The military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) policy is, like many government policies, both gratuitous and counterproductive. It deprives the military of men and women eager and willing to serve our nation, while forcing officials who have better things to do (like defending our country in a dangerous world) to spend time rooting out otherwise qualified (and sometimes even exemplary) servicemembers.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences. . . .
“I feel strongly this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation, and a lot of training,” said Gates. “It has enormous consequences for our troops.”
The defense secretary, who has supported lifting the ban, said that besides new training, regulations will need revisions and changes may be necessary to benefits and Defense Department buildings.
One of the merits of the Obama Administration approach had been to push for legislation which would give the military time to draft new regulations and prepare to implement repeal. Yet, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to schedule debate on such legislation at a time and in a manner likely to secure passage, they haven’t been able to realize the benefits of this sensible approach.
Now, we have a court dictating military policy and setting a dangerous precedent. Perhaps had U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips been less eager to make a name for herself and more respectful of the Constitution, she might instead of calling for an immediate end to the policy, given the Pentagon a timetable for repeal, thus allowing a smooth transition to the new era — without stepping on military toes.
Should a judge with no military experience dictate military policy?
This policy must be repealed, but not through the courts.