A Pentagon review has found repealing "don't ask, don't tell" is unlikely to hurt the effectiveness of troops engaged in combat. The risk of repeal of don't ask, don't tell to overall military effectiveness is low," the report says. "We conclude that while a repeal of DADT will likely in the short term bring out some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention, we do not believe this disruption will be widespread or long-lasting, and can be adequately addressed. "Widespread attitude among a solid majority of service members is that repeal ... will not have a negative impact on their ability to conduct their military mission." The report is based on a survey of 115,000 service members and 44,266 spouses, includes interviews with former gay or lesbian service members, some of whom were discharged from the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Of those surveyed, 69 percent said they had served with a gay service member and 92 percent of those respondents said they were able to work together. Fifty to 55 percent of those surveyed said the repeal won't have any effect, 15 to 20 percent said it would have a positive effect and 30 percent said the effect would be negative. "The reality is that there are gay men and lesbians already serving in today's US military and most service members recognize this," the report says. "Much of the concern about open service is driven by misperceptions and stereotypes about what it would mean." President Obama said the Pentagon review confirms the military is ready and able to end "don't ask don't tell". "This report also confirms that, by every measure—from unit cohesion to recruitment and retention to family readiness—we can transition to a new policy in a responsible manner that ensures our military strength and national security," he said in a statement. "As Commander in Chief, I have pledged to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law because it weakens our national security, diminishes our military readiness, and violates fundamental American principles of fairness and equality by preventing patriotic Americans who are gay from serving openly in our armed forces."
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Wednesday, 1st December 2010 - 11:55am
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