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Fri Dec 19 03:29:11 CAT 2014

Sex scandal: general's career on line

Sapa-AP | 14 November, 2012 00:01

The career of General John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, is now in jeopardy because of the investigation of the David Petraeus sex scandal.

The Pentagon said yesterday that Allen is under investigation for "inappropriate communications" with Jill Kelley, the woman who reportedly received threatening e-mails from Petraeus's paramour.

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said he ordered a Pentagon investigation of Allen on Monday.

A senior defence official said Kelley, who has been described as an unpaid social liaison officer at US Central Command headquarters, is not a US government employee.

Kelley is said to have received threatening e-mails from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus's biographer.

Broadwell's extramarital affair with Petraeus reportedly began after he became CIA director in September 2011. Petraeus resigned as CIA director on Friday.

Allen, a four-star marine general, succeeded Petraeus as the top US commander in Afghanistan in July 2011. He had been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next commander of US European Command - but Obama has put that nomination on hold, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said yesterday.

The senior military official, who would talk only on condition of anonymity, would not explain the nature of Allen's problematic communications with Kelley.

The official said 20000 to 30000 pages of e-mails and other documents from Allen's communications with Kelley between 2010 and 2012 are under review.

He would not say whether they involved sexual matters or whether they are thought to include unauthorised disclosures of classified information.

He said he did not know if Petraeus was mentioned in the e-mails.

Panetta said that while the matter is being investigated Allen will remain at his post as commander of the International Security Assistance Force, based in Kabul.

He praised Allen for being instrumental in making progress in the war.

The Allen investigation adds a new complication to an Afghan war effort that is at a particularly difficult juncture. Allen had just provided Panetta with options for how many US troops to keep in Afghanistan after the US-led coalition's combat mission ends in 2014 .


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