The Corner

Gates Urges Congress to Repeal DADT, Before the Courts Do

In testimony before the Senate today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before the end of the year, and warned against “rolling the dice,” and allowing the courts to repeal it first via “judicial fiat”. A judicial repeal, Gates said, would be

“confusing and distracting” and “hazardous to military morale.”

Gates said today the review found that more than two thirds of troops do not object to serving alongside gay men and women. He said that although repeal is “potentially disruptive in the short term,” it is not the “wrenching, traumatic change” that some had predicted.

“This is a policy change that we can make,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen said, adding that that is his professional as well as his personal opinion.

But Gates did concede that the unit cohesion of certain elite combat units might face a greater “negative effect” from repeal. Indeed, worries about repeal were highest in deployed combat units: 48 percent of soldiers and 58 percent of Marines in combat units admitted they feared the change would affect their readiness.

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

Most Popular


George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality

Few journalists are as respected by, and respectable to, liberals as The Atlantic’s George Packer. The author of The Assassin's Gate (2005), The Unwinding (2013), and a recently published biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, Packer has written for bastions of liberal thought from the New York Times Magazine ... Read More
Politics & Policy

CNN: Everything but the News

For a while, we thought MSNBC had temporarily usurped CNN as the font of fake news — although both networks had tied for the most negative coverage (93 percent of all their news reports) of President Trump’s first 100 days in office. A cynic would argue that CNN had deliberately given Trump undue coverage ... Read More
Health Care

The Absurd Campaign against Vaping

There has been a burst of panicked news, competing claims, and unfounded fear related to “vaping,” the use of electronic devices to produce an inhaled vapor, usually containing nicotine, which has emerged as a common alternative to smoking. As is commonly the case, the controversy surrounding vaping ... Read More