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Service Chiefs Oppose DADT “Repeal” Compromise (UPDATE)

Somehow, we’re supposed to trust that President Obama, Defense Secretary Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chair Mullen will recommend immediate implementation and cessation of discharges in the face of united opposition to this new compromise from the service heads.

– G. ROUGHEAD, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS: “My concern is that legislative changes at this point, regardless of the precise language used, may cause confusion on the status of the law in the Fleet and disrupt the review process itself by leading Sailors to question whether their input matters.”

– JAMES T. CONWAY, COMMANDANT OF MARINE CORPS: “I encourage Congress to let the process the Secretary of Defense created to run its course. Collectively, we must use logical and pragmatic decisions about the long-term policies of our Armed Forces.”

– NORTON SCHWARTZ, CHIEF OF STAFF (USAF): “I believe it is important, a matter of keeping faith with those currently serving in the Armed Forces, and the Secretary of Defense commissioned review be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the DA/DT law…To do otherwise, in my view, would be presumptive and would reflect an intent to act before all relevant factors are assessed digested and understood.”

– GEORGE CASEY, CHIEF OF STAFF (ARMY): “I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward.”

Since none of the service chiefs support the "repeal" being passed by Congress, why would any of them support completion of the review in a timely manner? Dragging out completion of the study just makes it easier for them to make DADT repeal take longer.

We need legislation that sets a date certain for repeal and ends the discharges immediately. Nothing else will do, considering the intransigence of the service chiefs, especially in light of their insubordination today.

UPDATE: Spencer points out that SecDef Gates has been successful in locking down the service chiefs in the past when he really needed to, so these letters may have his tacit approval:

Only CNO Roughhead slips up and writes that he “shares the view of Secretary Gates that the best approach would be to complete the DOD review before there is any legislation to change the law.” That’s not been Gates’ substantive position since yesterday morning. But these letters call into question what his actual position is.

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Teddy Partridge

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