Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan faces Pentagon probe linked to Petraeus scandal

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is being investigated by the Pentagon for sending “inappropriate” emails to a woman linked to former CIA director David Petraeus.

Just last month, Allen was nominated to become the new Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, but he is now facing a probe by the Pentagon’s Inspector General following the discovery by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of e-mail exchanges between him and Jill Kelley.

Kelley is the woman who submitted a complaint to the FBI that led to the investigation that exposed the affair between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, the retired general’s biographer. On Friday, Petraeus resigned from his post after admitting to the extramarital affair.

The FBI referred the case to the Pentagon during the weekend, according to Defence Secretary Leon Panetta.

In a statement to reporters, Panetta said that he requested the delay of Gen. Allen’s pending nomination as NATO’s top commander in Europe and President Barack Obama agreed with the decision.

Panetta ordered the Pentagon on Monday to investigate Gen. Allen and told the Senate Armed Services Committee led by Senators Carl Levin and John McCain to quickly act on the nomination of Gen. Joseph Dunford, Allen’s successor in Afghanistan.

Gen. Allen denies any wrongdoing and will stay in his post for the meantime. The Senate hearings for his NATO confirmation is originally scheduled on Nov. 15 in Washington.

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