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.
About the Palm Center
After President Obama signed legislation in December, 2010 authorizing the repeal of the law, Ira Hirschfield, President of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, wrote that, ?A great many people and organizations had a hand in achieving this victory?But this day never would have arrived (or it would have been a much longer wait) without the persistent, grinding work of the Michael Palm Center.?
The Advocate has named the Palm Center as one of the?most effective gay-rights groups in the country. Dr. Belkin and his colleagues at the Palm Center have broken major stories about ?don?t ask don?t tell? that have been covered widely by the U.S. and international media including: the first story about Arabic linguists being fired for being gay; a list of 104 retired Generals and Admirals calling for openly gay service; a Blue Ribbon Commission which found that the true financial cost of firing gays and lesbians in the military is significantly higher than reported by the government; a Pentagon regulation which continued to classify homosexuality as a mental illness; and many more.