Andrew Eiva

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Andrew Eiva
Andrius Linas Eitavicius

(1948-10-26) 26 October 1948 (age 73)
Bonn, West Germany
NationalityAmerican of Lithuanian descent
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationWest Point; Bachelor of Science earned at United States Military Academy
Occupation1972-1980 - US Army Infantry captain -

ranger/commando, Green Beret (commander, special forces A team), mechanized infantry company commander

1980-present: consultant, lobbyist and advocate for resistance movements struggling against genocide, occupation and oppression; Afghanistan (1980-1990), Angola - UNITA (1985-1986), Mozambique - RENAMO (1986), Lithuania (January 1991), Bosnia (1992-1998), Kosovo (1999-2000), Sudan (2006-present), Baluchistan (2009-present)
Known forLed Lithuanian militia volunteers in confrontation with Soviet occupation forces on 13 January 1991. In recognition of his leadership, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė awarded Andrew Eiva the Order of the Cross of Vytis.[citation needed]
AwardsOrder of the Cross of Vytis

Andrew Eiva is a human rights activist who helps oppressed people resist occupation and genocide.[1]

He spent his life learning military, political and language skills and using them to help those fighting for freedom.

The US mainstream media has noted Andrew Eiva's following three accomplishments.

He is best known for mobilizing Congress and grassroots to expose and upgrade a US covert operation which provided Afghans "only enough to fight and die," which he believed had squandered over 500,000 Afghan lives by 1984. The proposed legislation asked that US policy be changed "to aid them effectively."

"The State Department has been lobbying against the legislation. One official, Howard B. Schaffer, urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee behind closed doors to water down or eliminate the bill."[2]

Lobbying to pass legislation for effective aid, Eiva encountered opposition from the CIA and the State Department. "The CIA came to loathe Andrew Eiva, and it appears that officers suggested more than once to congressmen and staffers that Eiva might be a Bulgarian or East German agent."[3]: 327 

Despite administration hostility, the bill passed unanimously as Senate Concurrent Resolution 74 on 3 October 1984, and the House of Representatives on 4 October 1984.

Thanks to Congress, ABC News invited Andrew Eiva to present his skeptical view on the CIA's performance to millions of viewers on national television.

Eiva explained the CIA's shortcomings as follows:

"The implementation of the policy speaks for itself. When one sees the types of air defense weapons that the Afghans get, one sees a policy that appears to be condemning the Afghan lives to be spent very cheaply. Most of the ammunition being delivered for the heavy machine guns is type non-armor piercing, unfit for taking on helicopter gunships. The SAM-7 missiles that the CIA's director[ate] of operations is delivering to the Afghan resistance had a track record of 100% failure in the CIA's last secret war in Angola, and that's the missile they've been sending to the Afghans for four years, despite anguished reports of its ineffectiveness from the field. ... Why have we spent 500,000 Afghan lives so cheaply?"[4]

Despite the breakthroughs in Congress and the mediain 1984, few believed the Afghans could win. "Only a few zealots, like the former Green Beret who runs the effective lobbying operation, the Federation for American Afghan Action, believe that the war is militarily winnable."[5]

President Ronald Reagan responded to Congress and the media with a new policy, "Improve the military effectiveness of the Afghan resistance," signing it on 27 March 1985, known as National Security Decision Directive Number 166 declassified 22 April 2010.

With the new policy, the CIA replaced the non armor-piercing 12.7mm ammunition with the armor-piercing version. The losses of Soviet Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters in Afghanistan increased.

Two months after coming to power, Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev unleashed a knock-out attempt against the resistance. Yet administration kept opposing effective man-portable air-defense missiles, like the Stinger, for the resistance.

At this point, Eiva concluded that the CIA deputy director, John McMahon, was the key opponent in government to the provision of the Stinger air defense missile to the resistance.

He helped draft the following letter sent to one hundred thousand members of a conservative grassroots organization, Free the Eagle, which generated ten thousand letters to the White House: "Why does the CIA persist in failing to supply effective weapons to the Afghan Freedom Fighters?" the letters asked. "Why does the CIA choose to send weapons that are old, defective, and in some cases useless? Who's behind this massive -- and deadly -- blunder? To be perfectly honest, my friend ... it's because a certain public official -- namely John McMahon -- is failing to carry out American policy.... That's why I am asking you to sign the enclosed letter addressed to White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan and then mail it to him at the White House.... John McMahon must change his ways or he must go!"[3]: 416–417  The Stingers "alter[ed] the war in Afghanistan" as the Washington Post headline declared on 19 July 1987.

