Obama Stands By Proposed NATO Supreme Allied Commander
Voice of Russia
November 14, 2012
Obama stands by Gen Allen amid Petraeus fallout
Both Barack Obama and the Pentagon insisted on Tuesday that they were standing by the top US commander in Afghanistan, John Allen, after he became the latest general to find himself entangled in the widening Petraeus emails scandal.
Spokesman Jay Carney said Mr Obama had “faith” in Gen John Allen, chosen to be the next Nato commander in Europe.
Harassment allegations by Mrs Kelley helped unmask an affair between CIA Director David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell.
Gen Petraeus resigned on Friday. Gen Allen says he has done nothing wrong.
“I can tell you that the president thinks very highly of Gen Allen and his service to his country, as well as the job he has done in Afghanistan,” spokesman Jay Carney said, in the first White House reaction since Gen Petraeus resigned on Friday.
He added that President Barack Obama was “very happy” with Gen Allen’s service and record.
Mr Carney also asked reporters “not to extrapolate too broadly” about whether the cases involving Gen Petraeus and Gen Allen suggested a wider cultural problem within the US military.
“He has great confidence in the acting CIA director, the secretary of defence and the defence department to carry out the missions he has asked of them,” Mr Carney added.
The Pentagon says 20-30,000 pages of Gen Allen’s documents are being examined, with officials saying they contain “potentially inappropriate” emails between the general and Mrs Kelley.
An anonymous senior US official who has read the emails told the Associated Press that the exchanges were relatively innocuous, even though they might be construed as unprofessional and flirty.
The official said the emails included pet names such as “sweetheart” and “dear”, but did not suggest an affair or the exchange of classified information.
Gen Allen, 58, took over command of coalition forces in Afghanistan after David Petraeus moved to the CIA in 2011. He is due to become Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, pending Senate confirmation.
Currently commanding 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan, Gen Allen was due to face a confirmation hearing in the US Senate on Thursday for his new role as supreme commander of Nato forces in Europe.