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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Releases Statement On Afghanistan Commander Gen. John Allen

Allen is under investigation for alleged "inappropriate communications" with a woman who is said to have received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom Gen. David Petraeus had an extramarital affair, according to the AP

Here is a statement from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta regarding Gen. John Allen, who is under investigation for alleged inappropriate communications with a woman involved in the scandal surrounding Gen. David Patraeus:

On Sunday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation referred to the Department of Defense a matter involving General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.  

Today, I directed that the matter be referred to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense for investigation, and it is now in the hands of the Inspector General.   I have informed the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The House Armed Services Committee has also been notified.

While the matter is under investigation and before the facts are determined, General Allen will remain Commander of ISAF.  His leadership has been instrumental in achieving the significant progress that ISAF, working alongside our Afghan partners, has made in bringing greater security to the Afghan people and in ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists.  He is entitled to due process in this matter.

In the meantime, I have asked the President - and the President has agreed - to put his nomination on hold until the relevant facts are determined. I have asked both Senators Levin and McCain that the confirmation hearing on General Allen's pending nomination to be Commander of United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe be delayed.

The President has nominated General Joseph Dunford, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, to succeed General Allen at ISAF.  I respectfully requested that the Senate act promptly on that nomination.

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