Giving additional cover to legislators who want to vote against any bill to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” (beyond John McCain’s hand-selected 1,000 officers who are fully against it), the top generals in the Air Force and Army yesterday expressed worry about repealing the 1993 measure too hastily. “I do have serious concerns about the impact of repeal of the law on a force that’s fully engaged in two wars and has been at war for eight-and-a-half years,” General George Casey, the Army chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We just don’t know the impacts on readiness and military effectiveness.”
Before the House Armed Services Committee, Air Force chief of staff Norton Schwartz echoed the sentiment. “This is not the time to perturb the force that is, at the moment, stretched by demands in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere without careful deliberation,” he said. Both say they support Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s plan for a careful review before any action. Supporters of a DADT repeal say they are not troubled by these statements, banking that Joint Chiefs of Staffs chair Mike Mullen’s strong support will be enough to see the issue through.