Three Degrees friend, mentor, and partner Lt. Col. Shannon Beebe died in a plane crash last Sunday, August 7, 2011. Shannon was scheduled to come to Seattle in a few weeks to participate in our upcoming scenario planning workshop and to keynote a few major speaking events around town. He was also getting excited for the trip so that he could fly seaplanes in the San Juans. He was an avid aviator.

We cannot begin to say how much we will miss his presence here in Seattle and in the world at large. The world has lost one of the most brilliant thinkers and gracious human souls of the century. We are left with no choice but to celebrate his big heart, bold thinking, and humanitarian leadership.

Shannon’s view of security from the inside the Pentagon was that it was better to prevent wars than to win wars. He saw with fresh eyes the 21st century roles of the military: to build human communities up rather than to tear them down, move from a “law of war” to a “rule of law” mindset, and break down barriers by using all the tools in the toolbox—law, foreign policy, NGOs, military groups—to help prepare communities for the gaps in human security (terrorism, poverty, disease, environmental degradation, climate change) that will inexorably lead to conflict in the 21st century if approached with old-world 20th century military strategies.

We are deeply saddened by his loss.