According to a German parliamentary report, the country's soldiers in Afghanistan downed about 1.7 million pints of beer and 90,000 bottles of wine in 2007. During the first six months of 2008, a further 896,000 pints of beer were shipped to the troops.
The report was particularly galling to other NATO forces, such as those of the United States and Britain, whose bases are dry. U.S. and British troops are engaged in heavy fighting in other parts of Afghanistan, whereas the Germans are kept away from the frontline and their combat role is tightly restricted by government-imposed limits.
The news was a gift, however, to the U.S. and British media, who combined the latest story with an earlier German armed forces study released in March, which found that more than 40 percent of German soldiers aged 18 to 29 were overweight - compared with 35 percent of German civilians of the same age.