The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of Stanley McChrystal's War in Afghanistan

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Orion Publishing Group, Limited, Dec 8, 2013 - 352 pages
3 Reviews

General Stanley McChrystal, the innovative, forward-thinking commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was living large. He was better known to some as Big Stan, M4, Stan, and his loyal staff liked to call him a "rock star." During a spring 2010 trip across Europe to garner additional allied help for the war effort, McChrystal was accompanied by journalist Michael Hastings of "Rolling Stone." For days, Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration for what they saw as a lack of leadership. When Hastings's piece appeared a few months later, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was ordered to Washington, where he was fired unceremoniously.

In "The Operators," Hastings picks up where his "Rolling Stone" coup ended. He gives us a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of our military commanders, their high-stakes maneuvers and often bitter bureaucratic infighting. Hastings takes us on patrol missions in the Afghan hinterlands, to late-night bull sessions of senior military advisors, to hotel bars where spies and expensive hookers participate in nation-building gone awry. And as he weighs the merits and failings of old-school generals and the so-called COINdinistas-the counterintelligence experts-Hastings draws back the curtain on a hellish complexity and, he fears, an unwinnable war.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DrakeVaughn - LibraryThing

Unfettered access by a young Rolling Stone reporter to a war generalís inner circle - what could go wrong? General Stanley McChrystal received his answer after Hastings scribbled his now-infamous ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcbrunner - LibraryThing

This book takes the "Almost Famous" approach to reporting on a general. Free-lance Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings used his groupie status in the McChrystal entourage into a revealing article ... Read full review

About the author (2013)

Michael Hastings was born in Burlington, Vermont on January 28, 1980. He graduated from New York University in 2002. At the age of 25, Newsweek assigned him to cover the war in Iraq. While there, he lost his girlfriend, Andi Parhamovich, who died in an ambush by Sunni extremists. Shortly after returning home, he turned his Iraq experiences and Parhamovich's death into a draft of the book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad. He later became a reporter for Rolling Stone and the website BuzzFeed. During his career, he wrote an expose of American drone attacks, interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and looked at the Army's use of "psychological operations" to influence sitting senators. His 2010 Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal, The Runaway General, exposed the general and his staff's disdain for their superiors, ranging from National Security Advisor James L. Jones to Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. He won the George Polk Award for magazine reporting and later wrote a book about McChrystal and his time in the war zone entitled The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan. He also reported on the presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012. He died in a car crash on June 18, 2013 at the age of 33.

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