Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

What worries Hank Crumpton

He’s the king of the federal government’s anti-terror ninjas. So what keeps him up at night? Apparently, energy and climate change, according to the Stanford blog Bellum:  Q: “The challenge for my grandparents’ generation was World War II. For my father’s generation, it was the Cold War. Is there a generational challenge for mine?” Crumpton: ...

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He’s the king of the federal government’s anti-terror ninjas. So what keeps him up at night? Apparently, energy and climate change, according to the Stanford blog Bellum

Q: “The challenge for my grandparents’ generation was World War II. For my father’s generation, it was the Cold War. Is there a generational challenge for mine?”

Crumpton: “Yes. First, I’m more than pleased and really proud of your generation. I see their concern manifested in issues related to energy, to the environment, to national security – just look at the young men and women that are fighting for our country in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, or the young entrepreneurs that are advancing our society. So I’m very optimistic when I look to your generation, but there are some big challenges: the fundamental shifts in the nature of warfare, the degree of asymmetry that we see, energy challenges, climate change that is going to come far quicker than most people realize, and the issue of leadership through networks. How do you work independently to achieve your objectives? And so there are a number of challenges, and of course some of the biggest challenges will hit us five years from now, and no one knows what they are.”

TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1