Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry (USA Retired): Pledges to Work toward Afghanistan's Long-Term Success
Miles, Donna, DISAM Journal
[This article is provided courtesy of the American Forces Press Service, Washington, March 26, 2009.]
Army Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, former top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, told a Senate committee today he will assume the ambassadorship there with a clear recognition that success in both Afghanistan and Pakistan is vital to U.S. national security.
Eikenberry, President Obama's nominee as ambassador to Afghanistan, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee his career has centered around Afghanistan since a terrorist-commandeered aircraft hit the Pentagon just below where he was working on September 11, 2001.
Afghanistan is where the cold-blooded September the 11th, 2001 attacks upon the United States were conceived and they were directed, he said.
But Eikenberry, who assumed command of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) led International Security Assistance Force there in 2005, said terrorists seek to inflict more damage.
Even as we speak, al-Qaeda and their allies operate inside of Afghanistan and from across the border in Pakistan, he said. They seek to create fear and chaos inside of Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to regain the territorial control that allowed them to so horrifically overturn the peace and tranquility of our homeland seven years ago.
Eikenberry pledged to support the cross-governmental effort he said is needed to deter terrorism and enable Afghanistan to succeed.
My professional experience inside of Afghanistan has reinforced what I've learned throughout my career, that lasting security can only be delivered through coordinated diplomatic, economic, and military means, he said.
Eikenberry underscored the challenges being faced and the importance of confronting them now.
The situation in Afghanistan is increasingly difficult, and time is of the essence. There will be no substitute for more resources and sacrifice, he said. …