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DADT: A Gay Servicemember’s Perspective. Part II: What’s Really Important Here?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 8:17 am - February 22, 2006.
Filed under: Gays In Military

Blogger’s Note:
Here is Part Two in a short series of posts regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Oh, and again I’d ask everybody to show respect by please doing what you can to limit conversation to the topic at hand rather than use this as an opportunity to attack each other. All criticisms, of course, are always welcome.

In my previous post (Not-So-Straight Facts), I helped shed some light to the often used, but unsubstantiated argument that the number of discharges of gay servicemembers has increased in the past decade since DADT was introduced. As nobody took any issue with the substance of that clarification, today I endeavor to walk a little further out on the limb in hopes of adding some military perspective advocates should keep in mind if they’re ever to get this policy changed.

Let’s start with something simple: Yes, I’d prefer to be able to serve openly as a gay man in the US Military. It would be much easier for me and I’d also enjoy my service a lot more. Every gay military colleague with whom I’ve discussed this feels likewise. I presume all our friends, families, and co-workers (to whom we are out) also agree.

Now let’s look at the facts on the ground: The US Military doesn’t change the type of toilet paper we use in the latrine without an exhaustive feasibility analysis and thorough study of its impact on the mission. Hell, it takes us years to make simple changes to our uniforms.

Our mission in the US Armed Forces is to kill the enemy and break his things. Period. And no policy change, even as logical and right as it may seem from the outside, is even going to be considered if it hasn’t been shown to enhance that mission.

That may seem stupid and short-sighted and we may seem like blinded ogres. But these are the facts, and when it comes to changing military policy, advocates would be best served to learn to argue from the military’s perspective. Appeals to the mainstream of American thought and sensibilities and cries of unfairness are good and well, but the advocate community has to realize it’s not going to get anywhere with its goal of allowing homosexuals to openly serve until they start coming up with hard facts (that stand up to scrutiny) that show how a change to the policy will better enable the military to perform its duty.

Generals and admirals, top DoD officials and powerful Congressional committee members are not going to advocate for a change to the policy simply because enough people show up on a poll saying it’s unfair. At least I hope not. Hopefully there’s a clear and demonstrable mission-related reason to change the policy. Hopefully advocacy groups are looking actively for these reasons. Historically, with a few interesting exceptions, they’ve fallen quite short.

Ending the policy for the wrong reason could have disastrous consequences. If a precedent is set for changing our strategic military defense policies because enough people cry about it being unfair, it’s only a matter of time before the Armed Forces better resembles your local neighborhood watch than the world’s greatest military machine it is today–not because of openly-serving gays, but because of a lack of standards in the decision-making process. On the other hand, if we are able to show beyond reasonable criticism how ending the ban would strengthen the military and enhance our ability to perform the mission, not only would we get our way (as recalcitrant and backward as the brass may seem to the outside world, they’re always looking for ways to do their jobs better), but we’d probably also gain more respect as a “community” by having earned our way in through a presentation of the facts rather than pouting until we got our way.

Long story short, don’t expect folks who don’t shit without doing a mission-impact assessment to change a policy because it seems unfair and makes some soldiers feel bad. On the other hand, give them some proof that it’ll make it easier to fight and win wars and you’ll have decision-makers on your side.

Let’s start our argument with: National Security will be enhanced through a stronger Armed Forces and America will be safer by allowing openly homosexual members to serve because…

When we can unquestionably complete that thought–with facts to back it up–we’ll have made our point and it will take care of itself. In my next installment I’ll show how some of the arguments don’t finish that thought, and how closely some of them actually do.

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28 Comments

  1. My husband is in the Marine Corps, so we’ve been aware of this issue for some time now. You should know that there are people like myself out here who have no trouble with gays in the military. None. Anyone who can pass the exam, physical and written, should be in. Nuff said. I’m sure at some point the narrow-mindedness of military personel will change.

    Comment by Melanie — February 22, 2006 @ 8:53 am - February 22, 2006

  2. I would much prefer to have open gays serving as soldiers than to have gay marriage institutionalized. So it surprises me that I think your question is really important.

