John Allen to Back Out of NATO Command Job

Sources say he doesn't want to dredge up Jill Kelley emails

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 13, 2013 1:07 PM CST

(Newser) – Gen. John Allen intends to decline to be nominated for NATO Supreme Allied Commander-Europe, military officials tell NBC News. While the official reason will be that he's doing what's best for his family, the officials acknowledge that one of the major reasons is that he doesn't want to go through a nomination process that will dredge back up the Jill Kelley email scandal.

A Pentagon inquiry formally cleared Allen of wrongdoing in the Kelley affair, and the Obama administration said it would re-nominate him. But it's never officially done so, and today Foreign Policy reported that it was because Allen was still considering the idea. Allen "deserves a little while to think about things," a senior defense official says. Allen still hasn't spoken with Obama about his decision, but a US official says Obama is aware of his feelings.

US Gen. John Allen, left, the outgoing US and NATO commander in Afghanistan salutes with his successor, Gen. Joseph Dunford during a changing of command ceremony in Kabul, Feb. 10, 2013.
US Gen. John Allen, left, the outgoing US and NATO commander in Afghanistan salutes with his successor, Gen. Joseph Dunford during a changing of command ceremony in Kabul, Feb. 10, 2013.   (AP Photo/Omar Sobhani, Reuters, Pool)
This July 22, 2012, file photo shows Gen. John Allen during an interview in Kabul, Afghanistan.
This July 22, 2012, file photo shows Gen. John Allen during an interview in Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq, File)
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