Why is the German military ditching 6,000 gallons of booze?

German soldiers in Afghanistan had a daily two-beer allowance—but after a decision to ban the booze, the troops are stuck with a massive stockpile.

Stack of nearly empty beer steins in leafy beer garden
Photo: Peter Kneffel/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Would you join the military for free booze? And, if so, how much? In the past, the German military has employed some creative measures to tempt new recruits, including providing soldiers with two cans of beer—or an equivalent quantity of another beverage—per day. But, according to German Defense Ministry spokeswoman Christina Routsi, the German commander in Afghanistan has recently banned the consumption of alcohol for security reasons, resulting in a huge pile-up of untouched booze at Camp Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif. Now, ABC News reports that the German military has figured out a way to ditch the excess booze: simply shipping it back home.

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First, why is the pile-up a problem? ABC reports that the whopping 22,600 liters (almost 6,000 gallons) of alcohol—including nearly 60,000 cans of beer — couldn’t be sold in Afghanistan due to local religious restrictions that forbid Afghan nationals who practice Islam from imbibing. The booze also couldn’t be destroyed for “environmental reasons,” which I imagine has something to do with dumping gallons and gallons of booze into local waterways. Thus, the truly stunning quantity of alcohol at the German military base.

Fortunately, per ABC, Routsi said the military was able to connect with a civilian contractor who will remove the booze from the country. It’s excellent timing, as the NATO mission in the country ends this year and German troops will soon withdraw from Afghanistan. After removing the alcohol from the country, the contractor will work with the military to sell the booze elsewhere. This will, ideally, cover the cost of the international transport. As far as I know, the affected products won’t bear any sort of distinction marking them as German military rejects. But if you take a good, long sip, you might get just a hint of national security. I’m told it has a hoppy aftertaste.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

elgordo47
elgordo47

If they need it gone, I have a pilot friend. I could probably procure a C-130. Maybe a Globemaster if I make the right calls. 6,000 gallons of beer is around 50,000lbs. I’d have to drink some first to use the C-130 but the Globemaster, no problem. I have a few taps at home in my bar. I could private contract this myself and have a Takeout party by the weekend if it wasn’t for these damn pandemic restrictions.