    One of the laws which dominates human life is the law of unintended consequences. You can do action A out of good intention and with good thought, but it can still be the eventual cause of action Z, which can be really nasty. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act (what choice do you have?), but it should teach you to think long and hard afore you do. That’s a good bit of what’s made me into a conservative.

    An unforeseen (and “maybe” unintended) consequence of many of the apparently benign social movements of the 60’s, feminism,
    gay rights, etc. has been, IMHO, the creation of a culture in which manhood is not only disvalued but actively pathologized. The feminine characteristics are prioritized and the classical masculine virtues either marginalized, morphed beyond recognition, or mocked.
    The US military is one of the places where manhood is prized. IF the open inclusion of gay men as soldiers meant that we were to be held openly to the same standards of manhood essential to the mission (kill the enemy and take his stuff), I’d still prioritize it over gay marriage. But if it meant the further alteration of the masculine virtues in the direction of the rest of the culture, anxiously obsessed with “sensitivity” to “victims” of all kinds of “oppression” (real, imaginary and/or contrived) , then I ‘d have to say, much to my surprise, that it should wait.

    (It goes without saying that lefty gay demands for an end
    To DADT are simply reactive to any exclusionary policy; their contempt for the American military is practically genetic. If DADT is repealed, what do you bet they find another reason to reject ROTC at universities? No halal food? A glass ceiling for women? The list is endless).

    To try an answer to ColoradoPatriots’s question, I only point to the discharge of gay linguists in Arab and Persian. That cannot help the mission, can it?

    Comment by EssEm — February 22, 2006 @ 10:11 am - February 22, 2006

  3. Melanie,
    I think what ColoradoPatriot’s post tried to point out was not that their are narrow-minded military personel, but rather focus-minded military personel. I, like your husband, am a Marine (active duty 88-92), though I am straight, find that scrapping the DADT and allowing all who qualify to serve. My focus is whether my fellow Marine can fire his/her rifle straight and true and take our enemy by fire and closed combat.
    That said, there appears to be a significant amount of resources spent on expelling gays, from lost training costs, losted skill sets, to losted time and money processing those being discharged. Resources that could be spent on more training and equipment, or better housing, or MWR.

    Comment by HCN — February 22, 2006 @ 10:54 am - February 22, 2006

  4. #0 – “National Security will be enhanced through a stronger Armed Forces and America will be safer by allowing openly homosexual members to serve because…”

    – It’s morally right. (Sidebar: Any military officer who doesn’t know the long-term mutual reinforcement among morality, esprit, and battlefield success, should not be serving.)

    – Critically needed skills, that the military currently is losing for no good reason, will be retained. (certain Arab linguists, as only one example)

    – One key channel of “bogus early terminations” among heterosexual soldiers (claiming to be gay just to get out early) will be shut down.

    – Whether or not America ever approves gay marriage, it is trending increasingly toward acceptance of gays, and a volunteer, civilian-ruled military that departs significantly from its civilian society’s notion of fairness is doomed in the long run.

    Comment by Calarato — February 22, 2006 @ 12:26 pm - February 22, 2006

  5. (note: My final point could be summarized as, “Because civilians want it”. – NOT saying the military should do every whimsical and unreasonable thing a few crazy civilians might want. But, again, when values have shifted in a large and truly persistent way, a volunteer and civilian-ruled military which can’t adapt is doomed over time.)

    Comment by Calarato — February 22, 2006 @ 12:40 pm - February 22, 2006

  6. I’m curious. Was their a long-term mission impact study before the armed services were ddesegregated?

    Comment by JwGreen — February 22, 2006 @ 1:02 pm - February 22, 2006

  7. No. President Truman simply ordered it.

    The present situation with DADT is tougher, because Clinton blew his chance in 1993 to pull a Truman. In the resulting backlash of Democratic Party homophobia, the Democrats (at that time, the majority in Congress) wrote DADT into law. So no President can reverse it through executive order. Full reversal would take an act of Congress at this point.

