Academic journal article Military Review

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

Academic journal article Military Review

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

Article excerpt

THE OPERATORS: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, Michael Hastings, Blue Rider Press, New York, 2012, 432 pages, $27.95.

The Operators is a cautionary tale of media-military relations. On one hand, it is a subtle reminder that "intelligence preparation of the battlefield" is a term that applies to every military operation, even something as seemingly innocuous as an engagement with a journalist. On the other hand, it is a stark reminder of how events can spin horribly out of control when a writer's agenda trumps the privilege of access. Ultimately, The Operators is a mix of yellow journalism and rabid antiwar sentiment, a dubiously sourced manuscript published under the guise of an expose on the Afghan war.

The first image to greet readers of this book is what many in the media refer to as "the drunken general." The front cover graphic bears an uncanny resemblance to now-retired General David Petraeus in his official Central Command photo. With tie askew, whiskey on the rocks in hand, and a 9-mm Berretta at the ready, it proves difficult to miss the simple fact that every detail of the uniform matches that of the retired and highly respected Army general. The back cover is no better, depicting a McChrystal-like figure with beer in hand and armed with a combat knife. In more genteel times, this would be considered character assassination.

Little of The Operators subject matter is new. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.