Secretary Gates’s new guidelines for “don’t ask, don’t tell” are consistent with the Obama administration’s plan to alter—and eventually reverse—the misguided policy. Both the guidelines and their ultimate goal deserve broad public support.
In the nearly 17 years since it was enacted, DADT has impeded military effectiveness by prohibiting motivated and well-qualified individuals from serving their country.
A new generation of military leaders, both officers and enlisted, has seen the harm and injustice done by this policy, and is ready for change. As this cohort advances through the ranks, and as an earlier generation that was not willing to change retires from service, we should anticipate a relatively smooth transition to a policy that has been adopted in many other countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Israel, and the United Kingdom. But the strong leadership shown by President Obama, Secretary Gates, and Chairman Mullen on this issue will likely prove the essential final ingredient to ensuring that DADT dies.
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