“The extensive 2010 military public relations campaign waged in order to expand the Afghanistan War (specifically modeled after the failed counter-insurgency tactics used originally in Algeria by the French in the 1950′s, and then again disastrously a half-century later in Iraq by the U.S.) is the basis for this outstanding reporting on U.S. military leaders run amok. Hastings, a Rolling Stone reporter, was recruited by General Stanley McChrystal’s bloated entourage to write an article that they were sure, with the usual public relations massaging, would celebrate the great man facade and make McChrystal a ‘rock star’ warrior for mass adulation. Instead, what Hastings uncovered was a military culture that has become increasing separate from and unchecked by an easily-manipulated civilian leadership, a complicit press, and an indifferent American citizenship. Sadly, Hastings concludes that in the last decade ‘we were fighting the wrong war, in the wrong way, in the wrong country.’ And yet, many of the military elite (as well as a sycophantic U.S. press corps) used the war to advance their careers, their pocketbooks, and their public standing at the horrible cost of the many. And so it goes.”—Will, Annie Bloom’s Books, Portland. Buy The Operators from Annie Bloom’s Books.