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More Details on the Financial Cost of DADT:

I've now gone through the recent University of California study of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which estimates the costs of the policy in its first ten years (1994 through 2003). The commission that produced the report includes several experts in military and national security policy. Notable among them are former Secretary of Defense William Perry under President Clinton; former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb under President Reagan; retired Admiral John D. Hutson; Professors Donald Campbell and Kathleen Campbell of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and Professors Frank Barrett and Mark Eitelberg of the Naval Postgraduate School. Experts in economics, cost accounting, management control systems, and other fields assisted the commission. The Williams Project of the UCLA Law School, which studies gay legal issues and works for gay equality, loaned out the time of Dr. Gary Gates, who provided extensive statistical and conceptual analysis as Senior Project Consultant. While some of those who produced the study may personally oppose DADT, the study itself cannot be dismissed on this basis. It is a serious effort to weigh some of the financial consequences of DADT.

The report breaks down the financial cost of firing service members for homosexuality under DADT into four discrete categories: (1) recruiting costs for enlisted service members; (2) training costs for enlisted service members; (3) training costs for officers; and (4) separation travel costs. Let's take a look at each of these:

(1) Recruiting costs for enlisted service members fired for homosexuality (1994-2003): $79.2 million

The military spends a lot of money to recruit. Some of this money is spent to recruit service members who are eventually fired for homosexuality. In a February 2005 report tellingly entitled "Financial Costs and Loss of Critical Skills Due to DOD's Homosexual Conduct Policy Cannot Be Completely Estimated," the congressional General Accounting Office estimated these costs attributable to DADT at $95.4 million.

The UC Commission believes this overstates the actual cost:

The critical value for estimating this cost, we would argue, is not how much the military spent to replace service members fired for homosexuality. Rather, the appropriate consideration is how much value the military lost as a result of each homosexual discharge. For example, in [an] extreme hypothetical situation [], in which the service member served for almost 30 years in uniform prior to discharge, we suggest that the military barely lost any value from the premature discharge for homosexuality.

To correct this type of error, the UC Commission took the GAO cost for enlisted recruiting of DADT-discharged service members ($95.4 million) as a lodestar and subtracted from that an estimate of the value of this cost the military recovered from the service members' time in service, as follows:

To determine the military's monthly return on investment, we divided the average cost of recruiting each enlisted service member ($10,193) by the number of months during which the military could have recovered its investment in that individual's recruiting. . . . For each enlisted service member, we credited the military with a monthly return on its investment in recruiting for each month served, except for those months spent in initial and mid-career training. The cost of enlisted recruiting was determined by GAO to be $95,393,000. Total recovery on investment . . . is calculated as $16,113,715. The total spent on recruiting, $95,393,000, minus the recovery on investment, $16,113,715 yields a total of $79,279,285.

(2) Training costs for enlisted service members fired for homosexuality (1994-2003): $252.3 million

Once the military recruits a person for service, it invests even more heavily in both basic and initial skills training. The GAO estimated the cost of training recruits fired for homosexuality to be $95.1 million.

This is almost certainly a large underestimate of the cost of training these recruits, for a couple of reasons. First, the GAO number does not reflect training costs for Marines discharged for homosexuality (since the Marines apparently did not provide GAO with training estimates). Second, even the GAO's training cost figures for the other services are substantially lower than the GAO's own previous estimates of training costs and estimates available in other public sources. The UC Commission corrected the GAO figures by relying on the Defense Department's and GAO's own previous figures for both basic and initial skills training for each of the branches. After that, the UC Commission again credited the military for recovering at least a part of this cost through the member's service before discharge. Here's the calculation:

Spending on enlisted training, prior to any recovery of costs, is $331,866,779. Total recovery on investment . . . is calculated as $79,492,728. The total spent on training, $331,866,779, minus the recovery on investment, $79,492,728, yields a total cost to the military of $252,374,051.

(3) Training costs for officers (1994-2003): $17.7 million

The GAO report did not factor the cost of training officers into its report. In the period 1994-2003, 137 officers were discharged for homosexuality.

To quantify the losses associated with firing officers for homosexuality, we estimated the cost of training to commission as well as post-commission training. Then, as was the case with our estimates of recruiting and enlisted training costs, we reduced our estimates by crediting the military with any recovered value on its initial investment in officer training for those officers who served after the completion of their training. Unlike enlisted service members, however, in the case of officers we did not include mid-career training costs in our estimates.

The UC Commission then estimated the cost of training for officers who go through one of five different routes: service academies (like West Point), ROTC, Officer Candidate School, direct appointment, and other paths. Since the UC Commission was unable to get cost estimates for the latter two, it assumed these costs to be zero. This approach yielded these numbers:

Spending on officer training, prior to any recovery of costs, is $27,553,701, of which $15,752,353 is for pre-commission training, and $11,801,348 is for post-commission training. Total recovery on investment . . . is calculated as $9,781,631. The total spent on training, $27,553,701, minus the recovery on investment, $9,781,631, yields a total loss to the military of $17,772,070.

(4) Separation travel costs (1994-2003): $14.3 million

Recruiting and training costs are front-end: they occur at the beginning of a military career. There are also costs associated with separation from the military, the back-end of service. These "out-processing" costs are numerous and are also investments the military must make when it discharges a member. One such cost is travel expense. Using the Army's own lower-range estimates for such travel costs, and deducting for recovery of costs through time served, the UC Commission found as follows:

Spending on enlisted and officer separation travel, prior to any recovery of costs, is $16,633,308 and $638,381, respectively. Total recovery on investment . . . is calculated as $2,926,816. The total spent on separation travel, $17,271,689 minus the recovery on investment, $2,926,816, yields a total of $14,344,873.

Putting all these numbers together, we arrive at a total cost of $363, 770, 279 to implement DADT during its first ten years.

How accurate is this number? I am not an economist and can't vouch for the inputs the UC Commission used to calculate costs. Several factors, however, suggest that the UC Commission estimate -- while an improvement over the GAO figure -- is still a substantial underestimate of the financial cost of expelling gay service members. The Commission itself points to five ways in which its analysis may underestimate costs:

First, we were unable to obtain reliable data for some costs that were omitted from GAO's original report. For example, we were unable to obtain reliable data for the costs of discharge review boards, security clearances, out-processing costs, investigations into service members' sexual orientation, re-enlistment bonuses, and officer recruiting.

...

Second, as noted above, our use of the training costs for a surface warfare officer as a proxy for the cost of training all officers reflects a conservative assumption that probably reduced our overall cost estimate. The cost to train a surface warfare officer is $92,924, while the cost to train one jet pilot (T-45 line) is $1,439,754. The list of officers fired for homosexuality includes physicians, pilots, dentists, and other individuals with highly technical training.

Third, many gays and lesbians do not re-enlist after fulfilling their service obligations because they are unwilling to continue to conceal their identity. According to a new survey of 445 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered veterans, 19.6 percent of respondents left the armed forces "voluntarily because they could not be open about being LGBT while in the military." . . . [T]he military may be losing some of its investment in recruiting and training individuals who would remain in uniform if the ban were repealed.

Fourth, we assumed that the benefits of a service member to the Defense Department accrue evenly over the cost recovery period. . . . This is a conservative assumption given that, as is the case in most industries, service members' value to the military increases with experience.

...

Fifth, we did not include the costs of marriage benefits for gays and lesbians who get married to opposite-sex individuals to avoid military scrutiny of their sexual orientation, and who then file claims for military benefits for their spouses. According to the new survey of 445 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered veterans mentioned above, 18 percent of respondents (80 individuals) got married to avoid military scrutiny of their sexual orientation.

Of these, the first (additional separation costs) and the third (premature loss of non-discharged gay personnel) seem most likely to add considerably to the real cost of DADT.

There are a few more reasons, in addition to these, that the UC Commission may be underestimating the cost of DADT. At just about every turn, the Commission used very conservative estimates of costs. For example, the UC Commission used a low-ball estimate of the number of service members fired for homosexuality in the ten-year period, putting the number at 9,359 enlisted, active-duty members. But this number, as the Commission notes (fn. 14), does not include some members of the Coast Guard and reserve forces. Including them would add about another 300 discharged under DADT. Further, the UC Commission's estimate of training costs, though more reasonable than GAO's, may still be too low. The Commission cites a "senior level military operations research analyst" who estimates that actual training costs are much higher than even the Commission accepts as the basis for its calculations (p. 13). Since enlisted training costs are by far the largest fraction of the overall cost of DADT, under the UC Commission's own calculation, even small error in per capita costs could have a big effect on the final calculation.

On the other hand, there are a few ways in which the UC Commission may have overestimated the total cost of DADT. First, as the Commission acknowledges, it did not calculate the cost of paying same-sex partner benefits if the ban is lifted. Experience in other countries so far shows this cost is very low. Potentially more significantly, the UC Commission does not attempt to calculate the cost of recruiting, training, and retaining service members who might disdain military service if the ban is lifted. Nobody can know what this cost would be, though it would surely be greater than zero. I doubt it would be a large cost, since open homosexuals would be such a tiny portion of the military services, and whatever the initial cost it could be expected to dwindle as military culture adjusted. The experience of other countries does not indicate any recruitment and retention difficulties attributable to allowing service by openly gay service members. But perhaps the experience of other countries cannot be fully extrapolated to the United States. Finally, as a reader and former service member helpfully noted in a private message to me, the Commission assumes that gay service members discharged under DADT would have served just as long as straight service members if not for DADT. The assumption seems reasonable, and the Commission makes no attempt to defend it. But I do not really know. The difference between the expected length of service and actual service forms the basis for some of the Commission's cost estimates. If, contrary to the Commission's assumption, service members expelled under DADT would, on average, serve shorter periods of time than their peers even in the absence of DADT then the "loss" the military suffers because of early discharge would be correspondingly smaller.

Finally, whatever the accuracy of the numbers in the UC Commission report, the financial costs alone do not resolve the debate over DADT, just as financial cost does not resolve a debate over any policy that might be worthwhile. The military exists to deter wars and, when that fails, to win them. If allowing homosexuals to serve openly would likely hinder that mission to any substantial degree, then the financial cost of expelling them would have to be just one more item in the Defense Department's budget. Nor do "financial costs" alone measure all the costs -- in broken careers, broken lives, broken families, in the dignitary loss to gay Americans in general and to those who want to serve their country with integrity in particular -- of having a policy that expels American service members simply because we learn they're gay.

But we cannot have a debate over the overall costs and benefits of DADT without at least a reasonable baseline estimate of the financial costs. For that reason, the UC Commission has made what appears to be a useful and important contribution. Military policy leaders in Congress should take a close look at the study, since Congress is the body that must repeal or amend DADT.

I am interested in readers' views on the specifics of this study. I am especially interested in hearing from readers who have expertise in economics, accounting, and military-cost analysis.

Lev:
If you want "don't ask don't tell" changed, first you have to get Congress to change the statute prohibiting gays in the military.
2.17.2006 12:30am
GMUSL 2L (mail):
But we cannot have a debate over the overall costs and benefits of DADT without at least a reasonable baseline estimate of the financial costs.

But we cannot have a debate over the overall costs and benefits of DADT without at least a reasonable baseline estimate of the financial costs of overturning DADT. Dale, it's disingenuous to assume that it's all costs for maintaining while implying that it would be free to eliminating DADT! You're only showing the GROSS cost of DADT. What is the NET cost over the alternative you propose? I cannot take these figures seriously without a serious projection of the costs that the armed forces would incur by eliminating DADT, not just the take on what the armed forces would save.

How much harder would it be to get people into the military (the majority of whom are from conservative southern backgrounds) without DADT? What would be the ongoing costs of eliminating DADT — How much more advertising would have to occur and how much higher would pay/benefits (i.e., demand for services) have to go to keep supply of both officers and enlistedmen at the current level? What would be the transaction costs of moving from DADT to an "open scheme"? What would be the agency costs of monitoring for discrimination against open homosexuals in the armed forces?

Even if those numbers aren't dispositive, or even if they're more than the costs of maintaining DADT on average, you or somebody else needs to put them on the table.

You want to convince people, Dale? Give them ALL the numbers.
2.17.2006 12:56am
Kovarsky (mail):
Lev,

Or the President could just overturn the statute pursuant to his inherent authority.

GMU person,

Dale, it's disingenuous to assume that it's all costs for maintaining while implying that it would be free to eliminating DADT!

Maybe I misread the post, but I thought Dale only professed to be citing a cost study. There's nothing disingenuous about it, particularly when he makes his focus on cost quite explicit:

But we cannot have a debate over the overall costs and benefits of DADT without at least a reasonable baseline estimate of the financial costs.

I think it is Dale's point that it's nice to finally have some numbers, and he's looking for methodological problems in their computation.
2.17.2006 1:05am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
There is one other cost that has to be recovered if the policy is changed. It's the cost of prosecution of harassers of those suspected to be gay. Right now, most cases like this are overlooked, because, officially, the military has no homosexuals, so they cannot be harassed. If openly homosexual servicemen are allowed to join and remain, a substantial number of them will initially be subjected to harassment--this is not an supposition, but reality. Termination of such behavior will require agressive prosecution and that costs money.

It would be a shame to put these costs at the feet of the victims as somehow mitigating the process, but progress has costs and this is one of them. The Civil Rights Act would have been toothless if we simply passed the laws and gave no money for prosecution of those who violated them. The same applies here.
2.17.2006 1:05am
e:
1. It actually seems a bit silly to say that they need such a study to debate DADT.

2. The cost savings of good order and discipline are nearly impossible to quantify. Though during my time on exchange with the Canadian Forces I saw little evidence that out homosexuals caused much problem.

3. The larger point is that it is impossible to quantify the social cost of governmental discrimination. If we were discussing a racist (or don't ask, don't talk about your religious faith) policy within the US military, would we care at all about the cost of dismissal or the cost savings of discipline?
2.17.2006 1:05am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
I also want to respond to GMUSL. My comment differs from his in specificity. His strikes me more as a Chicken Little paranoid rant, expecting the sky to fall if DADT is removed. We can all speculate, but, given the relatively small numbers affected, the concerns over homophobic Southerners bailing out off the military service path are at best premature. As my post may suggest, I am more concerned about their behavior IN the service than avoiding the service. In fact, I would suspect that many of the very people GMUSL is concerned about would actually prefer to join rather than to avoid the services, because, in their narrow-minded universe, they would be protecting the country from gays, as well as other "enemies" by joining.

In any case, as I said, we can all have paranoid rants. I believe the costs I suggested would be far more real than the costs projected for the lost recruitment opportunities of homophobic Southerners.
2.17.2006 1:17am
Kieran Jadiker-Smith (mail):
I think it's incumbent on those who assert there would be any significant cost to repealing DADT to provide some evidence for same. Have other militaries had to raise pay and benefits because they repealed their respective bans on gays in the military? I've seen no evidence they incurred any significant costs.

On the other hand, I've seen firsthand a good number of gay young people who were interested in joining the military, but decided against doing so because of the policy.

With regard to Buck's point, the cost of prosecuting those who harass suspected or actual homosexuals shouldn't figure into a cost-benefit analysis of DADT repeal, since such people should be prosecuted whether or not the policy changes, as such harassment is contrary to military policy today.
2.17.2006 1:25am
Grand CRU (mail):
What about the cost of reduced recruitment if people think the military is "gay"?
2.17.2006 1:45am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
First, a great - but unquantified - many of the "homosexuality" discharges are people who don't want to be in the military, and don't want to get other, less honorable discharges. Remove DADT, and they'll get out in other ways, depending on how desperate they are.

Second, you have got to be getting desperate if you count 15th-degree-of-seperation issues like paying marriage benefits to gays as a cost of DADT. Even assuming you can possibly measure a presumably secret activity with any accuracy, all one would have to do to avoid this cost is to properly enforce the "Don't ask" portion of the policy... which would mean that weather the person is married or not is totally irrelevant to weather the person leaves.
2.17.2006 2:47am
Steve:
If you want "don't ask don't tell" changed, first you have to get Congress to change the statute prohibiting gays in the military.

Isn't this exactly what Dale's post says?

In any event, it's likely that change can come from either direction, at least in theory, since it's hard to imagine that if the military wanted DADT repealed Congress would refuse to go along.
2.17.2006 2:56am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
Kieran,

...such people should be prosecuted whether or not the policy changes, as such harassment is contrary to military policy today.

We can certainly agree on that, but, as I said, we are dealing with realities of the situation, not suppositions. Such harassment exists already, as those who are perceived as weaker or insufficiently manly are often mocked as being gay. "Mocking" is being polite--the actual reactions are much worse. These rarely seem to be prosecuted.
With a repeal of DADT, such prosecutions would become a necessity.

