Predictions abound about what the impact will be of repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but one scholar who has studied the issue thoroughly says it’s all “no big deal.”
“What the research shows, is that operationally, repeal is no big deal. Sure, there will be isolated adjustment issues,” Aaron Belkin said Sunday. “But overall, the evidence shows that there will be no negative impact on readiness, cohesion, or any other aspect of military performance. That’s what we’ve been saying for years.”
Belkin is director of the Palm Center at the University of California, which has studied the impact of the law for more than 10 years, and the author of “How We Won: Progressive Lessons from the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
Opponents of repealing the policy, which was implemented under former President Bill Clinton, have predicted that killing it will lead to a drop off in military volunteers and increased assaults on gay and lesbian service members who openly declare their sexual orientation.
They point to 2009 statement signed by more than 1,000 retired military members who said the repeal would “break the all-volunteer force.”
Belkin said the Palm Center plans to monitor the repeal over the next year to determine what predictions actually and what kind of adjustments the military has to make.
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