Thoughts on Congressional Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

This past week, congress passed a repeal of the military policy, “don’t ask, don’t tell” regarding openly homosexual persons serving in the military. Previously, the military would not ask about an individual’s sexual tendencies, and in return, homosexuals were not to reveal their sexual disposition to their units.  Thus, the policy bared openly homosexuals from serving in the military.  But, congress, in its infinite wisdom has decided to repeal the policy.

I think repeal of this policy is a bad idea.

Reason 1.  If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  Over 200 years of the most elite military force in the world, functioning well and protecting this country very well counts as data.  The military is engaged in two wars, and is doing a fine job.  Changing a major social construct in the middle of two wars will produce unpredictable results, to say the least.

Reason 2.  Military service is not a human right.  Persons are excluded from military service for a variety of reasons; age, psychological disability, physical disability, etc.   There is nothing unique about homosexual tendencies that can create rights.   For example, saying “marriage is a civil right” does not automatically change the definition of marriage to include homosexual behavior.  Marriage has been traditionally defined as a union between one man and one woman for the purpose of raising and nurturing children.  Civilly, we have an interest in protecting marriage between a man and a woman because it is from healthy marriages and healthy families that healthy future citizens come from.   Homosexual relations are fundamentally different from heterosexual marriage.  Since homosexual behavior is barred from producing children, because it is unnatural, as a civil society, we have no interest in protecting those unions because not only are they harmful to the individuals themselves, they do not produce anything of meaning that is beneficial to the society.  Much in the same way, homosexuals “coming out of the closet” to their fellow soldiers serves no purpose in increasing the effectiveness of the military.   Calling something a “right” does not make it a “right.”  Homosexuals aren’t even barred from serving in the military.  They are barred from professing their sexual tendencies while on active duty.  The military already restricts certain behaviors of active duty servicemen and women for a variety of reasons.  Some speech, such as verbally attacking a US President is also barred.  What about professing homosexual tendencies makes it special or set apart from other barred speech and behavior?

3.  Reason 3.  There is no data, that I know of, that suggests repealing DADT will improve the effectiveness of the US military.  Some studies have shown that openly gay troops in places like Israel have not harmed their force cohesiveness or ability to wage war, but the key point here is that the US army is unique and such data does not apply at a 1 to 1 ratio.  Further, the world is uniquely reliant upon the US military to keep the peace and solve big problems.  Weakening the US military not only hurts our national security, but also the stability of the world in general, which has devastating consequences, especially for world economies and.

Reason 4.  The military should determine their own policy when it comes to things like this.  When congress sees, or rather invents problems, they often like to enforce artificial changes into natural markets (i.e. more Americans should own houses, we should lower lending standards OR more of this group or that group should attend college so we should enact this grant to help them, etc.)  My official position is that the military knows how to win wars more than the congress elites, most of whom have never served.  Enacting changes, mechanically from without, like this soon to be signed law, usually ends very badly.

But, I’d love to hear your thoughts, HTNL nation.

Cheers!

6 Responses to “Thoughts on Congressional Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell””

  1. Mark Kirk is a disgrace to the uniform in voting to repeal DADT. He is a carpet bagger sailor who uses his uniform for PR and to advance his political career. The military is a calling and a culture. Mark Kirk has voted to destroy the best and brightest America has to offer. Mark Kirk has spit in the face of everyone who has endured the rigors of military service and has paid the ultimate sacrifice of dying for their country. Kirk if you even think of running for President, forget about it. You are just another liberal from Chicago. I have served this country in two wars and I approved this message. Gunnery Sergeant USMC Retired

  2. I don’t know if a lot of so called educated people who are backing homosexual rights were reading comic booksin Biology 101. In Biology 101 I learned that the Male and Female of the species was designed to complement one another physically and emotionally. People who claim to know science seem to throw out the textbook and what nature teaches us about sexuality. Marriage is for the protection and education of children meaning that the Male and Female who produced this child would be there to nurture, educate and protect this child. Why is it so many so called educated people are in denial of science and what nature plainly show us? Because they are in rebellion against God and God’s plan for Man and Woman that is why!

  3. Point 2 is applicable.

    Certain “language” or “disclosures” can be harmful.

    As an example, if a military member despises the president, he/she cannot openly announce same.

    Thus, other things are best unannounced as well and in this case, more harm than good is highly likely to come of it, so this change is not a good decision.

    Being in close quarters for prolonged time periods, all the while trying not to get killed, makes it tough enough for both homosexual as well as heterosexual military members. Why should those with no experience decide they know better?

