Allen may withdraw from consideration to be NATO’s top military commander

General John Allen at a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers, October 10, 2012

From Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube, NBS News:  Gen. John Allen, caught up and later cleared in a scandal over emails with a Florida socialite, is likely to withdraw from consideration for the job of top NATO commander, three U.S. military officials have told NBC News.

A Pentagon investigation last month cleared Allen of wrongdoing, but U.S. military officials said that Allen does not want to drag his family through a nomination process in which the emails would almost certainly come up.

Allen has spoken with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta but he has not had the chance to meet with President Barack Obama to voice his concerns. A U.S. official said that Obama was aware of Allen’s feelings, and they would meet to discuss the nomination in the coming days.

“After 19 months in command in Afghanistan, and many before that spent away from home, Gen. Allen has been offered time to rest and reunite with his family before he turns his attention to his next assignment,” an official on Allen’s staff told NBC News. . . .

Obama nominated Allen last October for the NATO post but put a hold on the nomination while the Pentagon conducted its investigation. . . .

It remained possible that the president could ask Allen to reconsider and go ahead with the nomination, but a U.S. defense official does not think that will happen.  (photo: AP)

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