I don’t know whether Napoleon was right when he remarked that “an army marches on its stomach”. But the Nato forces deployed here in Afghanistan seem to be taking no chances. If you eat in the American canteen at Camp Alamo near Kabul, as I did yesterday, you could be in a decent diner anywhere in the States - there is fried chicken, ribs, chilli, fresh fruit and six flavours of ice cream. I would guess it is all flown in from overseas.
A friend who visited the Italian army in Herat, up near the Iranian border, had a similar experience. Despite the fact that they were in a military camp in the middle of nowhere, the Italians still served him gnocchi, washed down with an excellent Chianti. When he complimented the officers on the standard of their catering, they explained that they had sent a local Afghan back to Italy to be trained as their chef.