General John Allen, the commander of International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan (ISAF), has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to the Pentagon Inspector General.Allen was under investigation since November, when emails surfaced between the top officer and Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite linked to the Petraeus scandal. Pentagon officials described the over 30,000 pages of correspondence as potentially “inappropriate communication.”
According to the New York Times, the inspector general wrote to General Allen that the investigation had found no improprieties in the e-mail communications. An anonymous source also said that “he was completely exonerated.”
“Some of the messages are not the sort of things you would print in a family newspaper,” an official told the Washington Post. “But that doesn’t mean he violated military regulations by sending and receiving them.”
The allegations came at a time of transition for the general, who had been tapped by President Obama to become supreme allied commander in Europe (SACEUR). That nomination was put on hold, but General Joseph Dunford, Jr. is still expected to take over in Kabul in the coming weeks.
Now that Allen has been cleared, it’s likely the nomination will move forward, but one senior official cautioned that “the final decision has not yet been made.”
The news also raised some questions over the fate of General James Mattis at CENTCOM, who some had believed could possibly have taken the top spot over General Allen at NATO, if he did not retire. The rumours are false, according to Mattis himself, who told The San Diego Union-Tribune that he “expects to relinquish his Central Command job in March and retire soon after from the military, when he is medically cleared.”
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