted a return of famines that could make exclusive reliance
on birth control programs unnecessary. "Rapid population growth and lagging
food production in developing countries, together with the sharp deterioration
in the global food situation in 1972 and 1973, have raised serious concerns
about the ability of the world to feed itself adequately over the next quarter
of century and beyond," he reported.
The cause of that coming food deficit was not natural, however, but was a result
of western financial policy: "Capital investments for irrigation and infrastucture
and the organization requirements for continuous improvements in agricultural
yields may be beyond the financial and administrative capacity of many LDCs.
For some of the areas under heaviest population pressure, there is little or
no prospect for foreign exchange earnings to cover constantly increasingly imports
"It is questionable," Kissinger gloated, "whether aid donor
countries will be prepared to provide the sort of massive food aid called for
by the import projections on a long-term continuing basis." Consequently,
"large-scale famine of a kind not experienced for several decades—a
kind the world thought had been permanently banished," was foreseeable—famine,
which has indeed come to pass.
To read the entire NSSM
200 document, click here.
To read the full report from EIR Magazine, follow the link below:
Responsible for the World Food Shortage?