Karl W. Eikenberry
|Eikenberry at the Oval Office in December 2009|
|United States Ambassador to Afghanistan|
April 29, 2009 – July 25, 2011
|Preceded by||William Braucher Wood|
|Succeeded by||Ryan Crocker|
|Born||1951 (age 62–63)|
|Alma mater||United States Military Academy (B.S.)
Harvard University (M.A.)
Stanford University (M.A.)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
Karl Winfrid Eikenberry (born 1951) is a retired United States Army lieutenant general and former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. He is currently the Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Military career
- 3 Ambassador
- 4 Writings
- 5 Awards and decorations
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early life and education
Eikenberry was born in 1951 and graduated from Goldsboro High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1969 and then attended West Point, where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation in 1973.
He received an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard, where he would later return as National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and an M.A. in political science from Stanford, where he was also a Ph.D candidate. In addition, Eikenberry has studied in Hong Kong at the UK Ministry of Defence Chinese Language School, earning the Foreign Office's Interpreter’s Certificate for Mandarin Chinese, and Nanjing University, earning an advanced degree in Chinese History.
In the Army, Eikenberry commanded the 2nd Battalion of the 87th Infantry Regiment (Light) in the 10th Mountain Division, and commanded and held staff positions in airborne, ranger, and mechanized infantry units in the United States, Korea and Europe. He also served as an assistant Army attache in the American Embassy in the People's Republic of China, and then as division chief with the Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate of the United States Department of the Army Staff in Washington, D.C.
Eikenberry served two tours of duty in the war in Afghanistan. His first tour in Afghanistan was from September 2002- September 2003. During this time he filled two positions; his primary duty was as the United States Security Coordinator for Afghanistan and the second position was the Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation-Afghanistan (OMC-A). As the Security Coordinator he worked closely with UNSG Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi to forge a unified international effort to build a cohesive security sector. This Security Sector Reform (SSR) project included building the Afghan National Army (U.S.), reforming the Afghan Police (Germany), Counter-Narcotics (U.K.), Judicial reform (Italy), and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration of the militias (Japan and U.N.). In his role as Chief of the OMC-A he was the chief architect of the strategy that built and fielded the first Afghan Army Corps. During his second tour he was Commander of the Combined Forces Command for 18 months, leaving in 2007 to become the Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
On January 29, 2009, The New York Times reported that President Barack Obama had chosen Eikenberry to be the next U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, replacing William Braucher Wood. The choice of a career army officer for the sensitive post was described by The Times as "highly unusual". On April 3, 2009, the Senate confirmed Eikenberry's nomination, and on April 29, 2009, he was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. The official announcement of his nomination was made on March 11. Following his confirmation as ambassador, he retired from the U.S. military with the rank of Lieutenant General on April 28, 2009.
Leak of classified cables
In November 2009, Eikenberry sent two classified cables to his superiors in which he assessed the proposed U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. A description of the content of the cables was leaked soon after. In January 2010, the New York Times obtained and published the cables which "show just how strongly the current ambassador feels about President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan government, the state of its military, and the chances that a troop buildup will actually hurt the war effort by making the Karzai government too dependent on the United States." In June 2010, General McChrystal was described in a Rolling Stone magazine story as feeling blindsided by Eikenberry's statements in the leaked cables. On the other hand, Eikenberry is described elsewhere as being frank and vocal about his concerns about the Karzai government as being a reliable or unreliable partner for the U.S. in its efforts in Afghanistan.
- Eikenberry, Karl W. (February 1988). "The Imjin War". Military Review 68 (2): 27–82. http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p124201coll1/id/511/filename/512.pdf
- Eikenberry, Karl W. (1994). "The campaigns of Cao Cao". Military Review 74 (8): 56–64.
- Eikenberry, Karl W. (February 1995). Explaining and Influencing Chinese Arms Transfers. McNair Papers. Washington, D.C.: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University.
- Eikenberry, Karl W. (Summer 1996). "Take No Casualties". Parameters 26 (2): 109–118.
- Eikenberry, Karl W. (November 2009). "Ambassador Eikenberry's Cables on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan". New York Times.
- Eikenberry, Karl W. (May 2012). "Stop Ignoring Taiwan". Foreign Policy.
Awards and decorations
Personal decorations and badges
Eikenberry's personal decorations include:
Foreign military and civil decorations
- Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.) Canada
- Cross of Merit of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, First Class 
- Alliance Medal (Hungary)
- French Officer Order of the Legion of Honor
- State Medal of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan (Afghanistan)
- State Medal of Ghazi Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan (Afghanistan)
Non-U.S. service medals and ribbons
In August 2007 Eikenberry was given the key to the city of Goldsboro, North Carolina by the mayor.
- "Freeman Spogli Institute". Karl Eikenberry.
- Sousa, Greg (2007-08-22). "Hometown general visits" (Paid subscription required). Goldsboro News-Argus. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- "Karl Eikenberry". Classmates. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- "Deputy Chairman of the Military Committee: Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry". NATO. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- "About the Author". Institute for National Strategic Studies. Retrieved 2009-02-01.[dead link]
- Schmitt, Eric (2009-01-29). "Obama Taps a General as the Envoy to Kabul". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- Mason, Jeff (2009-03-11). "Obama picks U.S. ambassadors to Iraq, Afghanistan". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- Eikenberry, Karl (2010-01-25). "Ambassador Eikenberry's Cables on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- Eric Schmitt (January 25, 2010). "U.S. Envoy’s Cables Show Worries on Afghan Plans". New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
- see Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward, 2010, Simon and Schuster, especially Chapter 18 (pp. 212-221), about internal discussions in the White House about what path to pursue in Afghanistan.
- Czech Republic Military Awards and Decorations
- Myers, Aness (2007-08-21). "Eight homes in city's sights" (Paid subscription required). Goldsboro News-Argus. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- The Runaway General:Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, Rolling Stone (June 22, 2010)
- Former general talks on U.S., war The Tartan, Carnegie Mellon University, September 13, 2013.
- Interview with Asia Source (May 2, 2006)
- Interview with NPR (February 13, 2007)
- Afghanistan: A Campaign Assessment at Harvard Institute of Politics (March 20, 2007)
|Commander, Combined Forces Command - Afghanistan
David D. McKiernan
William Braucher Wood
|U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan