While the American-led military effort in Afghanistan grinds on, the culinary choices for soldiers in the country (at least those on the larger military bases) appear to be improving. The AFP recently took a look at what the American military is cooking up these days, which is actually quite impressive. From the AFP's article:
Steak, lobster and guacamole might not spring to mind as war rations, but the larger US bases in Afghanistan have an impressive array of "chow" to fuel their troops for the fight.
At Forward Operating Base Fenty in the country's east, soldiers can choose from a well-stocked salad bar, make their own bagel sandwich and try speciality feasts such as Mongolian barbecues and Mexican meals with all the trimmings.
"It's a very exotic collection of pre-packaged food," said Sergeant Jonathan Arthur, who -- perhaps overwhelmed by choice -- tucked into an eclectic lunch of burger, samosas, bacon, vegetables and grapes.
They may be thousands of miles away but there is plenty to remind the forces of home, from packets of beef jerky and Otis Spunkmeyer muffins to full American breakfasts served up by the subcontracted kitchen team.
Friday's "surf'n'turf" was a favourite with some troops, although others turned their noses up at the "frozen" seafood offerings and were more excited about pizza night in the dining facility, known as the DFAC or "chow hall".
"They do a good job actually, they really do, and they have a good variety so I really can't complain," said Lieutenant Colonel Mary Newman in the airforce combat stress team, who was partial to the cookies'n'cream ice-cream.
General Stanley McChrystal banned fast-food outlets as unseemly for a war zone while serving as US commander in Afghanistan, but General David Petraeus reversed that decision after taking over when McChrystal was sacked in 2010.
Today FOB Fenty, with nearly 3,000 people, houses a cafe run by Green Beans Coffee Company, which operates on a number of US army sites. The massive Bagram Airfield, home to 30,000 US troops and contractors, even boasts a Pizza Hut.
The full story can be found here. And a previous blog post about a failed effort to ban fast food chains on American bases in Afghanistan is here.