A Rolling Stone magazine profile of Gen Stanley McChrystal, commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, has generated massive controversy.
Gen McChrystal and his staff are portrayed making unflattering comments about top US officials, and he has been summoned to Washington in the wake of the article. He has apologised.
The Rolling Stone article quotes Gen McChrystal saying he felt "betrayed" by the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, who last year argued against troop increases in a telegram to the White House that was leaked to the media.
"I like Karl, I've known him for years, but they'd never said anything like that to us before. Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say 'I told you so'."
The full text of the Eikenberry telegram was leaked to the New York Times in January. It attacked Gen McChrystal's strategy and said President Hamid Karzai was "not an adequate strategic partner".
US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke is a veteran diplomat with whom the general would be expected to work closely. But the Rolling Stone article suggests that Gen McChrystal was dismissive when he received a message from Mr Holbrooke on his BlackBerry.
"Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke. I don't even want to open it."
Gen McChrystal had a "special scepticism" for Mr Holbrooke, the article suggested.
The Rolling Stone article starts with a vignette about the general reluctantly attending a dinner in Paris as part of a mission to persuade the French government to maintain its efforts in Afghanistan.
"I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner... Unfortunately, no one in this room could do it."
The article quotes an aide of the general as saying the dinner is with "some French minister".
The magazine article depicts Gen McChrystal's staff discussing the prospect of being questioned by Vice-President Joe Biden, and the general laughing as he says:
"Are you asking about Vice-President Biden? Who's that?"
One of the general's aides is then quoted making a joke about the vice-president.
Many of the most colourful quotes in the Rolling Stone article come from unnamed aides in the general's coterie. It is impossible to identify from the article how senior these anonymous figures are, or how close they are to the general.
One unnamed adviser says Gen McChrystal was disappointed after his first meeting with President Barack Obama.
Another unnamed aide dismisses Gen James Jones, the Obama administration's national security adviser, as a "clown" who is "stuck in 1985".