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February 19, 2013

General Allen retires, declines Europe post

Gen. John Allen will retire from the military instead of going forward with his nomination to become the supreme commander in Europe, citing family health reasons.

Allen was cleared after an investigation that examined e-mails with a Tampa socialite that surfaced after CIA director David Petraeus admitted to having an extramarital affair with another woman.

"While I won't go into the details, my primary concern is for the health of my wife, who has sacrificed so much for so long," Allen said in a statement. "For more than 35 years, my beloved Kathy has devotedly stood beside me and enabled me to serve my country," Allen said in the statement. "It is profoundly sobering to consider how much of that time I have spent away from her and our two precious daughters. It is now my turn to stand beside them, to be there for them when they need me most."

President Obama. who had indicated he would continue to support Allen's nomination, accepted his resignation Tuesday at a meeting.

"He cares deeply for the men and women in uniform who serve our nation – as well as their families – and I am grateful for the sacrifices made by his family in supporting him during his service," Obama said in a statement. "John Allen is one of America’s finest military leaders, a true patriot, and a man I have come to respect greatly. I wish him and his family the very best as they begin this new chapter, and we will carry forward the extraordinary work that General Allen led in Afghanistan."


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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