Operation Dark Heart tells the story of what really went on—and what went wrong—in Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer led a black-ops team on the forefront of the military efforts to block the Taliban’s resuregence. For a moment he saw us winning the war. Then the military brass got involved. He witnessed firsthand the tipping point, when what seemed like certain victory turned into failure.
This wasn’t the first time he had seen bureacracy stand in the way of national security. He had participated in Able Danger, the aborted intelligence operation that identitifed 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 the higher-ups.
Operation Dark Heart made headlines when the Department of Defense bought the entire unredacted first printing. The book’s revised second printing includes redactions, which, according to The New York Times, “offer a rare glimpse behind the bureaucratic veil that clocks information the government considers too important for public airing.” But most importantly, Operation Dark Heart remains a stirring indictment against military bureaucracy and a culture of cover-ups.