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In the current issue of the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal, Joint Force Quarterly, Air Force colonel Om Prakash has published an article arguing that openly gay troops do not hurt unit cohesion or combat effectiveness, calling the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy a “costly failure” and asking President Obama to find a way to repeal the ban.
The essay was selected as the winner of this year’s Secretary of Defense essay contest and was reviewed in advance of publication by the office of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to the NY Times. Prakash, who works in the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, studied the issue while a student at the National War College. The article signals a shift in the thinking of the Pentagon’s top officials and is expected to put pressure on Obama to repeal DADT.
In “The Efficacy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Prakash reasons:
…the law as it currently stands does not prohibit homosexuals from serving in the military as long as they keep it secret. This has led to an uncomfortable value disconnect as homosexuals serving, estimated to be over 65,000, must compromise personal integrity. Given the growing gap between social mores and the law, DADT may do damage to the very unit cohesion that it seeks to protect.
Yes sir, Colonel! We couldn’t agree more.
What’s shocking is that, according to HuffPo contributor Chris Rodda, the mixing of religion and military policy at the highest levels is nothing new. What’s also shocking? These Crusade Memo-cover sheets are about as smart and sophisticated as your typical youth group-messaging. They used to put Scripture like this on t-shirts in my Southern Baptist youth group, to get us kids pumped about spending the first week of summer, the first taste of freedom…quietly studying the Bible while getting murdered by mosquitoes in the woods, teenage hormones on tilt because you were surrounded by beautiful people you wanted to fuck but couldn’t because Jesus didn’t approve, and the most you could do about it was maybe get felt up in the Prayer Garden at night, but that was only if you were really, really bad and hooked on getting saved and re-saved, which so many kids were because, hey, you had to get high somehow.
Yep, this was the sort of fist-pumpy Bible-beater stuff we kids would get brainwashed with during Wednesday night Bible study or before we went to witness to slack-jawed teens at the mall on a Friday night because, because, because…
We were responding to a higher calling? Because we had purpose? Because we were chosen and righteous?
No. It was because, frankly, we were bored. There were only so many movies you could see at one of the two local movie theaters, only so many frames you could bowl, only so many times you could sit in the Safeway parking lot after closing getting wasted on Bud and wine coolers. Going out and saving the world was a thing to do because there was kinda nothing better in our podunk town.
And to think this is the way the Bush administration ran the military and justified invading Iraq. God help us.