WASHINGTON — U.S. Gen. John Allen, under investigation for potentially inappropriate emails with a woman linked to a CIA sex scandal, returned Nov. 21 to Kabul to take up his duties as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, his spokesman said.
“He returned today,” Maj. David Nevers told AFP.
The Pentagon on Nov. 13 announced a probe into the general’s correspondence with Jill Kelley, a key figure in the sex scandal that forced the resignation this month of CIA director David Petraeus, a retired four-star officer.
Allen had been in Washington for a Senate hearing on his nomination to be the next NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, but President Barack Obama’s administration requested the hearing be postponed after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta launched the probe.
Allen has maintained he is innocent of any wrongdoing, and Panetta has said he retains “confidence” in the general.
As head of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Allen oversees roughly 66,000 American troops and 37,000 forces from other countries.
Petraeus, who preceded Allen as ISAF commander in Afghanistan, resigned abruptly from the CIA on Nov. 9 over an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, an Army reservist.
Allen is under investigation over a trove of 20,000 to 30,000 pages of correspondence — mostly emails — between himself and Kelley, a Tampa, Fla., woman who threw parties for military officers posted at U.S. Central Command.
Kelley informed the FBI she received threatening emails from Broadwell, who allegedly viewed her as competition for Petraeus’ attention, according to media reports.
Looking into the allegation, the FBI stumbled upon correspondence between Petraeus and Broadwell, as well as between Gen. Allen and Kelley.