Waxx,

...many of the "homosexuality" discharges are people who don't want to be in the military...

While this may be true of some servicemen, I have never seen numbers that justify the term "many". I know a few of ROTC people who bailed out after one year under this provision, but they really were gay and used the ROTC scholarship to get at least one year of education subsidized. But doing so after the first year for officers and officer candidates is hardly a good idea. And let's not forget that an admission can result in prosecution and not merely a discharge.
If you can offer some statistics that suggests that this is such a common "method" of quitting the military, please make them available. Color me skeptical.
2.17.2006 3:01am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
When I was in the military admitting to homosexuality was one of the few painless ways to get out early if you decided the military wasn't for you. The rest involved courtmartials,brig time, personal injury, or undesireable discharges that follow you forever. It always amazed me how few members would take the easy way out because of the stigma of being considered homosexual.
2.17.2006 6:44am
davod (mail):
Remember what Lev said at the beginning of this post. It's the law. You want the DOD to not abide by the law?
2.17.2006 6:50am
Federal Dog:
I do not see why people are piling on GMUSL: If people are going to make an economic argument about the economic effects of DADT, all relevant data must be considered, including costs of not having the policy and costs of repealing it. So far, we have only a small part of the necessary data to analyze the proposed question. GMUSL is only pointing out the obvious.
2.17.2006 7:31am
Cornellian (mail):
Remember what Lev said at the beginning of this post. It's the law. You want the DOD to not abide by the law?

In case you overlooked it, DC's post says this:

Military policy leaders in Congress should take a close look at the study, since CONGRESS is the body that must repeal or amend DADT. (my emphasis)

Congress doesn't enact statutes in a vacuum. Whether or not DADT is a cost effective way to spend money is one aspect of whether it's a good policy, and therefore a factor for Congress to consider in deciding whether to change the policy.

And the point about southern homophobes avoiding military service if gay people are allowed into the military makes no sense. They're allowed in now and everyone knows that, even southern homophones.
2.17.2006 7:32am
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
GrandCRU &Buck,

I'm always amazed at how little respect people have for the men and women who risk their lives to serve and protect this country. Do you honestly think that the patriotism that inspires these people is going to evaporate if gay people are also allowed to serve their country? I know many conservative former members of the military who would be deeply offended by your thoughts about them.

Buck seems to think that the military is largely made up of Southerners and homophobes, both of which I dispute. The military is largely made up of patriotic people and poor people, which groups are not more or less likely to hate gays and lesbians than other groups. But even if we accept your theory that bigotry runs deeper among people who join the military, you have to remember that the military is recruiting almost exclusively people under the age of 25. The most reliable demographic predictor of tolerance of homosexuality is not geography, religion, wealth, education, etc. It is age. Young people are WAY more likely to just not care who you have sex with than the middle aged good ol' boys you may be associating with Southern bigotry.

Finally, the military will not be perceived as "gay" when gay people are allowed to serve any more than the military was perceived as "black" when it was racially integrated. In fact, the opposite is true. Organizations like the military or the Boy Scouts can't escape the perception of sexual obsession when they engage in adamant discrimination against gays. If you were to ask someone to give the first word they think of when they hear "Boy Scouts" I would hazard that "gay" would be in the top five. Once those policies are repealed, the "gay" perception will disappear.
2.17.2006 7:39am
Jed (mail) (www):
I was a personnel officer in the USAF for 5 years, and for 2 years back in the late 90s, I had the opportunity to work closely with our base JAG office on numerous homosexual discharges.

At that time, the JAG told me that about 50% of the individuals from our base who attempted to get out under DA/DT were turned down because the investigation revealed they were not actually gay, but were just trying to get out early with an honorable discharge. Most were first-term airmen who just didn't like what they'd gotten themselves into, and almost all were female.

The JAG also estimated that of the remaining 50% who actually did get discharged due to DA/DT, at least 25-30% were heterosexuals who beat the investigation. In most of those cases, there was evidence opposing the homosexuality claims, but not enough to justify turning them down.

Because of this experience, I take any studies of DA/DT with a grain of salt, because there's no way to know what the true measure of homosexual discharges is.

I'm in favor of doing away with DA/DT, BTW.
2.17.2006 7:57am
Huggy (mail):
A better study would be to track the cost of all discharges. How many people are discharged for theft, lying, not doing their duty.
If we change the thresholds for these things maybe we would save more money than the loss due to homosexuals.
That is if we really just want to save more money and are not trying an indirect approach to get what we want.
2.17.2006 8:38am
Wrigley:
Jed,

I'm curious . . . how did you "investigate?" What counted as "gay enough" to warrant a discharge? Thoughts? Actions? Bi-sexuality? Did you guys have a poster of the Kinsey scale on the wall?

I'm not (just) being sarcastic, I am actually curious how it worked.
2.17.2006 8:44am
sam24 (mail):
"We can all speculate, but, given the relatively small numbers affected, the concerns over homophobic Southerners bailing out off the military service---"

An economic basis for this type of decision making is basically useless. What is the cost of pregnancy to DOD? Should this be used to make policy concerning females in the service?

By the way, if I move to either the eastern or western termination of flyover country, will I become more enlightened, intelligent, tolerant and better educated? Or would the sterotype would just follow me?

MD south of flyover country
2.17.2006 9:19am
Jed (mail) (www):
I was only involved at the unit level, so once it reached the JAG and they passed it on for investigation, I don't know exactly what criteria they used.

As I understood the process, though, the JAG would appoint an investigating officer. This officer would normally be a mid-level officer (Capt/Maj/Lt Col). The investigating officer would interview the airman, co-workers, friends, barracks-mates, etc.

The barracks-mates interview usually turned out to be the most informative. As anyone who has ever lived in one can attest, there are few secrets. In the few instances that I knew first-hand why an airman was declined, it was because the investigators found out that the airmen in question had boyfriends/girlfriends of the opposite sex (and none of the same sex) or had told someone of the scam.
2.17.2006 9:25am
Jed (mail) (www):
Wrigley,

I realized I failed to completely address your questions. As I said above, I wasn't involved at the investigation level, so I can't speak with certainty, but...

IIRC, under DA/DT, either admitting homosexuality or practicing is sufficient. However, in practice, I think some conduct is required. I think that when the policy was first introduced, admitting homosexuality was sufficient, but too many troops quickly realized that admitting homosexuality was an easy, quick honorable discharge. That's why I think the investigators look for some level of actual conduct, even if it's something short of a full-blown sexual encouter with the same sex.
2.17.2006 9:33am
Mr Diablo:
Wrigley, they played the word-association game, just like how the Catholic Church weeds out its homos and how the Boy Scouts weed out theirs.

That or they put them in a room full of magazines. If anyone picks up the Entertainment Weekly, they know what to do.

Hovesp Joseph is right, this entire discussion of "homophobic Southerners" from those who oppose allowing gays to serve reeks of both an insult to the men and women of the armed services (who love their country more than they love their biases) and also a certain kind of elitism about what the minds of certain types of people are able to udnerstand, ignore and comprehend.... oh wait, I forgot, this insult to southerners is coming from the right, so it's OK.

DADT is not only offensive, but it's an expensive program (although, relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things -- if we cancelled it, we could only fund 12 hours of Iraq war!). It's too bad the president cannot get the log out of his eye on this one.
2.17.2006 10:20am
Bill (mail):
We also have to at least consider the possibility that gays are better soldiers or, more to the point, that letting soldiers talk openly about their proclivities makes for a more potent fighting force. This is not merely frivolous.

The other day my friend says to me:

"Do you know what the gayest society in history was?"

"Sparta?" I replied in jest. But he took it seriously and started discoursing. I'm not totally sure (to say the least) that we knew what we were talking about, but it is an interesting question.

I would be surprised, however, if members of the phalanx were coming out to each other in the ranks. If there was lots of gay sex in the Sparatan military (about which I do not even know) then I can imagine that it took a less friendly form. But I seriously do think that all this is interesting and would like to hear from someone who knows about it.
2.17.2006 10:28am
Bobbie:
Training costs for officers fired for homosexuality: 17.7 million dollars.

Recruiting costs for enlisted service members fired for homosexuality: 79.2 million dollars.

Training costs for enlisted service members fired for homosexuality: 252.3 million dollars.

The cost of firing at least 54 Arabic homosexual translators in light of the fact that the 9/11 commission determined that a key deficiency of the U.S. intelligence structure was that it "lacked sufficient translators proficient in Arabic . . . resulting in a significant backlog of untranslated intercepts": priceless.
2.17.2006 10:31am
Traveler:
These numbers are nice to have. I do think that it demonstrates that the total financial cost of DADT, say ~$50M per year if we add a 50% factor to balance out conservative assumptions, really should not be a significant issue in this debate. Although a sizable sum, at approximately 1/10,000th of the defense budget, it should be clear that *if* performance issues exist, or *if* the political costs of ending DADT outweigh for the military the political costs of continuing it, $50M/year just isn't going to be a major factor.

The point Bobbie implicitly raises seems worthy of further study, however -- to what extent does DADT deprive the military of the ability to fill certain specialties -- that would be a cost potentially much greater than the financials.
2.17.2006 10:44am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
Hovsep Joseph,

Buck seems to think that the military is largely made up of Southerners and homophobes, both of which I dispute.

You are barking up the wrong tree here. I actually borrowed the "Southern homophobe" line from someone else who used it earlier and don't share in the sentiment. Perhaps you missed the sarcasm.
Yet, the anti-(perceived)-homosexual harassment is reality--at least, among the men. This has nothing to do with regional origins, but it does have something to do with cultural backgrounds, especially of enlisted men.

Jed,
You have a partial response to my demand for data on the subject. What you have is a start, but it is still anecdotal. A legitimate study would likely find an interesting phenomenon--both the legitimate and the false claims would end up in both accepted and rejected categories. The problem here is essentially the same as with your data--the conclusions are based on hearsay. And that leads back to my other comment--many homosexuals in the service will protect their identity by playing along with the heterosexual games. We see this quite often under less stressful circumstances (plenty of closet cases out there), but the pressure increases in the military.
One thing that your aside comment suggests is that indeed there is more of a stigma attached to homosexuality among men (you noted that most cases of "false" claims were women--perhaps I misunderstood?).
2.17.2006 10:46am
Taimyoboi:

"To determine the military's monthly return on investment, we divided the average cost of recruiting each enlisted service member ($10,193)"



With regards to recruiting costs, I'm not sure I by this as being a cost of DADT.

Presumably, the military is going to spend money on recruiting anyway, so from an economic standpoint this is a sunk cost, unless the military spends money recruiting on an individual basis.

Are they simply adding up the cost of things like TV advertisements and multiplying by the ratio of discharged gays to the entire military?
2.17.2006 10:46am
Taimyoboi:
"I think it's incumbent on those who assert there would be any significant cost to repealing DADT to provide some evidence for same."

Kieran Jadiker-Smith,

Provide the kind of funding that University Advocacy groups did for the UC study, and I think people could take you up on that challenge.

"On the other hand, I've seen firsthand a good number of gay young people who were interested in joining the military, but decided against doing so because of the policy."

I would also add that anecdotes do not equal evidence. It tends to be hard to weigh your personal experiences again those of another who might say where they were otherwise willing to, they would now refuse to serve if DADT were repealed.
2.17.2006 10:51am
Taimyoboi:
Something else that would be relevant to estimation is the pool of gays that were discharged from the military.

Does this pool include gays who were caught violating military protocol, and that violation happened to be incidental to their orientation?

The military doesn't allow men and women to fraternize while on duty, so presumably the same would apply to gays even if DADT were repealed.

If they were included, and if it were a high percentage of those discharged, that would tend to overstate the overall cost estimates.
2.17.2006 11:03am
Mr Diablo:
Taimy,

Given that gays cannot serve and will be dismissed if they are deemed openly gay, do you really think that they are going around trying to shag every other man on the base?

These men want to serve, are taking a risk to do so, and covering up part of their identity to do so. Let's offer a little respect to the gay members of the military here and not pretend they are such hedonists that they cannot follow protocol.

Sorry to break it to you, but we don't have a secret handshake to ease the determination of who else we can bunk with. In my fraternity in college, it sure would have been nice if we did!

It would seem the amount of military-military fraternization events would be quite low. When I was living 90 miles from a military facility and visiting the local gay bars, there were always a couple of military guys there, they knew each other, sure, but they did not know or have anything to do with each other in that way. They love their country too much to do something so stupid as make a pass at someone while on duty.
2.17.2006 11:11am
Taimyoboi:
Another question. It appears as though the report assumed that for the military to recoup their investment on an individual (enlistee for example), that enlistee would have to have served for the expected duration of the average enlistee (5.9 years).

For those gays who served in the military longer than 5.9 years, and then were discharged, did the study treat that as a "net return" on their investment on the individual?

Presumably, the longer a person serves, the greater the value they are to the military, while at the same time, the lower their marginal cost.

That would suggest that for anyone discharged beyond the expected 5.9 years, they should be counted as a net gain, and hence, deduct from the total cost of DADT.

I've skimmed through the report and cannot tell for certain if they do this, but it does not look like they do. The report seems to assume that after 5.9 years, servicemen cost exactly as much as they return to the military. That may or may not be a valid assumption.
2.17.2006 11:16am
Taimyoboi:
Mr. Diablo,

Your protestations notwithstanding, I'm hard pressed to believe that all members of the military, gay or not, are models of perfect self-control.

Are you suggesting that gays are not subject to the same desires and mistakes that straights are?

I certainly wasn't suggesting the same for gays.

Mr. Carpenter asked for dispassionate reviews of the report so can we refrain from posts declaring indignation?
2.17.2006 11:20am
Taimyoboi:
Scratch that last post, it appears they did:


"At the same time, GAO overestimated the cost of enlisted
training by failing to credit the military with any recovered value on its investment in training for those service members who served in uniform after the completion of their initial training."
2.17.2006 11:25am
Medis:
I'm curious about how commentators think we should treat the possibility of straight people using DA/DT as an easy way out of the military.

I suppose the first question is what would happen with these people if not for DA/DT. Perhaps some of them would find their way to a discharge anyway. But surely there is at least some marginal effect on discharges among straight people because of the addition of this easy out. And it seems to me that is a cost of the policy, regardless of whether or not it is actually gay people who are getting discharged.

And the second question would be the enforcement costs. Jed paints a picture of a relatively costly process that is needed to keep too many straight people from using DA/DT as an easy out (which, again, is only somewhat successful). So, in addition to the costs of additional straight people getting discharged, we have to add the cost of making sure that not even more straight people get discharges.

In short, it seems clear to me that the possibility of straight people pretending to be gay increases, not deceases, the total cost of DA/DT. Whether these studies have appropriately measured that cost is still a different matter, of course, but with respect to this particular problem it does not seem obvious to me that the studies have overestimated the costs simply because not all the people getting discharged are actually gay.
2.17.2006 11:25am
Mr Diablo:
No, we can't, and Prof. Carpenter is probably quite apt at weeding out crap like my posts.

Taimy, I'd argue gay and lesbian soldiers, since they not only would be facing the threat of punishment for on duty fraternization, but also would face a punishment if they were even trying to fraternize, would be extra careful. So, yes, I'm saying that while prone to the same mistakes, since they face a greater possibility for punishment, the are probably more careful.

As tough as our military is about sex harrassment and avoiding situations where soldiers are skirting duties for sex, I'm willing to bet that a lot of male-female hanky-panky goes unnoticed. But if you are a gay soldier and you make one mistake in trying to skirt a ban on franterization, then it doesn't matter if you succeed or not, you're still in trouble.
2.17.2006 11:26am
Pine (mail):
Um, since this is partially a cost discussion, what about loss recovery? Ignore for a second that some portion of the losses are for "feigned" offences against DA/DT.

For "real" cases, is there arguably any level of fraud involved when a person joins an organization with the DA/DT policy, receives publicly funded training of some value, and then "tells"?

Unwilling disclosure or discovery is thing, but just deciding to tell is another. Is there any data on the rate of each? The latter is what I'm talking about.
2.17.2006 11:30am
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
Sorry Buck... I referred to the wrong commenter re Southern homophobes in my previous comment. It was GMUSL 2L who apparently associates the military with Southern bigots.

