Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Why Congress shouldn’t listen to the Generals on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

I saw on the news that some Democrats are committing to extending the lame duck congressional session in order to get one more shot at DADT repeal.  If this should happen I hope Congress will ignore the Generals and repeal this law.  My reasoning is simple, on every major social issue put before it since WWII the military has consistently been on the wrong side of history:

Desegregation:  The military was adamantly opposed.  Even after Truman ended desegregation by executive order in 1948 the Army essentially refused to integrate and the military went to war in Korea with segregated units.  It wasn’t until casualties forced white units to accept black replacements that integration was carried out.

The Draft:  When President Nixon wanted to end the draft his efforts were opposed by the military, which had become used to the guaranteed flow of manpower.  A full scale failure of the military was predicted.  That however did not come to pass and today the U.S. Military is unmatched in performance (that’s my opinion anyway)

Women in the Military and Women in Combat Roles:  In each case it was predicted that combat effectiveness would be severely downgraded.  That has not come to pass.

The initial passage of DADT:  I was in the service at the time and it was predicted that there would be a widespread exodus from the service, that service members wouldn’t stand for it (I had a Chief in IDC school while this was going on who informed us that he would kill the first person he found out was gay. (Ironically it turned out his son was gay and committed suicide)), and that morale would suffer.  None of that came to pass.

There are probably others I am forgetting about but you get the picture. 

But, not only have the Joint Chiefs been severely wrong on social issues deferring to them also cedes Congresses authority.  The Constitution specifically give the power to make the laws governing the land and naval forces.  It give the President responsibility to enforce those laws and regulations and it requires members of the military to follow them.  While there is certainly a place for advice from the military congress needs to remember who works for who and proceed accordingly.

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