No more Burger King, Subway or ice cream shops. If American soldiers in Afghanistan want all the comforts of home, then they had better wait until they get home.
“This is a warzone – not an amusement park,” wrote Command Sergeant Major Michael T. Hall on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) blog.
On the ISAF blog, Hall announced that ISAF commander General Stanley McChrystal is going to “cut back on some of the nonessentials. That includes some of the morale, welfare and recreation facilities throughout Afghanistan. In the coming weeks and months, concessions such as Orange Julius, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and Military Car Sales will close their doors.”
Apparently someone finally realized that that all those Whoppers and stuffed-crust pizzas had be trucked through Pakistan’s sparse highway system, not to mention Taliban ambushes. Or, maybe flown in on scarce air transport. “Supplying nonessential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops who are in the fight each day need resupplied with ammunition, food and water,” Hall wrote.
Fortunately, Green Beans Coffee will remain open at bases around Afghanistan. Physical fitness centers will receive more exercise equipment (though you think fewer Whoppers would reduce the need), and there will be expanded Internet bandwidth so soldiers can talk with their families.
Will morale go downhill? The Taliban (and the Nazis, and the Japanese) always believed that U.S. soldiers have to be pampered or they won’t fight. Then there was the old British World War II joke that the Yanks “are overpaid, oversexed and over here.” There are a lot of American soldiers – not to mention airmen – doing support duties at the big bases. Do they need Cold Stone Creamery treats to stay motivated? Maybe some more Xbox 360s would help?