Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been on the books for almost twenty years. President Clinton signed it into law as a compromise to allow homosexuals to serve in the military without facing harassment or discrimination. General James Amos, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, has testified in favor of it before Congress; and a survey of U.S. Marines shows that the majority favor keeping the policy in place. With that in mind, ending it just doesn’t make sense.
Ultimately, though, this issue is about much more than letting homosexuals serve openly in the military. I question how this will impact our foreign policy. We already have a difficult time working with Middle Eastern nations like Saudi Arabia. Those countries have made it clear they do not support homosexuality. If the U.S. military starts stationing openly gay soldiers at its installations in those regions, I worry that will put additional strain on our relationship with those countries, and maybe even increase the risk our men and women in uniform face.
Under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military. The positive thing about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is that sexual orientation is simply not discussed. The military agrees not to ask, and its members agree not to tell. This change highlights sexual orientation—something that the military should not have to be preoccupied with. We’re in the midst of a war in Afghanistan. Wouldn’t it be better for our troops to be focused on winning that war rather than having to deal with all the politics associated with this issue?
The mission of the U.S. Military is to defend our nation by fighting and winning wars. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is an unnecessary distraction from that mission. It would be in the best interest of everyone if Congress found a way to reinstate the policy.