Monday, October 05, 2009

Pentagon Study Condemns ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ As Morally Bankrupt Policy

The Battle of DADT is over, and the mopping-up operations are ready to begin,” says Mark Kleiman. Given all the disappointments from the Obama Administration, I can't sign on to Kleiman's optimism, but the evidence does seem to suggest that DADT might actually be repealed during Obama's first term. Kleiman's argument is mainly based on a study, soon to be published in the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal, which calls for the ban on gays to be lifted. The study makes the point that the military is "forcing thousands of gay men and women to lead dishonest lives in an organization that emphasizes integrity as a fundamental tenet." Well, duh.

The article in the upcoming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, which is published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was written by an Air Force colonel who studied the issue for months while a student at the National Defense University in Washington and who concludes that having openly gay troops in the ranks will not hurt combat readiness.

“After a careful examination, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly,’’ writes Colonel Om Prakash, who is now working in the office of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. “Based on this research, it is not time for the administration to reexamine the issue; rather it is time for the administration to examine how to implement the repeal of the ban.’’

The article, an advance copy of which was provided to the Globe, is likely to increase pressure on President Obama to fulfill his campaign pledge to work with Congress to overturn the 1993 law commonly referred to as “don’t ask, don’t tell.’