03 Feb

U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry.


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Dear Friend,

This year, 30,000 additional American troops will be deployed to Afghanistan – despite the fact that the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan expressly opposed troop escalation in two strongly worded cables sent to the White House in 2009.

As shown in our latest video, Ambassador Eikenberry is a retired general who previously led the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan. In his cables, Eikenberry stated that “the proposed troop increase will bring vastly increased costs and an indefinite, large-scale U.S. military role in Afghanistan…in a mission that most agree cannot be won solely by military means.”

The White House ignored Eikenberry’s warnings and sent troops anyway.

Sign our petition urging House Armed Services Committee Members to to read the Eikenberry cables.

Today, House Armed Services Committee (HASC) members are meeting to begin writing a 2011 budget for the Afghanistan war. It’s absolutely essential that they read the Eikenberry memos before they authorize more troops and funds for a war that will cost the U.S. a fortune when we can least afford it and that is not making us safer.

Let’s make sure HASC members hear Eikenberry’s warning before they compound the mistake of sending more troops into a bloody, expensive war in Afghanistan.


Derrick Crowe
Political Associate


U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry.

In November he contributed two reports to the Obama administration’s policy debate regarding the escalation, both of which argued against General McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy and questioned whether Afghan President Hamid Karzai could be counted a reliable partner:

“Sending additional forces will delay the day when Afghans will take over, and make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring our people home on a reasonable timetable,” he wrote Nov. 6. “An increased U.S. and foreign role in security and governance will increase Afghan dependence, at least in the short-term.” […] “Yet Karzai continues to shun responsibility for any sovereign burden, whether defense, governance or development. He and much of his circle do not want the U.S. to leave and are only too happy to see us invest further,” Mr. Eikenberry wrote. “They assume we covet their territory for a never-ending ‘war on terror’ and for military bases to use against surrounding powers.”

Eikenberry feared that sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan would only serve to make America “more deeply engaged here with no way to extricate ourselves, short of allowing the country to descend again into lawlessness and chaos.”

He has since said that his concerns have been alleviated, but it is unclear how. (Read more about the reports HERE.)

David Bromwich wrote of Eikenberry’s diplomatic cables:

It is as if we had been offered a long look at several pages of the most disturbing prognosis in the Pentagon Papers; as if we could see the president reading them with us, and then deciding in spite of everything to go ahead with the war.

For more on the significance of the Eikenberry cables, watch the Rethink Afghanistan video below

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