By Kevin “Coach’ Collins
The recent report from the Pentagon heralding a change in the views of our military personnel toward ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy is bogus.
It was constructed using junk research methods and would be laughable if it were not for the seriousness of the damage ending DADT will do to the cohesiveness of our fighting forces.
Now that Obama has capitulated on his promise to end the Bush era tax cuts, ending DADT and passing the Dream Act are the hills he has been forced to fight and maybe politically die on. This explains why this survey has been “cooked” but doesn’t make it easier to accept.
Here are the problems with the Comprehensive Review Working Group’s (CRWG) report.
While the questionnaire CRWG used never actually asked if respondents favored repeal of DADT, it presumes to know the answer. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confidently opined, “a strong majority … two-thirds, do not object to gays and lesbians serving openly in uniform.”
The report asked whether the presence of homosexuals in a unit would affect its ability to “get the job done.” The report offered the fact that 70% answered to the affirmative. This answer can very defensibly be construed to mean a substantial 30% foresee problems following the end of DADT.
Of the 400,000 active and reserve military personnel surveyed via E-mail, just 28% responded. This universe would be scarcely acceptable if there were only 400,000 personnel in our armed forces, but it is dubious given the fact that we have 2.2 million people in uniform. Based on the actual number the response was just 5%.
The report includes no explanation of how the selected respondents were chosen or any defense of the sample as being a true random sample.
The cost in dollars and human resources
The CRWG sets the costs of this change at $30 to $40 million in new actual expenses. Nevertheless, the cost of recruiting and training replacement personnel to fill the vacancies caused by the alarming 24% who will leave or consider leaving will be considerably higher.
The likelihood of the 22% of the military, that self identifies as Evangelical Christians, will remain in the military or encourage their adult children to join the armed forces is greatly reduced by the repeal of DADT.
Moreover the report cavalierly brushes aside the increased costs of health care for those who engage in dangerous sexual practices. These people will now have an equal if not greater claim on the scarce health care dollars allotted to our military.
The costs to our military to provide treatment for the approximately 1000 HIV infected personnel currently run to as much as $80,000 per patient. Inviting more such personnel is dangerous.
These problems would be glaring and perhaps insurmountable if the report was honest, but the flaws in the survey’s methodology are so obvious that successfully resisting repeal should be well within the powers of the new conservative congress.
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This day in history December 8
2009: Bombings in Baghdad killed 127 and injured 448.
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