Bradley Farless's Reviews > The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan

The Operators by Michael Hastings
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Jul 11, 12

bookshelves: history
Read from July 02 to 11, 2012

As a US Army Veteran that served for 8 years and did two combat tours (one during the first six months of the war with Iraq and one later with an ADA unit), so much of what Hastings describes regarding military culture, the feeling on the ground among people who are actually doing the work and the disconnect that often exists between command officers (and sometimes E-8s) and the rest of the troops is spot on. It was also nice to see a real profile of higher ranking people that portrays them as human beings with victories and failures, rather than as mythologized, perfect representations of the military ethos. The spin that comes from the top down always annoyed me, because it felt like an insult to intelligence to try to present our leaders as perfect men while the rest of us were just scum, trying to scrape our way up a ladder to humanhood. It was nice to see a real face put on real people in a real war, reminding America that something's happening over there and that shit is far from clear. When you finish reading this book, you'll be asking the question that should be asked: Why are we in Afghanistan and what is it we hope to accomplish there, and is that hoped for outcome even feasible?
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Quotes Bradley Liked

Michael Hastings
“The simple and terrifying reality, forbidden from discussion in America, was that despite spending $600 billion a year on the military, despite having the best fighting force the world had ever known, they were getting their asses kicked by illiterate peasants who made bombs out of manure and wood.”
Michael Hastings, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan


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07/06/2012 page 54
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