Friday, January 15, 2010

JCS Chief advised to put repeal of DADT on hold -- political strategy calls for repeal by 2012


The bottom of the front page of the new $1.00 Washington Times on Friday, Jan. 15, bore the byline “Military ban on gays to stay for now; Mullen advised to hold off on internal Pentagon effort,” p A11. But the actual story (heading the Washington Times “Geopolitics” Page), by Anne Gearan, came from the Associated Press (Times link here). The facts are equivocal. Admiral Mile Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) was indeed told “now is not the time” to “lift a ban allowing gays to serve openly in the military”, that is, to repeal the more onerous provisions of the 1993 “don’t ask don’t tell” law. However Mullen has received other advice to move now, and of course Congress has bills on the floor to repeal the policy.

The gist of the thinking is that serious work could start in 2011, and a new law regarding military service and sexual orientation, probably much more in line with Rand Corporations 1993 recommendations (the Internet would have to be taken into consideration) could pass and go into effect in 2012. The repeal of DADT seems to be shaping up in coordination with Obama's 2012 reelection and the anticipated time of drawdown of forces particularly from Afghanistan.

In the mean time, we wonder why a few individual citizens who have prevented presidential assassinations or stopped terrorist attacks over the years would be so unsuited to wear our uniforms.

The New York Times has a story Friday Jan. 15 on p A17 by Elizabeth Bumiller, "Pentagon steps up talks on ending 'don't ask don't tell'", presenting the same facts with a much more "positive" spin, link here. The article, however, mentions concerns like, what happens when units are deployed to countries like Saudi Arabia that condemn homosexuality. However this has not been a problem for the British military since lifting the ban.

History can change things quickly.

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