February 13, 2006

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Costs Almost Double GAO Estimate, New Study Reports

Study Authors Include Former Defense Secretary, West Point Professors, Military Experts

SANTA BARBARA, CA,  — A Blue Ribbon Commission has determined that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy cost the Pentagon at least $363.8 million to implement during its first ten years. The Commission, which includes former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and other military experts, was formed after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a February, 2005 report that was based on questionable data and methodology. GAO’s estimate, the Commission found, was 91 percent too low. Because the Commission used conservative assumptions, its finding should be seen as a lower-bound estimate.

The raw data we obtained via a Freedom of Information Act included many inconsistenecies, and we cleaned the data according to the guidelines listed in footnote 14 of the study. To see the raw data, please click here (6.9MB Excel File).