Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 27, 2005
WAR: Winning Is The Only Thing

In general, I agree with this Max Boot column on revisiting the roles of women and gays in the military. (via Instapundit). The only question, in both cases, should be whether the effectiveness of the military can be increased. Like Boot and a lot of other conservatives, my big concern in the 1990s was that people pushing social changes in the military were subordinating that objective to other goals.

Ultimately, of course, this is one issue that should be decided solely by the professional military leadership, without political interference from either side. But it couldn't hurt to make sure that the military leadership has confidence that whatever decisions it makes won't be second-guessed politically.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:27 AM | War 2005 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

A lot of people forget that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was enacted as a statute. (Boot says the military should lift "its" ban.) It's been successfully defended in court as necessary for unit cohesion. Since it's a statute, if the military should decide that unit cohesion no longer requires it, there would still have to be a statutory repeal. The military cannot unilaterally change it. I suspect that, politically, the military would have to be enthusiastically in favor of repeal for it to pass, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: Attila at May 27, 2005 3:56 PM

By the way, you're absolutely right that "people pushing social changes in the military were subordinating that objective to other goals." Clinton viewed the military as a discriminatory social club.

Posted by: Attila at May 27, 2005 3:58 PM

Fair point. I'd probably support repeal. Is the UCMJ enacted by Congress? Again, seems to me that the best solution is to leave this to the discretion of the Pentagon. The professional soldiers know this issue best.

Posted by: The Crank at May 27, 2005 4:18 PM

Note: the time-before-last that this came up (women being this time, gays being last time), the 'professional military leadership' was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong in ways that hurt the military, wrong in ways that hurt the defense of the US, and wrong in ways that we, now, recognize as indefensible.

Truman was right to forcibly integrate the military, and the generals who's throats he shoved it down were wrong.

I'm not saying that gays should be able to serve openly, or that women should be fully integrated into front-line combat units (though I do have opinions on these subjects). But I am saying that taking what the generals of today say as gospel is the first step down a much worse path than people usually recognize.

Posted by: NBarnes at May 29, 2005 7:54 AM
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