With the Obama administration, with Congressional allies, on a roll to repeal the Clinton era Don't Ask Don't Tell policy on gays in the military, I have decided to comment on it, I guess to beat a dead donkey. I have a few points of argument on the whole process and what it possibly means.
First lets look at the surveys. They are supposed to be anonymous, but any survey that is administered via the military computer network is far from anonymous. First the web-site hosting the survey tracks your computer name, IP address, and user account. They have to deliberately ignore that data since its automatically recorded in event logs. Next are surveys I have seen in the Air Force that strip away anonymity by how they are constructed. First your NCO emails you with a login password, you are told not to pass the password around, and to take the survey. Once you login; you are subjected to questions on your gender, rank, and career speciality[AFSC] to name a few bits of data. Given all this information, they know who you are. That 48% still thought repealing DADT is a bad idea, well G_d bless them for their courage.
Second point on DADT is, its all about allowing openly homosexual people into the military. We have already seen the Air Force try things like 'time-outs' between the TI and recruits when things get tense, what will be going through their mind over DADT? It will be almost impossible to discipline the openly gay recruits because the trainers will be fearful that the recruit will yell discrimination and the TI be over-ruled or disciplined. Now Basic is supposed to be grueling to one extent or another as the military service rebuilds the recruit into a useable airman, dogface, squid, or Marine. Discipline is required. But if discipline for the openly gay is curtailed, what message will that send? There will be schisms in each recruit unit over preferntial treatment the straights perceive the homosexuals are getting, this resentment will carry out into the field and color their preceptions. What kind of product will come out? A less keen sword that is far more brittel and more likely to break.
Which brings up the third point the grunts in the line units are worried about. A breakdown of unit cohesion. Will the preferential treatment continue and the openly homosexual troops get passes for things the regular troops get Article 15s for? Will they cut the mustard when the bullets are flying and IEDs going off? Will there be a sense of entitlement for the homosexual troops now they are out in the open? Then there is the whole trepidation of homosexual predators bagging their straight bunkmates while they share a hooch.
A last point, this is the first time such a massive integration effort has been attempted while the United States is actively engaged in combat operations. The 442d Regimental Combat Team or the Tuskegee Airmen were Japanese or black units in WWII. They were never internally integrated units like DADT will enforce on the current military. The desegregation of the US military between white only and black only units happened during peacetime. Same for allowing women to enter more combat related specialties during the 1990s, there was Northern and Southern Watch but nothing like OEF or OIF.
So there are many pitfalls to this situation and I have probably missed a few. But I think the Obama administration and its allies want to push DADT forward to repay some favors. And let hang any negative consequences. May this Republic survive this short-sighted foolishness.