Friday, June 19, 2009

Former chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff argues for end to "don't ask, don't tell" ban

Retired Army General John M. Shalikashvili, who chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997,writes in the Washington Post today that the DADT ban on lesbians and gays weakens the military.
The officers who oppose lifting the ban argued in The Post that there is "no compelling national security reason" to let openly gay troops serve. They also say, however, that "losses of even a few thousand sergeants, petty officers and experienced mid-grade officers" -- those they believe might bolt -- are unaffordable. Under current policy, we have lost more than 13,000 of those people, such as the Arabic language speaker featured in the new film "Ask Not." In addition, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles have found that nearly 4,000 people leave voluntarily each year because of the ban, and that more than 40,000 recruits might join if the ban is ended.

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