Earlier in the week, exonerated Marine General John R. Allen who until recently commanded the International Security Assistance Force and US Forces Afghanistan has submitted his notice to President Obama of his intention to retire.
On February 10th, Allen relinquished command to another Marine 4-Star General Joseph F. Dunford who is expected to be the last commander of the U.S.-led international military coalition. In October last, General Allen was nominated to lead NATO forces as Supreme Allied Commander Europe but this nomination was put on hold in November due to the Pentagon investigation of questionable email exchanges with Jill Kelley, a Florida socialite linked to the sex scandal that led CIA Director David Petraeus to resign.
Allen was completely exonerated of any wrongdoing but there still remained a question whether the While House would re-nominate him for the NATO appointment.
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta wrote: “Gen. Allen’s selfless dedication to our troops and to their mission was a source of inspiration to those who served with him, as well as to those of us here at home. He has earned the lasting thanks of this nation for carrying the heavy burden of leadership with utmost professionalism and courage. I wish him and his entire family all the best in the next chapter of their lives.”
Allen said retiring from the military was “the only choice I could make.” Although he did not explain his reasons in detail, he said “my primary concern is for the health of my wife, who had sacrificed so much for so long.” He served 38 years in the Marine Corps.
U.S. Army General Carter Ham, currently Commander, U.S. Africa Command was speculated this week to be nominated in Allen's place but the Washington Post claims U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe will get the nod.
It's a trying time for the Obama administration who are still embattled with the senate on it's nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defence and John Brennan as CIA Director.