NEW YORK - A top army general who is set to retire is the Obama administration's choice to become the next U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, according to The New York Times.eported Friday. Lt. Gen. Karl. Eikenberry has served in Afghanistan twice, including an 18-month tour that ended in 2007, and knows the issues facing the troubled country and the players well. The Times said it's highly unusual for a president to tap a military officer who is soon to retire to fill such a sensitive diplomatic post. An Obama administration official spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity because Eikenberry's appointment had not been made public. According to the Times, the general has consistently spotted problems in Afghanistan early and issued some of the first warnings about a resurgent Taliban. He also championed building a strong Afghan army to combat the Taliban, a top priority for the White House. Eikenberry has also warned repeatedly that the U.S. cannot win in Afghanistan and defeat global terrorism without doing something about al-Qaeda fighters holed up in neighboring Pakistan. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is preparing to send at least 20,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan in a "surge" similar to the action that contributed to security improvements in Iraq.