Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer is a highly experienced intelligence officer, and recipient of the Bronze Star, with 25 years of field experience. Tony has commanded and directed several key operational intelligence organizations. These include Special Mission Task Force STRATUS IVY, that conducted direct support to DoD compartmented activities (OSD, SOCOM, JSOC, Army) which was focused on offensive information operations. In addition, he was in charge of Field Operating Base (FOB) Alpha, a joint DIA/CIA unit conducting classified collection and special operations support regarding terrorists just after the 9/11 attacks.
During the 1980s, Tony was a counterintelligence officer. He deployed to Germany to conduct counterterrorism operations in 1985 as part of REFORGER and worked in New York City as part of Army’s anti-terrorism efforts during OPSAIL 1986 – the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty. He also worked to monitor Soviet military officers visiting the United States during the INF Treaty missile eliminations, as well as a reserve tour with Army Foreign Counterintelligence Activity (FCA).
Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer transitioned into the Foreign Intelligence area of focus with his graduation from “The Farm” in 1988, and his work at Air Force Special Activities Center (AFSAC) where he worked as a case officer. He was brought to active duty by the Army for the first Gulf War in 1991 and transitioned into the Army’s Military Intelligence Excepted Career Program (MIECP) where he became the chief of Army’s global Controlled HUMINT collection program, and ran specific Special Access Program (SAP) operations that netted highly.
As a reservist during this period, he was the senior HUMINT advisor to the J2/Senior Intelligence Officer of Joint Interagency Task Force East (JIATF-E) that conducted counter-drug operations in the Transit Zone. During this tour, he was successful in integrating highly specialized hybrid technology/human intelligence operations to obtain high-value intelligence information to support the operational forces.
In 1995, Tony transitioned to Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), as part of the consolidation of all Service (Army, Navy, Air Force, USMC) controlled HUMINT into the Department of Defense. He became a Senior Intelligence Officer (Operations) and created Task Force STRATUS IVY that conducted the full spectrum of support to Department of Defense, Special Operations Command and other non-DoD agencies. This included support to the controversial counterterrorism project known as ABLE DANGER – a pre-9/11 offensive operation suite designed to detect, degrade, and counter Al Qaeda capabilities.
In 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks, he was returned to active duty for a 30-month period , during which he commanded a DIA operating base (OB Alpha) and had two successful combat tours to Afghanistan.
During his two successful, undercover, combat tours he participated in the search for senior Al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan. These operations provide him with a unique viewpoint on terrorism and its roots in southwest Asia. His book, Operation Dark Heart, provides an unprecedented look at intelligence operations during a period in the war where a small number of operators were able to effectively control this large country. In recognition of successful high risk/high gain operations, Tony received the Bronze Star Medal (BSM) for performance as an Operations Officer of the HUMINT Support Detachment in Afghanistan supporting CJTF 180 and CJTF 121.
As a senior fellow, he has conducted multiple courses of instruction, to include the Psychology of Terrorism, Leadership, and Effects Based Operations. He is nationally known Subject Matter Expert (SME) intelligence collection and policy, terrorism, data mining, situational awareness, and adaptive/disruptive technologies. He is also a senior advisor to multiple organizations on terrorism and counterinsurgency issues and a member of the US Nuclear Strategy Forum. Tony is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs and is frequently quoted in print media as an analyst regarding defense issues.
Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer currently serves as the Reserve G6 Assistant Chief of Staff, Communications, and Technology of an Army Reserve division.Download Bio
Mass Market Paperback
The Last LineA Novel
Thomas Dunne Books
Just because Chris Teller is one of the best in the intelligence business doesn't mean he's the most popular. Far from it, in fact. While Teller may be a threat to the status quo, however, the only thing saving him from expulsion is an even greater threat to his country—one that's already within our borders…
Operation Dark Heart
Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan---and the Path to Victory
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
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 resurgence. 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.
Leadership and Effects-Based Operations
Issues of National Defense
Intelligence Collection and Policy
“Takes you inside the espionage world, a labyrinth of secret agencies that do not like to share secrets.”
“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