However, I do take issue with your concern over the new costs associated with prosecuting anti-gay harrassment if DADT is repealed. First, the military should already be prosecuting harassment on the basis of perceived sexual orientation. Note that DADT has two components: don't ASK as well as don't tell. Second, the cost of prosecuting any likely increased harassment on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, etc. should be irrelevant in deciding whether the military should allow racial, religious or sexual minorities to serve. I guess this is part of a broader criticism of the tenor of this post though: DADT should be repealed because its a stupid ineffectual policy, not because of financial costs associated with recruitment and training. The only "costs" that should be considered are the damage to national security that DADT is causing now. Third, to the extent that anti-gay harassment will happen in the military, DADT only increases that harassment by further stigmatizing homosexuality. Gay people who choose to serve are very well aware of anti-gay prejudices inside and outside the military. They should at least be able to confront those prejudices head-on just as women and racial minorities have done.
2.17.2006 11:37am
Taimyoboi:

"For example,GAO reported in a 1998 study that "In fiscal year 1998, DOD estimates the average cost of…training each enlistee is…$28,800…"5 Although the 1998 study suggested that the average cost for training an enlisted service member was $28,800, GAO reported in its recent study on "don't ask, don't tell" that the Navy's per-capita enlisted training cost is approximately $18,000; the Air Force's cost is $7,400; and the Army's cost is only $6,400.6 While costs can vary over time, it was hard for us to understand how training costs could have declined so precipitously."


The UC arrived at a total cost to the military of $252,374,051. This increase over the GAO's finding is in large part driven by the above discrepancy.

The UC Report noted the discrepancy and then proceeded to use the higher average cost per enlistee of 28,800.

Now, the number used by the UC may or may not be the most accurate one, but there seems to be no reasoning driving their choice other then their belief that "training costs could [not] have declined so precipitously."
2.17.2006 11:53am
Public_Defender:
Some people (like GMUSL 2L) have a very dim view of southern men. Are southern men such small-minded bigots that the possibility that a small fraction of their colleagues might be openly gay would stop them from serving their country?

Given the small number of gays likely to serve, the idea that gay harassment of heterosexuals will be a problem is not only laughable, it's downright paranoid.

I think the real problem in Dale's numbers is that they fail to address the real cost to conservatives of ending DADT. The real cost will be that there will be gay people saying, "My country thought I was good enough to put my life on the line, but now they say I'm not good enough to [get married/adopt children/keep a job/etc.]."
2.17.2006 11:55am
B. Bleier (mail):
This is an example of a study that proves a predetermined hypothesis. There are huge externality costs to this program, and even "don't ask, don't tell" has tremendous externality costs.

What about the costs involved in involuntary sodomy aboard ships at sea, or otherwise in harms way? And if you contend that there is no connection between the overtly gay in the military and a significant rise in non-consensual sodomy, both prosecuted and unreported, I doubt your sincerity as well as your knowledge.

The military has a huge problem in this area. Both with forceful homosexual rape, and with chickenhawking of eighteen through twenty-two year old males who are away from home for the first time. These costs are considerable, and the "cost accounting" to defend forcing the military to accept overt sodomy presents considerable, and to some degree imponderable costs.

I have litigated enough of these cases, from the "phantom feeler" in open bay berthing, to forced sodomy, to a young Mormon "convinced" he was a homsexual under the UCMJ on the one hand, to the more consensual overt public displays of affection violating the DADT policy on the other. All of it is contrary to good order and discipline in the military. I have seen lives destroyed, and the psychology of young males permanently tortured as a result of the overly permissable policy of DADT. Taking this further will bring far worse consequences.

And no, I don't have nice numeric figures to three decimal places of significant figure to prove the point. This "cost-benefit" analysis is glib and dishonest, and means approximately nothing.

In the immortal words of Winston Churchill, "Don't speak to me of Naval tradition, it is all rum, sodomy, and the lash." The problem of sodomy in the military is not new, but in the interest of permitting large numbers of males to live in extremely close quarters for extended periods of time, all sexual conduct must be susceptible to prohibition.

The introduction of women into operational positions introduces many of the same good order and discipline problems, but that is a different discussion.

Finally, approaching this as a libertarian doesn't change the calculus. When you consider that third parties are harmed on a regular basis, the cost accounting isn't very convincing. Further, when sodomy is overtly permitted, behaviors which would be unacceptable from hetero males toward females under "conduct unbecoming" will be argued to be part of "the lifestyle". Good order and discipline in the armed forces will be further diminished if the military abandons the last line of objection of DADT.

Just to add some additional punctuation, there have also been homocides, maimings, and severe beatings in the military growing out of refused homosexual advances - going both directions. This is the consequence of diminished good order and discipline. Let's see some cost accounting on that!

Other issues for cost accounting consideration:
Fraternization (difficult to prosecute anyway)
Lifestyle as a defense.
Claims of entitlement
Insurance coverage and claims under the VA
Romantically motivated conflict, presently suppressed by fear of explusion.
2.17.2006 11:56am
Andy Freeman (mail):
There are other ways to reduce the costs. We could decide to charge the relevant costs to folks who joined knowing that they were gay.

If there's a "right to join the military", the current law is unconstitutional. If the current law is constitutional, folks who impose costs can be forced to repay those costs.
2.17.2006 11:57am
Taimyoboi:
Addiitionally, using the above average of $28,800 would skew the results if a majority of those discharged had been enlisted in one of the armed services that had a lower overall enlistee cost.

Perhaps a median might have been the better choice, or actually using an estimate for each separate branch. They had an estimate by branch, but chose not to use it since that seemed "precipitously low" compared to the average estimate they did use.

In fact, that critique applies to the whole report. The UC report lumps all the discharges together and multiplies the total number discharged by the average result. This does not account for the possibility that the numbers may be skewed in either direction, resulting in a higher or lower total cost.
2.17.2006 11:58am
Cornellian (mail):
The military has a huge problem in this area. Both with forceful homosexual rape and with chickenhawking of eighteen through twenty-two year old males who are away from home for the first time.

Cite your evidence if you expect people to believe that rape isn't the virtually exclusive preserve of straight men. I see no reason to think that the population of the military is significantly different than the population as a whole in that regard.
2.17.2006 12:02pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Some people (like GMUSL 2L) have a very dim view of southern men. Are southern men such small-minded bigots that the possibility that a small fraction of their colleagues might be openly gay would stop them from serving their country?
What is the net effect on manpower, if DADT is repealed? About 3% of the population is homosexual or bisexual. Assuming that they apply to a post-DADT military in numbers comparable to their share of the population, it would only take 3% of current or prospective military personnel deciding that they weren't prepared to be stared at the shower, groped in their bunk at night, or (very small possibility), raped by a superior, to offset the manpower gain from repealing DADT.

We already have a bit of a problem with these abuses caused by having large numbers of women in the military--but there aren't large numbers of men who would refuse to join the military because of the presence of women, and women prepared to join the armed forces are a lot more than 3% of the population. Even if women in the military drives some men out, the net gain in manpower is dramatic.


Given the small number of gays likely to serve, the idea that gay harassment of heterosexuals will be a problem is not only laughable, it's downright paranoid.
No, it's history.

Gays in the Military? A Cautionary Tale

By Kevin M. McCrane, Wall Street Journal, Dec 2, 1992. Page A10

Bill Clinton's desire to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military brings to mind a troubling incident from my own military experience more than a generation ago.

When I turned 18 late in 1945 I discovered that I had missed the war but not the draft. After five weeks of boot camp, I was shipped to San Francisco's Treasure Island, the Navy base where new recruits waited to receive their orders.

It was dark and raw as only San Francisco can be in January when five of us
mustered on a pier to await a ship's boat from the USS Warrick. The new recruits were told the Warrick was an Attack Cargo Auxiliary, which sounded promising. We soon discovered this was a fancy name for a cargo carrier. Even so, we were excited at the prospect of shipping out. Lugging our bags, we arrived on board late at night. We unhooked our berths from their vertical positions and settled down to sleep.

The awakening was sudden, panic-filled. A hand was caressing my leg, running up the inside of my thigh. A dim figure ducked away as I lashed out, kicking, swinging a fist and striking air. There was no more sleep that night.

Our voyage began the next day, our destination Honolulu. But the excitement was gone, at least for me. At the end of a long day riding the sea's rolling swells, I took a 12-inch box-end wrench from the engine room and retreated to my berth. Hanging on to the wrench under my pillow, I slept.

My sense of unease did not go away even when the seasickness passed. On the fourth day at sea I visited the ship's post office. The second-class petty officer manning the tiny cubicle greeted me warmly. Grinning broadly, he stepped back from the counter, dropped his dungarees, fondled himself and made an obscene invitation. I walked away.

Whom do you tell? I chose a third-class petty officer on my watch. He laughed at what I told him. "You're on a French cruiser, kid." He told me to watch out.

It was in the open now, a subject for discussion among the new recruits. Each of us had been accosted, patted, propositioned. Though we were in different divisions, we flocked together for meals, averting our eyes when one of "them" leered in our direction.

There were five such aggressive homosexuals that we knew of on board this ship with almost 250 men. They were all petty officers. Their actions were enough to poison the atmosphere on the Warrick. Meals, showers, attendance at the movies, decisions about where you went on the ship alone—all became part of a worried calculation of risk.

After two weeks at sea, I received the whispered news that the smallest and most vulnerable of our "team" had been sodomized in the paint locker. When I looked at the bearer of this news, I saw that there were tears in his eyes. "Why are they doing this to us?" he asked.

It was a good question. The comments of some petty officers suggested that the rapid discharge of so many veterans at the end of the war had brought with it a slackening of discipline. On board the Warrick this disciplinary neglect had loosened the restraints on homosexual behavior—the threat of discharge was the surest of these—and created an atmosphere where exhibitionism and lewd action were commonplace.

All homosexuals aren't rapists. But in this closed male society, with its enforced communal living, unchecked homosexual appetites wrought havoc. The atmosphere on the USS Warrick in January of 1946 does have a present-day parallel—the atmosphere of fear that rules in today's prisons.

Is there a lesson here for Mr. Clinton? I think so. The U.S. Navy certainly won't turn into a collection of horror ships like the Warrick if he succeeds in ending the ban on homosexuals in the military. But my experience does suggest that military officials are right to worry that "good order and discipline of the services will be impaired" if the ban is lifted.

A postscript: When the Warrick reached Pearl Harbor in that long-ago winter, a new executive officer reported aboard. On the sixth day in port the PA system blared a summons "for all those personnel being transferred to assemble at the quarterdeck."

I joined the rush topside to see who was going ashore. The ship's rail was lined with crewmen cheering as five petty officers debarked into a P-boat.

I went below decks and ran back up. When the P-boat cleared the side, I dropped my box-end wrench into the blue waters of Pearl Harbor.
2.17.2006 12:20pm
Jason Fliegel (mail):
Given this:

Training costs for officers (1994-2003): $17.7 million


and this:

Second, as noted above, our use of the training costs for a surface warfare officer as a proxy for the cost of training all officers reflects a conservative assumption that probably reduced our overall cost estimate. The cost to train a surface warfare officer is $92,924, while the cost to train one jet pilot (T-45 line) is $1,439,754. The list of officers fired for homosexuality includes physicians, pilots, dentists, and other individuals with highly technical training.


I take a little bit of issue with this conclusion:

Of these, the first (additional separation costs) and the third (premature loss of non-discharged gay personnel) seem most likely to add considerably to the real cost of DADT.


Officer training costs may well be off by an order of magnitude, which could boost the cost of DADT by $100 million or more. I would consider that adding considerably to the real cost of DADT.
2.17.2006 12:20pm
Taimyoboi:
Medis,

I think that this is already accounted for in the cost calculations.

First, the UC report does not indicate that it attempted to exclude this category from its report, so presumably they're already factored in the explicit costs. Otherwise, they would be excluded from DA/DT costs and lumped into implicit costs. Either way the net effect would be nil. You're just shifting costs from one category to antoher.

As for the implicit costs of investigation, I believe these are conducted for all gay discharges. I don't think they investigate just the ones that are rumored to be ane excuse for leaving.

I don't think the UC report included the costs of investigation, so that would increase the overall cost of DA/DT. Nevertheless, because they have to have the investigations anyway, I don't think straight servicmen taking advantage of it increases the cost over and above what would already be implied in DA/DT.
2.17.2006 12:20pm
Jed (mail) (www):
You have a partial response to my demand for data on the subject. What you have is a start, but it is still anecdotal.

I never claimed to be intimately involved in the process, and AFAIK, there has never been a published study of denial rates, etc.

A legitimate study would likely find an interesting phenomenon--both the legitimate and the false claims would end up in both accepted and rejected categories.

Not as much as you might think. My understanding from talking to the JAGs who did this on a daily basis was that the risks of improperly denying a valid claim were minimal. The standard to be met wasn't that hard to meet, and many of the denials were simply idiots who couldn't resist telling everyone that they were going to scam the system.

One thing that your aside comment suggests is that indeed there is more of a stigma attached to homosexuality among men (you noted that most cases of "false" claims were women--perhaps I misunderstood?).

Stigma aside, in my experience, young women in their first term were far more likely to realize that the military wasn't for them. DA/DT was just an easy way to fix their "mistake" without fulfulling another 3-5 years of a commitment. (There were other ways, BTW, and DA/DT was not among the most common)

I do, however, suspect that stigma kept many similarly situated young men from claiming homosexuality.
2.17.2006 12:27pm
Nobody Important (mail):
The cost of keeping DADT assumes the legitimatcy of the military's rationale for the policy -- the presence of open homosexuals undermines morale and unit cohesion. Anyone who takes that argument seriously has never been to boot camp. When I did it in 1980 there were 80 guys of all different races, religions, personalities, intelligence levels, temperaments and hygienic preferences you can imagine, many of whom had little in common and more than a few of whom found people there they didn't like very much. The whole point of boot camp is to take 80 guys with little in common and turn them into a team -- teaching people to live and work with people they'd never in a million years socialize with had they been left to their own devices. And it works. Adding open gays to the mix wouldn't change a blessed thing because it would be just another example of learning to work with people who aren't the same as you are. If I can live with a work with a bunkmate with a limited vocabulary who doesn't wear deoderant, then he can live and work with an openly gay bunkmate. OK, so we don't hang out together on weekends -- so what?
2.17.2006 12:28pm
Mr Diablo:
Clayton and Bleier:

You both are way more concerned about sodomy inside the barracks than anyone I've ever met. A friend of mine has the largest pile of military porn I've ever seen, and he doesn't discuss it that much!

It's downright offensive and indicative of such a small, bigoted mind that you both turn to fantastic scenarios of rape and molestation in order to back up your concerns and beliefs, and in order to justify wild-eyed prejudices of the fictional southern homophobe who apparently makes up 99.9% of the military.

If any liberal made a similar ad homenim slur against Southerners in the military, they would be browbeat to no end, called ivory tower elitists and disparaged for attacking people they don't understand. You and your ilk on this board are doing the same thing. I do not understand how you feel you have the right and privilege to insult the men and women in uniform this way.

Finally, regarding the number of soldiers who are turned out for being gay, and the asinine suggestion that they should have to pay for their training: You might as well suggest that anyone convincted of any violation of military rules, or anyone who is moved down a rank because of violation should have to pay back their costs to the military, because they should have known going in that they were a lawbreaker.

What you are forgetting is that the policy is also DON'T ASK -- yet we've seen instances where military personnel were cruising the internet to find and bust gay colleagues. Also, you are forgetting that because of various oppressive cultural aspects, many people do not confront their sexuality until later in life, and are not able to accept their own orientation.

Seriously, pay back? Let's get serious.

And if we're going to just throw around anecdotes and Winston Churchill quotes (he is relevant to this, how?), maybe we shouldn't be discussing this at all.
2.17.2006 12:34pm
Buck Turgidson (mail):
Medis,

it seems clear to me that the possibility of straight people pretending to be gay increases, not deceases, the total cost of DA/DT.

I believe, this is off-base. If the rest of your argument is true--and a number of people seem to argue that it is--the costs would dramatically drop if this was no longer a way to get out. No more gay removal--no easy way out that only costs the military money. Given that the "investigations" costs are negligible next to the costs of training and recruitment, the net costs would certainly go down.

Personally, I see this argument as being significantly overstated.

Hovsep Joseph,

the military should already be prosecuting harassment on the basis of perceived sexual orientation.

I did say that there is plenty of this going on even under the current policy and, yes, it should be prosecuted. The reality is, of course, that it is not, likely because the command shares the sentiment of the harassers and because it's all on the government nickel (the costs to the service are considered to be irrelevant). This is why I drew the parallel with the Civil Rights Act--a change in policy will require agressive prosecution, including of ranking officers.

Public_Defender,

I think the real problem in Dale's numbers is that they fail to address the real cost to conservatives of ending DADT. The real cost will be that there will be gay people saying, "My country thought I was good enough to put my life on the line, but now they say I'm not good enough to [get married/adopt children/keep a job/etc.]."


