September 18, 2011

On Eve of DADT Repeal, Experts Predict Sharply Divergent Results

Some Anticipate a Non-Event While Others Expect Significant Problems

LOS ANGELES — On the eve of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t  tell,” (DADT) predictions about the impact of the policy’s demise diverge sharply.  On one hand, according to Professor Aaron Belkin, the repeal of DADT will be a non-event. “What the research shows,” he said, “is that operationally, repeal is no big deal. Sure, there will be isolated adjustment issues. But overall, the evidence shows that there will be no negative impact on readiness, cohesion or any other aspect of military performance.  That’s what we’ve been saying for years.”

Belkin is the author of “How We Won: Progressive Lessons from the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,'” and Director of the Palm Center, a research center that has studied the impact of DADT for more than a decade.

An upcoming Palm Center report will document 61 predictions repeal opponents have made during the nearly two-decade conversation about DADT. Opponents have predicted that repeal would harm the military, increase the rate of assaults, and undermine the American way of life. In 2009, for example, a group of more than 1,000 retired General and Flag Officers signed a statement predicting that repeal would “break the All-Volunteer Force.”

During the next year, the Palm Center will study the effectiveness of the Pentagon’s implementation of DADT repeal to determine which predictions come true.