Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Sense of entitlement behind ethics scandals?

Nov. 13, 2012 - 06:19PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 13, 2012 - 06:19PM  |  
Clockwise from top left: David Petraeus, William "Kip" Ward, James Stavridis and John Allen.
Clockwise from top left: David Petraeus, William "Kip" Ward, James Stavridis and John Allen. (Petraeus: Getty Images; Ward: Army; Stavridis: AFP)
  • Filed Under

WASHINGTON — Three of the military's most senior leaders are embroiled in ethics scandals, a black eye for an institution that prides itself on integrity.

The latest, Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, is http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2012/11/military-allen-under-investigation-for-flirtatious-emails-111312w">under investigation for more than 20,000 pages of material including emails sent to Jill Kelley, the woman involved in the scandal that http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2012/11/ap-friend-says-petraeus-began-affair-after-taking-cia-job-111212/">forced David Petraeus to resign as CIA director. Allen succeeded Petraeus in Kabul.

The two did not appear to have a romantic relationship, said a senior Pentagon official who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. However, an Associated Press report Tuesday morning called the emails "flirtatious."

Allen is married and has children. Military law makes adultery illegal.

Experts speculate that these lapses stem from the sense of entitlement in the upper reaches that exists not just in the armed services.

"It's an old narrative that those at the top often become poisoned by their power," said Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution. "We've unfortunately seen the same thing in business, politics, sports, etc. on a regular basis. The difference is I guess we've come to expect the worst in these other, once respected institutions, sadly even in the church."

But Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst also at the Brookings Institution, advised caution in assessing Allen's case and drawing any larger conclusions about military leadership.

"I remain strongly of the view that Gen. Allen is innocent until proven guilty — and I am of the view that he probably isn't guilty of anything at all," O'Hanlon said. "Let's learn a little more before even fashioning hypotheses."

Two other members of the top brass face ethics probes of their own. Adm. James Stavridis, head of European Command, was http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2012/11/ap-admiral-james-stavridis-cleared-misconduct-110812">criticized last week in an Pentagon inspector general report that cited his use of military aircraft for personal business, including a trip to a Burgundy wine-tasting society. Earlier this year, Army Gen. William "Kip" Ward, then head of U.S. Africa Command, was hammered by another inspector general report for lavish travel and improper use of military transportation and staff. The report said Ward and his wife had staff pick up their laundry and do their shopping.

Tuesday, a senior U.S. official told the AP that http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2012/11/ap-general-ward-demoted-repay-111312/">Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has stripped Ward of a star, which means that he will retire as a three-star lieutenant general, and will repay the government $82,000. The official spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss a personnel matter.

Allen is one of the military's star officers. He gained prominence in Iraq in 2007 as a deputy commander in what was then the restive province of Anbar. Marines there helped tame the insurgency. It was Allen, too, whose disclosures to USA Today about the success of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected trucks in protecting troops from roadside bombs that caught the attention of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who made them the Pentagon's top priority.

Allen quickly ascended the upper ranks of the military and beginning in 2008 spent three years based in Tampa as deputy commander of Central Command. Tampa is also Kelley's home, where she acted as an unpaid social liaison to the military.

He had been scheduled for a Senate confirmation hearing this week for his new post: succeeding Stavridis as chief of European Command. That hearing has been postponed at the request of Panetta and the White House.

Answers sponsored by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

Top TA & GI Bill schools
Most popular colleges cater to troops by taking classes to them

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook