Food Drops Found To Do Little Good
March 26, 2002 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Food Drops Found To Do Little Good "The Bush administration's much publicized food ration airdrop in northern Afghanistan - hailed by the Pentagon as a way to feed starving residents while winning their loyalty - achieved neither goal in many targeted areas, military experts, aid workers, and a report by retired US special forces officers now conclude." Problems included spoiled food, greedy Afghanis and poor planning. US military claims success. Maybe we should just stick with the guns and skip the butter.
posted by martk (12 comments total)
i'm not sure how the alternative to feeding very few -- in this case, to feed none -- is somehow preferable, martk.
posted by moz at 9:36 AM on March 26, 2002

stick with the guns? so we should kill starving afghanis? I thought we were already doing that!
posted by mcsweetie at 9:44 AM on March 26, 2002

I agree, moz, but it would seem, that with all the technical expertise we possess to bomb people back to the stone age, we could figure out how to effectively air drop food to needy people. Did they even consider using pillow packs, plastic peanuts or the like to cushion the drops? This is surely not the first time we have air-dropped humanitarian aid. Just one more good example of "military intelligence."
posted by martk at 9:53 AM on March 26, 2002

The airdrops were a public relations ploy, so if any other country said we were attacking Afghanistan, we could say we were attacking the Taliban, and also made efforts simultaneously to help the victims of the Taliban's regime. So to that extent, the military was right - it was a success. It sent the message they wanted it to send.

There's no way we could undo the damage that has been done to that society, but making a futile effort was a noble if pointless gesture.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:55 AM on March 26, 2002

Wouldn't it be more cost effective to drop U.S. one dollar bills or rupees? Then the afgans could just go out and buy whatever food they need. Sure the warlords would probably get most of it, but they just resell the food rations anyway.
posted by bobo123 at 11:12 AM on March 26, 2002

US 'humanitarian rations' didn't go over so well in Kosovo either:

'Kosovo Refugees Spurn US Rations As Inedible' (Reuters via nettime)

posted by Owen Boswarva at 1:21 PM on March 26, 2002

Chomsky made this point months ago. It wasn't lack of intelligence; the foreign aid workers, the people essential to organizing food drops, were called out after the 9/11 attacks. The government knew damn well what it was doing.
posted by caveday at 1:48 PM on March 26, 2002

"January 31, 2002 --- The Foodservice & Packaging Institute, Inc. is hosting a new competition to honor the foodservice packaging industry's newest, most distinguished and innovative package. FPI invites all manufacturers who have introduced a single-use foodservice packaging product into the market on or after January 1, 2000 to offer their best candidate for this prestigious honor."

I nominate all new, improved high-altitude airdrop packaging for humanitarian rations for first prize.
posted by sheauga at 3:30 PM on March 26, 2002

Surely no one here actually believed that food drops were anything more than a propoganda scam designed to fool a gullible and clueless public?

Next you're going to tell me that people plastering cheap flag decals on everything in sight actually care about the Constitution!
posted by mark13 at 5:46 PM on March 26, 2002

I'm afraid I simply don't how to the express the deep ennui resultant from the knowledge that whipping food at the relatives of the people sworn to kill me hasn't solved anything.
posted by dong_resin at 1:16 AM on March 27, 2002

Wait, yeah I do :

posted by dong_resin at 1:17 AM on March 27, 2002

Wow. That first comment wasn't even close to english.

I'm sort of impressed.
posted by dong_resin at 10:04 AM on March 27, 2002

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