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Comment: Archive of Michael Hasting's articles on Rolling Stone

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Michael Nystrom's picture

Archive of Michael Hasting's articles on Rolling Stone

Part of one review:

The Operators is a book-length version of the Rolling Stone article, covering the first few years of the Obama administration's efforts in Afghanistan. And those looking for a hero in the story are going to have a hard time finding one. Even Hastings, the narrator and ostensible protagonist, isn't particularly likable.

The war Hastings describes is one dominated by political infighting, with various factions hidden away inside their own insulated bubbles, incapable of recognizing the truth, or refusing to admit the truth when it conflicts with ideology. The Obama administration comes off as weak and ineffective, the Afghan government as corrupt and impossibly incompetent, and the American military as an isolated culture more concerned by its own inner workings and politics than whether or not it can achieve actual "success" in a country as thoroughly broken as Afghanistan (or even what "success" might mean). The media gets the worst of the criticism though, compromising its professional integrity in exchange for access to the people in power. The only people presented at all sympathetically are the individual American soldiers and infantry units who face the true reality on the ground every day.

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Well. He did his duty.