    And that’s something I wanted to touch on earlier. What we have right now is a vicious cycle of timidity between Congress and top military leaders. The military leaders say “Don’t ask us about DADT; it’s policy written by the civilian branch, Congress.” And Congress (Democrats and Republicans alike) says “Don’t ask us; we wouldn’t dream of doing anything that the top military leaders don’t specifically request.”

    I’m not sure how to break that cycle. For now, let’s just say: “Thank you, Mr. Clinton.”

    Comment by Calarato — February 22, 2006 @ 1:14 pm - February 22, 2006

  8. HCN, Yeah, I got that. When I re-read my comment, I realized I didn’t quite articulate what I meant very well. Inside the military there are still certain personel who are opposed to openly gay service members, so I wonder if this isn’t one of the reasons for DADT. At some point, I suspect people will get over that portion of the issue, and I wanted to point out that there are people out here such as myself, (I’m trying to be supportive here) who don’t have an issue with it. If a person is qualified, by all means, join. But having a quota, or opening the floodgates regardless of qualification wouldn’t be advantageous. I suppose I’m opening a can of worms here, but the guidelines for women should be the same as well. Just my opinion.

    Comment by Melanie — February 22, 2006 @ 1:20 pm - February 22, 2006

  9. Calarato, those are all fine and good completions to Nick’s question… but the best one isn’t there: Congress saying that if you don’t do it, we’ll cut weapon systems funding, scale back to a 200 ship Navy, and eliminate the Marines.

    Sounds like a JimminyCricketCarter policy initiative I wouldn’t want to be near.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 22, 2006 @ 2:02 pm - February 22, 2006

  10. I challenge your assumption that the public must defer to the military as opposed to the other way around. This assumption has you insist that the public demonstrate to the military that If x, then y.

    My objections are several. Somethings are simply not demonstrable. This is especially true of situations that have never been tried, so no comparison even exists, except in the minds of the disscussants.

    Second, did Truman insist on this posture when he integrated the military? Not at all. Truman believed his cause was morally right, and insisted the military do what was morally right. And to the generals, his bottom line? Get over it.

    Third, there are half-a-dozen countries that already allow, and some actively recruit, gay personnel. Not a single country who has a gay-inclusive military has had a single problem. Where’s this fact in your analysis?

    Fourth, the military powers were adverse to women soldiers. There has been “some” evidence that women may not be as effective as men in doing certain functions. Still, this disparity has not reversed policy, but policy changed to accommodate diversity.

    Fifth, the only objection I find remotely compelling is that HIV+ personnel pose risks to fellow service people. Not that they are gay, but that contaminated blood could be problematic in wounded soldier helping wounded soldier. Until more information is known, it might be prudent to exclude HIV+ personnel from serving in combat situations, which would apply to straight and gay.

    Last, from all I’ve read, the military’s brass’s sole objection to GLBT personnel is for “morale” reasons. That very same objection was used when African-Americans were first suggested. Who knows if a “morale” problem exists without having openly-gay personnel serving? It’s an imaginary petard and proverbial “catch-22.” And if it does exist, then maybe THEY need reeducation, not WE excluded.

    You downplay the “equality” factor for reasons I do not understand. We supposedly live in a liberal democracy where everyone has equal opportunity, equality before the law, due process, and equal pursuits of our individual means of happiness. Nothing in the Constitution is “heterosexual-only.” Either the privilege of military service extends to all properly-disposed individuals or it does not? If it does, DADT is an offensive policy. If it does not, it’s not only offensive, but unAmerican.

    Comment by Stephen — February 22, 2006 @ 2:15 pm - February 22, 2006

  11. The current policy and law carries its own built in security risk. For instance, Colorado Patriot, lets say I know your real name and location. So I demand that you give me access to whatever national security materials you are working on or I will out you to your chain of command. Your career of 19 years and 364 days is over and you get no retirement benefits. And maybe even a less than honorable discharge, which does not look good on the resume. As things stand the policy inherently give anyone something to hold over a gay servicmember. And since BTW, there are now apparently more Russian spy’s in the US than there were during the Cold War, it’s not a far-fetched scenario.

