Today, the House of Representatives passed a repeal of the Department of Defense’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was a policy enacted under President Clinton to address gay or lesbian service men and women in American armed forces. Westmoreland opposed the bill.
“Congressional Democrats failed to pass legislation to fund the Defense Department and our troops, but have instead prioritized a bill that will bring a major cultural change in the military while we fight wars on two fronts,” stated Westmoreland. “Once again congressional Democrats and the White House are sending a message that Washington cares more about sticking to its liberal agenda than it does about providing funding for American soldiers risking their lives on the front line.”
The Pentagon conducted a nine-month study on the implications of repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ and release a report detailing their findings. Of those findings, the report provided no guarantee that enacting such a change would be beneficial to military life, or that it would improve retention rates, increase readiness, or increase recruitment. With no guaranteed benefits, Westmoreland doesn’t see the need for enacting these disruptive changes.
“The military is no place for forcing social change,” stated Westmoreland. “So far, I haven’t seen anything that tells me repealing this law would have a positive impact on our soldiers. Until then, I could never support enacting this disruptive alteration while our nation is engaged in combat.”
Earlier this month, the chiefs of staff for the Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps raised their concerns during a Senate Armed Forces Committee as well. The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for a vote.