    The military is not banning homosexuals, just trying to keep them from harm.

    Is that really so bad?

  4. Samwise Gamgee 21. Dec, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Ah Mark Kirk… the best the Illinois GOP has to offer…. geeze.

  5. For the sake of discussion, I want to offer a few points. I’d be interested in your response to them. Note that I’m only talking about the repeal of DADT.

    Reason 1. Easy to agree with this–wartime isn’t a good time to change things. Beyond this, however, the fact that the military has functioned well the past 200 hundred years could be used to argue against any change. For example, why allow women into the armed forces or why make technological improvements?

    Reason 2. I would only ask what it is about professing homosexual tendencies makes it the same as or no different from other barred speech and behavior? That is, you ask why should it be unbanned, but I think it’s important to be able to also answer why it should be banned in the first place. The repeal of DADT likely won’t improve the effectiveness of the armed forces, but will it decrease it? There isn’t much evidence supporting either side.

    Is it possible that homosexual individuals might feel distress because they have to hide a part of their identity, which might make them less effective in combat? I don’t know, but it seems within the realm of possibility.

    Reason 3. What are the relevant differences here between the US military and the militaries of other countries like Israel? Data may not apply at a 1 to 1 ratio, but there needs to be a plausible explanation for why the data may not apply to the case of the US.

    Reason 4. I agree with you, this isn’t necessarily something Congress should stick its nose into. However, it already did so when DADT was created in the first place, so it wasn’t a military policy to begin with. The interference started a long time ago and set a precedent for Congressional action. Unfortunate, but that’s the way governments tend to work.

    Things to think about. Answering these questions, I feel, would improve the strength of your argument.

    I do wonder, though, how many supporters of the repeal of DADT will be enlisting in the military now that there is ‘equality.’ My guess is not that many.

  6. Samwise Gamgee 22. Dec, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Thanks for your comments DV, I’ll address your points by reason.

    Response 1. Victor Davis Hanson, excellent military historian, says war is like water going through a pump, we have found new ways to pump water faster and through bigger pipes, but essentially water will always be the same. Personally, I think women can make our armed forces better and so can technology, better in the sense that we’re more prepared to wage and win wars with women and modern technology than without women and with cannons. That being said, we still put restrictions on where women may serve, i.e. not on the front lines. Homosexuals are different than these other examples, I believe, because they are not barred from military service, as being gay does not make one a better or worse soldier. Previously, their behavior was modified so as to not speak out about their homosexual tendencies. This served mainly to increase unit cohesion and remove yet another confounding element that might go through an individual’s head when he’s about to die for his friends and country – one less thing to take into consideration.

    Response 2. Speaking out about homosexual behavior/tendencies should be barred because it drives wedges between fellow soldiers. Say, for example, that a loyal soldier was a racist. I’m not trying to draw parallels, just to use an example. This soldier might want to spout off racist remarks about his fellow soldiers, but his commanding officers would have an invested interest in making sure he did not do that lest he start some kind of inter-unit conflict.
    It might be possible that homosexuals would be less effective fighters because they can’t say their gay, but I find that unlikely. The military modifies almost every behavior of active duty personnel, one more alteration is not likely to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    In terms of effectiveness, if DADT was seriously impeding our ability to win wars, wouldn’t the military itself have repealed the policy long ago. The military is, after all, in the business of winning wars, I doubt they would make a decision to hinder our fighting ability.

    My main point in all of this is that repeal of DADT is a decision for the military to make, not congress. The congressional decision was a political one with the efficiency of the military serving as a secondary priority.

    Response 3. Well, the US military is uniquely the guardian of safety for the world. When natural disaster strikes, we are the first and largest response, every time. The reason for this is our military. We have 50,000 troops in Germany, near 40,000 in Korea and nearly 30,000 in Japan, plus hundreds of thousands involved in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus we are a global force as no other nation is. Western Europe is reliant upon our military like no other to perpetuate their quiet lives. We guarantee their freedom and protection, so they don’t have to spend a lot on military and they can spend more on things like healthcare and retirement at the age of 35 or whatever it is. Comparing the Israeli IDF to our armed forces is like oranges and apples. All Israelis have to serve in their armed forces and they have dynamics that are far different that ours. My hat’s off to them for their ability to win wars in the matter of weeks, but in terms of deployment, voluntary service and deployment lengths, our military is unique and uniquely important.

    Response 4. I agree, the military should determine its own policy. Congress is good at few things, I’d hate to put my safety in the hands of anyone on that floor. That is the way governments work, and that’s why that government is best that governs least (Thoreau)

    Cheers mate.

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