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Karl Eikenberry was the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from May 2009 until July 2011, where he led the civilian surge directed by President Obama to reverse insurgent momentum and set the conditions for transition to full Afghan sovereignty. Before that, he had a 35 year career in the United States Army, retiring in April 2009 with the rank of Lieutenant General. His military operational posts included commander and staff officer with mechanized, light, airborne, and ranger infantry units in the continental U.S., Hawaii, Korea, Italy, and Afghanistan as the Commander of the American-led Coalition forces from 2005-2007. He has served in various policy and political-military positions, including Deputy Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee; Director for Strategic Planning and Policy for U.S. Pacific Command; U.S. Security Coordinator and Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Kabul, Afghanistan; Assistant Army and later Defense Attaché at the United States Embassy in Beijing, China. He is currently a Distinguished Lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.