the Kandahar Boardwalk

I came across an interesting story yesterday about part the US military’s plan to increase efficiency in transporting goods to Afghanistan.  At Kandahar Airfield, international military personnel can get a taste of home by visiting Burger King, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s, Orange Julius, Tim Horton’s, or Dairy Queen on base.  This will not last much longer though, as the military is planning to stop flying the food stuffs that these restaurants need to operate into the airbase.  This will leave room for more important goods, like traditional military supplies – ammunition, armor, rations, US Presidents.  Most of these on-base eateries will be closed soon.

My thoughts on this are mixed.  On the one hand, I’m amazed that the US military has been flying in food to run diners in a war zone.  Once upon a time, the military – or even the companies themselves – would fly in Coca-Cola and ice cream and various other pleasantries from Stateside to lift the spirits of the troops.  Have things changes so much that our soldiers need daily Whoppers to remind them of why they are fighting?  The military has cited a concern for the battle-readiness of our troops when they can have a Blizzard regularly as another reason for cutting off the shipments.  It would appear that they are getting too comfortable in the desert.

Normally I would say that the military shouldn’t be flying these goods over into a war zone to create restaurants to make everyone feel more at home.  Occasional shipments of Snickers bars – or perhaps something that wouldn’t melt in the heat – should do the trick and at a lot less expense.  However, now that these places have been established and our servicemen (and I use that term in a non-gender specific manner) have come to expect it, I would be concerned with the damage to morale when our soldiers can no longer get a virgin daiquiri at will if I was coming up with a plan for an active military theater.  I have concerns as to how these restaurants got started, but now that they are there, they should probably be supported.  At least the Canadians plan to keep their Tim Horton’s and their ice hockey rink on the base.  Maybe they’ll let our boys – and girls – over there share the rink and take up hockey for some international friendlies.  Then again, the Americans probably don’t stand a chance, and THAT can’t be good for morale!

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