    But lets look at a more real-life example. I believe one of the women who are currently a part of one of the lawsuits formerly was a recruiter. A good one. One day, in her role as a supervisor, she gave a bad review to a subordinate. Well, that persons wife took it upon herself to follow the woman until she went into a gay bar and kissed a friend hello. The wife reported it to her chain of command, and she gets booted.
    What if the wife had instead gone to the woman and said “give my husband a good review or else…”? Is that such an unlikely scenario?
    What if there is another gay person in the same unit as the woman who got kicked out? Is he going to think twice about give someone a bad review the next time around? Will he give someone a “pass” he shouldn’t have? What will be the consequences down the road of having someone in a position they are unqualified for? Say the handling of munitions for example.

    What will be the effect on the morale of the other people who work for that supervisor who see that someone who doesn’t cut it gets a pass? Would they be more or less motivated to do their job well?

    DADT, instead of protecting “Unit Cohesion and Morale” actually helps to destroy both of those things.

    The other main practical reason is simply that the military is throwing away people and skills it needs in order to accomplish its mission. The Army and National Guard have been actually lowering their standards for admission as far as elements like education, criminal history, etc., are concerned. The most highly educated and professional military in the world is dumbing down in order to fill positions. While at the same time relentlessly kicking out valuable and skilled personnel.

    Now the counter argument to that is of course that letting gay servicemembers serve openly would cause more disruption than they were worth. But is that really true? Especially if the military is now accepting some candidates with criminal records?

    Also, a point I’ve made before, which commenter’s such as “michigan matt” have ignored, is that when the military integrated people of color into the regular ranks, they no doubt had a great deal of “Unit Cohesion and Morale” problems. Yet it survived, dealt with it and moved on. The military is in fact stronger for it.

    The number of gay and lesbian personnel in proportion to the numbers of blacks, Hispanics, etc. that were integrated is tiny. Minuscule in comparison. So there really should be no reason that the military can’t easily deal with the issues that will come up. There just are not numerically enough gays and lesbians in the military to cause a large enough problem to justify the policy.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — February 22, 2006 @ 2:18 pm - February 22, 2006

  12. #4) “One key channel of “bogus early terminations” among heterosexual soldiers (claiming to be gay just to get out early) will be shut down.”

    QFT. As I was being processed out, several guys came to me and asked how I did it, and expressed a desire to do the same, wondering if I had faked being gay to get out. (Just FYI- I’m really gay. hehe) Submarine life was grueling at times and a lot of people were eager for it to be over.

    I see your point, CP, but I can’t help but think that the answer is rather obvious. Until the military no longer needs to actively recruit because they have so many people signing up that they’re having to turn qualified people away, the burden ought to be on them to show good evidence how having openly gay personnel would be even worse than being short needed personnel. How can turning qualified people away when you really need them NOT hurt the mission?

    Seems like a “duh”.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 22, 2006 @ 2:20 pm - February 22, 2006

  13. At least I hope not. Hopefully there’s a clear and demonstrable mission-related reason to change the policy.

    The main fly in the ointment on this line of thinking is that the policy was never enacted out of practical or logical reasons. Its primary source has been and will be prejudice and fear. The “Unit Cohesion and Morale” arguments have always been straw men. Even if those factors did not exist they still would not want gays in the military.

    Logic and Reason are only going to take you so far if you want to get rid of DADT. You should not only include a moral appeal to fairness and justice, you require one.

    But it should be approached in a way that appeals to military values rather using the language of the civil rights movement. Bring the argument forward in terms of honor, duty and sacrifice as well as other traditional military values.

