The Eroding Ethics Of Senior Military Officers: John R. Allen
James W. Weirick

Thanks for writing this article. I had some concerns, and wanted to point a couple out.

But what he does owe to all Marines, and to the American public, is honesty when he offers to explain his retirement and resignation. This is not optional …. …. Yet, 24 days after Allen’s retirement he accepted the position as U.S. envoy for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Not exactly a low-pressure job that allows plenty of time with the family.

There is a HUGE difference between being commander of ISAF and being a “special envoy” on security issues. The commander of ISAF is one of the most critical military positions, and requires travel, multiple briefings/meetings/etc per day, and along with it, tremendous responsibility. According to your own source (, the new position he accepted a month later was defined as a “special adviser to the secretary of defense focusing on security in the context of Middle East peace” and that he would not actually mediate between the two parties. It’s still an important job, but as an adviser, he almost certainly did have more time to spend with his family after his retirement.

I also don’t see why there’s anything wrong with him becoming ISIS Czar 18 months later? Even if that job required more time, maybe his family situation improved and they encouraged him to step up into that role.

Although I don’t think you presented your opinion fairly and with sufficient facts supporting your argument, even if you are correct about everything you say, I think we could all find more serious and substantial examples of ethics in senior military officers.

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