November 12th, 2009
05:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Karl Eikenberry, Obama's man in Afghanistan

Karl Eikenberry served two tours as a general in Afghanistan before becoming the U.S. ambassador to the country under President Obama.
Karl Eikenberry served two tours as a general in Afghanistan before becoming the U.S. ambassador to the country under President Obama.

(CNN) - The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan has a unique résumé: he served two tours in the country as a general, training Afghan police and troops, before trading his uniform for a diplomat's business suit.

His career history may give Karl Eikenberry's word particular weight as President Obama struggles to come up with a way forward in Afghanistan.

Eikenberry sent private cables to Obama last week, urging the president not to rush to send more troops to Afghanistan - although the top U.S. military commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, wants 40,000 more pairs of boots on the ground.

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Gerry

    Another yes man. Now Obama is going to be really confused.

    November 12, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. ran

    Here is someone the President should listen to. The other General asking for the increase only sees the military side of the issue.

    What is needed is a sound exit strategy and I believe that is what we will get once President Obama makes up his mind.

    November 12, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. Brad

    Eikenberry's probably right. That's why Americans including media
    talking heads should stop pretending to be armchair Generals and trying to tell President Obama what to do. Especially Republicans who
    seem to be bent on him following some ill gotten advise so they can
    bask in him making the wrong decisions, as if he should trust them.

    President Obama should only take advise from those who are
    qualified to advise him, and fellow civillians, IT AIN't US.

    November 12, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. File under "Sarcasm"

    Wait a minute, I thought McChrystal was Obama's man in Afghanistan. I guess with two men in Afghanistan, he can always throw one "under the bus" to get the point of view he wants.

    November 12, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Biased

    I guess Obama is sending kudos to him in thanks of giving him the next excuse to not make a decision.

    November 12, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. manhandler

    Finally, a sane voice speaks about this useless, pointless, pathetic war. Had begun to think that every person in the military and the Government had gone bonkers. Get our troops out of there before any more of them are sacrificed for NOTHING.

    November 12, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    President:
    A job that I wouldn't want, particularly in THIS kind of situation.
    POLAR points of view by "experts" who may have agenda driven perspectives. YIKES!

    November 12, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  8. valwayne

    Wow! Talk about undercutting the Commander in the Field! I wonder how long General McChrystal will leave his troops exposed without the support they need while Obama dithers and works with others in his Administration, like the good Ambassador, to cut him the legs out from under him and the troops????

    November 12, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    ANother Obummer lap dog....

    November 12, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  10. silvertop

    "Eikenberry sent private cables to Obama last week"

    The messages were PRIVATE, how did they get all over the place in the media?

    Was there a purposeful leak to justify the president's delay? Just asking.

    November 12, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  11. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    The UN did not authorize George Bush to install a pupper gov't there (Karzai was an oil industry analyst on the CIA payroll) nor to occupy the country for eight years....but he did both. Vast numbers of civilians there have been killed and as a result of Bush's blunders they hate us. Bring our troops home now.

    November 12, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  12. No Hillary = No Obama

    This guy knows the score, has no self-interest like these Generals who are pushing for more troops – are they on the front lines – no – but they have no problem sending your sons, daughters, husbands, wifes, mothers and fathers to shed their blood in a land of ingrates and corruption. Stop the Bush Wars once and for all.

    November 12, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. 30 Year Veteran

    Who you gonna listen to and idiot who never has had any military experience like OBAMA or the Generals on the ground. GET REAT AMERICA IT'S TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE. START IN 2010. VOTE ALL INCUMBERENTS OUT AND DON'T REPLACE THEM WITH PARTY MEMBERS.

    November 12, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  14. Keith in Austin

    A tyical Obozocluster. His hand selected General (McChrystal)and hand selected Ambassador are now in total disaggreement. Still a deer in headlights weighing his alternatives. OBama analysis to paralysis! Great example of Leadership huh? I guess it's easier for Barry and Big Mickey to fly to the Orient and eat sushi for the next 9 days! This guy is a joke and and an embarrasment overall

    November 12, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |