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Widening Petraeus scandal comes at already troublesome time for Pentagon

Gen. John Allen, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, is under investigation by the Department of Defense, as part of the inquiry into David Petraeus's affair. The Pentagon already had big personnel moves planned, and budget questions loom.

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In this March 26 file photo, Marine Gen. John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, listens during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington.

Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP/File

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News of the latest figure in the widening soap opera that is a Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry – now involving Gen. John Allen, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan – comes at a particularly troublesome time for the Pentagon.

At 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s office released a statement via BlackBerry confirming that Allen, who took the top job in Kabul after David Petraeus moved to the Central Intelligence Agency in September 2011, is now under investigation by the Department of Defense. This scrutiny is the result of an FBI referral. 

For now, Allen will remain commander in Afghanistan. 

“His leadership has been instrumental in achieving the significant progress that [the International Security Assistance Force], 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,” Secretary Panetta said in his statement. “He is entitled to due process in this matter.”

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