If you thought the Gen. David Petraeus scandal couldn’t get any weirder, well, brace yourself.
Four days after Petraeus resigned as CIA Director after it was revealed that he had conducted an affair with the author of his biography, his replacement as commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, has become ensnared in the controversy.
In the process of an FBI investigation into harassing emails sent to Jill Kelley accusing her of inappropriate flirting with Petraeus, the FBI also turned up thousands of alleged “inappropriate conversations” between Kelley herself and Allen.
Allen was just about to be selected as the commander in charge of the U.S. European Command and NATO’s forces in Europe, but President Obama has put that confirmation hearing on hold. In the meantime, Obama has already put forward a replacement for Allen in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford, under the assumption that Allen would easily be confirmed. Obviously, that’s no longer the case.
Unlike the Petraeus affair, there does not seem to be any concrete proof yet that Allen and Kelley had an affair. Still, this marks the fourth straight Afghanistan commander who was either forced to resign or has seen their career tainted by scandal: Allen, Petraeus, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, and Gen. David McKiernan.
McChrystal was forced to resign in 2010 after an article ran in Rolling Stone magazine that quoted him and his aides criticizing members of the Obama administration, including Vice President Joe Biden. McKiernan, let go in 2009 a full year before his term was set to end, was the first general replaced in wartime since Harry Truman ousted Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War.
No one wonder some say the commander’s post in Afghanistan is cursed.
For more information on the major and minor players in the Petraeus scandal, check out this article by Slate.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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