<i>Map reflects a compilation of states allowing gay service via the Palm Center.</i>
Last month chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen made headlines with this:
<blockquote>“No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens,”</blockquote>
Shortly after, Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered a year long review of the possible outcome and effects of repealing former President Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” initiative. Since then, in reading about and discussing the proposition to over turn “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” I have yet to find an objective, convincing argument against it. The one objection I found salient was expressed by both the Army and Air Force Chiefs of Staff whose wariness appears to be less about the concept and more about the timing. Army joint chief of staff, General George Casey:
<blockquote>“I do have serious concerns about the impact of repeal of the law on a force that’s fully engaged in two wars and has been at war for eight-and-a-half years,”</blockquote>
That’s certainly a reasonable concern and even after the assessment ordered by SecDef Gates winds up and conclusions are presented, I suspect it will still be a matter of concern no matter how positive (or negative, depending on one’s outlook) it’s findings. Nevertheless this is a criticism or worry aimed at the timing and not the principle of repeal. So I’ll ask a rather simple and a bit broad question and ask you ignore the context of timing and instead consider the principle of the prospective repeal for the sake of discussion:
If 25 countries spanning five continents can manage to allow gay service in their military’s why can’t or shouldn’t the United States?