Panetta: Don't jump to conclusions about Allen

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is cautioning against concluding that the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, is guilty of misconduct based on allegations now under investigation.

Panetta told reporters in Australia today that he is fully confident in Allen's ability to lead in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon chief declined to explain the allegation that Allen may have had "inappropriate" correspondence with Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite connected to the scandal that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus.

Panetta announced Tuesday while flying to Australia that he had ordered an inspector general probe of Allen.

Allen has not publicly commented on the matter.