Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan -- and The Path to Victory

Front Cover
Macmillan, Sep 24, 2010 - History - 320 pages
1 Review

On Friday, August 13, 2010, just as St. Martin's Press was readying its initial shipment of this book, the Department of Defense contacted us to express its concern that our publication of Operation Dark Heart could cause damage to U.S. national security. After consulting with our author, we agreed to incorporate some of the government's changes into a revised edition of his book while redacting other text he was told was classified. The newly revised book keeps our national interests secure, but this highly qualified warrior's story is still intact. Shaffer's assessment of successes and failures in Afghanistan remains dramatic, shocking, and crucial reading for anyone concerned about the outcome of the war.


"While I do not agree with the edits in many ways, the DoD redactions enhance the reader's understanding by drawing attention to the flawed results created by a disorganized and heavy handed military intelligence bureaucracy." —Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer had run intelligence operations for years before he arrived in Afghanistan. He was part of the "dark side of the force"---the shadowy elements of the U.S. government that function outside the bounds of the normal system. His group called themselves the Jedi Knights and pledged to use the dark arts of espionage to protect the country from its enemies.

Shaffer's mission to Afghanistan, however, was unlike any he had ever experienced before.

There, he led a black-ops team on the forefront of the military efforts to block the Taliban's resurgence. They not only planned complex intelligence operations to beat back the insurgents, but also played a key role in executing those operations---outside the wire. They succeeded in striking at the core of the Taliban and their safe havens across the border in Pakistan. For a moment Shaffer saw us winning the war.

Then the military brass got involved. The policies that top officials relied on were hopelessly flawed. Shaffer and his team were forced to sit and watch as the insurgency grew---just across the border in Pakistan.

This wasn't the first time he had seen bureaucracy stand in the way of national security. He had participated in Able Danger, the aborted intelligence operation that identified many of the future 9/11 terrorists but failed to pursue them. His attempt to reveal the truth to the 9/11 Commission would not go over well with his higher-ups.

Operation Dark Heart tells the story of what really went on--and what went wrong--in Afghanistan. Shaffer witnessed firsthand the tipping point, when what seemed like certain victory turned into failure. Now, in this book, he maps out a way that could put us on the path to winning the war.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan—and the Path to Victory

User Review  - Edwin B. Burgess - Book Verdict

Shaffer, now an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, was for years a covert intelligence operative for the Pentagon. In this autobiographical account of his work in Afghanistan and his eventual fall from ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jefferno - LibraryThing

9500 copies of this book were burned by the United States military. I guess I'm going to have to read it. Read full review

Contents

1 The Usual Suspects
1
2 The Dark Side
8
3 Into Afghanistan
23
4 The Boy and the Bomb
36
5 We Will Kill the Infidels
48
6 Mountain Viper
61
7 Force on Force
72
8 To the Front
85
16 The Death Star
191
17 Bronze Star
199
18 Madrassah
206
19 Abort Mission
214
20 Under Fire
223
21 Alpha Team Go
232
22 Theyre Really Pissed at You
239
23 Second Voyage
251

9 The Interrogation
97
10 Improvised Raid
119
11 IED
131
12 Al Qaeda Hotel
139
13 The Heart of Darkness
146
14 Able Danger
164
15 Tipping Point
180
24 Unsafe at Any Speed
260
25 Darkness Falls
267
Epilogue
272
How to Win in Afghanistan
277
Index
291
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer is a Bronze Star Medal recipient and a lieutenant colonel in the U. S. Army Reserve. A CIA-trained senior intelligence operations officer, he has more than twenty-five years of experience in the intelligence community. He is a Fellow and Special Lecturer at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington, D.C.

Bibliographic information