Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Perspective: The Milkshake Man

RAMADI, Iraq -- He's seen more combat and casualties than many troops in Iraq. But he totes no weapon and his uniform at a U.S. base includes a tidy black bow tie and little paper hat.

This is the milkshake man's war.

"Too much bombs," said Abraham Chacka, a soft-spoken Indian who mans a single blender at a U.S. Army outpost in Ramadi -- which may have taken more insurgent mortar hits than any other in Iraq.

But, amid the battles, Chacka serves up more than just Baskin-Robbins nostalgia 75 miles west of Baghdad. It's also a taste of outsourcing, Pentagon-style.

Chacka is part of a small army of Asian migrants recruited for U.S. military dining services around Iraq under deals that wrap together the ways of modern war, globalization and, some claim, greed.

Read the rest at the Memphis Commercial Appeal