The New York Times published an op-ed piece Sunday that provided a powerful argument for lifting the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the U.S. military. The policy, which developed out of a compromise in 1993, attempted to create a middle ground between Clinton’s civil rights bid for lesbian and gay service members and the conservative argument that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. The presence of homosexuality, conservatives feared, would affect combat readiness.
This article compels us to consider that “don’t ask, don’t tell” actually goes against the grain of combat readiness. The military has long prided itself on its troops’ diversity, and history has shown us that integrated troops produce the best force. Last year, the two main designers for “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Gen. Colin Powell and Sen. Sam Nunn, publicly acknowledged that the policy should be “reviewed.”
After six years of war, it is important for the United States to be defended by the most talented troops possible. With 80% of Americans in favor of homosexuals serving openly in the military, it appears that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is outdated and indeed in serious need of revision.