Eikenberry graduated from Goldsboro High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1969 and then studied as an undergraduate at West Point, where he graduated in 1973. In August 2007 he returned to Goldsboro to receive the key to the city from the mayor. (Sounds good so far)
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. (Geez, a US Ambassador with some qualifications for a change.)
Eikenberry served two tours of duty in the war in Afghanistan. ( The boy is no theoretical academic) 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. (I think he may have a better grasp than even Glenn Beck)
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.
(Gen. Eikenberry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States and its international partners must redouble efforts to reverse Taliban gains in the embattled south and east of the country as well as deal with the booming drug trade that fuels them. He also promised more support to the Afghan national army and police.
"The way ahead is clear but the resources to date have, regrettably, been insufficient," he said.
Speaking hours before the Obama administration is set to unveil a new strategy for the war that will deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gen. Eikenberry said it was "unclear" whether Pakistan's intelligence service has dropped support for the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"We can succeed in Afghanistan, it's true, but if we don't address the problem, the linked problems in Pakistan, then we'll have no lasting success," he told the panel.)
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. Eikenberry has been allowed to bring his family and wife, Ching Eikenberry, to live with him in Kabul. (Wikipedia and other news sources)
OK, that was then, now what is going on today?
Envoy urges no US troop increaseBBC
The US ambassador in Kabul has written to the White House arguing against sending thousands more American troops to Afghanistan.
In a leaked cable, Karl Eikenberry expressed doubts about the competence of President Hamid Karzai's government.
The message arrived amid intense debate over strategy, with President Obama yet to make a decision on troop numbers.
This dramatic intervention seems to put the envoy at odds with generals wanting reinforcements, correspondents say.
On Wednesday, Mr Obama he held his eighth meeting in a series aimed at refocusing Afghan policy.
Mr Eikenberry, a former US commander in Afghanistan, also raised concerns about corruption within the Afghan government.
He said it was "not a good idea" to send more troops, the BBC has been told.
The cable arrived days before Mr Obama held a crucial strategy session - to discuss the question of whether to send tens of thousands more troops to confront and push back the Taliban.
The cable appears to be a dramatic and last-minute intervention by the ambassador, BBC Washington correspondent Adam Brookes reports.
It comes right at the end of weeks of White House deliberation over how to proceed in Afghanistan, and appears to put the ambassador at odds with the US army, whose generals favour reinforcing and intensifying America's campaign in Afghanistan.
Military commander 'fuming'
The top US military commander in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley McChrystal, has asked for at least 40,000 more US troops.
Barack Obama has held eight meetings with his security advisors.
The US currently has some 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, contributing to a coalition force of more than 100,000.
Gen McChrystal was "fuming" about Mr Eikenberry's intervention, sources said.
At Wednesday's meeting, White House officials said Mr Obama discussed timeframes for four options presented at the meeting but took no decisions on them.
The president said the US commitment should not be open-ended and governance there must improve, they added.
Among the key outstanding issues is said to be the reliability of the government of President Karzai, who was recently declared the winner of a widely criticised election.
Critics have said the decision on Afghanistan is taking too long, while Mr Obama has said he does not want to rush a decision that involves putting troops at risk.
By the way, what was our guy, Karzai, actually saying to the Afghanis during the election? "He knows the Taliban", so he says.