In case you haven't heard, being a high ranking official in the CIA or military guarantees you an awesome spotlight to squirm under should you have an extra-marital affair, or at least are accused of having one. With the expansion of the Petraeus fiasco now encompassing our current commander in Afghanistan, it's time you got the lowdown on General John R. Allen, and the plate of career suicide he's serving up. So here's the facts, Jack.
1. He is Under Investigation by the Defense Department
With General Petraeus' resignation from the CIA still resonating, ISAF Commander John R. Allen couldn't help but get in on some of the awfulness that has embroiled the top brass this past week. So here's where it gets complicated: Allen us under fire for allegedly sending thousands of "inappropriate" messages to Jill Kelley, the woman who is responsible for enlisting an FBI investigation into Petraeus' relationship with Paula Broadwell. While details are scarce at this point, it is believed that there are a whopping 20,000 to 30,000 pages of correspondence to be analyzed in determining the nature of Allen and Kelley's relationship.
2. Adultery is Illegal in the Military
Jill Kelley is a married woman, Allen is a married man, and that kind of thing doesn't fly in the military. Adultery can result in a court-martial for those actively serving, and a dishonorable discharge could be in the cards, depending on the details. Paragraph 62 of Article 134 of the Manual for Courts-Martial is titled Adultery and reads in part:
3. His NATO Supreme Allied Commander Nomination is on Hold
In case you hadn't noticed, Allen is a pretty important dude. He in fact succeeded Gen. Petraeus as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, effectively making him the most powerful U.S. General in Afghanistan in July 2011. The cherry on that was a 2013 nomination to be NATO's Supreme Allied Commander (SACEUR), that would require affirmation from the Senate. That process has been put on hold indefinitely by President Obama, citing the investigation.
4. He's a Lame Duck
His days leading U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan were supposed to be ending, as the president has selected Gen. Joseph Dunford as his nomination and probable successor this past October. Dunford will preside over withdrawing nearly 68,000 troops from the region by 2014.
5. He's Made No Admissions
Gen. Allen has denied all wrongdoing concerning Jill Kelley. A senior official has claimed that while the two knew each other, they had never even been alone together. The two have maintained a friendship since his appointment as head of the Afghanistan forces in 2012, and exchanged nearly daily emails.
6. He Called Jill a "Sweetheart"
FBI investigators may have become suspicious of their potential affair when they found an email in which Allen refers to Kelley as "sweetheart." The general's camp is maintaining that the relationship was purely platonic.
7. He Has 40 Years of Service
With a sparkling record and four decades of service to his country, Gen. Allen has much to lose in both his public image and military report card. As a distinguished war veteran and four-star general, he has earned a reputation as a capable leader and brilliant strategist. This could all be subject to change very quickly.
8. He's a Family Man
Allen is married and has two daughters, Bobbie and Betty. Bobbie (above) is a 27-year-old singer who recently released an album. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Kathy, who apparently is acquainted with Jill Kelley due to her husband's friendship and involvement with military events.
9. He's No Dummy
While the allegations against him paint the situation as uniquely irresponsible for a man with the world on his shoulders, it's certainly not due to his education. He possesses degrees from Georgetown University, the National Defense Intelligence College and the National War College.
10. There Are Security Concerns
Beyond all the dirt the public is yearning to hear about the possible affair, a greater concern for the FBI are possible security leaks. The content of said emails has not been released, and speculation is irrelevant, but as the scandal grows, so do the concerns.