Brian Birdnow

News stories dated March 16, 2010 reported an eleven percent increase in sexual assaults in the U.S. during calendar year 2009. Defense Department officials claimed that sexual assault in the ranks might actually be more common than the numbers suggest because some victims choose not to report incidents for fear of retaliation from superiors. Included in these numbers were 173 cases of men reporting assaults by other men, a startling forty percent increase over the previous year. News stories dated March 26, 2010 reported that the Defense Department will soon implement new measures to make it more difficult to discharge openly gay men and lesbians from military service.

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What the reader can gather from these two news items is fairly clear. First of all, if sexual assault is rising in the military, the uniformed services are suffering a breakdown in discipline and order. Secondly, the politically correct Troika of President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs of staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen opted to ignore this evidence and to impose concrete policies that will exacerbate the problems. Under the guise of “extending protections” to gay service members they are opening a Pandora’s Box, the likes of which few can imagine and none hope to see.

The Obama Administration has already determined, in the middle of two wars and nearly universal deployments, to repeal Section 654, Title 10 U.S. Code, the 1993 statute known colloquially as, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue”. The Administration does not intend to study the problem, to evaluate the issues involved, or to pass an informed judgment. They simply intend to repeal the statute and this “extension of protections” is a declaration that the Pentagon is now actively undermining existing law and bringing practicing homosexuals into the military. This action is a classic case of the Democratic Party pandering to its base, as the President is tossing a bouquet to his supporters in the Gay Rights movement. This very casual political afterthought is, however, fraught with dangerous portents for the future.

Brian Birdnow

Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area.