Pizza Hut Re-Opens in Afghanistan, Soldiers Satisfy Year-Long Pepperoni Cravings

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Larry Downing / Reuters

In what is surely one of his most popular moves as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus brings the Pepperoni Lover’s Pizza back to Kabul.

The move reverses the decision by Gen. Petraeus’s predecessor, Gen. Stanley McChrystal. In March 2010, McChrystal called for an end to junk food culture on U.S.-led coalition bases, and banned food outlets including Pizza Hut, Burger King and Dairy Queen. As one of his top deputies said in a written statement at the time: “This is a war zone – not an amusement park.”

(More on TIME.com: Read how Domino’s Pizza may have saved an elderly woman’s life)

But soldiers in war zones frequently crave a taste of home, and an alternative to the stodge dished out at the mess hall. So on Feb. 20 Pizza Hut fired up its ovens at Camp Phoenix, and welcomed troops back to its franchise—a takeaway stand inside a converted trailer. In a statement, Pizza Hut said it was “proud to be serving the men and women who serve in Afghanistan.”

The re-introduction of the pizza chain—and its buckets of saturated fat—won’t be too much of a shock to soldiers’ systems. According to the Wall Street Journal, McChrystal allowed fast-food chains run through Afghan businessmen—including TGI Friday’s and KFC—to remain open during his ban to help prop up the local economy. (via Slashfood)

(More on TIME.com: See TIME’s delicious recipe for veggie pizza)

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