War Machine review – Brad Pitt goes over the top in Afghan war satire
He believes the American-led military intervention there was unwise and will lead to no lasting benefits, for it has been based on self-serving myths about counterinsurgency strategies and the quality of the Afghan state. The book includes some sharp accounts of the stresses the war has placed on American troops and features a depressing portrayal of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. But the heart of the book is the story of how Hastings managed to get access to General Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of U.
Their unguarded behavior and comments, which Hastings duly reported, ultimately cost McChrystal his job. The book addresses important issues about how reporters should relate to the military and the wars it fights, as well as less important ones about how Hastings organizes his life.
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Hastings writes that as they drank and sang, several McChrystal staff members make subtle threats, saying. But Hastings, ever the observant scribe, stays true to his profession and puts the boozy bravado of the McChrystal team aside and reports what he sees and hears. And yes, Gen. McChrystal got too comfortable with the idea of possibly being on the cover of the famous magazine Lady Gaga actually appeared on the cover of that issue and it seems as if he wanted to come across as cool.
Training the Afghan army, as Hastings writes, is a Sisyphean chore. It is all too clear that there is little trust between the two cultures and little is being accomplished. We see that today in the headlines where recruits gain access to areas where soldiers are and kill as many as they can. As one Afghan leader explained, the Afghans don't care about democracy.
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A particularly eye-opening chapter is when Hastings visits an American combat outpost where a soldier had been killed by insurgents. A meeting between McChrystal and a group of American soldiers goes over like a lead balloon after he justifies the new "rules of engagement" and how they can't kill everyone. But as one soldier fires back, "Ninety percent of the people are not friendly. All they want to do is kill us.
The Operators by Michael Hastings | Waterstones
You sit and ask yourself, what are we doing here? Terrorists can train and plot anywhere. The Operators demonstrates that and it also shows that even the top brass is not immune from the pitfalls that bedevil those who fight pointless wars. View the discussion thread.
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