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General John Allen, USMC (Ret.) is a distinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, working within the Center on 21st Century Security and Intelligence. He was the commander of the International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces in Afghanistan from July 2011, to February 2013. 

Allen served in the military for nearly 38 years. Prior to assuming command of the NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Allen commanded at every level in the Marine Corps through Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He served as the G-3 Operations officer of the 2d Marine Division and the aide de camp and military secretary to the 31st commandant of the Marine Corps. As a general officer, Allen served as the principal director of Asia/Pacific policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for three years. In addition, he served in the Caribbean in 1994, the Balkans in from 1995 to 1996, and Iraq from 2007 to 2008.

Allen has also served as the director of the Marine Infantry Officer Program; commanding officer of the Marine Corps Basic School; commandant of midshipmen in the United States Naval Academy. In addition, he has served as the Marine Corps fellow to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a commandant of the Marine Corps fellow, and he was the first Marine officer to serve as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he remains a member.

Last Updated: July 10, 2017