    I happen to know of a gay military couple, who met as they were recovering from wounds caused by IED’s in Iraq. One has lost both his legs, and the other parts of his brain. They both lost most of their hearing as well. These are the things they were willing to sacrifice for their country. They do not regret being a Solider and a Marine. Yet they will pay the price for our freedom the rest of their lives. If they were found out to be gay, wouldn’t they still be treated with honor by their fellow soldiers? But DADT would insist that they be treated as garbage, to be thrown out at the earliest opportunity. The military, and the Country, owe them better than that treatment.

    DADT is a violation of traditional military moral values.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — February 22, 2006 @ 2:37 pm - February 22, 2006

  14. Stephen,
    HIV is already a very real issue in the military, and provisions have been made. It needn’t be considered a post-DADT concern as it’s a current, well-delt-with, (in my opinion) issue. I doubt that aspect of the military will change, if the DADT policy changes.

    Comment by Melanie — February 22, 2006 @ 3:56 pm - February 22, 2006

  15. I think you have framed the arguments for the end of DADT as a policy is right on.

    I also think this case can be made.

    One issue with DADT is the requirement for secrecy/the double life. I think a person who doesn’t have to worry if their secret life is going to be found out, and doesn’t have to worry if their job is threatened because of their secret life, they will be better soldiers/sailors/marines for it.

    I think just about any fear or concern regarding openly serving homosexuals can be dealt with in the UCMJ. Sexual activity between heterosexuals in work situations is already prohibited, it doesn’t take much thought to make these same rules apply to homosexuals.

    These issues would have to be clearly defined and enforced.

    I also think the argument for strength can be made in the area of loss due to DADT revelations. I remember reading somewhere that the majority of discharges under DADT were soldiers revealing to their commanders voluntarily that they were homosexual, and wanted a discharge. This aspect of giving people an “out” from their contract has troubled me-closing this loophole would be a good idea.

    Comment by Just Me — February 22, 2006 @ 4:47 pm - February 22, 2006

  16. Nick: As former military myself, I have to agree with you about the mission coming before fairness. However, I believe for many reasons DADT is detrimental to the mission in lost resources outweighing any perceived benefits from expelling gays. Besides, the “unit cohesion” argument has been shown to be false by the Pentagon’s own actions lately. I set out some of my thoughts in an earlier posting on my blog. Were I to re-write this I’d keep most of it the same but would have included more of how expelling gays is detrimental to the mission by creating a loss in resources and manpower for the military.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — February 22, 2006 @ 7:03 pm - February 22, 2006

  17. It sounds too much like the reasons quoted for maintaining a segragated armed force before Truman integrated it by fiat.

    “Integrating the armed forces would hurt unit cohesion.” That was the argument.

    Was integrating the armed forces a good thing, or not? I think it was. I think the integration done in the armed forces lead the way for integration in society as a whole.

    Comment by Zendo Deb — February 22, 2006 @ 7:09 pm - February 22, 2006

  18. “Second, did Truman insist on this posture when he integrated the military? Not at all. Truman believed his cause was morally right, and insisted the military do what was morally right. And to the generals, his bottom line? Get over it.”

    That’s not how I heard it at all. What I heard was that the replacement system was breaking down in the face of huge losses and desegrating personnel replacements was one way of simplifying the problem. Remeber also that at the time desegration was NOT considered some great obvious moral right thing to do; quite the opposite; it was considered slimy and immoral.

    “I challenge your assumption that the public must defer to the military as opposed to the other way around. This assumption has you insist that the public demonstrate to the military that If x, then y.”

    Stephen, of course you are right in general principle, but the crucial point is that in practical terms, well, it isn’t the public that has the (big) guns or the expertise to use them or the expertise to organize itself, so you go with what you got. But look at what you’ve got – as Melanie’s comment shows, bigotry is far from some consolidated front across the miltary.

