The journalist who ended Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s tenure as commander of the Afghanistan war is back with "The Operators," a book about Washington, D.C., power plays, the civilian/military divide in America and the Afghanistan campaign under President Barack Obama.
Michael Hastings has been around for a while, with a slew of war-reporting bonafides under his belt. But he rose to fame with "The Runaway General," his 2010 Rolling Stone article that showcased McChrystal and his staff talking all kinds of trash about civilian leadership in the White House and elsewhere.
The ensuing controversy led to McChrystal stepping down from command, ending a high-profile career that included a stint leading special operations troops in the hunt for al-Qaida forces in Iraq.
Much of "The Operators" is more gossipy juice connected to the Rolling Stone piece. While reporting the McChrystal profile in 2010, Hastings was supposed to spend just a short time with the general and his team in Europe as they attempted to gin up support for an Afghanistan surge among NATO allies.
But the time McChrystal’s self-described "Team America" spent in Europe was lengthened as the result of Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud that grounded aircraft in 2010, inadvertently giving Hastings more time with them.
"The Operators" includes more bloviating from McChrystal’s staff of high-ranking active-duty and former military folks, and also features the general himself nearly face-planting on a Paris street after too many drinks.