No fries with that: fast food axed at Afghan bases

 
驻阿美军将关闭快餐店

US soldiers walk in front of a meal station at Kandahar Airfield May 14, 2009.(Agencies)

 

Fast food joints where soldiers wolf down burgers and pizza will soon be a thing of the past at bases in Afghanistan, as the US military reminds soldiers they are at war and not in "an amusement park".

In the sprawling military base at Kandahar, the fast food outlets facing the axe include Burger King, Pizza Hut, and the US chain restaurant T.G.I. Friday& #39;s that features a bar with alcohol-free margaritas and other drinks - all set along the bustling "Boardwalk" area of the base.

On any given day, the giant square-shaped walkway features the surreal sight of soldiers sipping gourmet coffee and eating chocolate pastries with guns slung across their shoulders, while Canadians play ice hockey at a nearby rink and fighter jets thunder overhead.

The US military says its beef with the burger joints is that they take up valuable resources like water, power, flight and convoy space and that cutting back on non-essentials is key to running an efficient military operation.

"This is a war zone - not an amusement park," Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall wrote in a blog earlier this year.

"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 resupply with ammunition, food and water."

Warning that concessions like Orange Julius, Dairy Queen and Military Car Sales were also on the exit list, Hall said less-obvious changes were coming too - including fewer canned and bottled goods coming into the country as well as fewer first-run movie showings and some entertainment programs.

For now, fast food joints like Burger King which operate out of little shacks along the Kandahar boardwalk are still doing brisk business, with lines snaking outside their counters, but their contracts are not expected to be renewed when they expire.

A motley crew of other stores selling Afghan books, jewelry and phone cards and the busy Canadian Tim Horton& #39;s outlet that sells coffee and doughnuts will stay on.

Some US soldiers privately grumble about the cutbacks, but others said they were not bothered by the new edict.

Those desperate for comfort food always have the option of the "Chef& #39;s short order" section at the dining halls, where fried calamari rings, fish fingers and burgers are free for soldiers and available in abundance.

(Read by Lee Hannon. Lee Hannon is a multimedia journalist at the China Daily Web site.)

在美军驻阿富汗军事基地,你再也看不到士兵们在快餐供应点大吃汉堡和比萨的景象了。美国军方日前提醒驻阿士兵,他们现在是在战场,而不是在“游乐园”。

在坎大哈规模庞大的美军军事基地,一批快餐店面临关闭,其中包括汉堡王、必胜客以及以供应不含酒精的玛格丽塔酒和其它饮料为主的“星期五”美式连锁餐厅。这些快餐供应点开在军事基地繁忙的“木板路”地区。

无论哪天,你总能在这个巨大的方形人行道上看到这样一幅超现实场景:挎枪士兵在快餐店里喝着美味咖啡,品尝着巧克力糕点;加拿大的士兵则在附近的溜冰场大玩冰球,而他们的头顶上是轰鸣而过的战斗机。

据美国军方介绍,关闭这些快餐店是因为它们占用了水、电、航班和护送队等宝贵资源,而削减非必需品是提高军事行动效率的关键。

今年早些时候,美军司令部军士长迈克尔•霍尔在博客中写道:“这里是战区,不是游乐场。”

“向驻巴格拉姆和坎大哈这样的大型基地提供不必要的奢侈品会加大向驻防部队和前线运输必要补给的难度。前线士兵每天都在作战,需要不断补给弹药、食物和水。”

据霍尔介绍,OJ鲜果露、DQ冰淇淋和免税军车店也在取缔之列,除此之外,还会有一些小的调整,比如减少罐装和瓶装食品供应、首轮电影放映以及一些娱乐项目等。

目前,汉堡王等在坎大哈“木板路”地区开设的简易快餐店生意仍然很好,柜台前常常排着长队。不过合同到期后这些店都将关张。

但有些出售杂物的小店还将继续营业,比如售卖阿富汗书籍、珠宝和电话卡的小店。生意红火的加拿大蒂姆•霍顿餐厅也将保留,这家店主要卖咖啡和甜甜圈。

一些美军士兵私下里抱怨这一削减举措,但其他人则觉得没什么。

非常想吃“安慰食品”的士兵可以在基地食堂的“大厨快餐区”享用,在这里,酥炸鱿鱼圈、鱼条和汉堡都大量免费向士兵供应。


驻阿美军将关闭快餐店: http://insuns.com/article/19568-1.html