published Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Gen. John Allen to retire, won't lead European command

  • photo
    Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan listens during a news conference in March at the Pentagon.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he has accepted Marine Gen. John Allen's request to retire from the U.S. military.

That means the White House won't go forward with Allen's nomination to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Europe.

Obama says Allen is retiring so he can address family health issues. He's calling Allen one of the nation's finest military leaders and a true patriot.

Allen recently left a 19-month command in Afghanistan and was nominated last fall to become the U.S. military's top soldier in Europe. But that nomination was shelved during a Pentagon investigation into emails Allen exchanged with a civilian woman who was linked to the scandal that forced CIA Director David Petraeus to resign. Allen since has been cleared of wrongdoing.

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