Citing his wife’s poor health, Marine Gen. John R. Allen asked President Obama to remove him from consideration for supreme allied commander in Europe according to the Washington Post. He plans to retire.
In a statement, Obama said he had granted Allen’s request. “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,” the president said.
Allen was the longest-serving leader of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan and directed the shift from counterinsurgency operations to training Afghan and local forces. During his command forces were reduced by some 33,000 U.S. troops.
The four star general told the Post that his decision to retire had nothing to do with the investigation into his email correspondence with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. However, Allen said that investigation did take a toll on his wife.