Obama-Biden Afghan Ambassador Is Now A China-Funded Academic Tied To Influence Groups ‘Neutralizing’ Beijing’s Enemies.


Karl Eikenberry – a former Ambassador to Afghanistan under President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden – now collaborates with several Chinese Communist Party-funded influence groups seeking to “co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition” to the regime and works for a state-run university in China, The National Pulse can reveal.

The sole political appointee to fill the role in the Obama-Biden years, Eikenberry served as Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2011. His appointment followed his service as a Lieutenant General in the U.S. Army focusing on Afghanistan, overseeing the training of the now-defunct government’s army and police forces.

Since his departure from the role, Eikenberry has affiliated with several Chinese Communist Party-run institutes and initiatives.

In addition to serving as a senior advisor to the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Defense, he doubles as a Visiting Professor at Schwartzman College housed at Tsinghua University. The alma mater of Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, Tsinghua University has a history of launching cyberattacks against the U.S. government.

Tsinghua also has a “clear connection between them and the state administration for technology and industry in discussions on what [they] can do to help the national security,” according to former Senior Intelligence Officer in the Defense Intelligence Agency and State Department Official Nicholas Eftimiades.


Eikenberry Lecture.

Similarly, Eikenberry is an International Security fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). The National Pulse has previously highlighted the center’s deep collaboration with several Chinese military and government-linked entities, including those flagged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for espionage and blacklisted by the U.S. government.

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Eikenberry is also part of a working group based at the University of California San Diego’s (UCSD) 21st Century China Center, which is predominantly funded by the co-founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba. The China-based firm has close financial and personnel ties to the Chinese Communist Party and its military. It has been flagged as a “tool” of the Chinese Communist Party by the U.S. State Department.

Beyond academia, Eikenberry has also participated in dialogues at the East-West Institute sponsored by the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). The organization was founded by the Vice-Chairman Chinese Communist Party’s “United Front,” an effort that seeks to “co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party” and “influence foreign governments to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies.”

Another event sponsor – the China Association for International Friendly Contact (CAIFC) – has been flagged by the U.S. government as a United Front group operating under the auspices of China’s military.

“CAIFC has additional ties to the Ministries of State Security, Civil Affairs, and Foreign Affairs, and it is a platform for deploying undercover intelligence gatherers,” the federal commission’s report adds.

Despite these ties, Eikenberry participated in a 2018 military-to-military dialogue – the Sanya Initiative – alongside Chinese Communist Party counterparts sponsored by CUSEF and CAIFC.

“Retired American and Chinese senior flag officers and executives of the hosting organizations met in Beijing to discuss critical issues of mutual concern and interest impacting the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship, including North Korea, Taiwan, the South China Sea, emerging technologies, as well as other regional security challenges,” an event summary notes.

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Foreign Policy magazine noted how the Chinese regime effort aims to subvert former American military leaders into advocating on behalf of Beijing and its People’s Liberation Army (PLA):
One of those PLA projects is the Sanya Initiative, an exchange program that brings together U.S. and Chinese former high-ranking military leaders. On the Chinese side, the Sanya Initiative is led by a bureau of the PLA that engages in political warfare and influence operations, according to Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute.
Sometimes the results of such high-level exchanges aren’t subtle. In February 2008, PLA participants in the Sanya Initiative asked their U.S. counterparts to persuade the Pentagon to delay publishing a forthcoming report about China’s military buildup, according to a segment excised from the 2011 annual report of the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
The U.S. members complied, though their request was not successful.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is the Lead Investigative Reporter at the National Pulse and co-host of The National Pulse podcast.

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