Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CSIS Smart Power Lecture: Hank Crumpton

Henry “Hank” Crumpton is probably Bourbon and Lawndarts's idol. Crumpton ran the CIA's Afghan program in the wake of September 11, this same program brought the friggin' heat to the Taliban and AQ within weeks of the attacks. Bin Laden's head would be impaled on a fencepost at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue if President Bush had listen to Crumpton when we were angling for the kill at Tora Bora.

Needless to say, when Hank Crumpton speaks, I listen.

He gave a speech at CSIS last week. Check out the transcript, video, or mp3.

Globalization we understand; we read about it all of the time – lots of great examples, but it’s not only globalization; it’s not only at a regional level, in Southeast Asia or Central Asia, or NATO – it’s not only the national level, but importantly it’s at a local level. Late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil, he said all politics is local. Well, I promise you, all counterterrorism is local. In the future of war, it will increasingly be the case.
Preach brotha...

I met with Ahmed Shah Massoud. He was the late leader of the northern alliance. He was assassinated just a couple of days before 9/11. Al Qaeda knew hew as an important ally with the United States and they wanted to take him out of the picture. But this was a couple of years before that; I had a discussion with him. It was in the
hinterlands of Central Asia – had a long talk about a variety of different things that we were working on together.

At the end of the conversation he asked me a question that I will never forget. He
said, your country – I have great respect for the United States, but I wonder, your country – you care more about al Qaeda and bin Laden, or do you care more about the people of Afghanistan. That was a pretty good question. And I gave him the best answer I could, which was, well, I’m from the CIA and my mission is a singular focus, and you’re talking to no one else in the U.S. government, so we care less about the people of Afghanistan.

And he smiled and nodded a very sad smile, but he knew the answer. He was
going to determine if I had the gumption to tell him the truth. But he was also I think teaching me a lesson, that you got to do both; you’ve got to find the enemy; you have to engage; and you have to engage in some cases without mercy, without hesitation. But if you don’t understand that environment and if you don’t care about the people, the job is not finished. And when we think of conflict in the future, it’s going to be exceedingly complex. It’s going to require that hard power, that critical 10 percent. But all that does is buy us space and time for that 90 percent that has to come in, that whole array of instruments. But how do we think about it? How do we organize ourselves? How do we fund ourselves?
Pearls of wisdom from the Lion of the Panjshir himself!

Your second question regarding the name, the war on – the global war on terrorism. I don’t like that name too much.

1 comment:

atty1chgo said...

I just watched the 60 Minutes piece on Crumpton (December 27, 2009) Smart guy. But he is still part of the same club: the one that promotes the lie that 9/11 was engineered and masterminded by Osama Bin Laden. Hey Hank, did Bin Laden plant the thermite in the WTC? Clear evidence of a form of high quality thermite was found in WTC dust, you know. I could care less how brave you are. A liar is a liar, and you are part of the pack of liars that had a hand in 9/11, the CIA.