“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” revisited

The debate about the strategically myopic policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has resurfaced again, sparked by a revealing article in the October issue of Joint Force Quarterly. President Obama told the Human Rights Campaign meeting on October 11 that he would end DADT, but he didn’t say when. National Security Advisor James Jones clarified ...

Walt-Steve-foreign-policy-columnist20
Walt-Steve-foreign-policy-columnist20
Stephen M. Walt
By , a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.
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579420_091013_walt2.jpg
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 11: during a protest October 11, 2009 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in DC to protest the Obama administration and the US Congress for being slow to live up to promises to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

The debate about the strategically myopic policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has resurfaced again, sparked by a revealing article in the October issue of Joint Force Quarterly. President Obama told the Human Rights Campaign meeting on October 11 that he would end DADT, but he didn't say when. National Security Advisor James Jones clarified matters by saying Obama would end the policy "at the right time." Oh good. What a relief that must be to gay men and women who are already serving, or those that would like to. It's nice to know that ending an unfair and counterproductive policy is on a strict timetable. I just hope Obama doesn't start talking about a "roadmap," because then we know nothing will change.

I have nothing to add to my earlier comments on this issue, but I'm pleased that the author of the JFQ article apparently agrees.

The debate about the strategically myopic policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has resurfaced again, sparked by a revealing article in the October issue of Joint Force Quarterly. President Obama told the Human Rights Campaign meeting on October 11 that he would end DADT, but he didn’t say when. National Security Advisor James Jones clarified matters by saying Obama would end the policy “at the right time.” Oh good. What a relief that must be to gay men and women who are already serving, or those that would like to. It’s nice to know that ending an unfair and counterproductive policy is on a strict timetable. I just hope Obama doesn’t start talking about a “roadmap,” because then we know nothing will change.

I have nothing to add to my earlier comments on this issue, but I’m pleased that the author of the JFQ article apparently agrees.

Stephen M. Walt is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University. Twitter: @stephenwalt

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