"Encouraged by the missile's effectiveness, Andrew Eiva, whose Federation for American Afghan Action was a leading Stinger lobbyist last year, suggests that a British-made 81mm mortar, with a range of six kilometers, could make the eight main Soviet airfields in Afghanistan 'untenable.'"[6]

President Reagan later ordered long range mortars to also be put into the covert pipeline. But CIA official Milton Bearden cut the mortars off after their spectacular and successful initial use, as Bearden later openly bragged on a History Channel documentary about the Afghan covert operation.

"Bearden should not have bragged so much," Eiva said later (24 October 2016). "Several hundred thousand more Afghans may have died because he delayed the end of the war."

"I appreciated the Washington Post and the New York Times giving me credit for the Stinger missiles," said Eiva in an interview. "My role was the public one. But Deputy Secretary of Defense Michael Pillsbury had a greater role than I did, sacrificing his career to help push the Stinger through behind closed doors."

Both of Eiva's other major achievements involved non-violent resistance.

Encouraging Afghan resistance to avoid executions of Soviet prisoners, with the goal of increasing Soviet desertions or defections from 1981 to 1983. This resulted in a total of 313 prisoners eventually kept alive by the mujaheddin, one of whom became the first vice-president of independent Russia, Alexander Rutskoi.

"He (Eiva) says he has worked on a program to encourage Soviet soldiers to defect. 'The Russian soldiers have no Canada and Sweden to defect to, so the goal was to develop one, to train the Afghans to do this.'"

"Administration officials who know of Mr. Eiva's activities confirmed his accounts of his actions."[6]


Eiva specialized in guerrilla warfare support and, as a refugee from the Soviet occupation in Lithuania, dedicated himself to overthrowing the Soviet empire. After graduating from West Point in 1972, Eiva served in the US Army in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, first with the 82nd Airborne Division, then with Special Forces where he pioneered early UAV delivery systems.

As a lobbyist, Eiva works to organize committees of ordinary Americans to influence the Congress.

Arming the Afghan Mujaheddin against the Soviets[edit]

Due to his testimony to the Republican Platform Committee's National Security Subcommittee on 13 August 1984 at the Republican Convention in Dallas, Texas Eiva was responsible for having language inserted into the party platform calling for support of the Afghan Mujaheddin in their fight against the Soviets.[7]

From 1983 to 1988, Eiva published the Afghan Update, a newsletter which provided detailed insight into and criticism of CIA and State Department policy. He was executive director of two sister organizations, the Federation for American Afghan Action and the American Afghan Education Fund. Despite his tiny budget, which George Crile mentions in Charlie Wilson's War,[3]: 328  Eiva was able to galvanize Congress to effectively support the Afghan resistance.

However, Eiva made powerful enemies among the American political leadership and elites. The CIA absolutely hated him. The Pentagon hated him. The military industrial complex could see no way to profit from his vision. Then there was Congressman Charlie Wilson who pushed his way into steering Afghan policy from his place on the Appropriations Committee. In Charlie Wilson's War, the late George Crile paints a picture that completely overlooks the real policy debate. It wasn't long before Wilson and the CIA snuffed out the crucial issue of supply with bluster, false bravado and carefully orchestrated news accounts. CIA officers now claim to have done things that, in fact, Eiva did before them.[8]

In 1988, Robert Pear in the New York Times reported on Zalmay Khalilzad's assessment that the Afghan mujaheddin had "been taking over a lot more territory a lot quicker than anyone anticipated". Eiva did not want the cause of the freedom fighters to be forgotten. Pear continues, "Lobbyists for the Afghan guerrillas feared that the State Department's upbeat assessment would be used to justify further cutbacks in shipments of weapons. Andrew L. Eiva, chairman of the Federation for American Afghan Action, said the United States had already suspended deliveries of two effective weapons: Stinger antiaircraft missiles and Spanish-made 120-millimeter mortars.[9]"

