Private Peterson Prancing in Pink Pleather!
A report released Monday shows that if 'don't ask, don't tell' - the law that bars out gays from serving in the military - were repealed the armed forces could alleviate a critical troop shortage.
The report, prepared by the Williams Project at the UCLA School of Law, and released today by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network shows that without the ban, the military could expect to see 41,000 new recruits.
It comes as the Pentagon admits it will not meet its recruiting goal this year for the first time since 1999.
Yes, we have a troop shortage. I'm not blaming anyone (*cough* Clinton *cough*) for starting it, but Bush is President now, and he is not addressing it. One easy way is repealing "Don't Ask , Don't Tell". Not only is it the right thing to do to end official discrimination, it will immediately result in 41,000 new troops.
Not included in this number are the new recruits that would be more willing to join a military that does not discriminate. Also not included are the new recruits that could be persuaded if colleges that banned military recruiters because of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" lifted their bans and allowed recruiters on to campuses again.
All in all, it would be a smart move. But will the Republicans do that? Probably not -- it sends a message that gay men are manly enough to serve in the military, and honorable enough to serve in the military. The last thing they would want to do is acknowledge that gays can be manly or honorable.
A Democratic Congress on the other hand, would be much more inclined to lift the ban now than in 1993.