This seems exactly right. The parallel should be drawn directly to the anti-Semitic attitudes in the European military corps before WWI. In most countries, practicing Jews were not allowed to serve, even in countries with conscription (e.g. Russia). So overt expressions of anti-Semitism included accusations of cowardice and lack of patriotism, split loyalties, etc. If the policy were reversed, conservatives would lose a major issue with which to scare the poor shmucks who are susceptible to this sort of propaganda (that would be about 30% of the electorate).

B.Bleier,

What about the costs involved in involuntary sodomy aboard ships at sea, or otherwise in harms way? And if you contend that there is no connection between the overtly gay in the military and a significant rise in non-consensual sodomy, both prosecuted and unreported, I doubt your sincerity as well as your knowledge.

The military has a huge problem in this area. Both with forceful homosexual rape, and with chickenhawking of eighteen through twenty-two year old males who are away from home for the first time.


This is a classic homophobic fantasy--if you let those fa****s into society, they'll rape the straight men! As Cornelius noted, if anyone has to worry about forced sodomy and rape, it is women from heterosexual males. If the Tailhook affair and the Air Force Academy recent notoriety don't get your attention, nothing will.


The introduction of women into operational positions introduces many of the same good order and discipline problems, but that is a different discussion.


Let's give credit where credit is due, shall we? The problem was not with the women joining the military, but with stodgy old men resenting their admission and goading young men into supporting their cause by illegal means. Perhaps we should have an army of eunuchs.
2.17.2006 12:45pm
Public_Defender:
I pointed out that it's paranoid to think that a small number of gay people could intimidate the heterosexual majority in the military. Clayton Cramer responds with an unverified claim (mostly hearsay) that five gay guys committed criminal acts more than sixty years ago.

I think that does more to prove my point than refute it.
2.17.2006 12:45pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Mr. Diablo writes:


It's downright offensive and indicative of such a small, bigoted mind that you both turn to fantastic scenarios of rape and molestation in order to back up your concerns and beliefs, and in order to justify wild-eyed prejudices of the fictional southern homophobe who apparently makes up 99.9% of the military.
Scenarios? Sorry, But Mr. Bleier was discussing cases with which he had personal experience. I gave not a scenario, but an article by someone describing his own experience.

Look, if you think that there are no homosexual men who will take advantage of their position for sex, that's just fine. Live in your little fantasy. But we know that there are heterosexual men who take advantage of their position for sex. (Perhaps homosexual men are so much superior to heterosexual men.) That's why civilian life has sexual harrassment laws; that's why the military has a long-standing traditions about fraternization. While these rules prohibit voluntary relationships, they exist because even more so than in civilian life, hierarchy makes it easy to manipulate or pressure subordinates into situations that they really don't want.

I also didn't make the claim that "99.9%" of the military was so homophobic that they wouldn't stay in post-DADT. I was very clear that it only had to be 3% who elected to not join, or not re-enlist, to destroy any manpower gain from repealing DADT. This was very explicit; I don't see how you could have honestly misread it.

Public_Defender writes:

I pointed out that it's paranoid to think that a small number of gay people could intimidate the heterosexual majority in the military. Clayton Cramer responds with an unverified claim (mostly hearsay) that five gay guys committed criminal acts more than sixty years ago.

I think that does more to prove my point than refute it.
You mean that human nature has changed in the last sixty years? Sorry, but abuse of power is a fundamental flaw of human beings. In civilian life, if you have a boss that is pressuring you for sex, you can go home at the end of the day, look for an attorney, quit your job, perhaps go to his boss. The military is a different situation. On a ship, or a military base, your freedom to quit, or to go over your boss's head, are severely limited.
2.17.2006 1:01pm
Public_Defender:
You mean that human nature has changed in the last sixty years?
No, but if your best example is an unverified and unverifiable story from more than sixty years ago that even on its face is largely second- and third-hand information, then I think your argument is pretty weak.
2.17.2006 1:05pm
Taimyoboi:
"I pointed out that it's paranoid to think that a small number of gay people could intimidate the heterosexual majority"

Public_Defender,

That's one way of viewing the policy, but there is a more rational view that is part of the military's reasoning.

For the same reason that the military does not allow mixed male/female combat units, the military bans mixed straight/gay combat units probably because it multiplies the possibility of fraternization while on duty.

Put someone in a group of people with whom they are attracted to and you are more likely to see fraternization than if you limit units to people who are not attracted to each other.
2.17.2006 1:06pm
Medis:
Tai,

I didn't mean to imply that the studies were attempting to exclude the costs of discharging straight people pretending to be gay. Rather, I was addressing what I took to be an argument or implication of some commentators that such costs should be excluded. My first point was really just that those costs associated with those discharges (at least in cases where a discharge would not otherwise occur) remain costs associated with the policy, even if in such a case no gay person has actually been discharged.

Second, I was also assuming that investigations occurred in all cases. But I would suggest that does mean the marginal cost is zero. Indeed, I took Jed's point to be that a great deal of the investigation is devoted to determining whether or not the person is actually gay, and that increased after they determined straight people were pretending. So, if there were no straight people pretending to be gay, presumably that portion of the investigation could be dropped. Hence, all this counts as an additional cost attributable to DA/DT.

Buck,

I couldn't follow your comment. It seems to me that you are actually agreeing with me: to the extent that straight people are using DA/DT as an easy out, that increases the early-discharge cost of the policy. Whether or not the increased investigation costs are on the same order of magnitude as the early-discharge costs, they also add to the cost of the policy. So, all this is adding to the costs of the policy, and conversely all these costs would disappear if the policy was eliminated.
2.17.2006 1:15pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

No, but if your best example is an unverified and unverifiable story from more than sixty years ago that even on its face is largely second- and third-hand information, then I think your argument is pretty weak.
Since we don't allow homosexuals into the military--and kick them out as soon as they are identified or identify themselves--I wouldn't expect to have a lot of examples that are more recent. Would you?

We do have plenty of problems with heterosexual rape in the military today. If you want to pretend that homosexuals aren't going to be tempted to commit rape when in positions of power, fine. But in civilian life, where they can't get away with this as easily--they do so. For example, Doe v. Capital Cities et al., 50 Cal. App. 4th 1038 (1996). As I point out here, at least some of the defendants in this rape case seem to have suffered no negative effects in the gay community from being sued for drugging and raping someone.

Now, I am prepared to believe that guys like this are an aberration in the gay community, just as rapists are an aberration in the straight community. But don't pretend that gay men don't commit rape. You would have to be a law professor to believe something that absurd.
2.17.2006 1:17pm
Medis:
Sorry: in the second paragraph, it should be "does NOT mean the marginal costs are zero."
2.17.2006 1:18pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Buck Turgidson writes:


Let's give credit where credit is due, shall we? The problem was not with the women joining the military, but with stodgy old men resenting their admission and goading young men into supporting their cause by illegal means.
I could not write a parody of liberalism like this without being called a constructor of strawmen. You don't suppose that young men, who are notoriously weak in self-esteem, could have decided to harrass women in the military without their higher-ups telling them to do so?

You don't suppose that because some young men commit rape in civilian life that they could ever be rapists in the military?
2.17.2006 1:21pm
Medis:
As an aside, I once again recommend that we not let this thread get hijacked by someone with a particular obsession (in this case, about how likely it is that gay people in the military will go on rape sprees).
2.17.2006 1:22pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

As an aside, I once again recommend that we not let this thread get hijacked by someone with a particular obsession (in this case, about how likely it is that gay people in the military will go on rape sprees).
I agree. When people insist that gay men in the military will never commit rape, however, it makes it inevitable that we will have to have this discussion.

Rape and sexual harrassment is a problem anytime you have young men combined with women. Why do you think that gay men are exempt from this possibility? It is a legitimate question as to whether this is going to be a big problem, or a little problem, once you repeal DADT. But pretending that it won't be a problem at all is dishonest.
2.17.2006 1:25pm
JosephSlater (mail):
As has been pointed out in other threads, the problem with this "if we let gays in to the military, the following parade of horribles will happen" is the experience of an increasingly large number of of other countries that allow gays to serve, with no evidence of such degradation of their military forces.
2.17.2006 1:29pm
Mr Diablo:
We have laws to deal with rape already. Enough. That is the reddest of herrings and so typical of the bigots that usually try to hijack any threads about anything gay: turn it into a discussion about sex in a puerile attempt to denegrate gays or disgust people.

Not happening. Let's all just ignore the two straight men who are obsessed with sodomy.
2.17.2006 1:34pm
Medis:
And completely ignoring my own advice (but I promise this will be it)--obviously the question would be something like whether a military with X number of people and with DA/DT would have a lower rape rate than a military with the same X number of people and without DA/DT.

I seriously doubt there would be a noticeable difference in the overall rape rate. Indeed, if anything, I would suspect the second military would have a lower rape rate simply because it would have a military culture that was less obsessed about sex, and gay sex in particular. But again, I doubt there would be any notable difference.
2.17.2006 1:34pm
submandave (mail) (www):
Mr Diablo, I know where you are coming from, but the foam at the edges of your mouth as you respond to Clayton and Bleier is starting to distract from any salient points you may make. That one is concerned about non-consensual sodomy and the effect a perceived threat of such might have on good order and discipline does not automatically make them into "small, bigoted mind[ed]" people. I don't have any statistics or studies to quote, but I think it is entirely reasonable to conclude that given typical heterosexual male attitudes on strength and masculinity that many, if not the majority of, homosexual asaults and rapes go unreported. When you have dealt with a young Petty Officer who wakes up to find a shipmate latched onto his member it becomes more of a real concern than merely a "fantastic scenario".

Additionally, one does not have to agree with the idea of discharged gay members recouping their recruitment and training costs to see that the analogy you offer is nonsensical and irrelevent. In the first case we have, in a strict sense, a case of fraudulent enlistment (the member knew he was gay and joined anyway), while you posit a case where a member who legitimately joined then incurred a punishment. Additionally, you seem to overlook that in the first case the member is removed from service while in your scenario that is not necessarilly the case. A more apt analogy would be where a convicted felon failed to disclose his conviction upon enlisting. In any event, there are provisions to recoup the military's costs in the event of fraudulent enlistment, so a discussion of pursuing this option in the case of discharges resulting from DADT is not only far from unserious, but directly relevent as a rebuttal to the solely economic costs raised by our host.

Finally, despite your claim to shun anecdotes you feel it necessary to mention the isolated incidents where "military personnel were cruising the internet to find and bust gay colleagues". I've said it before, but unless every organization and command I have ever been attached to or associated with in the past nineteen years was vastly different than all the others, in every case I had personal knowledge of in which a member was discharged for homosexuality the member's sexuality came to light either through self-reporting (i.e. forgetting the policy is DON'T TELL) or incidental to the investigation of another, usually more serious, disciplinary matter (AWOL, assault, rape, etc.).

I am concerned not only that homosexual assaults, harrassment and rape will happen with greater frequency in a post-DADT military (they most certainly will), but more that because of a perception of gays as an oppressed group that such incidents will not be treated as fairly and seriously as they should. And, as much as you profess to eschew anecdotes over evidence, it will the anecdotes of leaders looking the other direction or discounting assaults/rape out of PC deference that may ultimately have the greatest effect on both economics and readiness. The perception of accepted homosexual assault in the prison system works as a great deterrence to some. I do not wish the same dynamic to similarly effect the military.
2.17.2006 1:35pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
Clayton Cramer wrote:

it would only take 3% of current or prospective military personnel deciding that they weren't prepared to be stared at the shower, groped in their bunk at night, or (very small possibility), raped by a superior, to offset the manpower gain from repealing DADT.

Its not just about gaining and losing manpower. You have to consider the kind of people the military would gain versus the kind that it might lose. We could stand to lose those members of the military whose fear and repulsion of gay Americans is so overpowering that it overrides the patriotic duty they take to protect this country. If we lose those people in favor of soldiers who want so badly to serve their country that their patriotism overrides their fear of persecution, I'd say we should go for it hands down. And I stand by my earlier assertion that real-life members of the military are not the sexually paranoid bigots that some commenters here would have them be. To the extent that there are such soldiers who rank homophobia over patriotism, they constitute a very small minority, a minority that should be purged because they constitute a serious national security threat.
2.17.2006 1:50pm
Huggy (mail):
Why hasn't someone here looked up the JAG cases of sodomy?
2.17.2006 1:57pm
Taimyoboi:
"Indeed, I took Jed's point to be that a great deal of the investigation is devoted to determining whether or not the person is actually gay, and that increased after they determined straight people were pretending. So, if there were no straight people pretending to be gay, presumably that portion of the investigation could be dropped. Hence, all this counts as an additional cost attributable to DA/DT."

Medis,

I see your point now. You're right that, if a majority of the investigation is involved in trying to determine whether the person is in fact gay, then that would be an additional cost to DA/DT.

A weaker counter-point might then be: supposing these people would try to get out of the military anyway, then it might be the case that they'll take advantage of other loopholes that will also require investigation.

That point is subject to the assumption that the military investigates all discharges, and that the loopholes they would then find would require as extensive investigation as they do for DA/DT.
2.17.2006 2:02pm
Public_Defender:
OK, you admit you have no evidence of rape by gay men in the US military (other than your unverified, unverifiable, partly second-hand, possibly untrue story from more than sixty years ago). You say that's because there aren't gays in the US military. But there are, as long as they don't tell.

Setting that aside, have there been any recruiting/retention problems in the Israeli, British, or Canadian militaries? Have American soldiers had any worse of a time working with British soldiers in Iraq?
2.17.2006 2:05pm
Medis:
Tai,

Indeed, all this has to be put in marginal terms, since these straight people might look for other ways out. Nonetheless, the basic point would be that any additional out for straight people--particularly one where you can trigger the process simply by "telling" someone something--is bound to add to the relevant costs at the margins.
2.17.2006 2:27pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

OK, you admit you have no evidence of rape by gay men in the US military (other than your unverified, unverifiable, partly second-hand, possibly untrue story from more than sixty years ago). You say that's because there aren't gays in the US military. But there are, as long as they don't tell.
You still won't admit that if you admit 1000 gay men into the military, that at least one of them will end up commiting a rape? Look, this may make you feel good about being gay--imagining that gay men never commit rape (in spite of the evidence otherwise)--but it is a position that only a law professor could take seriously.

Here's one of your fellow leftists
insisting that men raping men in the U.S. Army is common, but those are straight men raping straight men:
But the rapes in Iraq are not only of the prisoners but of American soldier to American soldier. This would include men and women being assaulted. The military has secretly found at least 167 rapes but is impossible to know the true numbers given to a lack of reporting them.

Ms Mackey also concluded that 90% of male to male rape was not homosexual rape but heterosexual rape. Meaning that they were not gay to gay rape but straight men raping straight men.
But in gayspeak, when two men have sex voluntarily, it is gay or at least bisexual; when one man rapes another man (or rapes a little boy), then it is those disgusting heterosexuals at it again.


Setting that aside, have there been any recruiting/retention problems in the Israeli, British, or Canadian militaries? Have American soldiers had any worse of a time working with British soldiers in Iraq?
Good question. The British military is probably the closest analogy. The Canadian military is so tiny that I don't see how they could have retention or recruiting problems. The Israeli military is rather the opposite situation, since so much of the population serves in it, either regular or reserves, and I think that this is partly because of a draft?
2.17.2006 2:32pm
Taimyoboi:
"have there been any recruiting/retention problems in the Israeli..."

Public_Defender,

You raised this point in another set of posts, but I'll say it again.

It's hard to have recruiting problems for a military where service is mandatory for every citizen, as is the case in Israel.

I also wouldn't use the case of Canada, since it's kind of hard to have recruiting/retention problems when you don't have a military to begin with [Never miss a chance to bash the Canadian military].

As for Britain, I don't have definitive information on the military, but I don't know how well they're doing of late. Nevertheless, as others have pointed out earlier, their culture has 20-30 years on American culture in terms of progressiveness, so I don't think they're quite comparable.
2.17.2006 2:34pm
inahandbasket:
Is the atmosphere in Congress such that a serious consideration/discussion could be underway to lift DADT? Has the DOD asked Congress to consider lifting the ban on gays/lesbians serving openly in the military? Call my opinion paranoid but I would think if that's the case then a draft is coming. Otherwise, if there was a draft I'd think you see an amazing percentage of men under the age of twenty five suddenly discovering they're gay.
2.17.2006 2:34pm
TTC:
Perspective:
What is the overall military budget over the same time frame as this study? What percentage of recruiting costs, personnel costs, etc., does this alleged cost of DA/DT represent?