    “Also, a point I’ve made before, which commenter’s such as “michigan matt” have ignored, is that when the military integrated people of color into the regular ranks, they no doubt had a great deal of “Unit Cohesion and Morale” problems. Yet it survived, dealt with it and moved on. The military is in fact stronger for it. ”

    True dat, and it lasted for decades. Decades. I remember in my unit in Germany in 1980 that there were separate drug dealing networks, white and black, because of distrust. That is an unorthodox but reliable measure of unit cohesion. 1980. Sheesh. And the Army is much stronger for the effort. 1980 may sound recent (to some of us) but not so recent that I don’t get murmurs of disbelief when I tell the story now.

    Comment by Jim — February 22, 2006 @ 7:13 pm - February 22, 2006

  19. Stephen in #10 tells it the way it ought to be. Unfortunately, Colorado Patriot tells it the way it is — and the way it’s going to be for a long time.

    I wish Michigan Matt, in #9, was correct that Congress could simply threaten the various services. Even if the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the four-stars in charge of the major commands went to the Senate and House armed serrvices committees and said they would welcome openly gay personnel, it’s doubtful Congress would (or could) agree.

    Even though they are not personally affected, the big retiree organizations, like the Navy League, Air Force Association, VFW, American Legion, etc., all of whom have clout on Capitol Hill, are likely to fight any change. And, be sure, the right-wingers like James Dobson’s Focus On the Family, Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association, Tony Perkin’s Family Research Council, Lou Sheldon, Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, et al, would pull out all stops.

    For a long time I thought the cost would change things. But when the Air Force, for example, separated a captain from a strategic reconnassaince crew after he revealed his sexuality to his commander, a captain whose training and experience was worth millions, I got a taste of the truth. The gray heads at the officers’ club, who bitch at length about the taxes they have to pay as retirees, said: good riddance!

    A lot of people hoped that the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence vs Texas would be applied to the military. But it wasn’t. And with Samuel Alito replacing Sandra Day O’Connor I doubt a legal challenge to DADT could win the support of a majority of the justices.

    If attitudes toward gays change — and I wonder, with Republican legislators in 16 states now pushing for state constitutional amendments to ban adoptions by gays, if attitudes are going to change — the answer might be to try to convince Congress and the military to experiment with one service accepting openly gay personnel.

    (If we ignore the retirees) the Air Force is the service probably most amenable to accepting and accommodating openly gay personnel; as a general rule, USAF enlisted personnel aren’t living and fighting in the close quarters that seem an issue in the Navy, Army and Marines. The Air Force requires high skills and is having trouble filling a lot of the skill slots. (The Air Force, which gathers a lot of the military’s intelligence data, currently can’t fill nearly half of its slots for linquists.)

    Comment by Jack Allen — February 23, 2006 @ 12:57 am - February 23, 2006

  20. Colorado Patriot, you have entirely too much faith in the rationality of American government — and, let’s add, of American military leadership.

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — February 23, 2006 @ 1:08 am - February 23, 2006

  21. Insanely busy day yesterday so I didn’t have a chance to read all these comments till today. I actually got some great ideas from some of them to add to my (ever-growing) next post in this series.

    Melanie, thanks to you and your husband for your service.
    HCN, Dale, Average Gay Joe and Jim, thanks also for your service.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 23, 2006 @ 9:09 am - February 23, 2006

  22. #19 Jack Allen — February 23, 2006 @ 12:57 am – February 23, 2006

    I wish Michigan Matt, in #9, was correct that Congress could simply threaten the various services. Even if the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the four-stars in charge of the major commands went to the Senate and House armed serrvices committees and said they would welcome openly gay personnel, it’s doubtful Congress would (or could) agree.

    Oh, please, give me a break. Congress isn’t going to challenge the military, particularly regarding procurement. Mention was made a few years ago that Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” should have been better characterized as a “military-industrial-congressional complex.” The military learned, early on, that they could get what they wanted by spreading contracts, sub-contracts, sub-sub-contracts, and so forth, as broadly as they could throughout states and congressional districts. Each of the pigs at the trough–senators and house members–wants their “fair share” of the federal military largess. It’s little more than welfare, not only for the corporations, but also for the line workers who work on these military contracts. It’s the line workers who vote (not the corporations) and you can be sure that the people who work in the industrial portion of the military-industrial complex vote for congress based at least in part on their self interest, and the interest of the other tax-payers be damned.

