09.12.2017

The Hill Op-Ed: Barren Fields Grow Terrorists by John McDonnell

By John F. McDonnell 

Published in The Hill on 09/12/17 

The fall armyworm is the name of a two-inch-long brown caterpillar with a yellow stripe. It has a military name because common infestations are both large and destructive. The insect recently arrived in Africa and its impact on the Lake Chad region — already plagued by violence from terrorist group Boko Haram — has security experts concerned.

The pest has destroyed 37,000 hectares of maize (corn) fields in Northern Cameroon, worsening a food crisis where 1.5 million people in the region lack sufficient food. In East Africa, 16 million more need assistance in getting enough food to eat. Like Lake Chad, this is a region whose unrest has crossed national borders and created international incidents…Read more.


John F. McDonnell is board chairman of the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation, former chief executive officer of McDonnell Douglas Corporation and a retired member of The Boeing Company board of directors. He lives in the St. Louis area.

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