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Short Synopsis
An explosive, behind-the-scenes look into the workings of the U.S. war in Afghanistan that lifts the curtain of the world stage to reveal the devastating greed, waste, and failure surrounding this unwinnable war.

Full Synopsis
In June 2010, Michael Hastings published an article in Rolling Stone that made headlines around the world: In "The Runaway General," he reported on a week he spent in Europe with General Stanley McChrystal, the revered soldier in charge of the war in Afghanistan.

McChrystal and his staff's unguarded remarks about the White House, our allies and the conduct of the war led President Obama to order McChrystal to the Oval Office, where he was fired unceremoniously. While Hastings' reporting won him a prestigious Polk award and led to two Pentagon investigations, there is much more to his story than the indiscretions of Stanley McChrystal.

In The Operators, Hastings, formerly the Baghdad bureau chief for Newsweek, takes the listener behind the diplomatic façades to paint a picture of nation-building gone awry. Hastings also takes us on patrol missions in Afghanistan, where he is embedded with American troops, and witnesses firsthand the madness, horror, and existential contradictions of Afghanistan. The Operators combines the acute reportage of a Sebastian Junger with the mad energy of a Michael Herr—it is the painful, powerful tale of a war that can never and will never be won.

"An impressive feat of journalism by a Washington outsider who seemed to know more about what was going on in Washington than most insiders did." ---The New York Times

"The most impact-laden story of the year . . . written by a perfect specimen of the new breed of journalist-commentator." --- Vanity Fair

"The life of a general is something to see, especially when it's Stanley McChrystal . . . the height of his power and panache in Afghanistan. It's a hard story to get, and hard to tell it well, but in the hands of Michael Hastings, it's a world-class job of reporting and a joy to read." ---Richard Ben Cramer, author of What it Takes
New York Times Bestseller

The Operators

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

Author Michael Hastings

Narrated by Lloyd James

Publication date Jan 23, 2012

Running time 13 hrs

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