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Stars and Stripes Now Prints in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2004 – Stars and Stripes, the daily newspaper of the U.S. military, has announced that it started same-day printing and delivery in Afghanistan on Dec. 2.

The newspaper was previously sent to that country from the presses in Germany, via Bahrain, which often delayed its arrival. Now, say the paper's officials, the troops stationed in the area can enjoy their news, sports and entertainment in a timelier manner.

A bit over 1,000 copies are now being printed daily by a contractor near Kabul, Basheer Printing House, who delivers the newspaper in bulk quantities to base gates for major military bases throughout Afghanistan.

Stars and Stripes personnel and military commands jointly ensure delivery of the newspapers to the various locations on base, along with delivery to the forward-deployed smaller fire bases. The quantity will steadily increase as the distribution process improves.

The newspapers are distributed to the troops free of charge.

"It's a pleasure to be able to supply a same-day paper to our service members involved in the dangerous mission of helping to create a democratic society in Afghanistan," said publisher Thomas Kelsch.

"From the printing plant in Kabul, we expect to serve the troops in Kandahar as well as in Kabul and Bagram," he pointed out. "Their ability to obtain a steady flow of news of the rest of the world has been severely limited. A daily, up- to-date Stars and Stripes will fill that need for them."

The newspaper had reporters embedded with military forces during all phases of the combat operations and has been in the region since 2001, covering Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

"We're delighted that the troops in Afghanistan will be getting the newspaper quicker and regularly," editorial director Dave Mazzarella added. "A lot of the news is perishable. Now, in this war zone, it will get the timely readership it deserves."

Stars and Stripes also prints over 60,000 copies of its Middle East edition at sites in Baghdad, Kuwait and Qatar.

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