Anyway, the gist of it is this: 10% of active-duty troops have said they would not re-enlist if the policy of "don't ask, don't tell" were stopped. That is, if gays were allowed to be openly gay in the military, 10% of the troops would look for work elsewhere.
Most active-duty service members continue to oppose President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military, a Military Times survey shows.Why is this significant? Because Obama's press secretary has promised to kill "don't ask, don't tell."
Moreover, if the policy was repealed, nearly 10 percent of respondents said they would not re-enlist or extend their service, and 14 percent said they would consider terminating their careers after serving their obligated tours.
A great many progressive liberals find fault with this policy and they desire a military that embraces people's various sexual lifestyles in an open, respectful way. Unfortunately, a great many progressive liberals have absolutely no desire to serve in the military -- whether don't ask, don't tell is the law or not -- which means that the military will continue recruiting from a population which does not share the enlightened, humane, pro-homosexuality goo-goo of the progressive liberals.Me too.
Don't ask, don't tell makes military service less attractive to gays and progressive liberals. But they, largely, are not inclined to serve in any event. Repealing the code makes service less attractive to traditionalists and, yes, conservatives (as well as blacks and Hispanics) who tend to be liberal on many issues but not particularly progressive about homosexuality) who actually are inclined to serve.
One can argue about the fairness but those actually willing to join the club ought to have some say in its rules. Those unwilling to join should have far less a say.
If Gleen Grenwald and other humane, compassionate, forward-thinking liberals announce their intention to sign up in great enough numbers to offset the losses among the current cohort of recruits, fine, we can dispense with the issue of how this policy affects the military's actual purpose -- to fight and win wars. And then we can have the debate solely on the grounds the liberals wish to have it on, on the questions of fairness and dignity and openness to diverse sexual orientations. And other gay [stuff] of this nature.
But somehow I doubt that any such large-scale pledge to serve will be forthcoming.
13 January 3:44pm BST: Matt P. weighs in with an angle that hadn't occurred to me:
The one thing that hit me right away about this is that repealing don't ask don't tell is just one more way for BHO to reduce defense spending. Not only that, he could point to the decrease in spending being a result of "natural" attrition and possibly not have to pay as much of a political consequence because, "People just aren't willing to sign up like they used to."I read an article awhile back on the Op-Ed page of the WSJ in which the author argued for Keynesian-style spending on the military. At least, he said, if you're going to spend huge amounts of money, you might as well spend it on things that are useful rather than just making stuff up like, "green jobs." He specifically outlined increasing the military budget to pay for big ticket items--new jet fighters, expensive parts for destroyers and carriers and other things along those lines.
Though the whole Keynesian approach doesn't appeal to me the way it does to (apparently) Obama, I could at least support spending large amounts of money of military modernization projects & recruiting.
I'm afraid, however, that Matt P. is right and the military won't be getting a dime. More "green" jobs!
At this point, I think people would just like "jobs"(!).
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