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

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Penguin, Jan 5, 2012 - Political Science - 432 pages
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The inspiration for the Netflix original movie War Machine, starring Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, and Ben Kingsley

From the author of The Last Magazine, a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of our military commanders, their high-stake maneuvers, and the politcal firestorm that shook the United States.

In the shadow of the hunt for Bin Laden and the United States’ involvement in the Middle East, General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was living large. His loyal staff liked to call him a “rock star.” During a spring 2010 trip, journalist Michael Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration. When Hastings’s article appeared in Rolling Stone, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was unceremoniously fired.

In The Operators, Hastings picks up where his Rolling Stone coup ended. From patrol missions in the Afghan hinterlands to senior military advisors’ late-night bull sessions to hotel bars where spies and expensive hookers participate in nation-building, Hastings presents a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of what he fears is an unwinnable war.  Written in prose that is at once eye-opening and other times uncannily conversational, readers of No Easy Day will take to Hastings’ unyielding first-hand account of the Afghan War and its cast of players.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SGTCat - LibraryThing

As a US Army Veteran that served for 8 years and did two combat tours (one during the first six months of the war with Iraq and one later with an ADA unit), so much of what Hastings describes ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - theonearmedcrab - LibraryThing

Journalist Michael Hastings’ “The Operators” (2012) is billeted as the inside story of America’s war in Afghanistan. It isn’t. Instead, it tells about General McChrystal and his staff, a bunch of ... Read full review


dialed the strange number with a sequence of digits too long
Delta Bravo 2 Its Not Switzerland 3 Lady Gaga
Intimidated by the Crowd
Arc de Triomphe
A Violent Act 7 On the X
The ATeam
Bite Me
in porch with a view of the Adirondacks I put the smoke out in an empty
Very Very Bad
The Pentagon Investigates McChrystal 43 The MediaMilitaryIndustrial Complex
Id Rather Be Eating a Burger
The Photo Op 11 Totally ShitFaced
Dead Silence 13 The Horror the Horror
Were Actually Losing 15 Petraeus Cant Do Afghanistan and We Arent Going to Get Bin Laden 16 The Elections Part I
Texts to Berlin 18 The Elections Part II
The Strategy 24 Let Me Be Clear

McChrystal the commanding general of all U S and NATO forces
the room
Come Walk in Our Boots 34 A Boy Born in 1987
An Army of None 38 In the Arena
I Didnt Even Know We Were Fighting There
The Concluding Converations with Duncan Boothby General Petraeus FacePlants in Congress and the Story Breaks While I Watch American Helicop...
Worshipping the Gods of Beer 26 Who Is Stanley McChrystal? Part I 19541976
Reality Checks
Once Upon a Time in Kandahar 46 King Davids
Tourism Not Terrorism 48 Petraeus Does Body Counts
The New Afghanistan
Joe Biden Is Right
Someday This Wars Gonna End Source Notes

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About the author (2012)

Michael Hastings is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. He regularly covers politics and international affairs for the magazine, including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. In 2011, he received the George Polk Award in journalism for his Rolling Stone story "The Runaway General." His work has appeared in Newsweek, GQ, Men's Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Salon, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. In 2010, Hastings was named one of The Huffington Post's Game Changers of the year. His GQ story "Obama's War" was selected for Best American Political Writing 2009. The author also of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, Hastings lives in Vermont.

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