ISAF To Cut "Nonessential" Amenities
From a blog posting by Command Sergeant Major Hall of the International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan:
Many of you have heard that there are plans to shut down some of the “amenities” throughout Afghanistan. This is not rumor. It is fact. This is a warzone – not an amusement park. From the moment GEN McChrystal and I arrived in Afghanistan last summer, we began looking for ways to do things more efficiently across the battlefield – the optimization of ISAF. This effort includes moving and reallocating resources to better accomplish our mission.OK, some of this I can see. But what's the deal with no longer showing first-run movies? He doesn't say they're taking down the movie theaters (which in a lot of cases are probably the mess halls with a screen and portable projector), so they'll probably still show old movies. Is he saying they can't carry in a few extra DVDs in their resupply flights? I really don't get that.
One of the ways we’re going to do that -- in order to accommodate the troop increase and get re-focused on the mission at hand -- is 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.
Other changes will not be so obvious. We will also reduce the amount of canned and bottled goods coming into country, as well as first-run movie showings and non-USO entertainment shows.
What it comes down to is focus, and to using the resources we have in the most efficient and effective ways possible. 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...
... Some will say the decision to do away with these amenities is meant only to make things harder for deployed service members, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Closing these facilities will free up much-needed storage facilities at both Bagram and Kandahar, space which is critical as 30,000 additional American and up to 7,000 international troops flow into Afghanistan over the next several months.