Photo: shinya, Flickr
Forget unmanned Predator drones and Hellfire missiles; the Pentagon is getting ready to redeploy a decidedly low-tech weapon in the war in Afghanistan: Whoppers and fries.
After enduring seven months of Whopper deprivation, homesick soldiers with a hankering for a taste of the States are poised to finally get their Burger King back, according to Stars and Stripes.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill announced the policy reversal last week.
"For troops to be able to go and grab a burger or a piece of chicken or whatever, I don't really think it's that bad," he told Stars and Stripes.
This sort of casual, shrug-of-the-shoulders attitude is in marked contrast to the dour pronouncements made by top brass when they decided to boot Burger King off the largest bases in Afghanistan earlier this year, along with Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, and a number of other American brands.
Although they cited strategic necessity as the basis for the decision (all those frozen patties and fries were gumming up supply lines that could better be used to transport, say, body armor needed for the 30,000-troop surge), military leaders at the time made no secret that that they thought their troops' penchant for fast food was kind of wussy.
"This is a war zone -- not an amusement park," one of them complained.
But that was before the former top US commander in Afghanistan, the famously disciplined Gen. Stanley McChrystal, lost his job after making some rather undisciplined comments to a reporter from Rolling Stone.
By July, however, McChrystal's successor, Gen. David Petraeus, had already gone on record staying that he believed such amenities contributed beneficially to troop morale.