WASHINGTON • The White House said Wednesday it will go ahead with Gen. John Allen's nomination to become commander of NATO forces in Europe, following his exoneration in a Pentagon investigation of questionable email exchanges with a Florida woman linked to the sex scandal that led David Petraeus to resign as CIA director.
If confirmed by the Senate, Allen would succeed Navy Adm. James Stavridis in the NATO post. Allen is due to leave his position as commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan on Feb. 10.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had put Allen's nomination on hold last November when he directed the Pentagon's inspector general to determine whether Allen's email exchanges with Jill Kelley of Tampa, Fla., amounted to wrongdoing. The emails have not been made public but were said to include flirtatious exchanges that could be judged to be inappropriate.