I'm not sure who mentioned it in a previous blog (I know someone did however) but, all the times we've seen Des "travel", his consciousness is going *forward* rather than *back*. I used to think it was back (especially in The Constant), but, once I read that statement, and re-watched some episodes, I'm personally convinced that '96 Des hopped forward to '04 Des and not '04 Des hopping back to '96.
This to me holds true as well in "Happily Every After" where we see FST Des (in 2004), "seeing" things that happened in the OT, roughly 100 days *before* they would have happened.
Is this what Widmore is wanting Des for? Not only the surviving of an EM catastrophy, but the fact that he can see into a potential future and therefore what MiB might be planning to escape?