Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The White House announced today that President Obama has accepted the request of Gen. John Allen to retire. The general cites his wife's serious health issues as the reason for his retirement.
Allen spoke with The Washington Post on Sunday evening, and told the newspaper his focus needs to be on the health of his wife Kathy, who has a "combination of chronic health issues," including an unnamed autoimmune disorder:
“Right now, I’ve just got to get her well. It’s time to take care of my family.”
According to the Washington Post, Allen's retirement nullifies his nomination to be the supreme allied commander in Europe.
Talking Points Memo released a statement by the president on Allen's retirement, which reads:
"Today, I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military so that he can address health issues within his family. I told General Allen that he has my deep, personal appreciation for his extraordinary service over the last 19 months in Afghanistan, as well as his decades of service in the United States Marine Corps. General Allen presided over the significant growth in the size and capability of Afghan National Security Forces, the further degradation of al Qaeda and their extremist allies, and the ongoing transition to Afghan security responsibility across the country. He worked tirelessly to strengthen our coalition through his leadership of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and to improve our relations with the Afghan government. Above all, he cares deeply for the men and women in uniform who serve our nation – as well as their families – and I am grateful for the sacrifices made by his family in supporting him during his service. John Allen is one of America’s finest military leaders, a true patriot, and a man I have come to respect greatly. I wish him and his family the very best as they begin this new chapter, and we will carry forward the extraordinary work that General Allen led in Afghanistan."
Earlier this month, Allen sat down for an interview to reflect on the 19 months he spent as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan. I've posted that video up top, courtesy of the NATO Channel.