The Straits Times
Published on Nov 13, 2012

Obama puts general's Nato nomination on hold: White House


WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama has put on hold General John Allen's nomination as NATO's supreme commander, pending a probe into his email correspondence with a woman at the centre of a sex scandal, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday.

"At the request of the secretary of defence, the president has put on hold his nomination of Gen Allen as SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe) pending the investigation of Gen Allen's conduct by the Department of Defence IG (inspector-general)," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

A US defence official said investigators by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had uncovered a trove of 20,000 to 30,000 pages of correspondence - mostly emails - between Gen Allen and Mrs Jill Kelley, a key figure in the scandal that brought down Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus.

"The allegations involve inappropriate communications" between Gen Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, and Mrs Kelley, the official told reporters travelling with US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who is in Australia.