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Pentagon study shows repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" not harmful

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A long-awaited study from the Pentagon was released today and stated that a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the United States military would not be harmful. The study did indicate it might have some initial and limited disruption but would not have any long-lasting effect.

The report, announced today, stated that personnel changes in the military tend to have overly negative predictions on the part of military officials. The study also said that military brass tend to underestimate the military’s ability to adapt to change.

President Obama urges repeal

When the report was released President Obama used the opportunity to urge the Senate to do as the House of Representatives did and repeal the law. The law was first enacted during the administration of President Clinton.

In addition to the president, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates also urged the Senate to move quickly. He also warned that he did not think it would be good for the military to have the law enforced via the judiciary. There are several cases in various levels of the court system that are challenging the constitutionality of the law.

There is strong opposition, despite the study results released today, from several members in the military, however. In particular, the Marines have stated that they oppose the idea of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” In the study Marines and some combat arms units were very much against changing the current policy and said that it would be disruptive and would negatively affect morale.

Throughout the military the study indicated that the opposition to repealing the law ran at about 30 percent.

Repealing the policy would mean that gay and lesbian soldiers would be able to serve in the military openly. The current policy, known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” states that military officials cannot ask if a soldier is homosexual. At the same time, gay and lesbian soldiers are not to openly state that they are gay or lesbian.

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