US General John Allen has decided to retire instead of pursuing his nomination as the next NATO supreme commander in Europe, President Barack Obama has announced.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Obama said that he had accepted Allen's request to retire from the military “so that he can address health issues within his family”. Allen's wife is said to be suffering from chronic health problems.
The four-star general has been under pressure in recent months due to an embarrassing sex scandal that brought down former CIA Director David Petraeus in November 2012.
In January, a high-profile Pentagon investigation cleared Allen of misconduct after examining thousands of emails he sent to a Florida woman.
Earlier on Tuesday, Obama met with Allen, who is the outgoing commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, and accepted his resignation.
“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,” Obama said.
“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,” the US president stated.