Agro-warfare has been called many things, including agro-terrorism, and it is a form of warfare that involves attacking the food or food supply of an enemy (the “agro” referring to agriculture). Typically, when people think of targeting food supplies or agriculture, they think of the “scorched earth” tactic, which essentially means destroying all potentially useful resources as you withdrawal through enemy territory. The scorched earth policy is basically: if we can’t have it, no one can.

Agro-warfare is a little different. To start, it’s a more general term and is a tool that can be used in a variety of ways. It can “soften” a target, in the way a mortar team or machine-gun team can soften a target before an assault force hits it, just in a much larger sense. It can also knock out critical infrastructure in a nation or enemy force that hinders its ability to operate effectively. It tends to be more controversial, as it is a blunt weapon that, depending on how it is used, is likely going to hit the civilian population just as hard, if not harder, than the military population or intended target.

As was stated earlier, it is often classified as “agro-terrorism,” though this is not really an accurate name. The FBI has a fairly broad definition when it comes to terrorism, but needless to say it does not include acts of aggression between two warring nations in a conventional war. Civilian deaths in this sense, while still terrible, don’t fall under the “terrorism” definition, nor should they. Agro-warfare can be brutal and devastating, but its objective is not always to terrorize some population — it might be used to cut off food from enemy troops or to control a local population.

SOFREP spoke to Simon Bollin, an expert in agricultural industry in the U.S., regarding the definition “agro-warfare.” He said: