Marine General John Allen is retiring because his wife is seriously ill. The move nullifies his nomination to be the supreme allied commander in Europe.
President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday that he has accepted Allen’s resignation. The Washington Post reports that Obama stated:
“I told General Allen that he has my deep, personal appreciation for his extraordinary service over the last 19 months in Afghanistan, as well as his decades of service in the United States Marine Corps.”
Allen’s decision not only deprived the president of a four-star general, it also forces the White House to find a new candidate to lead the NATO forces in Europe.
Allen gave up command of the war in Afghanistan nine days ago. He assured that his decision to retire has nothing to do with a Pentagon investigation into emails he exchanged with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. Kelley was involved in the same scandal that caused David H. Petraeus to resign as the director of the CIA.
USA Today notes that a months-long Defense Department inspector general investigation exonerated Gen. Allen last month. Obama’s statement about the resignation explained the four-star general’s reason for resigning. Obama said:
“Today, I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military so that he can address health issues within his family.”
Allen previously said that the investigation took a toll on his wife. He added that her condition has been deteriorating over the past few years. He adds that it would likely be problematic for her to be moved to his potential new post in Belgium.
Are you surprised to hear Gen. John Allen is retiring?