In this Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 photo, U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S.- and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops in Afghanistan, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan. Allen expressed confidence that Afghan security forces will be able tackle the insurgency when they take the lead in the 11-year-old war against the Taliban this spring, and will be able to hold their own against the Taliban on the battle field without the presence of foreign troops fighting on the front line. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
WASHINGTON (CBS) -- President Barack Obama says he has accepted Marine Gen. John Allen's request to retire from the U.S. military.
That means the White House won't go forward with Allen's nomination to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Europe.
Obama says Allen is retiring so he can address family health issues. He's calling Allen one of the nation's finest military leaders and a true patriot.
Allen recently left a 19-month command in Afghanistan and was nominated last fall to become the U.S. military's top soldier in Europe. But that nomination was shelved during a Pentagon investigation into emails Allen exchanged with a civilian woman who was linked to the scandal that forced CIA Director David Petraeus to resign. Allen since has been cleared of wrongdoing.
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