As the U.S. Senate looks to take up a defense authorization bill that includes repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” some against its repeal say with current combat operations, it is the wrong time for a drastic policy change in military.
University of Wisconsin military historian John Hall says dramatic changes during war time have occurred such as units of black soldiers during the Civil War and using those forces to police the South after the war.
General Sherman referred to the use of black Reconstruction troops as an “experiment.” Although Sherman admitted there was success with the units, he said the Army should not be looked at as a laboratory for social experiments. Professor Hall says statements like these are not unlike dialogue heard today regarding gays openly serving in the military.
The Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen favor repealing DADT while three of the four service chiefs would not remove 17-year-policy.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was set to take up the defense bill Wednesday night but has been met with stiff resistance from Republican including Maine Senator Susan Collins. Reid has postponed vote of the controversial measure.