But the aide noted that such a voluminous amount of correspondence between an unpaid social liaison and the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan did not look good.
Allen oversaw the lionís share of the presidentís surge of about 33,000 troops into Afghanistan, which was drawn down this past summer. He was expected to make recommendations to the president in the coming month regarding the next fighting season, as well as his recommendations for the pace of drawdown leading to most combat forces leaving Afghanistan sometime in 2014. The U.S. military already has begun extensive preparations for the enormous undertaking, and it was widely expected that many lawmakers would press the president for a more accelerated withdrawal. Polls show the Afghanistan War is increasingly unpopular.
Dunford is expected to take over the war strategy by February.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.