Military Chiefs of Staff Object to Early ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Compromise

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Admiral Mike Mullen.Photo: Essam Al-SudaniAFP/Getty Images

The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines yesterday signed letters objecting to a vote on the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy today. Expressing concern that Congress would make a decision on the matter before the military could complete the time-consuming study they've been making such a fuss about, generals like George Casey of the Army argued that this would send a message to troops that the military is not living up to its promise to listen to the input of servicemen and women. The letters were collected by DADT proponent John McCain, and will give cover to Republicans today who may wish to vote against the popular repeal. This position puts the chiefs in opposition to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, who support the compromise. It also pits them against Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mike Mullen, who points out that according to the legislation's language the repeal won't go into effect until after the study is completed anyway.

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