TODAY   |  November 13, 2012

Colonel: Gen. Allen career likely stalled during probe

Ret. Col. Jack Jacobs weighs in on the scandal that has ensnared former CIA chief David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, telling TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie that Allen has a stellar career and great reputation but he “wouldn’t be surprised” if his NATO nomination was withdrawn.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> retired colonel jack jacobs who is an nbc military analyst. first petraeus, and now general allen involved. on the stunner scale, where do you put this?

>> seven. very startling, especially for those people who worked with these officers and known for them for years and years. really quite astonishing. do you know general allen ? what is his reputation?

>> i don't know him very well. i've met him on several occasions. he's a 1976 honors graduate of the u.s. naval academy . he's got a -- a masters degree from georgetown, from the national war college . he's quite an intellectual actually. a great infantry marine and has had an absolutely stellar career. all this personal stuff coming out at a very, very difficult time complicates matters, both for our effort in southwest asia and for the upcoming budget battle.

>> further complicating it is that he's about to leave as the head of the allied forces in afghanistan and had been due for a new post-as head of the military's efforts in europe . do you think that is likely on hold at this point?

>> well, it's on hold now. it has not -- his nomination as the supreme court allied commander europe has not yet been withdrawn, but i wouldn't be surprised if it is withdrawn. i think they want to get through this as quickly as possible. they are likely to shouldn't him off to some other place. let him carry on in afghanistan until they can -- until general dunford takes over, withdraw his nomination to be supreme allied commander of europe , and then have him replaced by somebody else in europe

>> i know you've worked closely with general petraeus over the years. that's somebody that you respect quite a bit. i don't even know what to ask here exactly. what is going on with our generals? is there some kind of culture or subculture that the rest us are not aware of, or is this really something that you think is a true aberration?

>> well, i think it is an aberration. i've known general petraeus since he was a cadet at west point, and i was teaching there. i know his wife holly. she's heavily involved in charitable activities. they both are, as a matter of fact, and it does seem like an aberration. it's very difficult to understand how and why all this stuff began and how the investigation got to the point that it was. there were some very interesting questions asked about the fbi 's role. the fbi which knew about all of this months ago apparently told nobody about it until everybody else heard about it. i think the congress has plenty of questions to ask the fbi about this, and fewer questions about the people like general allen and general petraeus .

>> all right. colonel jack jacobs , good to get your perspective. as always, sir, thank you.