And as others point out above, the vast majority of Soldiers discharged under DA/DT don't want to be there and are the ones who "DO TELL." Most commanders aren't going to fight to retain a Soldier who doesn't want to be in the Army. Can you quantify that with $$?
2.17.2006 2:35pm
Mr Diablo:
Submandave,

Just want to clarify that you said:


I don't have any statistics or studies to quote


...before you launched into your ridiculous, unverified, anecdotal, irrational and therefore irrefutable rant about gay rape.

Whatever happened to those conservatives who say things like "we've already got laws on the books." We've got anti-rape laws in the military. When needed, they are used.

And I'm not even going to be begin to discuss the deterrent factor of prison sodomy.

Serious discussion please, no foaming at the mouth bigotry and ludicrous accusations of sodomy, and certainly no discussion of the slippery slope to rape that come from knowing or working with a gay person. I ask it again, why do you have such a low opinion of our soldiers?
2.17.2006 2:38pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Just so that Public_Defender can stop pretending that all such incidents are in the dim distant past, or of questionable veracity. From Turner v Dept. of Navy (D.C.App. 2003):
Turner served in the Navy for about seven years. In April 1994 his commanding officer, Captain Frank, learned of com- plaints by two of Turner's shipmates, Petty Officer John King and Seaman Apprentice Lee Poore, that Turner solicited homosexual acts and falsified records (apparently in the interest of inducing sexual cooperation). Frank ordered Chief Petty Officer Clanahan to conduct an investigation. At its close, three sailors (the two original accusers and Seaman Chad Maurer) signed sworn statements accusing Turner of homosexual propositioning and assault. According to the statements, Turner asked King and Maurer to engage in sexual acts with him, improperly touched or pushed all three witnesses, signed his approval on phony performance qualifications for King, and used "indecent" language (namely, blunt descriptions of the proposed acts).
Look, it happens. I would be utterly shocked to learn that gay men don't never commit rape. Let's stop pretending that gay men are exempt from the same primitive behavior as straight men.
2.17.2006 2:41pm
SLS 1L:
I actually have to agree with many of the commentors who have pointed out that if you want an accurate tally of the costs of keeping the program vs. scrapping it, calculating gross costs isn't much use. Consider:

(1) A nonzero number of homophobic people would refrain from entering the military if DADT were abolished;
(2) A nonzero number of gays (possibly even me) and gay-friendly people would be inspired to join the military if DADT were abolished;
(3) A nonzero number of heterosexuals try to get discharges under DADT and either (a) wouldn't be discharged without it or (b) would try to get discharged some other way;
(4) Some administrative costs would be incurred in changing the policy;

etc. etc. etc. If we want to know what the real costs of DADT are, then we have to take account of all that stuff.

I suspect that these dubious calculations are really supposed to be thinly veiled arguments of the form "DADT is expensive, therefore we should abolish it," which strikes me as not particularly relevant, given that any estimate of costs is going to be a drop in the bucket relative to the military budget. The real questions should be:

(1) Is DADT fair? (No)
(2) Does DADT increase or decrease our military effectiveness? (Decrease)

We might add (3): Is DADT based on a raw desire to harm a disfavored group? (Yes) Those, not these quasi-bogus cost estimates, are the real reasons we should scrap DADT.
2.17.2006 2:44pm
TTC:

4) Separation travel costs (1994-2003): $14.3 million

Recruiting and training costs are front-end: they occur at the beginning of a military career. There are also costs associated with separation from the military, the back-end of service. These "out-processing" costs are numerous and are also investments the military must make when it discharges a member. One such cost is travel expense. Using the Army's own lower-range estimates for such travel costs, and deducting for recovery of costs through time served, the UC Commission found as follows:


Spending on enlisted and officer separation travel, prior to any recovery of costs, is $16,633,308 and $638,381, respectively. Total recovery on investment . . . is calculated as $2,926,816. The total spent on separation travel, $17,271,689 minus the recovery on investment, $2,926,816, yields a total of $14,344,873.


Since this post asked for some economic analysis (which is missing from most of these comments), this cost is completely irrelevant to the so-called costs of DA/DT.


Whether a Soldier serves one year or 30 years in the Army, there are travel costs for separating from the Army. These costs aren't unique to Soldiers separated under DA/DT; nor are they unique to Soldiers who separate before their enlistment period is over.

Every Soldier is entitled to travel (and shipment of goods) back to his or her home after their service period is over.

This is a military cost, not a DA/DT cost -- and certainly makes me skeptical of the other costs alleged in this study.
2.17.2006 2:48pm
dweeb:
"Its not just about gaining and losing manpower. You have to consider the kind of people the military would gain versus the kind that it might lose. We could stand to lose those members of the military whose fear and repulsion of gay Americans is so overpowering that it overrides the patriotic duty they take to protect this country."

First, let's start by not characterizing people's sincere beliefs about right and wrong as some sort of pathology. All reasonable people place a boundary between acceptable and unacceptable sexual behavior, and on the broad spectrum of where people draw that line, we're not talking about a huge difference here. Most of the people you speak of would leave, I suspect, because their religious beliefs, i.e. what they see as their duty to God, overrule their duty to country. The value of these people to the military is not a function of your approval of their beliefs, but rather how well they can contribute to the millitary's primary mission, which is to kill people and break things. It may well be that the people who would leave the military over repealing DADT are the ones who make the best soldiers. There would definitely be a loss of conservatives and a gain of liberals, and given the correlation of liberalism with pacifism, there's a good case to be made that, while it might be a great trade off for many professions or industries, it would not be good for military effectiveness. This leads to another consideration of the cost of repeal. Given that the internal leadership of the military wants to keep the ban, and claims it's for valid mission related reasons, and they ARE the ones with extensive education in the art of war, what if they're right? The result could ultimately be the USA losing a major conflict, and what are the costs of that?

Regardless of how one feels about the various social issues, I'm always a little wary of those who want to force the military to be just like civilian society. War is a unique environment that most civilian policy makers have no familiarity with. Democracy, pluralism, liberty and a host of other civil values have no place there. Certainly, it's no place to experiment with social issues, because losing a war is always the one unaccounted cost.
2.17.2006 2:48pm
TTC:
I would like to know the costs of allowing women to serve in the military.

Women often do not complete their enlistments and are discharged early (voluntarily) because of pregnancies. Women's healthcare costs are considerably higher than men's at this age (due mostly to pregnancies). Women also are more likely to be discharged early from the military because of physical problems.

Has anyone done a study on how much more it is costing us to allow women to serve?
2.17.2006 2:53pm
Mr Diablo:


Dweeb, your entire argument is based on two things:

(1) A hunch that the best soldiers are also the ones who would be most bothered by protecting a gay fellow soldier and therefore would leave. (Personally, I'd argue that their bigotry being that extreme, they'd be some of the worst soldiers, as they could not be counted on to protect gay Americans, who are as much Americans as any other American, if the opportunity presented itself.)

(2) A criticism of our soldiers. Your argument requires that our soldiers need constant coddling and comfort zones in order to operate. These guys deal with adverse situations all the time. Enough with the conservative insult to our soldiers; they are brave and true Americans and adults. They deal with people trying to kill them. Respect their brains.

Meanwhile, are you seriously suggesting we'd have an army of liberal pacifists if we eliminated DADT? Dude, that's retarded.
2.17.2006 3:05pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Has anyone done a study on how much more it is costing us to allow women to serve.
I'm sure someone has. If the results didn't come out "right," it wouldn't get any publicity.

I happen to think that there's a place for women in the military, but I am skeptical that they belong in ground combat roles, primarily because men have been culturally conditioned (and probably there is some genetics involved as well) to protect women, at all costs, including the cost of their own life. That's an admirable quality in civilian life, but in an infantry unit, there are times that you have to sacrifice the lives of some members of your unit to achieve a military objective.

War is ugly, and most people have a romanticized view of it. Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One depicts something has been a part of warfare for centuries--and yet is almost never discussed, and almost never shown in movies. (Fuller was part of the second wave on D-Day, and swore that someday, he was going to make an honest movie about war.) If a soldier is unwilling to move forward in battle out of fear (as any rational person would be), the sergeant's job is to shoot at him from the rear, to give the soldier reason to believe that while he might die moving forward, he will die if he remains stationary, ignoring the sergeant's orders to advance.
2.17.2006 3:09pm
Cornellian (mail):
I would like to know the costs of allowing women to serve in the military.

No doubt Clayton Cramer is concerned about the cost of allowing straight men to serve in the military, given the statistical inevitability that at least some of them will rape women.
2.17.2006 3:09pm
Cornellian (mail):
Canada does have a military. It's badly underfunded to be sure, but the quality of the people in it is quite high. It's not as large as the US military of course, and it never will be given the huge disparity in the populations of the two countries, but Canada's military is far too large that its experience can simply be dismissed as too small to be statistically significant. A sample size of the US military equal to the size of the Canadian military would be hugely significant.
2.17.2006 3:12pm
DanCobb (mail):
So DADT has cost over $300,000,000.00. So what! That's a drop in the ocean considering that the Pentagon's yearly intake is over $800,000,000,000.00 a year when taking into account all of the war-related costs in the
Middle East. A measley three hundred million. So what!
I'm sure many think it's a small price to pay for unit
cohesion. Very small price. Let's face it, the heterosexual drug addicts and criminals the army is now recruiting at least won't catch a glipse of other guys' dicks in the showers.

DanCobb
2.17.2006 3:22pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
SLS 1L writes:


The real questions should be:

(1) Is DADT fair? (No)
(2) Does DADT increase or decrease our military effectiveness? (Decrease)

We might add (3): Is DADT based on a raw desire to harm a disfavored group? (Yes) Those, not these quasi-bogus cost estimates, are the real reasons we should scrap DADT.
I won't argue that DADT is fair. There aren't many jobs where a person's sexual orientation should matter, unless you choose to make a big deal of it. The military is a rather peculiar situation, however, nothing like civilian life.

I can't see that your point 2 is correct. If 5% of the military decides that they don't want to serve with homosexuals, in exchange for 3% going in because they have been excluded by DADT, that's a net loss of manpower. Unless you can provide some reason to believe that homosexuals are better soldiers than the heterosexuals they are replacing, this is a net loss.

And for this being based on "raw desire to harm a disfavored group": that's wrong. If that were the case, we would draft homosexuals, and give them all the most dangerous jobs: infantry; mine-clearing.

The analogy to blacks in military history is quite wrong. For a very long time, blacks were excluded from the Army and Marine Corps because they were believed to be racially inferior as soldiers. (The Navy was too hard up for seamen to refuse blacks, and there were times when 1/3 of the U.S. Navy was black--although never as officers.) I don't think that there are many people who think that a gay person is incapable of being an effective soldier. (See Bernard Nalty's Strength for the Fight for a fascinating history of the struggle of blacks to be part of the U.S. military.)

In the South, there was a reluctance to see free blacks in the military because they would learn how to use guns--and free blacks at the time were not generally allowed to use guns, for fear that this knowledge would assist in the greatly feared, but seldom occurring slave rebellions. (See my paper, "The Racist Roots of Gun Control," Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, Winter, 1995, for a discussion of fear of armed blacks.) To my knowledge, no one is terribly afraid of gay people learning to shoot guns. Pink Pistols is working hard to make sure that more gay people are armed for self-protection against gay-bashers and ordinary criminals.

I suppose that if there were gay regiments, some of the concerns about discomfort and abuse potential might be alleviated, but as the history of segregation in the armed forces demonstrates, segregation creates its own set of problems.
2.17.2006 3:27pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

No doubt Clayton Cramer is concerned about the cost of allowing straight men to serve in the military, given the statistical inevitability that at least some of them will rape women.
Yup. The problem is real.
2.17.2006 3:29pm
Taimyoboi:
TTC,

I would also add my 10:46 post to that list of objectionable costs.

Recruitment costs are for the most part sunk since the military would be engaging in recruitment irrespective of whether or not gays would be allowed to serve.

The separation and recruitment combined are 93.5 million of the total 363.8 million budget. That's a fair portion of the alleged cost.
2.17.2006 3:31pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Let's face it, the heterosexual drug addicts and criminals the army is now recruiting at least won't catch a glipse of other guys' dicks in the showers.
Criminals? At one time, it was quite common for young men convicted of minor crimes to be given a choice by the judge: jail, or join the military. There was a widely held belief that the military would "straighten him out." But the military found that these screw-ups tended to be discipline problems in the military, too, and sent out word a few years back that they really didn't want judges doing this anymore.

As for drug addicts: I believe that the military has a policy on this, too. A rather strict policy, even. But that's just vicious discrimination, isn't it?
2.17.2006 3:33pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Canada does have a military. It's badly underfunded to be sure, but the quality of the people in it is quite high. It's not as large as the US military of course, and it never will be given the huge disparity in the populations of the two countries, but Canada's military is far too large that its experience can simply be dismissed as too small to be statistically significant.
It is not just smaller than ours because of population, but as a relative proportion, I believe. And yes, it is a very high quality force. But it is substantially different because Canada can be so selective about who it recruits. I would not be surprised if Canadian Forces have substantially different characteristics in a number of areas, not just with respect to their gay soldiers.

I would be curious to know what the total size of the Canadian Armed Forces are (a harder number to google than I would have guessed), and what percentage of them are gay.
2.17.2006 3:39pm
Public_Defender:
Congratulations, you've come up with one anecdotal story of a male-soldier-on-male-soldier rape from within the last twenty years. I guess that is a step forward from one unreliable anecdote from more than sixty years ago.

The Israeli experience matters. If gay service members hurt effectiveness, there should be some evidence, especially in practical-minded Israel. Yes, there is a draft, but the question of effectiveness remains. Also, Israelis can chose to make the military a career, so if gays-in-the-military were a problem, you'd think they'd have retention problems because of it.

And why would the size of the Canadian military matter? Either gays in the military makes a difference or it doesn't.
2.17.2006 3:41pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
Dweeb,

You say that my belief that people who would leave the military if gays were allowed to serve is "characterizing people's sincere beliefs about right and wrong as some sort of pathology." I don't have a problem with people individuals disapproving of sex acts or sex in general. I would certainly oppose a military rule requiring soldiers to engage in gay sex or any sex. However, personal beliefs, however sincere, do constitute a pathology when they with a soldier's ability to do his job. If the soldiers who would leave are leaving because they believe that their god disapproves of working with gay people, then they should leave. The military cannot allow soldier's individual religious faiths to trump the duty to protect the country. Incidently, what religion requires its adherents to forego military service if gay people serve? I've never heard of such a thing.

A few generations ago, many Christians in this country claimed that their god forebade whites and blacks from sharing public accommodations and serving in the military together. People are free to believe the white race is superior to other races, or the Christian religion is true to the exclusion of all other religions, just as they are free to believe that gays are violent predators who commit grave sins, but when they raise these beliefs as reasons that they will not serve next to racial, religious or sexual minorities, they demonstrate that they are illsuited to loyal military service.

I agree with you that the military is not like civilian society and should not be based on civilian society. The effect of any given military policy should be carefully scrutinized to determine if it will endanger national security. DADT is just such a policy and that is ultimately the best reason for its repeal.

A few other disputes with your logic. Pacifists do not join the military. The military does not decide when we go to war. The millitary's primary mission is not "to kill people and break things," but rather, as Professor Carpenter aptly put it, "to deter wars and, when that fails, to win them." Also, I think many self-identified conservatives would dispute your characterization as "conservative" of abandonment of military duty to protest tolerance of homosexuality.
2.17.2006 3:43pm
inahandbasket:
An interesting read is the history of the steps taken to integrate the military. I don't think any of us, unless we've lived through that time or have studied the history, can appreciate the tectonic shift in greater society that integration in the military caused. Here is an excerpt from the US Army's official document of integration: (1941)

"The Army's leaders and the secretary's civilian aide had reached an impasse on the question of policy even before the country entered the war. And though the use of black troops in World War I was not entirely satisfactory even to its defenders, 12 there appeared to be no time now, in view of the larger urgency of winning the war, to plan other approaches, try other solutions, or tamper with an institution that had won victory in the past. Further ordering the thoughts of some senior Army officials was their conviction that wide-scale mixing of the races in the services might, as Under Secretary Patterson phrased it, foment social revolution.l3

These opinions were clearly evident on 8 December 1941, the day the United States entered World War II, when the Army's leaders met with a group of black publishers and editors. Although General Marshall admitted that he was not satisfied with the department's progress in racial matters and promised further changes, the conference concluded with a speech by a representative of The Adjutant General who delivered what many considered the final word on integration during the war.
The Army is made up of individual citizens of the United States who have pronounced views with respect to the Negro just as they have individual ideas with respect to other matters in their daily walk of life. Military orders, fiat, or dicta, will not change their viewpoints. The Army then cannot be made the means of engendering conflict among the mass of people because of a stand with respect to Negroes which is not compatible with the position attained by the Negro in civil life .... The Army is not a sociological laboratory; to be effective it must be organized and trained according to the principles which will insure success. Experiments to meet the wishes and demands of the champions of every race and creed for the solution of their problems are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat. 14" (Bolding mine)
http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/integration/IAF-02.htm

Not until the military's leaders could be brought around to the idea of positive integration (some years later) would the policy work.
2.17.2006 3:54pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
One cost is the cost of all these investigations. When I was investigated they flew someone to ALASKA from Oklahoma to interview someone who'd worked for me. I don't think the hilarious transcript was really worth the cost of obtaining it.

