Austerity Our Troops: Pentagon cuts cooked breakfast for some troops in Afghanistan as part of drawdown
The US Army has ceased serving cooked breakfasts to some soldiers stationed in Afghanistan as part of its drawdown, a decision that prompted troops to write home asking families and friends for care packages with cereal, breakfast bars and other foods. The Army told the Washington Guardian the recent cutbacks began New Years and affect approximately 2,700 soldiers deployed in more remote areas of Afghanistan.
The reduction of hot meals and midnight meals is not related to the US budget crisis, they said. Instead, its an effort to begin closing down US operations. Sure…The affected soldiers will be given MRES – known as “Meals Rejected By Ethiopians” - as substitutes for hot meals. “As a part of the responsible draw down of operational forces serving in Afghanistan, my staff examined ways to reduce our footprint and set the conditions for the reduction of forces,” explained Col. Joe Wawro, an infantry commander for the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat team.
Military and civilian leaders “estimated that by changing the meal cycle, they would reduce their overall operations by 40 percent” if hot meals became MREs.
“After carefully examining all these inputs, I decided to modify the meal cycle as described above. This has absolutely nothing to do with the national budget and everything to do with our responsible reduction of forces,” he said.
The Washington Guardian buries deep in their article this important tidbit:
Several families of affected soldiers began contacting the Washington Guardian several days ago to raise concerns about the change, reporting their sons, daughters or spouses had written home to seek care packages after the end of cooked breakfasts.
The families refused to speak on the record for fear their loved ones might be singled out for complaining. But they described messages sent via email, Facebook and other social media in which troops didn’t fully understand the reasons for the changes and worried they were related to impending budget cutbacks.
The soldiers historically carry the brunt of Empire, and it seems this is also so in terms of austerity.