Members of our Milblog community now have issued a statement and a counter-statement on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I am good friends with and a great admirer of bloggers on both sides of this issue. But now that some of us are throwing down our hands and revealing our cards, I shall do the same. Herewith my Stand-Alone Statement on DADT:
Why are we getting so worked up about gays in the military? Has the Khaki Rainbow mutinied, disrupted unit readiness, wrecked morale, gone AWOL en masse under fire, held orgies in the barracks, or hampered our overall ability to kick hell out of the enemy?
The answer is a unilateral No.
Even with gays in the ranks, we managed to trounce Hitler in Germany and shock the enemy at Inchon. We toppled the Soviet Union without a shot. We fended off overwhelming forces at Ia Drang and captured key Taliban leaders in The Sandbox and beyond. We also rescued civilian merchant seamen from pirate captivity off the coast of Somalia; pulled scores of entrapped foreigners from beneath what once was Port Au Prince; and a whole lot more.
No, I am not shining the rainbow spotlight on people who took part in these and other missions. But I am saying that for as long as we have had a military, gay people have served in uniform. They haven't caused any issues beyond what you find in a standard fraternization dynamic. And we already have rules in place for handling those situations.
We have far more important things to worry about than whether Joe, in the heat of combat, will focus on anything other than protecting Bob's back.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a self-defeating policy. It undermines unit readiness because it encourages vigilante attitudes and can cause the ouster of trained and valuable troops. We need to get rid of it.