- By James DownieJames Downie is an editorial researcher at FP.
Australian troops on the front lines in Afghanistan have seen their fair share of the horrors of war. But if there’s one thing they won’t put up with, it’s European cuisine:
Troops [in the Oruzgan province] had passed on complaints about the “lousy” food, Senator Johnson says, to both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon on recent visits.
Food is mainly supplied by the Dutch, which commands the provincial reconstruction taskforce in the province.
Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston defended the soldiers’ diet.
“Our soldiers all the way through have had the required amount of calories and the food has been of a very high standard,” he said.
“I think the issue is, it’s not Aussie food, it’s European food and it’s pre-prepared.
Worse, getting a taste of home seems to be a status symbol in the Aussie army:
A major issue seems to be that while general troops are taking their supplies from the Dutch, their colleagues in the elite special forces have their own cooks dishing up the grub.
“Essentially, special forces have been eating Aussie food,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
Top brass insist that the soldiers are getting good food, but “in total, 10 cooks will eventually be deployed to vary the diet of the soldiers.” Whether they will be followed by an elite “Grandma’s pies” batallion is at this point unconfirmed.
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Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| Passport |
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Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
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Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| Turtle Bay |