Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life Just Got Tougher For Our Troops In Afghanistan

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has ordered the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to close many of the restaurants (Burger King, Subway and TGI Friday's included), stores, sports venues and concert stages that provide U.S. troops with some comforts of home while fighting a war abroad.

Hell of a way to fight a war, huh? Once again a decision has been made not with the welfare of our troops in mind but rather appeasing local sensitivities. Our troops are deployed to Afghanistan for a year at a time in the case of the Army, different branches have different rules, but having a little slice of home at the bigger bases was a nice morale boost.

I am sure those that are deployed to the more forward bases will the most affected. It used to be something to look forward to on those infrequent times when you got to get off of your FOB with the slit trenches for latrines and five gallon cans hung for showers and visit a big base and be reminded that life would get better.

This is a poor decision in my opinion and is just further proof of the rumblings that I have heard more and more of from the guys deployed about how "garrison" has broken out. Most of those complaints were coming from service members stationed in Iraq. Basically what it means that now the officers and anal retentive NCO's are more concerned with the big things in life like starched ACU's and rendering proper salutes then they are the tactical situation.

Along with the highly restrictive Rules of Engagement, which is some sort of perversion of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which boils down to Don't Shoot, Don't Attack, taking away what can only be viewed as a luxury for these service members can only further the dissension in the ranks.

As for CSM Hall who said on an official blog that "this is a war zone, not an amusement park", might I suggest he get out into the Hinterlands and live for a couple weeks eating MRE's and humping a 100 pounds of grunt junk around the mountains while chasing the Taliban and it might just change his definition of what an amusement park is.

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