December 2, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), made the following statement after attending a hearing to discuss the Pentagon's report on Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy with U.S. Secretary Robert Gates, Admiral Michael Mullen, and U.S. General Carter Ham:
"While I was originally opposed to the policy when President Clinton proposed it, time has proven that DADT has helped maintain good order and discipline in our military for the past 17 years. However, as Democrats seek to advance their liberal agenda on our nation's military by repealing DADT, I am concerned about the negative impact this repeal would have on our troops and our national security.
Our nation's military has witnessed high recruitment and retention rates, and our troops have continued to be successful in protecting our nation and its' allies. If DADT is repealed, the DADT report reveals that nearly 24 percent of our force would leave or think about leaving the military sooner than planned. Such a potential exodus is alarming. The survey also reveals that 43 percent of the Marine Corps, 48 percent of the Army combat arms, 58 percent of the Marine Corps combat arms, and 30 percent of all military members said the repeal would have a negative effect on military effectiveness. Throughout the report, the statistics again and again show our military believes repealing DADT will have a negative impact on the military.
It is unfortunate this survey focused on what would happen "when" DADT is repealed and not "if" DADT should be repealed. Additionally, I am disheartened that the personal views voiced by our President, Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen appears to have impacted the results of the survey. By voicing their personal opinions concerning gays in the military prior to the completion of the survey, some servicemembers believed the repeal of DADT was a foregone conclusion and did not participate in the survey. Our Servicemembers deserve to have their opinions heard and counted."