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FILE - In this March 26, 2012 file photo, Marine Gen. John Allen speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. The White House says President Barack Obama wants to give Allen time to consider his next assignment before deciding whether to proceed with his nomination to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Europe.
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE—The White House says President Barack Obama wants to give Marine Gen. John Allen time to consider his next assignment before deciding whether to proceed with his nomination to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Europe.

Allen, just back from a 19-month Afghanistan command, was linked to -- but then cleared of -- a sex scandal that ended David Petraeus' job as CIA director.

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said Allen wants time with his family.

"We're happy to give him the opportunity to consider what he wants to do next," Earnest said.

He said Obama has a "ton of confidence in Gen. Allen."

Allen's nomination to the top European command was shelved during an investigation into emails Allen exchanged with a woman connected to a Petraeus affair. Allen was cleared.