    Frankly, I don’t give a tinker’s damn (no, that is not an epithet) on this issue. My issue is the fact that more than a few governmental operations give extra points to veterans–whether or not they ever served in combat–when they take a civil service examination. So they get an extra leg up in connection with federal, state and local employment. So they are discriminating against gay people–surrepticiously, of course. Of course.

    Regarding the thought that, if you keep your sexual orientation to yourself, you’ll be home-free. Maybe, maybe not.

    Gay-Baiting Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

    http://www.alternet.org/story/9403

    Comment by raj — February 23, 2006 @ 12:21 pm - February 23, 2006

  23. #19 – While the AF may have a higher education level (in general – I am not sure about that), the AF also seems to have a striking “inferiority complex” about not being taken seriously as a warrior institution and tends to (sometimes) overcompensate for that – they also seem to have an extremely evangelical tendancy (even by the military standard) so they may be the least likely to make any progress on this. I hope I am wrong.

    I would argue that the real question is not how lifting DADT will increase mission effectiveness, but rather, will lifting it cause damage? If there is no harm, why not make the change?

    I also tend to think that as the old school leaves (or dies off) the younger generation will replace them and they don’t seem to have nearly the problem with this. But that applies to Congress too!

    Comment by andrewdb — February 23, 2006 @ 12:34 pm - February 23, 2006

  24. True dat, and it lasted for decades. Decades. I remember in my unit in Germany in 1980 that there were separate drug dealing networks, white and black, because of distrust. That is an unorthodox but reliable measure of unit cohesion. 1980. Sheesh. And the Army is much stronger for the effort. ..

    Which means essentially, that they are exactly like the drug gangs outside the military, most of which are racially segregated.

    The military is stronger for the change in policy because it doesn’t waste as much talent and human resources anymore by following ignorant hateful prejudices. Human resources like Colin Powell for example.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — February 23, 2006 @ 3:33 pm - February 23, 2006

  25. And, be sure, the right-wingers like James Dobson’s Focus On the Family, Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association, Tony Perkin’s Family Research Council, Lou Sheldon, Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, et al, would pull out all stops

    Just for reference, the main “conservative” anti-gay group involved with the issue is Elaine Donnelly’s Center for Military Readiness. They are also trying to get women out of the military. You can check them out here:

    http://www.cmrlink.org/

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — February 23, 2006 @ 3:39 pm - February 23, 2006

  26. “Generals and admirals, top DoD officials and powerful Congressional committee members are not going to advocate for a change to the policy simply because enough people show up on a poll saying it’s unfair.”

    Um…I have no bona fides :-), and I can’t at the moment put my finger on the source, but didn’t the exclusion of gays in the military begin during or shortly after WWII?

    What was the rationale for the policy change at that time? Vague memory tells me that it was the rise of psychoanalysis, not “a clear and demonstrable mission-related reason to change the policy.”

    Of course, establishing a policy is not quite the same as changing a policy, or is it?

    Comment by Gene — February 23, 2006 @ 9:28 pm - February 23, 2006

  27. raj, #22, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The military does not spread the bucks around in order to keep members of Congress happy. It’s the Congress that doles out the goodies. There have been weapons systems the military services did not want that Congress left in budgets to keep jobs in the districts and/or states of the committee and sub-committee chairs. There are functions the military doesn’t want. There are bases the military doesn’t want.

    Congress controls the purse strings. And taxpayers would be shocked by the number of personnel in the Pentagon who do nothing day in and day out but exchange paperwork with 100 Senators and 435 Representatives.

    Comment by Jack Allen — February 25, 2006 @ 3:14 am - February 25, 2006

  28. […] I: Not-So-Straight Facts Part II: What’s Really Important Here? Part III: What Doesn’t Work Part IV: A Winning Argument Part V: How You Gonna Do That? Part VI: […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » DADT Redux — March 3, 2009 @ 11:09 am - March 3, 2009

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