By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2013 – A Defense Department inspector general investigation into allegations of professional misconduct has cleared Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said yesterday.
In a statement, Little said Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta was pleased to learn the investigation did not substantiate the allegations and that the inspector general has closed the investigation.
On Oct. 10, President Barack Obama nominated Allen to serve as NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command. Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, now in that position, is scheduled to retire.
In November, while Panetta was traveling in the Asia-Pacific region, the FBI referred a matter involving Allen to the Defense Department. Panetta directed that the matter be referred to the DOD IG for investigation. He informed the chairman and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.
The secretary also asked the ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to delay a confirmation hearing scheduled for Nov. 15 on Allen’s pending NATO nomination until the matter was resolved.
On Dec. 3, the Senate confirmed Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., assistant Marine Corps commandant, as the next commander of ISAF and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Panetta, Little said in his statement, “has complete confidence in the continued leadership of General Allen, who is serving with distinction in Afghanistan.”
In a statement released today, Marine Corps Maj. David Nevers, an ISAF spokesman, said Allen placed his faith in and fully supported the investigative process.
“He's obviously pleased by the outcome,” Nevers said. “But more critically, he is grateful for the support he received throughout this process from his chain of command, friends, family and colleagues. He remains focused, as he has always been, on leading the brave men and women of the ISAF team."