Ottawa Citizen

Tim Hortons outlet avoids U.S. shutdown of ‘amenities’ in Afghanista­n

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Canada’s Tim Hortons coffee shop at Kandahar Airfield will remain open despite a shutdown of Pizza Hut, Burger King and other U.S. outlets deemed too luxurious by top American commanders of NATO troops.

“Kandahar Airfield Tim Hortons is an initiative to support our men and women in uniform for serving in Afghanista­n,” Defence Department spokeswoma­n Megan MacLean said. “There are no plans to close the Tim Hortons.”

Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanista­n and leader of the Internatio­nal Security Assistance Force, has ordered most fast-food outlets on the boardwalk inside the airfield base shuttered.

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall revealed the plan in a post on an ISAF blog last month. “Many of you have heard that there are plans to shut down some of the ‘amenities’ throughout Afghanista­n,” he wrote. “This is not rumour. It is fact. This is a war zone — not an amusement park.”

McChrystal is overseeing the surge in U.S. troops and resources in coming months.

“One of the ways we’re going to do that — in order to accommodat­e the troop increase and get re-focused on the mission at hand — is to cut back on some of the nonessenti­als,” Hall wrote.

The Tim Hortons, operated from a trailer, is located next to the U.S. concession­s, many of which will be closed. Canadian military support staff manages Tim’s, and profits go to health and welfare programs for Canadian Forces members.

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