Marine Corps Gen. John Allen decided to retire rather than proceed with White House plans to make him commander of NATO forces in Europe.
Allen recently completed a 19-month tour as the lead commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, but was caught up in the email scandal that led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petreaus.
Allen cited the health of his wife as the reason for his retirement.
Statement from President Obama:
“I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military so that he can address health issues within his family. I told General Allen that he has my deep, personal appreciation for his extraordinary service over the last 19 months in Afghanistan, as well as his decades of service in the United States Marine Corps. General Allen presided over the significant growth in the size and capability of Afghan National Security Forces, the further degradation of al Qaeda and their extremist allies, and the ongoing transition to Afghan security responsibility across the country. He worked tirelessly to strengthen our coalition through his leadership of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and to improve our relations with the Afghan government.”