And again, why do so many think the US miliitary so defective that they can't handle a change that so many other nations have without a lost step?
2.17.2006 4:10pm
JJV (mail):
I wonder if other militaries tell us anything about ours. I mean if any other military in the world screws up its not a big deal but America actually has to fight. With the all volunteer force and the fact that the people who join are more tradition minded than those who don't it might cause more problems than integration did at a time when everybody served not just southernors.

Also, I read a WSJ article some years ago about a "gay sgt scandal" during WWII that hurt morale pretty badly. It also seems some vocations to the priesthood have been ended because of too gay an environment at some seminaries.

I wonder if this study has any kind of "dynamic scoring" for what would happen to recruiting and combat effectiveness under different scenarios. I think its awful that we train young men and young women together and put women on ships and the rest. But if we do that it seems less reasonable not to allow homosexuals to serve openly. Unlike women, however, homosexual men would be out and in the combat units where combustability over issues of manliness (real and percieved) would be most severe. Don't Ask, Don't Tell seems to be a pretty good compromise because of the combat MOS's.
2.17.2006 4:13pm
JJV (mail):
One other thing, I can not believe this has gone on this long, especially with the discussion of "fake gay" claims for expulsion without any mention of Corporal Klinger. There I did it.

Also, while I don't think there is anything wrong with policies that deny homosexual activity normative importance or "equality" with heterosexual activity, I must say that all the homosexual rape stories do remind me of Stripes. "Lighten up Frances."

One other thing about foreign militaries. I'm pretty sure the British were forced by European court decisions to allow open homosexuals to serve and I believe that is the pattern in most of the "fighting armies" that have allowed it. I mean sure the Belgians probably allowed it early on along with an all day buffet but who cares? I don't think the professionals felt it was a good move, and I have no idea what the actual practice is, as opposed to the "rules."
2.17.2006 4:34pm
Mr Diablo:
Thanks JJV, it's rare to see someone admit they don't know anything, but also feel pompous enough to again tell everyone what normative behavior is.

Also, thanks for once again insulting the men and women of the armed services. How are you suggest that in the middle of battle straight soldiers and gay soldiers will instead enter into sexuality pissing contests rather than do their jobs.

Of course, I suppose, given your abritrary and capricious fears on other volokh.com threads, that those straight soldiers will probably find their gender roles undone by fighting next to a gay person.

JJV, it becomes painfully clear that you won't be happy until gays around round up and deported. Who knew that men who liked men and women who liked women could destroy everything. Are you sure you're not just Pat Robertson blogging in disguise?
2.17.2006 4:51pm
Mr Diablo:
Did I say rare? I meant to say it is volokh.com to see it.
2.17.2006 4:59pm
Cornellian (mail):
I'm inclined to wonder whether DADT costs more because of straight people rather than gay people. In other words, what portion of the cost of administering DADT is a function of straight people who want to get out of the military versus gay people who want to stay in it? Given that straight people vastly outnumber gay people, it's not obvious to me that the former cost is necessarily lower than the latter cost.

Furthermore, the number of straight people claiming to be gay to get out of the military can be expected to increase as general animus against gay people declines over time and the conflict in Iraq becomes more unpopular. It's a lot easier to fake than an illness that doctors can test for.
2.17.2006 5:46pm
JJV (mail):
Yes Diablo you have found me out. Curse you! Now I will have to send a tornado heading toward your house. I think I did say lighten up concerning homosexual rape and the like, and it strikes me that I'm just moderately on the side of no open homosexuals in the military so where did the deportation come from?

There were much harsher rules on homosexuals in the military prior to 1990, did we round up and deport anybody?

The military takes a very dim view of adultery as well. Do we change that rule so that everybody can feel inclusive and respected in their sexual choices? Because By God, that's what I want in my military.

Which raises an intersting question is there a study on enforcing the code of military justice regarding fraternization and adultery? Why not? I bet Sweden allows it and they were a great 17th century military power. Why not go whole hog. Aren't people mature enough now that we can run the Army like a Friends episode? I say if unit cohesion breaks down because one guy is mad at the other guy in the unit for sleeping with his wife, we bring back the lash and rid the malefactor of his patriarchal possessive view of marriage. If we just instigated a free love ethos in the Armed Forces all of these discriminatory, draconian policies could be discarded.

Also, what's with all this rank business? Isn't there a cost to a rigid, hierarchacal (sp) structure that's obsolete in the 21st century? Has saluting ever won a war? It think not. Its my constitutional right not to salute. Are there studies showing it ever helped win a war? Well, if there are no studies and it impinges on my personal autonomy as a non-saluting, anti-hierchachal person I say get rid of it! I mean why can't we non-saluters serve our country just as well as those conformist saluters? Its rank discrimination brought on by bigotry I say.
2.17.2006 5:48pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

A few generations ago, many Christians in this country claimed that their god forebade whites and blacks from sharing public accommodations and serving in the military together.
Care to give me some quotes on this regarding blacks serving in the military? I've read a lot of defenses of keeping blacks out of the military, and I can't ever recall seeing this claim.

I have seen this claim to defend laws against interracial marriage, but I can't recall ever seeing this claim regarding segregation of public accommodations.

I'm sure that you can find an example immediately, since these quotations should be readily available in court decisions.
2.17.2006 5:57pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Mr. Diablo writes:


Also, thanks for once again insulting the men and women of the armed services. How are you suggest that in the middle of battle straight soldiers and gay soldiers will instead enter into sexuality pissing contests rather than do their jobs.
It isn't in the middle of a battle that the problem comes. It is sitting in a barracks, or sleeping in your bunk aboard ship that is when the problem will happen, or getting drunk afterhours where the problems arise.


[gratuitous personal insult deleted]

JJV, it becomes painfully clear that you won't be happy until gays around round up and deported. Who knew that men who liked men and women who liked women could destroy everything. Are you sure you're not just Pat Robertson blogging in disguise?
This is the sort of over the top remark that leads me to think that homosexuality is a form of personality disorder. Other than former NAACP attorney Rev. Fred Phelps, how many people can you name that want homosexuals rounded up and deported, or even sent to prison?

The vast majority of us "homophobes" just want you to take the "privacy right" theory seriously, and keep your sexual practices private. There are people that get off on being whipped; there are people that like being excreted on; there are people that like to do things with animals. (And some of them are even heterosexual.) All of these actions I find repellent. I don't find gay sex as repellent, but I would still insist if you want to do these things, do them in private (not in the middle of a public street, or in plain view of passers-by, or in public restrooms, or with a grant from the National Endowment for Arts), and don't demand that others give you a high-five or official approval for what you want to do.

The more that homosexuals insist on governmental approval and acceptance, the less inclined I am to laissez-faire. I'll leave you alone; you leave me alone. You don't want the government involved in what you do in the bedroom? Don't demand that the government approve it with a marriage certificate.
2.17.2006 6:11pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"The vast majority of us "homophobes" just want you to take the "privacy right" theory seriously, and keep your sexual practices private."

Who has said that gays in the military want to make their sexual practices public? Or is that just a codeword that you want them to keep their very sexual orientation secret?

World of difference between publicly demonstrating the interaction of tab A and slot B and just letting people know the person you love is of the same gender.
2.17.2006 6:28pm
dk35 (mail):

You don't want the government involved in what you do in the bedroom? Don't demand that the government approve it with a marriage certificate.




My my...is that a threat?
2.17.2006 7:02pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
I think Cramer referred to this:


Ms Mackey also concluded that 90% of male to male rape was not homosexual rape but heterosexual rape. Meaning that they were not gay to gay rape but straight men raping straight men.


I don't know if I buy the 90% figure, but certainly straight men (like gay men) are capable of raping men and committing other horiffic acts of violence.

If on the other hand, we define someone as "bisexual" as any homosexual act or inclination during one's lifetime, then there are a Hell of a lot more than 3% of the population in the "gay or bi" box (certainly in the double digits) and most of them identify and think of themselves as "straight" for most of their adult lives.

Likewise, because they have no gay identity or need to talk about any past homosexual experiences they might have had in the past (which they regard as minor and unimportant), they won't be affected by the ban (unless they get discharged for being "caught in the act")

As with prisons, if there a problem with male/male rape in the military, we need to think long and hard about who it is who is causing the problem and not come forth with facile answers like "Oh, he raped another guy, he must be gay."
2.17.2006 7:03pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):

If on the other hand, we define someone as "bisexual" as any homosexual act or inclination during one's lifetime, then there are a Hell of a lot more than 3% of the population in the "gay or bi" box (certainly in the double digits) and most of them identify and think of themselves as "straight" for most of their adult lives.


The National Health &Social Life Survey found that while 2.8% of men self-identify as gay or bisexual an additional 2.6% engage in same sex activity as adults and don't identify as as such. (an additional 4.8% just have same sex desires but do nothing about it)
2.17.2006 7:09pm
GMUSL 2L (mail):
Buck Turgidson said:
I also want to respond to GMUSL. My comment differs from his in specificity. His strikes me more as a Chicken Little paranoid rant, expecting the sky to fall if DADT is removed. We can all speculate, but, given the relatively small numbers affected, the concerns over homophobic Southerners bailing out off the military service path are at best premature. As my post may suggest, I am more concerned about their behavior IN the service than avoiding the service. In fact, I would suspect that many of the very people GMUSL is concerned about would actually prefer to join rather than to avoid the services, because, in their narrow-minded universe, they would be protecting the country from gays, as well as other "enemies" by joining.

In any case, as I said, we can all have paranoid rants. I believe the costs I suggested would be far more real than the costs projected for the lost recruitment opportunities of homophobic Southerners.


Buck, it's not a paranoid rant at all. It's a response to the ECONOMIC argument that Dale was making. I don't dispute that on non-economic matters, Dale has some very convincing arguments, bolstered by compelling evidence. But if you're making an argument based on costs, you have to consider the costs that would take its place. All I was doing was pointing out some costs that should be considered, and I was pretty clear that the costs alone shouldn't be dispositive.

If you want to conflate other factors into what was previously a purely economic analysis, fine. But try to realize that my point was SOLELY the economics of the issue, and I'd appreciate your refraining from ad hominem attacks on me.
2.17.2006 7:36pm
GMUSL 2L (mail):
Hovsep Joseph said:
It was GMUSL 2L who apparently associates the military with Southern bigots.

I love it how people keep putting words into my mouth. It is an undisputed FACT that the military is disproportionately white and southern. Furthermore, one need only glance at a recent electoral map to note the color of southern states, and to further note that the bluer parts of southern states tend to be the urban areas, and urban areas in general have fewer caucasians than non-urban areas. Religious denominations popular in areas from which enlistedmen are disproportionately drawn also tend to be rather hostile towards homosexuality. And I don't think it's any stretch to assume that on average people from outside the Northeast corridor or the Pacific coast states have less experience with open homosexuals, state recognition of some form of formal homosexual relationship, or homosexuality being taught in public schools as a co-equal alternative (whatever the merits of those positions).

So, ceteris parabus, it's certainly the average service member from the south would be less comfortable in an armed forces without DADT and that would lower their enlistment rates.

Or, if you really don't care about clarity, strawmen, or explanations other than "OMG they are all bigots!!!111", you can just sweep all that under the rug and retreat to the binary situation of "bigot/non-bigot" instead of considering preferences on the margin, which is where incentives matter the most.
2.17.2006 7:50pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Bob:

If you add those numbers together that's 10% right there. Though, I'd imagine that many "straight" men who have incidental bisexuality are loathe to admit it in such surveys.

Women appear to be more honest. And the most recent studies confirm my theory:

I've seen figures that suggest that only about 2% of women identify or think of themselves as "lesbians." And by my observations of self-indentified lesbians in the gay community, I think this to be accurate. However, a much reported study in the NYT found that a whopping 14% of females admit to having at least *some* sort of attraction or full attraction to the same sex. And 11% of females admit to having same-sex behavior in their lives.

I blogged about this in more detail here.
2.17.2006 7:56pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Has anyone argued that gay men in the military might cause a "problem" because they may be willing to voluntarily "service" straight men, many of whom have the ability to enjoy homosexual acts?

I see this as a distinct possibility, but I'm not so sure that I see it as a problem. I do believe that this commonly occurs on Navy Boats.
2.17.2006 8:08pm
bluecollarguy:
Unless the attrition rates are higher for homosexuals than they are for heterosexuals your numbers don't mean much. Attrition in the military has always been a cost of doing business. There are simply not enough homosexuals to raise those costs significantly.

As for whether the policy has a rational basis I think it does, especially in the combat arms units where testosterone is the coin of the realm. My personal view is the same goes for women in line units. There is a rational basis for keeping them out as well. Same for those who are overweight, have heart problems or are allergic to lead.

I have no objection to any American serving his or her country but I object to anything that interferes with good order and discipline. I follow the lead of the commanders in that regard. If the commanders conclude that openly homosexual soldiers are not a problem for good and order and discipline then I say God bless those willing to fight for their country. But the argument of economy isn't going to convince many IMHO.
2.17.2006 8:23pm
bluecollarguy:
"However, a much reported study in the NYT found that a whopping 14% of females admit to having at least *some* sort of attraction or full attraction to the same sex. And 11% of females admit to having same-sex behavior in their lives."


Well, if it was in the New York Times, it must be the unvarnished truth. After all the Times is the lefts paper of record.

2.17.2006 8:27pm
Grand CRU (mail):

Finally, the military will not be perceived as "gay" when gay people are allowed to serve any more than the military was perceived as "black" when it was racially integrated.



Your analogy if off-point. I would agree that the irrational sense of threat could be the same if racially integrating the military required black men and white women living in the same barracks. It did not, thus it was not perceived as a "hotbed of miscegenation". There are plenty of people who do not want to sleep in rooms with gay people because of their irrational fear, even patriots. That is a cost that must be included in any analysis of the costs of switching from DADT to another regime. Whether analyzing that cost offends someone is really beside the point. I would also note that your analogy probably offends most black people, who are sick of having authentic civil rights struggles trivialized by homosexual activists.
2.17.2006 8:48pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
Per your request, Clayton,
Christian support for racial segregation: Bob Jones, Apartheid, numerous sermons by Southern ministers, the KKK,
2.17.2006 9:01pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> Seriously, pay back? Let's get serious.

The argument under discussion is "we should do something because this policy costs too much". Pay back is one way to reduce the costs.

Enlisting is a voluntary act. If someone enlists with a known-disqualifying characteristic, why is it unreasonable to expect that person to bear part of the costs incurred?

Another way to reduce the cost would be to test for "gayness" on enlistment. (The results of that test might go to later allegations.) Would that be acceptable?

Is there a right to join the military?

> Also, you are forgetting that because of various oppressive cultural aspects, many people do not confront their sexuality until later in life, and are not able to accept their own orientation.

That would go to "known".
2.17.2006 9:41pm
Medis:
Just a minor point, but they did the same thing with separation travel costs as they did with other fixed costs--they subtracted a percentage for recovery through time served.
2.17.2006 10:27pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"Enlisting is a voluntary act. If someone enlists with a known-disqualifying characteristic, why is it unreasonable to expect that person to bear part of the costs incurred? "

Well 1) who says they know they are gay when they enlist? I didn't.
2) payback would require everyone enlisting with a known problem paying back. Like the guys who come in with hanson's disease, the guys with know medical ailments, etc all trying to get to that 6 month cut off so they can get treatment on the federal dime. So what you are talking would have to be payback for all pre-existing conditions now no matter how long after enlistment they are found - a PR nightmare.
2.17.2006 10:34pm
Buck Turgidson (mail):
Clayton,
I have a piece of advice for you. If you are ever in prison, and a 300 lb guy named Bubba is using your arse as his personal pin cushion, under no circumstances call him "gay". He'd kill you rather than raping you. In situations such as these--the military included--the man-on-man rape is performed almost exclusively by men who believe themselves to be heterosexual and who would not resort to such contact had female partners been available. Their victims, however, are rarely as fortunate--in fact, they often choose targets based on their perception of the victim's "homosexual" tendencies (or his young age and subordinate position).

