A nonfiction book that frequently reads like an adventure novel, this account of the author’s intelligence operations in post-9/11 Afghanistan should definitely strike a chord with readers. Shaffer was an intelligence operative from an early age, joining army counterintelligence in the early 1980s at the age of 19. By 1991, he was running HUMINT, the army’s clandestine human-intelligence program. Prior to 2001, he was working on an operation called Able Danger, which, according Shaffer, uncovered some of the 9/11 terrorists a full year before the attacks, although—again, according to Shaffer—the government blocked attempts to act upon the information. He saw the same sort of thing happen again in Afghanistan, when red tape and inept policies hindered efforts to fight the Taliban. This is almost two books in one: a rousing chronicle of the author’s experiences on foreign soil and an examination of a bloated bureaucracy that is in desperate need of retooling. Shaffer adopts a mostly objective tone, although there are moments when his personal views sneak through (the phrase “Bush administration lunacy,” for example). Although no coauthor is listed, the book reads like it was transcribed from taped interviews (see the occasional oddly constructed paragraph where it looks like someone stuck in parenthetical explanations of things the author was saying). All in all, a fascinating, eye-opening book. --David Pitt
--This text refers to an alternate
“Anthony Shaffer has written a gripping account, filled with amazing detail, of an otherwise secret world. Shaffer has the instincts of a thriller writer and the knowledge and perspective of the professional insider. Operation Dark Heart is a fascinating page-turner.”
-- Doug Stanton, author of Horse Soldiers
“A fascinating look into the highly complex world of modern combat, clandestine intelligence and bureaucrats run amok. Tony Shaffer walks and runs us through a critical time in the history in the war in Afghanistan. From the opening to the closing, you are on the edge of your seat. Tony is, in all aspects, the real Jack Bauer - but with an intellect.”
--Dr. Christopher M. Lehman, former Special Assistant to President Reagan, National Security Counsel
“[Operation Dark Heart] takes you inside the espionage world, a labyrinth of secret agencies that do not like to share secrets."