By lex, on December 1st, 2010
Who are you going to believe?
U.S. combat forces have voiced strong reservations about the effects on readiness of allowing open gays in the ranks, the Pentagon said Tuesday in a report that is likely to influence a Senate vote on whether to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, in releasing a study he ordered to meet President Obama’s directive to end the ban on gays in the military, disclosed that the chiefs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army disagree with the report’s conclusion that the impact on combat readiness would be “low.”
Nearly 60 percent of Army and Marine Corps warriors said open homosexuals in the ranks would damage war-fighting capabilities, the study found.
“For this reason, the uniformed service chiefs are less sanguine than the working group about the level of risk of repeal with regard to combat readiness,” said Mr. Gates, who supports repeal, as does Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Pentagon survey of all troops, be they in desk jobs or in the field, found about 70 percent said open gays would have positive, mixed or no effect on unit cohesion.
By contrast, combat troops, who live in intimate surroundings while deployed, overwhelming reported that open gays would undermine military readiness, or preparedness for combat.
Politicians, pampered princelings and rear-echelon pogues? (No pun intended)
Or the relatively small number of those on the killing/dying end of the spear, whose existence gives the rest of the organization meaning?
Either way, it’s going to happen. Little doubt about that now. And in a few years it will be revealed to be much ado about nothing, or a colossal mistake.
People who deal in risk management worry about two things, likelihood and severity. A likely risk with a low severity is managed carefully. An unlikely risk with potential severe consequences is ordinarily eschewed, if other courses of action are available.
But these, clearly, are not ordinary times.