Report Clears Afghanistan Training Commander

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 — The U.S. Army gen­er­al who leads the coali­tion train­ing effort for Afghanistan’s secu­ri­ty forces has been cleared of alle­ga­tions that he used psy­cho­log­i­cal oper­a­tions per­son­nel to try to influ­ence vis­it­ing dig­ni­taries.

A Rolling Stone mag­a­zine arti­cle in Feb­ru­ary quot­ed an Army lieu­tenant colonel say­ing that Lt. Gen. William B. Cald­well IV had tried to use psy­cho­log­i­cal oper­a­tions capa­bil­i­ties to influ­ence vis­it­ing sen­a­tors and mem­bers of Con­gress.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who then com­mand­ed U.S. and coali­tion forces in Afghanistan, ini­ti­at­ed an inves­ti­ga­tion into the alle­ga­tions and appoint­ed Army Lt. Gen. William Web­ster to lead it. The inves­ti­ga­tion report exon­er­at­ed Cald­well, who has served as the com­man­der of NATO Train­ing Mis­sion Afghanistan since Octo­ber 2009.

The Army probe approved by Petraeus in May found the alle­ga­tions raised by the arti­cle were not sub­stan­ti­at­ed, and the Defense Depart­ment inspec­tor gen­er­al agreed with the find­ings.

The DOD Inspec­tor Gen­er­al reviewed the 15–6 inves­ti­ga­tion ini­ti­at­ed by U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and con­curred with the find­ings that the alle­ga­tion against Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Cald­well was not sub­stan­ti­at­ed,” said Army Lt. Col. Eliz­a­beth Rob­bins, a Pen­ta­gon spokes­woman.

The offi­cer who made the state­ments to Rolling Stone also alleged that he was a whistle­blow­er and that Cald­well retal­i­at­ed against him for it. “With regard to the whistle­blow­er reprisal alle­ga­tion, the DOD IG also con­curred that Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Cald­well was not impli­cat­ed as a respon­si­ble man­age­ment offi­cial,” Rob­bins said.

The inves­ti­ga­tion said the offi­cers who made the alle­ga­tions pre­pared infor­ma­tion pack­ages on the con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tions that vis­it­ed, and that this is nei­ther ille­gal nor improp­er.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)