According to Marguerite Johnson in Time magazine in 2005, "large amounts of military materiel purchased by the CIA and funneled through Pakistan reportedly are failing to reach the mujahedin guerrillas. Washington Lobbyist Andrew Eiva, executive director of the Federation for American Afghan Action, says that his organization has found 'up to 70% slippage' in CIA supplies".[10]

Support for freedom and resistance movements[edit]

Leslie Gelb of the New York Times says that Eiva, in 1983, counted the score of American support for liberation movements since World War II as "0 to 12, with Afghanistan as lucky 13". The other such ventures supported and then dropped by Washington he lists as Lithuania, Albania, the Ukraine, Poland, Tibet, China, Cuba, Kurdistan twice, Angola, the Hmong tribe in Laos and Sumatra.[11] Eiva continues to support freedom and resistance movements around the world, including those in Sudan and Balochistan. He advocates that the people of Balochistan themselves author their own Freedom Charter, rather than accept one written by foreigners.[12]

On 23 February 2010, founder of Christendom College Dr. Warren H. Carroll delivered a lecture entitled "Andrew Eiva and the End of the Communist Empire". Carroll told how Eiva "dedicated his life to the destruction of the Communist Empire, which ruled his first homeland, and for which he had an abiding hatred".[13]

In February 2014, Eiva launched a new website, Liberation Pulse, supporting freedom and resistance movements.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Andrew Eiva's parents escaped communist Lithuania in 1944, met and married in 1947 in Bonn, West Germany, where Andrew was born in a refugee camp in 1948. He was reared on stories about Lithuanian resistance, American support for a while and, finally, abandonment.

His maternal grandfather, General Kazimieras Ladyga, drove the Soviet forces out of Lithuania after World War I, and was chief of staff of the armed forces of independent Lithuania from 1925 to 1927. In 1940, when the Soviets seized Lithuania, General Ladyga was deported to Siberia, where he was tortured and executed.[11]

Andrew's maternal grandmother, Stefanija Ladygiene, was the first woman elected to Lithuanian Parliament. During the Holocaust, Stefanija sheltered and saved a thirteen year old Jewish girl, Irene Veisaite. In recognition of Stefanija's rescue of Irene, the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem, engraved her name on its wall as Righteous Among the Nations.


Andrew Eiva was presented with the Order of the Cross of Vytis in Vilnius, Lithuania on 16 February 2012 for his services to the cause of restoration of the Independent State of Lithuania. Eiva was integrally involved in defending the Lithuanian Parliament during the January Events of 1991.

Eiva was also honored on 16 December 2011 at the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., for his service, the cause of Lithuanian independence. Eiva described his participation on YouTube in the January Events on that evening.


  1. ^ Wiland, Chandler; Personal interview with Andrew Eiva, 11 February 2016, 10 am - 12:40 pm
  2. ^ The Washington Post; Anderson, Jack; "State Officials Lobby Against Aid to Afghans," 14 June 1984
  3. ^ a b c Crile, George (2003). Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly. ISBN 978-0-8021-4341-9.
  4. ^ "Afghanistan: The Fifth Year". ABC News Nightline. 27 December 1984.
  5. ^ "A war for all congressmen". The Economist. 19 January 1985. pp. 23–24.
  6. ^ a b Washington Post, 19 July 1987; David Ottaway, "U.S. Missiles Alter War in Afghanistan"
  7. ^ Eiva, Andrew. "Remarks to the Republican Platform Committee's National Security Subcommittee" (PDF). Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  8. ^ Dienstag, David. "About Andrew Eiva". Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  9. ^ Pear, Robert (19 June 1988). "Afghan Guerrillas Are Said to Gain Strongly". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  10. ^ Johnson, Marguerite (21 June 2005). "Pakistan: Leaks in the Pipeline". Time. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  11. ^ a b Gelb, Leslie (25 May 1983). "From One Kind of Army to Another". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  12. ^ Walsh, Eddie (26 March 2012). "Could Baloch Freedom Charter Do More Harm than Good?". Asia-Pacific Reporting Blog. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  13. ^ Carroll, Warren. "Andrew Eiva and the End of the Communist Empire". The Chronicler. Christendom College. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Andrew Eiva—Lithuanian Wikipedia

Balochistan International Conference 30 April 2011—Andrew Eiva Speech on YouTube Andrew Eiva Describes Participation in January Events (Lithuania) on YouTube