Thursday, February 24, 2005

A Downside of Don't Ask/Don't Tell

The GAO (via The Boston Globe) reports that exclusion of gays from the military is cutting the supply of people with vitally important skills in the WoT (hat tip: Chris).
"WASHINGTON -- More than 300 foreign language specialists considered critical in the war on terrorism have been forced out of the military in the past decade because of their sexual orientation, according to the first government study to assess both the warfighting and financial impact of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy that prohibits openly gay servicemen.

These soldiers had 'some skills in an important foreign language such as Arabic, Farsi, and Korean,' according to a report by the Government Accountability Office to be published next month. At least 54 of the 322 language specialists spoke Arabic -- more than twice as many as previous estimates. At the same time, more than 400 additional soldiers discharged under the policy had what the Pentagon considers 'critical occupations,' including Navy code-breakers, Army intelligence specialists and interrogators, Air Force air traffic controllers, and Marine Corps counterintelligence specialists."
Hmmm. People with critical skills, who want to serve, being turned away in a time of war. That doesn't make much sense.

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