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McChrystal dethrones Burger King

The famously sober US commanding general in Afghanistan has called for an end to the junk food culture at the base.

world Updated: Mar 26, 2010 22:52 IST

If an army marches on its stomach, General Stanley McChrystal would prefer that it wasn’t full of burgers and pizzas. In an edict that will appal the units garrisoned at Kandahar airbase, but no doubt raise a smile from soldiers living off rations in forward operating bases, the famously sober US commanding general in Afghanistan has called for an end to the junk food culture at the base.

With queues for Whoppers outside Burger King and troops ordering takeaways from Pizza Hut while others enjoy the occasional evening of line dancing, the square of shops at the airfield could almost pass for smalltown America.

But the fact that these fast-food joints are just a few miles from Kandahar, spiritual home of the Taliban and the focus of critical Nato operations this summer, has not impressed US general.

Anxious that his men focus on the job at hand, McChrystal has ordered the closure of most of the all-American food outlets that have appeared over the years at Kandahar airfield. As one of his top deputies put it in a written announcement: “This is a war zone — not an amusement park.”