Your rants are clearly homophobic and discriminatory--and this is not limited to this thread. You'd do well to seek professional help for your condition. There are competent mental health professionals who can remedy your situation.
2.17.2006 11:06pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
Grand, Gays are entitled to dignity and equal treatment and opportunity under the law just as much as any other Americans. There is nothing "unauthentic" about the struggle to eliminate irrational prejudice against any group, including gays and lesbians. Race, sex, sexual orientation, religion are different from each other and have different histories, but that does not mean we apply what we've learned from one to another.

"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people ... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'" --Coretta Scott King
2.17.2006 11:14pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
GMUSL, It is NOT a fact that the military is disproportionately white. According to the Heritage Foundation, it IS true that military recruits are disproportionately from rural states and relatively "redder" states, but NOT the South (Wyoming, Florida, Maine, Texas and Montana are the top five).
2.17.2006 11:35pm
Tony (mail):
What about the cost of reduced recruitment if people think the military is "gay"?

Yeah, with cowboys being gay, and soldiers being gay, what's next? Pretty soon the only career choices open to macho red-blooded American men will be flower arranging and fashion design.
2.18.2006 12:18pm
Julian Droms:
Hm. Some interesting thoughts. If DADT is overturned, could homosexuals and heterosexuals be placed in separate training and active duty programs? Training programs are already segregated based on sex. So long that is seen as acceptable policy, I don't see how it can be interpreted as unacceptable to trains homosexuals and straights separately.

Now, I'm not the type of guy to enlist in the military, but if I were, I can assure you that repeal of DADT would cause me to seriously reconsider enlisting. Certainly, I am unwilling to share locker rooms and open showers and so forth with openly homosexual men. Maybe that's no reason to excuse the military's DADT policy, but then, there is no libertarian-based philosophy that forces a person to enlist or engage in such activities when they do not wish to do so.

Maybe my experiences are not akin to the experiences of many men, but being of a somewhat "exotic" background and considered rather "cute" (not bragging here) by a lot of people, I've always attracted a lot of attention, most of it unwanted, from members of the same sex. Even, I've had a very severe problem with homosexual harassment from a former boss in the past.

In the past, this type of predicament is one of the things that has prevented me from in participating with many all-male organizations in the past (e.g. the YMCA, which frankly strikes me as a fairly creepy place).

The facts may not be pretty, but there they are.

I'm no libertarian philospher, but I would submit that, for many reasons, the military is probably not the place a person ought to be if they wish to exercise their personal rights. Fact of the matter, an enlisted person can be forced to do a lot of things they do not wish to participate in, and leaving the organization is not so simple as walking away. In certain circumstances, I believe it's called desertion.

Isn't there some internation treaty on labor which states that adult men are the only individuals who can be forced into labor for public works / military service? Not pretty, but there's the current reality for you.
2.18.2006 4:20pm
Julian Droms:
Also, if DODT were repealed, all it would take would be for one music group like the Village People come out with a song about being openly gay in the Navy, and I bet you'll see their recruitments fall through the floor. Again, I'm not saying that's right. I'm saying, if you're talking money, that's probably what's going to happen.
2.18.2006 4:27pm
Medis:
Julian,

If you can't handle the Y, I don't think you are cut out for the military--DA/DT or not.
2.18.2006 4:34pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"Certainly, I am unwilling to share locker rooms and open showers and so forth with openly homosexual men."

then I assume you never took high school PE, went to the college gym, or work out at any commercial gym? There were gay men there, I guarantee it. If you are unaware of it, then that's just willful ignorance.

Again, I was in the Army 13 years and never saw this variety of grade school homophobia that everyone worries about here. Sure you have a few idiots in any battalion but they are the ones who are idiots about all sorts of thing race, religion, whatever. They are the kind that beat civilians, and the ones the military can most certainly do without.
2.18.2006 5:54pm
Grand CRU (mail):
Hovsep,

1. Unless you can monetize "equal dignity and concern" for gay people, it has no place in a discussion of the costs of maintaining or reversing DADT. If one can monetize equal dignity and concern for gay people, then you should have no problem with the military offering bribes to gay people in exchange for not enlisting.

2. Corretta Scott King is dead. She does not speak for anyone now, nor did she speak for most black people when she made the statement that you quote. Much of the reason John Kerry lost in 2004 is that black people abandoned his candidacy by either not turning out to vote or voting for Bush (particularly in Ohio) because Kerry seemed to support gay marriage.

3. If you think that slavery, being barred from property ownership, widespread lynching, and being denied of the right to vote equates to two men getting a nasty look when they hold hands in public...well, that only proves my point.
2.18.2006 7:14pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"3. If you think that slavery, being barred from property ownership, widespread lynching, and being denied of the right to vote equates to two men getting a nasty look when they hold hands in public...well, that only proves my point"

Oh come on Mr. Peabody, you used the way back machine for blacks, lets use it for gays too: stoning, widespread hanging, state-sanctioned castration, lobotomies, forced 'cures', attacked if they ever dared to they actually loved someone.

Hmmmm looking at them both from your historical perspective I'm not sure what point you think has been proven...

Your's forever, Sherman.
2.18.2006 7:32pm
Grand CRU (mail):
The problem with your historical analogy for gays is that all that supposed discrimination against gays was really gender-neutral discrimination against anyone who engaged in sodomy or fornication. In other words, it doesn't qualify as anti-gay discrimination. You are painting with too broad a brush.

I, on the other hand, am not. One need not go into the way back machine to confront Jim Crow (just talk to someone's father), which basic grade-school history notes was an extension of bondage.

Other than isolated incidents of gay-bashing, or isolated incidents of workplace discrimination against openly gay people by homophobes, I have never encountered any proof that widespread societal discrimination against gays exists. Unless that fact that most people are not gay is discrimination...?
2.18.2006 7:42pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"The problem with your historical analogy for gays is that all that supposed discrimination against gays was really gender-neutral discrimination against anyone who engaged in sodomy or fornication"

Look at Jim Crow, but look at the sodomy laws of the time - many that applied to same sex acts only.

" I have never encountered any proof that widespread societal discrimination against gays exists"

See you did it again. You'll look in to the past for validation of your sympathy for blacks but ignore what was happening to gays in the same time frame. Lets catalog some of the fun ways that various people forced on gays in efforts to 'cure' them:
hormone treatments
aversion therapy (chemical, electrical, physical) done commonly until the 1970's and still performed today)
breast amputations
hysterectomies
brain surgery
shock treatment
castration ( Alan Turning who may have just been the reason we won WW II was given forced chemical castration for homosexuality, and then there's good old fashion radical orchiectomies.)
prison
forced sex-changes

Again missing all this makes me wonder about your objectivity.
2.18.2006 8:16pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Great point Bob. Or talk to my friend Dr. Frank Kameny, WWII veteran, who would have been an astronaut (one of the first) had he not been gay and was thus barred from public service once the government found out.

No question that blacks have been through more oppression than any other group. The problem for the antigay side and their "don't compare" argument is that we don't live in a world where only blacks are allowed to bring up their past mistreatment. Last I checked civil rights laws covered a lot more than just "race." And given what gays have been through, which as you've demonstrated is worse than most other non-racial already protected categories (like age, disability) have suffered, there is simply no good reason to tell gays that they aren't entitled to make a civil rights/ antidiscrimination claim.
2.18.2006 8:58pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
It continues to astonish how easily the 'bigot' label gets thrown around in this supposed gathering of intellectuals. Name calling... especially with a firebomb like 'bigot'... is intended to shut down debate, not to address arguments.

Despicable. Have you no shame?

I have a question for you... if a straight guy not wanting openly gay people in the shower with him makes him a bigot, then what does that make a woman who doesn't want to shower with openly straight men? Is she an anti-male bigot?

You want to talk about costs? What about the costs of rebuilding submarines so that men and women can have seperate facilities? How about the women just get over their 'bigotry', and no redesign is necessary?

Does the '-phobe' suffix only attach to southern males?

I smell bigotry.... but it's in here, not in the military.
2.18.2006 9:33pm
Kendall:
Other than isolated incidents of gay-bashing, or isolated incidents of workplace discrimination against openly gay people by homophobes, I have never encountered any proof that widespread societal discrimination against gays exists. Unless that fact that most people are not gay is discrimination...?

Try going through highschool and college in the mid 90s or even today. Its pretty well documented that the #1 insult among the new generation is "that's so gay" and calling everything that exists "gay" to give it a negative connotation. Not so bad? What if someone said "that's so jewish" (another insult though lesser used as it is more frowned on by teachers) or "that's so *insert minority of choice*"?

I don't think most kids today are bigots, indeed, using various words of that nature as derogatory insults has become a culturally phenomenon. Even kids that completely endorse the concept of gay rights use the words. However, the lack of negative reason for using a word individually doesn't suggest that some kids DO use it as a tool to hurt gays perhaps, even likely, because they were raised to believe it is acceptable and even admirable to bash gays. The fact that other classmates picked up on this verbiage doesn't mean that its origins as a negative aren't a sign of stereotyping and discrimination deeply engrained in our culture.

Ryan Waxx - As advocates for traditional values would point out, men and women are biologically different. Gay men have grown up in environments with straight men and straight male bodies but are not used to touching those men at inappropriate times. Consider highschool, most gay males took showers with straight males (and presumably in many cases other gay males as well) and also in most cases went unnoticed by straight men. Similarly, most gay men needing to use the bathroom in a public building would likely go into the "mens" room which may contain "males" in a state of partial undress. In college gay males are not segregated to a "gay wing" of dormitories, in fact gay men are in many cases required to sleep in the same room as a straight male. In most colleges I'm aware of there aren't co-ed dorm rooms (which is not to say they don't exist, just that they're the exception rather than the rule). To imply that the army is such a unique situation because men are rooming together and a gay male might "try something" ignores these situations where it is in fact entirely common for gay males to be in exposed situations with straight males.
2.18.2006 10:24pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
I think Barney Frank had a good line a while back. Something along the lines of "apparently, all these people in the military do is take showers."
2.18.2006 10:31pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
> As advocates for traditional values would point out, men and women are biologically different

Irevvelant, and the gay lobby would disagree with you that gay men and straight men are biologically identical.

> most gay males took showers(went to bathrooms, etc) with straight males...

Irrevelant. The absense or presense of segregation does not justify itself simply by existing (or not existing). Unless you want to go back to whites-only water fountains?

Do you have a RELEVANT objection?
2.18.2006 10:37pm
Kendall:
Irevvelant, and the gay lobby would disagree with you that gay men and straight men are biologically identical.

Where did I say gay men and straight men are biologically identical? read carefully, I said men and women are biologically DIFFERENT. It would've been more precise if I said "anatomically" but the point stand, they're different.

Irrevelant. The absense or presense of segregation does not justify itself simply by existing (or not existing). Unless you want to go back to whites-only water fountains?

Um... what? Pardon me if I'm taken aback by your apparent objection. You were arguing that DADT is justifiable because the segregation exists because of a distrust of gay men by straight men. I submit to you that there are numerous instances where gay men and straight men room together in other venues with little or no problem. I fail to see how a military barracks is any more intimate than some dorm rooms which in many cases provide a single room with 2 desks and two beds.

I also fail to see the relevance of your rhetoric concerning segregated drinking fountains. the presence of a lack of segregation in our society between sexual orientation does not argue in any way shape or form for the reappearance of racial segregation.
2.18.2006 10:45pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Where did I say gay men and straight men are biologically identical?


That's technically correct but blatantly dishonest. You were obviously trying to draw a distinction between the gay man/straight man vs. straight man/straight woman situations, otherwise what you said wouldn't have had any point whatsoever. Therefore you most certainly were implying that gay men and straight men are biologically identical, at least as relates to the question of segregation.

Please stick with honesty. It's the best policy.

> You were arguing that DADT is justifiable because the segregation exists because of a distrust of gay men by straight men.

I'd appreciate it if you didn't fabricate arguments and put them in my mouth.

Please read my comments before replying to them. Thank you.
2.18.2006 10:56pm
Kendall:
That's technically correct but blatantly dishonest. You were obviously trying to draw a distinction between the gay man/straight man vs. straight man/straight woman situations, otherwise what you said wouldn't have had any point whatsoever. Therefore you most certainly were implying that gay men and straight men are biologically identical, at least as relates to the question of segregation.

Howso? I stated that men and women are biologically differnt. Therefore society at present has rationally chosen to separate men and women, which while I didn't explicitly state I certainly think was implied by following that with Gay men have grown up in environments with straight men and straight male bodies but are not used to touching those men at inappropriate times. Which, along with several given examples I think clearly made the inference that gay men because of their anatomical similarity have remained unsegregated in our culture from a straight male population both because of the effort and the relative safety of the population. Consider that a gay male should he attempt to stare at a straight male or worse grope a straight male inappropriately is risking a violent reaction, not to mention a sexual harrassment charge. In highschool or college similarly, an gay student, whether open regarding his or her homosexuality making advances on a straight individual is risking ridicule along with rejection.

In any case though, the biological difference as I was getting at earlier makes for the societal/social distinctions we see today in places such as highschool showers, college dorms, and public restrooms and provides an answer to your original question I have a question for you... if a straight guy not wanting openly gay people in the shower with him makes him a bigot, then what does that make a woman who doesn't want to shower with openly straight men? Is she an anti-male bigot?

Furthermore, you said:

I'd appreciate it if you didn't fabricate arguments and put them in my mouth.

Please read my comments before replying to them. Thank you.


and earlier in the same post you said:
That's technically correct but blatantly dishonest. You were obviously trying to draw a distinction between the gay man/straight man vs. straight man/straight woman situations, otherwise what you said wouldn't have had any point whatsoever.

Which is a blatantly false assumption of your own. Please try not to contradict yourself in your next post.
2.18.2006 11:16pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
It doesn't matter what environment gay man grew up in versus what environment straight women grew up in. Not one tiny bit. Because if it did, then we would never have racially desegregated, because people like you would be bleating that whites grew up in an environment where they weren't used to showering with blacks.

As I said, and as you can discover through the magical power of reading, was that the very existance of segregation (weather black/white, male/female, gay/straight), is not in and of itself justification for that segregation. Please read that sentence until you understand it.

Hence, the fact that males and females shower seperately in high school gym class does not in and of itself justify specially designing a submarine so that they can pretend they are still in high school, or building seperate barracks, etc. For similar reasons, gays showering with straights in high school isn't in and of itself a justification for doing so in the army.

You cannot draw any meaningful distinction between women who don't want to shower(or train, or bunk) with men and straights So you are forced to fall back on the "but that's the way it always was!" argument.

Which isn't an argument at all, as I've just shown. And you should be thankful that it isn't, because that argument would justify all kinds of things that you wouldn't agree with.
2.18.2006 11:38pm
Kendall:
As I said, and as you can discover through the magical power of reading, was that the very existance of segregation (weather black/white, male/female, gay/straight), is not in and of itself justification for that segregation. Please read that sentence until you understand it.

True, but the only justification of a sort you appeared to provide (and yes, I read both of your posts in this thread) for DADT is I have a question for you... if a straight guy not wanting openly gay people in the shower with him makes him a bigot, then what does that make a woman who doesn't want to shower with openly straight men? Is she an anti-male bigot? so you're the one mentioning segregation in the first place.

How can you ignore a response based on a counterexample (that men in fact required in some instances, such as a highschool gym class or a public gym should they wish to go to one, to shower with gay men, and the qualification "public gym" has the same connotation as "volunteer army" neither is a rquirement of society) by calling it "irrelevant" as you did?

Your hypothesis in the above argument is 1) straight men don't want openly gay men in the shower with them which is not an established fact at all, its a bald assertion with no direct supporting evidence and 2)what does that make a woman who doesn't want to shower with openly straight men? Is she an anti-male bigot? b but you fail to provide any examples where women are currently forced to shower with straight men.

You're exactly right in fact the existence of segregation does not justify that segregation by itself. And the existence of an exculsionary policy does not justify that policy by itself.
2.18.2006 11:56pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
> You're exactly right in fact the existence of segregation does not justify that segregation by itself.

Thank you for admitting that. Therefore, your 'counterexample' is null and void, because the examples you gave therefore cannot justify doing the same in the military. By your own admission.

> And the existence of an exculsionary policy does not justify that policy by itself.

Never said it did. Haven't seen so many straw men since the last time I watched the wizard of oz.
2.19.2006 12:02am
Kendall:
Thank you for admitting that. Therefore, your 'counterexample' is null and void, because the examples you gave therefore cannot justify doing the same in the military. By your own admission.

And your example of a straight male being upset at showering with gay men justifying the creation of gender neutral barracks would also seem to be damaged.

Never said it did. Haven't seen so many straw men since the last time I watched the wizard of oz.

