The German Defense Ministry said Monday it had been forced to deal with an unexpected problem regarding their troops in Afghanistan — a surplus of beer.
At a news briefing in Berlin on Monday, Defense Ministry spokeswoman Christina Routsi explained that Germany’s troops in Afghanistan had been permitted to consume alcohol at times and in limited quantities. Soldiers were allowed two cans of beer — or the equivalent in other beverages — per day.
But Germany’s commander of its armed forces in Afghanistan, citing a high enemy threat level, banned all consumption of alcohol. Routsi said this created a problem for the German military, as there was already a large quantity of alcohol in the country for the troops.
She said under the stationing agreement between Germany and Afghanistan, the import of alcohol into the country is prohibited, with the exception of Camp Marmal, the German base in Afghanistan. Alcohol cannot be sold in Afghanistan, due to local religious restrictions, or destroyed for environmental reasons.
Routsi said the military had to hire a civilian contractor to take the 22,600 liters of alcohol — including almost 60,000 cans of beer — out of the country ahead of the German troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan as the NATO mission in the country ends in the coming months.
The German army said the contractor will sell the beer elsewhere, which should cover the cost of transporting it out of Afghanistan.