The Tragedy of John Allen

Newsweek’s Daniel Klaidman takes a deeper look at the events leading up to Marine Gen. John Allen’s retirement, just as he’d been slated to become the head of U.S. and NATO operations in Europe. Allen had been working overtime for years, not taking a vacation since his now adult daughters were children, and weathered the deaths of his mother and both of his wife’s parents between 2010 and 2012, while at the same time his wife, Kathy, was suffering from several of her own chronic illnesses. These alone are reasons for a longtime general to call it quits, but Klaidman wonders if the seemingly harmless—yet flirtatious—emails exchanged between Allen and Florida socialite Jill Kelley, discovered during the probe into Gen. David Petraeus’s affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, that ultimately drove Allen to resign. Klaidman questions just how much the public really needs to know about the private lives of our military leaders.