Santa Barbara, Calif. – Today the Palm Center released a review of NATO allies and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) nations in Afghanistan based on the analysis from the Pentagon’s recent Working Group report on gays in the U.S. military. The report notes that thirty-five nations it reviewed either permit open gay or lesbian service in their militaries or have no policy banning openly gay or lesbian service.
These 35 allied nations cited by the Pentagon report account for 35,883 of the 41,389 total non-US forces in Afghanistan or 87 percent, according to CentCom’s ISAF fact sheet from August 4, 2010. Palm Center Director Dr. Aaron Belkin responded to the review stating:
“This Pentagon data shows once more that American troops serve alongside openly gay British, Canadian and Australian troops every day in Afghanistan. The facts on the ground, in combat, speak for themselves. Openly gay service is a non-issue and implementing the change has been a non-event.”
Athough the Pentagon report listed 35 nations that permit openly gay service or do not prohibit it, the Palm Center has only been able to verify 25 of these. These 25 nations provide 31,073 troops, or 75% of the total non-U.S. Force deployment in Afghanistan.