Last week was not a good one for proponents of social re-engineering of the U.S. military. They had been buoyed by the previous week's congressional testimony of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, widely seen as evidence the Pentagon was prepared to accede to President Obama's demand that avowed homosexuals be allowed to serve in the armed forces. Now, however, four other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have weighed in, and all bets are off on the idea of experimenting with - and possibly breaking - the All-Volunteer Force.
The first official efforts to protect the military's culture from the destructive agenda espoused by lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual (LGBT) activists were mounted on Tuesday by the leaders of the air and ground services. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz told the House Armed Services Committee: "This is not the time to perturb the force that is, at the moment, stretched by demands in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere without careful deliberation."
The same day, the counterpart Senate panel heard from the Army's top general, Chief of Staff George Casey, who said that he has "serious concerns about the impact of repeal of the law on a force that's fully engaged in two wars and has been at war for eight-and-a-half years." Gen. Casey added, "We just don't know the impacts on readiness and military effectiveness."
Then, on Wednesday, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead rolled in, warning the House Armed Services Committee that "There has never really been an assessment of the force that serves....Equally important [are] the feelings of the families that support that force." With that marker down, the Nation's top naval officer made clear that he is not going to go along with an idea his subordinates reject.
The LGBT crowd tried to portray the admiral's proviso as evidence of his support for the Gates-Mullen approach that I call "Gitmo 2"-- decide first to repeal the present law barring open homosexuals from serving, then sort out the implications of doing so. Adm. Roughead and his colleagues, however, seem to have no appetite for the sort of survey that favored by the would-be Pentagon social engineers: In the words of Wonderland's Queen of Hearts, "verdict first, trial after."
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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