This is could be a very big development. Much of the concern about ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has focused on how military leaders feel about the policy. We’re getting a big hint from “Joint Force Quarterly,” via the Boston Globe:
An article in the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal calls in unambiguous terms for lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, arguing that the military is essentially forcing thousands of gay men and women to lead dishonest lives in an organization that emphasizes integrity as a fundamental tenet.
The article in the upcoming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, which is published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was written by an Air Force colonel who studied the issue for months while a student at the National Defense University in Washington and who concludes that having openly gay troops in the ranks will not hurt combat readiness.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of Pentagon leaders, but their appearance in a publication billed as the Joint Chiefs’ “flagship’’ security studies journal signals that the top brass now welcomes a debate in the military over repealing the 1993 law that requires gays to hide their sexual orientation, according to several longtime observers of the charged debate over gays in the military.
That’s a welcome signal. And, it should give some impetus to the Obama administration and Congress to get the repeal effort moving. According to the Globe, Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs “reviewed the article before it was published.”
Hopefully, this article will reinforce the reality that it’s 2009, not 1993. And, some people at the White House are stuck in a 1993-mindset:
Obama’s reticence is based in part on the lessons of former president Bill Clinton, who sought to allow gays to serve openly early in his administration but was forced to agree to the 1993 compromise after a fierce backlash in Congress and the military.
Again, it’s not 1993.