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The Operators

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

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 06, 2012 – Hastings (I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story) recounts the events behind and beyond his award-winning 2010 Rolling Stone article "The Runaway General," which led to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal and his replacement with General David Petraeus. Trailing McChrystal and his staff as they travel to Paris, Berlin, and Kabul, Hastings discovers how the nation's foremost "operators" the special forces and other personnel on "the X the spot on the satellite map where the action down" regard the war as secondary to their loyalty to each other. Cavalier remarks about key figures and incidents ranging from the infamous cover-up of the cause of Pat Tillman's death to scenes with President Obama reveal the essential divide between military and civilian perspectives. Hastings brilliantly intertwines narratives, whether writing about the halls of Washington, war-torn Baghdad, or rudimentary lessons in counterinsurgency math, a system wherein killing two of ten results not in eight, but twenty insurgents. Hasting's first-class, engrossing reportage reveals unsettling yet human flaws behind one of recent history's most lionized military figures, and a war which purportedly began as a response to terrorism, but whose aims in the author's estimation remain ambiguous.

Customer Reviews

COIN is not CI

COINdinista is in reference to those enamored with COIN, or Counter Insurgency, doctrine and not counterintelligence. Counterintelligence is referred to as CI. If you don't know what you are talking about don't write a synopsis or at least find someone that does know what they are talking about to help out. Sick of all these growth industry post 9/11 national security "experts" that don't even know 101 level acronyms. As far as the book goes I haven't read it yet. Hopefully it's not as bush league as the summary.

Hastings does know what COIN is

They do need to correct that synopsis.
The book is solid.
Insightful account.

Seriously, guys?

State you really complaining about a synopsis? It's an awesome book, don base your rating off the synopsis (especially when you haven't even opened the book)

The Operators
View in iTunes
  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Public Administration
  • Published: Jan 05, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings