Gen. John Allen returns to Afghanistan command


Newly appointed Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR) US General John Allen looks on following a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers at NATO headquarter in Brussels on Otober 10, 2012.


Thierry Charlier

US Gen. John Allen returned to Kabul on Wednesday, resuming his duties as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, according to Agence France Presse.

Allen was under investigation by the Pentagon for potentially "inappropriate" emails with a woman linked to former CIA Director David Petraeus, the Associated Press noted.

Lt. Col. Les Carroll, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, said Allen returned to work on Wednesday, according to the AP.

Allen's office released a statement saying that Allen was happy to be back in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with his troops.

"The Defense Department inspector general's investigation into certain communications by Gen. Allen continues," it read, according to the AP. "Out of respect for that process, Gen. Allen will continue to refrain from commenting on those matters that may fall within the scope of the investigation."

On Nov. 13, the Pentagon announced a probe into the general's email correspondence with Jill Kelley, a family friend of Petraeus. Allen was in Washington for a Senate hearing on his nomination to be the next NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, but it was postponed until after the probe, AFP noted.

More on GlobalPost: David Petraeus sex scandal envelops US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen

Foreign Policy magazine noted that Allen's departure from Washington meant that the Department of Defense investigators had what they needed from him in person.

There were reportedly 30,000 pages of emails sent between the Allen and Kelley, but Foreign Policy noted, "the actual number of emails is far less than the volume of pages suggests; of those, it is thought that there are very few that are potentially inappropriate."

The AP noted that well before the emails were discovered, the Obama administration had nominated four-star Marine, Gen. Joseph Dunford, to replace Allen in Kabul. The Senate has yet to vote on Dunford's nomination.

Allen's predecessor as ISAF commander was Petraeus, who resigned abruptly on November 9 from his post as CIA Director over an extramarital affair.

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