facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Donkeys replace helicopters in Afghanistan

Nov. 9, 2012 at 5:22 PM   |   Comments

PECH VALLEY, Afghanistan, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Afghan troops, tasked with defending outposts without high-tech equipment such as helicopters and jets, are relying on donkeys, a military official said.

Hundreds of donkeys are sustaining bases built and defended by U.S. troops and are in use as modern air power and transport equipment are being withdrawn, The Washington Post reported Friday.

"Donkeys are the Afghan helicopter," said Col. Abdul Nasseeri, an Afghan battalion commander in Konar province.

While U.S. military officials hope the use of donkeys is an "Afghan-sustainable" approach that can endure as Western support tapers off, Afghanistan's security leaders are displeased. After a decade of exposure to cutting-edge technology, they want their military to look like the U.S. army, an approach the U.S. government considers unfeasible and unrealistic, the newspaper said.

With U.S. helicopters on their way home, the donkey trade has risen steadily, transporting soldiers' needs from food to ammunition, and key fighting positions are being maintained by donkeys and their handlers.

One of the handlers, a 16-year-old named Qamuddin in Pech Valley, Afghanistan, said: "You are the richest and most powerful countries in the world. Of course you can afford helicopters. Without donkeys, there would be no Afghan army."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Norways Kongsberg to demo missile for U.S. Navy Norways Kongsberg to demo missile for U.S. Navy
2
New video shows missing UVA student the morning she disappeared New video shows missing UVA student the morning she disappeared
3
Father of five children thought they would kill him, feed him to dogs Father of five children thought they would kill him, feed him to dogs
4
Peshmerga forces kill senior Islamic State commander Peshmerga forces kill senior Islamic State commander
5
Playboy Magazine names UPenn top party school for 2014 Playboy Magazine names UPenn top party school for 2014
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback