November 30, 2010

DADT: Ask the War-fighters

Why the Pentagon's gays-in-military report fails

[Below is todays New York Post Op-Ed by Iraq Veterans For Congress founder Kieran Michael Lalor regarding the Pentagon's Dont Ask Dont Tell inbox...ed]

EVEN before its release, pro-repeal groups and the press have billed the Pentagon's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" study as the preeminent analysis of whether allowing openly gay service members would impact combat effectiveness. It's no such thing.

According to details that have leaked in advance, the report didn't even consider the only important question: Would repealing DADT help US troops accomplish their missions?

Any worthwhile review must consider whether repeal would hinder combat effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruitment and retention -- yet the Pentagon report avoids these critical questions.

Instead, one main section of the study consists of (unscientific) polling on how troops feel about serving with open homosexuals, while the other just looks at how repeal could be implemented.

Let's look at the "evidence." In addition to some focus groups, an anonymous online "drop box" and a survey of military spouses, the Pentagon sent a questionnaire to 400,000 active-duty and reserve troops. Less than 30 percent returned it -- and if our troops thought that repeal would help them take a hill, secure a perimeter or survive combat, the response rate wouldn't have been so low.[...]

Indeed, those serving in infantry, artillery and armor units surely had less opportunity to be surveyed: They're either in the field training stateside or deployed to the front lines overseas. If the study were serious about analyzing how repeal would affect the military's capacity to fight, it would have broken the results down by Military Occupational Specialty to allow it to focus on how the war-fighters felt.[Read rest of op-ed]

Kieran Michael Lalor is a Marine Corps Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the founder of Iraq Veterans for Congress and the author of "This Recruit."

This Recruit.jpg
File this under Ministry of Warfare/Heroes

By Stable Hand at 02:11 PM | Comments |