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Sources: Pentagon group finds there is minimal risk to lifting gay ban during war

By By Ed O'Keefe and Greg Jaffe

A Pentagon study group has concluded that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to two people familiar with a draft of the report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1.

More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report's authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.

One source, who has read the report in full, summarized its findings in a series of conversations this week. The source declined to state his position on whether or not to lift the ban, insisting it did not matter. He said he felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings. The long, detailed and nuanced report will almost certainly be used by opponents and supporters of repeal legislation to bolster their positions in what is likely to be a heated and partisan congressional debate.

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By By Ed O'Keefe and Greg Jaffe  | November 10, 2010; 9:50 PM ET
Categories:  Military  
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DADT is a trojan horse for biggots. Like abortion rights, gay rights, and racial segregations rights to divide America. Remember "united we stand, divided we fall"

Posted by: chasjones444 | November 11, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that the 70% number actually represents the sentiments of a random sample of active service personnel, some considerations should be borne in mind in interpreting this datum:
First, the composition of the armed forces is something less than 30% combat arms personnel apt to be or currently assigned to close combat under harsh field conditions - the point of the spear. More than 70% of the forces are in the vast logistical/support/rear echelon "tail" - the exception being the Marine Corps, wherein effectively every Marine is trained and prepared to be assigned to close combat.
Based on my personal experience in serving with and commanding both types of units - "close combat" and logistical, I conclude that the 70% who have no problem with the repeal of DADT more likely represent the latter group. The closer one is to the point of the spear the less likely one is to see no fault with repeal.
The Marine Corps position is consistent with that observation. A breakout of responses by branch and Military Occupation Specialty should confirm it.
Secondly, assume that there is no difference between responses based on assignment. Whether or not that is the case, the results indicate that 30% of those in the armed forces do perceive a substantial problem with repeal. Can we afford to jeopardize the esprit de corps, the state of mind, the efficiency and effectiveness of 30% of all those in uniform at this time? I think not.

Posted by: frebo3 | November 12, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

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