Financial Analysis Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: How Much Does The Gay Ban Cost?

February 1, 2006

In February 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the financial cost of discharging and replacing service members fired for homosexuality during the first ten years of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” concluding that the military had spent $190.5 million enforcing the ban. In response, we published this Blue Ribbon Commission report identifying flaws in GAO’s methodology and estimating the total cost of the ban at $363.8 million, 91 percent more than GAO’s calculation. GAO then published a critique of our report, and we responded to GAO’s critique. We were honored that former Defense Secretary William J. Perry served on our Blue Ribbon Commission. For a Washington Post story about our report, please click here.