After expressing hope that efforts to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would ultimately fail, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness (who, by the way, is not close to being an expert on the issue) told Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid that the draft is on its way once DADT is scrapped. According to Donnelly, the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell “could put remaining troops in greater danger, and break the All-Volunteer Force.”
Donnelly joins other right wing activists like Tony Perkins, David Bossie, Frank Gaffney, and Bryan Fischer, in forecasting the return of conscription as a result of the repeal. In 2006, Donnelly also predicted that allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly will lead to “forcible sodomy,” “introducing erotic factors,” and the proliferation of “HIV positivity.”
Kincaid, though, held out hope that the incoming House Republican majority and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), the designated Chair of the Armed Services Committee, would be able to block repeal:
McKeon had told reporters that he wanted to hold hearings that would include rank-and-file service members along with military leaders. “I would really like to hear from battlefield commanders,” McKeon said. “I would like to hear from battalion commanders, I would like to hear from company commanders on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq to see what their feelings are.”
So will Congress approve the changes, knowing that they could result in the return of the military draft?
As the Times indicates, the specific language of the bill is that the repeal must be “consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.”
The burden is on the gay rights lobby to prove that the changes would have no negative effect on any of the above. How can they prove such a thing when the Pentagon has already concluded that the change is risky and faces opposition from as many as 60 percent of our combat troops?
But the Pentagon’s own “Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” found, “In the key areas of military readiness, unit effectiveness, and unit cohesion the risks were all deemed to be LOW” and that “the change in culture and environment in warfighting units will be minimal.” 69% of respondents already claimed to have knowingly served with a gay or lesbian soldier, and of them “92% stated that the unit’s ‘ability to work together’ was ‘very good,’ ‘good,’ or ‘neither good nor poor.’”
But Donnelly and Kincaid continue to discount and distort the clear evidence from the Pentagon’s study that the repeal of DADT will have little effect at all on the military, and claim that unless Republicans belatedly block the repeal, a draft is imminent.