28 May 2014

Postal Service Protests Afghanistan Withdrawal Plans

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 In an unprecedented foray into foreign policy, the United States Postmaster General has sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel urging them to maintain a force of at least 32,000 in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Postal officials fear that bringing significant number of troops home will be bad for the bottom line.

The letter, obtained by My Public Affairs from a source in the Postmaster General's office, refers to "calamitous second- and third-order effects" from a precipitous draw down of US troops. The Postal Service says that revenue from care packages accounts for a sizeable portion of their operating budget.

If forces draw down as much as the president has suggested-- to just under 10,000 in his recent speech to service members at Bagram Airfield-- then that revenue could plummet.

Officials in the Postal Service didn't specify how much money that would cost them, but the watchdog group PostCheck says it is in the tens of millions. The service lost $1.9 million in the first quarter of this year, according to Bloomberg. If the agency loses its profitable Afghanistan War care package market, it could hemmorhage money and not be able to recover.

After US forces left Iraq in 2011, the Postal Service began a revenue decline from which it is still recovering.

The Postmaster General has also urged members of the postal workers union to write their representatives in Congress, as well as to call the White House.

"The Post Office has always been a friend to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, the letter read."And in these extraordinary times of budget austerity, we simply can not afford to lose the valuable business that their friends and family members give us to send chips, cookies, and toiletries."

One Soldier, who declined to give is name but offered his picture, said that while he appreciates getting care packages, he'd rather be home where he could just go buy that stuff himself at Target.

Sources close to the Soldier said that he really shops at Wal Mart but doesn't like to admit it.

"Don't get me wrong, it's nice to get packets of toothpaste and bodywash. But really, how much chap stick does a guy need?"

The Soldier didn't comment on whether units should be forced to stay in order to maintian current levels of postal services.

Another service member, an Airman stationed at Bagram Airfield, suggested sending packages to random Afghans as a way to offset the decline of mail to US troops.

1 comment:

  1. I think I've seen that soldier at Walmart. You can't trust him... he has shifty eyes.

    ReplyDelete