With CIA director David Petraeus and International Security Assistance Forces General John Allen enmeshed in sex scandals, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is conducting an ethics review of the nation’s top military leaders to promote “a culture of stewardship” among generals.
“This week, the Secretary directed General Dempsey to work with the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review how to better foster a culture of stewardship among our most senior military officers,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement. “Their initial findings are due to the Secretary within the next few weeks. This process is intended to reinforce and strengthen the standards that keep us a well led and disciplined military.”
Last Friday, Petraeus resigned his post as CIA director after admitting to having an extramarital affair. Federal investigators “found a substantial amount of classified information” on his former mistress Paul Broadwell’s computer. As the probe expanded, ISAF General John Allen was found to be exchanging thousands of “flirtatious” emails with a married woman who knows Broadwell and Petraeus.
Little emphasized that such instance are the exception, not the rule among top-ranking officers and that the review is not merely a reaction to the events of this week.
“The Secretary believes that the vast majority of our senior military officers exemplify the strength of character and the highest ethical standards the American people expect of those whose job it is to provide for the security of our nation,” he said. “Over the past several months, the Secretary has spoken with the service secretaries, service chiefs, and combatant commanders about those instances when senior officers have not lived up to the standards expected of them. This has been an ongoing discussion reflecting shared concerns.”