President Obama on Thursday announced his intention to nominate Air Force General Philip Breedlove as the next Supreme Allied Commander of Europe.
“For over three decades, Gen. Breedlove has served with distinction in assignments at all levels of the U.S. Air Force and around the globe, from Washington to Germany, Italy, Spain and South Korea,” Mr. Obama said.
As the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and NATO’s Allied Air Command, Mr. Obama said, Gen. Breedlove “has established trust and deep relations with our NATO allies and partners – assets he will draw upon in taking on this important new role on behalf of the United States and the alliance.”
Gen. Breedlove is Mr. Obama’s second choice for the key NATO post. The president first selected Gen. John Allen, the former top military commander in Afghanistan, but Mr. Allen decided to withdraw his name from consideration in mid-February after he was linked to an investigation of security breaches and and an extramarital affair involving former CIA Director David Petraeus.
Gen. Allen was officially cleared of any misconduct by the Pentagon in January after a probe into his exchange of e-mails with a socialite in Tampa, Fla., who clashed with Paula Broadwell, Mr. Petraeus’s biographer and mistress. He decided to retire from the military instead of enduring what likely would have been a messy Senate confirmation process.
In withdrawing his name, Gen. Allen cited health issues within his family.