In June 2010, Michael Hastings published an article in Rolling Stone that made headlines around the world: In "The Runaway General," he reported on a week he spent in Europe with General Stanley McChrystal, the revered soldier in charge of the war in Afghanistan. McChrystal and his staff's unguarded remarks about the White House, our allies and the conduct of the war led President Obama to order McChrystal to the Oval Office, where he was fired unceremoniously. While Hastings' reporting won him a prestigious Polk award and led to two Pentagon investigations, there is much more to his story than the indiscretions of Stanley McChrystal. In "The Operators", Hastings, formerly the Baghdad bureau chief for Newsweek, takes the listener behind the diplomatic fades to paint a picture of nation-building gone awry. Hastings also takes us on patrol missions in Afghanistan, where he is embedded with American troops, and witnesses firsthand the madness, horror, and existential contradictions of Afghanistan. The Operators combines the acute reportage of a Sebastian Junger with the mad energy of a Michael Herr. It is the painful, powerful tale of a war that can never and will never be won.