Then was your entire purpose in posting merely to imply that people who feel that DADT is discriminatory are bigots? Or am I misreading you again? What IS your justification for DADT?
2.19.2006 12:12am
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"For similar reasons, gays showering with straights in high school isn't in and of itself a justification for doing so in the army. '

Its pretty obvious none of you were enlisted in the armed forces. You go in, you shower, you leave. Takes all of 5 minutes max and nobody is staring at anyone else (well other than that guy who asked me in Germany how I got a tan all over my body).

As much as the nervous nellies are concerned about it - showering with gay men is a non-issue in the real world because anyone with an IQ higher than a rock knows they've been showering with gay men all ther friggin' lives. Its actually better to know which ones they are for the paranoid obviously.

Again, 13 years in the Army and never had a problem in the shower, on patrol, in the tent, and no one had a problem with me and yes anyone with an IQ higher than a rock's knew I was gay. The ONLY problem I had was when some fundamentalist Christian CID agent merely heard I was gay and made it his mission to get me out of the Army (he really only managed to get himself reassigned to another post but that's another story for another day)

If the commanders say gays are ok, then they are ok. That's all it takes. Really.
2.19.2006 12:20am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
> Its pretty obvious none of you were enlisted in the armed forces. You go in, you shower, you leave.

*shrug* I was using the 'showering' example mostly because everyone else was. Obviously DADT isn't a showering regulation :P
2.19.2006 12:49am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
The ONLY problem I had was when some fundamentalist Christian CID agent merely heard I was gay and made it his mission to get me out of the Army (he really only managed to get himself reassigned to another post but that's another story for another day)


Good. That's exactly the way DADT should work. Merely 'hearing' someone is gay shouldn't be grounds for expulsion. And people who violate the "Don't ask" part are just as culpable as the people who violate "Don't tell". Sorry to hear you were hassled.
2.19.2006 12:54am
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"Good. That's exactly the way DADT should work."

No it shouldn't - DADT means you can't have any friends, you can't have a partner, it means you are cutting off a whole part of yourself as much as you were a leg, something that no one else has to do.

I took the 5 years of school that the Army paid for and left and I wouldn't have if I'd been allowed to have a life. (Oh I was pre DADT. It really is a problem with a 'top-down' solution. If your Chief of Staff says 'gays are part of the army - deal." Then all the subordinates will deal. I mean if they can't handle this what happens when they get a real mission they have to accomplish?
2.19.2006 1:00am
Kendall:
Good. That's exactly the way DADT should work.

You haven't established why it "should" work at all though. As you conceeded, the existence of an exclusionary policy (allowing closetted but not open homosexuals) does not justify the policy by itself. Why should we keep DADT?
2.19.2006 1:03am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
> DADT means you can't have any friends

I musta missed the 'no friends' part. Which paragraph of the regulation is that in?
2.19.2006 1:04am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
I was talking to Bob Van Burkleo, not you, Kendall. I was treating the "how it should work" as an entirely new subject.

But, since you want in on the fun, you can try giving me some relevant responses to my original post, since you've already voided your 'counterexamples'.
2.19.2006 1:08am
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"I musta missed the 'no friends' part. Which paragraph of the regulation is that in?"

Obviously gay civilian friends are out - that is considered announcing your orientation - look at what people are actually being mustered out for - you basically even now have to live the life of a monk.
2.19.2006 1:14am
Kendall:
Fair enough Ryan -

I have a question for you... if a straight guy not wanting openly gay people in the shower with him makes him a bigot, then what does that make a woman who doesn't want to shower with openly straight men? Is she an anti-male bigot?


Irrevelant. The absense or presense of segregation does not justify itself simply by existing (or not existing). Unless you want to go back to whites-only water fountains?

in other words, the fact that gay men if DADT were abolished would be allowed to both be open about their sexuality does not mean taht it is logical to say that women should be forced to shower with straight men. That's an entirely separate debate for a separate day.

And I was repeating the question I was asking you in my previous post which you conveniently ignored. What is your justification for DADT which it APPEARS you believe is good policy and working "As it SHOULD"
2.19.2006 1:15am
Kendall:
in other words, the fact that gay men if DADT were abolished would be allowed to both be open about their sexuality does not me that...

Meant to say "both be open about their sexuality AND shower with straight men does not mean that..."
2.19.2006 1:17am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Kendall:

You've totally lost coherence. Not one of the sentences you just wrote have any connection with each other, they are simply a strawman gallery of things I never claimed.

I mean seriously... read your middle paragraph. The part before "does not mean" has no relation whatsoever to the part after that clause... and you are trying to put that idiocy into my mouth? Please.

Your "question" was a quick change of subject after you could no longer defend your 'counterexamples', and was quite rightly ignored.
2.19.2006 1:32am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Obviously gay civilian friends are out - that is considered announcing your orientation


Well, it shouldn't be. Are straights not allowed to have gay civilian friends under pain of expulsion?

> ... look at what people are actually being mustered out for

Somehow, I suspect that you are looking at particular egregious examples and painting the whole DADT policy with them.

You know, much like people accuse Clayton Cramer of doing when he blasts the ACLU for particularly atrocious lawsuits... but I guess it's different when he does it.
2.19.2006 1:40am
Kendall:
You've totally lost coherence. Not one of the sentences you just wrote have any connection with each other, they are simply a strawman gallery of things I never claimed.

Claiming a loss of coherence does not mean that I have in fact lost coherence.

I mean seriously... read your middle paragraph. The part before "does not mean" has no relation whatsoever to the part after that clause... and you are trying to put that idiocy into my mouth? Please.

Ummm... where did I say anything about you stating that? You don't deny that you said the part I italicized, do you? Your straight men showering with gay men example?

I think my point is rather clear. As you pointed out in a later post (in response to a series of counter examples I reasonably gave) your hypothetical hyperbolic example only works if you accept that because one policy of segregation (that of not allowing open homosexuals into the military and presumably not allowing open homosexuals into military showers) is changed (to allow open homosexuals to serve and again, presumably shower with heterosexuals) we should then allow straight men to shower with straight women. I directly quoted your initial logic and I directly quoted the logic you used to MY counter examples. I think that's pretty basic logic and pretty clear.

Your "question" was a quick change of subject after you could no longer defend your 'counterexamples', and was quite rightly ignored.

You have yet to defend your initial example. If you fail to accept my criticism of your example based on your own logic (or explain why the logic you used to attack my examples cannot reasonably be applied to your own) then I fail to see how you can reasonably ignore other topics when you fail to address the main topic at hand.
2.19.2006 1:51am
Kendall:
You know, much like people accuse Clayton Cramer of doing when he blasts the ACLU for particularly atrocious lawsuits... but I guess it's different when he does it.

And just an aside here, not everyone who is anti-DADT/pro gay rights is a liberal or a leftist. I dislike the implication that someone who disagrees with DADT would automatically criticize CC for criticizing the ACLU. That bunch frequently DESERVES criticism, and in some cases doesn't. Just like any other group.
2.19.2006 2:05am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
> You have yet to defend your initial example.

You have yet to attack it

I see I am going to have to repeat my question, because you can't seem to refer to it without misquoting, mischaracterizing, misrepresenting, or misremembering it.

If a straight guy not wanting openly gay people in the shower with him makes him a bigot, then what does that make a woman who doesn't want to shower with openly straight men? Is she an anti-male bigot?


What makes the woman right, but not the straight man?

You have provided only one answer... your "because it was always that way" approach was voided, and you haven't come up with another. Because you don't have another.
2.19.2006 2:06am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
I apologize if you thought the CC example was aimed directly at you or Bob Van Burkleo specifically, Kendall. It wasn't. But a lot of commenters here have indeed made that very criticism of CC, which is why I thought the example would be effective.
2.19.2006 2:09am
Kendall:
What makes the woman right, but not the straight man?

We're dealing with DADT, not bunking arrangements and not even shower privileges. Homosexual soldiers have always had the right to use the shower and they've always had the ability to look at other soldiers, they just couldn't mention their sexuality to anyone. Women have never had the right to use male soldiers showers. Altering DADT to allow homosexual soldiers to serve openly would only reveal that some soldiers currently and in the future have homosexual attractions.

The issue of women showering with and bunking with men is a different question entirely and while certainly a valid debate is not relevant to DADT because gender neutral showering is not currently allowed and mixed SEXUALITY showering is currently not prevented.
2.19.2006 2:25am
Kendall:
also, I accept your appology fully, its nothing personal against you but I dislike the attitude that any disagreement with a supposedly conservative position on a single issue makes one part of the michael moore crowd. Although I lean more libertarian than republican (then again I lean more towards Goldwater and Regan than I ever will towards Bush and modern day republicans) I always used to believe that conservatism was a broad, principled umbrella philosophy that presented a wide range of views and intellectual debates. To see that its narrowed (in some circles) to supporting bush or being accused of "liberalism" sickens me.
2.19.2006 2:38am
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"Well, it shouldn't be. Are straights not allowed to have gay civilian friends under pain of expulsion? "

No they aren't, not if they can prove they are straight - see the dichotomy? People are and have mustered out for merely being seen in gay establishments or venues with their friends.
"Somehow, I suspect that you are looking at particular egregious examples and painting the whole DADT policy with them."

Somehow I expect you are constructing a strawman.
"You know, much like people accuse Clayton Cramer of doing when he blasts the ACLU for particularly atrocious lawsuits... but I guess it's different when he does it."

Oops it was a strawman! No no matter how much you would like it otherwise DADT requires a gay service member to basically cut out a major part of their life - must totally hide an gay related social outlets, no partner, no home life. Making people pretend that such an important aspect of the human condition doesn't exist is abuse - simple as that.

As to CC, he is lambasted because his obsession with sexual abuse makes him rant at an organization trying to protect his civil rights. Take the NAMBLA case the 'evil' ACLU had taken. What the suit is trying to do is say that NAMBLA is criminally libel because someone who read their website might have gotten 'ideas' from it and committed a crime because of it. The ACLU is just saying that is an infringement on free speech.

No matter how nice it would be to get NAMBLA if this lawsuit succeeded it would open a huge door on attacking free speech. An example of the fallout is it would make all those gun guys who explain how to turn a semiautomatic into a full automatic responsible for every murder committed with the so modified weapon. Websites that explained non-violent civil disobedience could be sued by police departments. You should be able to figure out a few more examples - holding someone's generic information responsible for someone else's specific actions would basically prevent sharing of all sorts of information. A 100% pure 1st amendment attack - it would have ben lax of the ACLU to NOT to fight this.

It is CC's "getting NAMBLA is all that matters no matter how many freedoms it erodes' obsession and his calling a group 'evil' merely because they don't share that obsession that is blasted.
2.19.2006 12:00pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
It is interesting to note that even in this relatively academic community, a discussion of the economic efficiency of DADT quickly devolves into an emotionally and ideologically charged catfight of sorts. I am certainly not immune from my own accusation. But it suggests to me that, as well intentioned as this economic study is, I fear the issue will never be resolved on the basis of rational, dispassionate weighing of costs and benefits. At the end of the day, the rights of gays and lesbians in the military will be determined by how members of Congress (or their constituents) feel about the worth of gays and lesbians at the gut level. It is very frustrating and disappointing to me, as someone who believes strongly and genuinely that the military's (and Congress's) irrational attitude toward homosexuality unnecessarily burdens the military at a time when our military can ill afford to turn away qualified candidates on the basis of something as inconsequential as their sexual orientation. I am encouraged though that as people are increasingly exposed to lesbians and gay men in their workplaces, including the military, they are realizing the illogic and tangible harm these rules do not only to gays and lesbians but also to our country's security.
2.19.2006 12:53pm
Medis:
Hovsep,

To take a slightly contrary view, I think one of the virtues of these economic studies is that they help to get people thinking in more concrete terms, even if they do not prove decisive. And I think that is particularly useful for policymakers who may be pretty far removed from current youth culture.
2.19.2006 2:13pm
Julian Droms:
>> "Certainly, I am unwilling to share locker
>> rooms and open showers and so forth with
>> openly homosexual men."
>
> then I assume you never took high school PE,
> went to the college gym, or work out at any
> commercial gym? There were gay men there, I
> guarantee it. If you are unaware of it, then
> that's just willful ignorance.

In high school PE, I never showered in locker rooms. Hardly any of the guys did. You showered when you got home.

I've been to gyms before, but I never change there.

> If you can't handle the Y, I don't think you
> are cut out for the military—DA/DT or not.

You're probably right (though as a phycisian the military could probably use me anyhow), but there probably are a lot of guys who are cut out, but who wouldn't join once DADT is repealed.

My point and the point of many others here is, repealing DADT is likely to have an effect of diminishing returns on military recruitment. Since that's relevant to the financial analysis and is not included in the implied messaged promoted by the advocacy group in question, it needs to be discussed.

That's not saying DADT is a good or bad policy, it's just saying that's the way things are, and there is not much that anyone can do about it.

Also, comparing military integration in European countries is probably not getting you anywhere. Many European countries have mandatory sservice requirementsnand are thus not stricltly speaking volunteer services, and those that do not, have much lower per capita spending on defense. We deploy a lot more troops, and are much more strained for volunteers, particularly in the current situation. It's no accident that anytime the international community finds a problem anywhere in the world, militarily at least, they come crying to us. Again, not saying it's necessary to indulge them, I'm just saying that is the way it is.
2.19.2006 3:28pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
In high school PE, I never showered in locker rooms. Hardly any of the guys did. You showered when you got home.

I've been to gyms before, but I never change there.


You would not be happy with any communal living relationship. And I really doubt there are many who are going to base their decision on entering the military on who they might end up showering with. If it is that half-hearted a decision not likely they are going to anyway (any recruiter worth his salt would be able to gloss over that with his crossed fingers tied behind his back.)
2.19.2006 3:41pm
Medis:
Julian,

You say: "but there probably are a lot of guys who are cut out, but who wouldn't join once DADT is repealed."

Personally, I really doubt this is true. As others have pointed out, they know the gay people are there anyway.
2.19.2006 3:42pm
Kendall:
My point and the point of many others here is, repealing DADT is likely to have an effect of diminishing returns on military recruitment. Since that's relevant to the financial analysis and is not included in the implied messaged promoted by the advocacy group in question, it needs to be discussed.


The problem is that you're relying on your own anecdotal evidence rather than statistics, rather than any other data. The fact that you, someone who is disinterested in military service would continue to be disinclined to serve in the military if homosexuals were allowed to serve openly does not by itself suggest that this is the general attitude of heterosexual solidiers.

Nor in fact, would repealing DADT necessistate open service by homosexuals. consider that many homosexuals hesitate in open culture to particularly broadcast their sexuality in an open manner, its a private life in a lot of ways that if investigated can usually be discoverd but most casual aquaintances would in a given day have no particular reason to suspect. There won't be any particular sign on someone "Gay man here, gay man here!" so it'd be up to the individual solider to reveal their orientation or not to his unit.

Frankly, if someone in the unit took the attitude of some in this thread I suspect they'd never be informed of another soldier's homosexuality.
2.19.2006 3:44pm
Julian Droms:
> The problem is that you're relying on your own anecdotal
> evidence rather than statistics, rather than any other
> data.

Well, maybe the same center that published this survey can do diligence by trying to come up with an estimate of the downside costs. As with any "social science" organization, they can do another one of their silly surveys, and pretend they know the answer at the end.

> Personally, I really doubt this is true. As others
> have pointed out, they know the gay people are
> there anyway.

They know that other gay guys exist, but are by policy not allowed to speak of it. That's not to say they'll feel the same way if they do.

> You would not be happy with any communal living
> relationship.

Anyhow, a lot of speculatation here. Why doesn't some organization try to come up with some numbers?
2.19.2006 3:54pm
Medis:
Julian,

And as others have also pointed out, if you are really freaked out by the idea of gay people seeing you naked (although I bet most people would find out they couldn't care less once they were actually in the situation), it is better to know who is gay than to not know. That way you can avoid showering with those particular people.

So, DADT actually makes it worse, not better, for people in the military who want to avoid gay people seeing them naked.
2.19.2006 5:06pm
Bernie (mail):
Dollar amounts are the wrong way to look at the problem. Assume three percent homosexuals in a normal training class all are released prior to serving their enlistment. The total extra cost incurred by the military is negligible. The costs of the consumable training tools are the only losses. The operating cost (lights, heat, ect), equipment prices and instructor salaries are all unaffected by a small change in class size. You cannot take the cost of an entire training program and divide by the number of trainees and get a cost per person. Most of those costs are constant and small (+/- 3%) changes in attrition do not change anything. The true cost of DADT is only the consumables used in training, any enlistment bonus, and the investigation costs. You could add the pay the discharged member received while in training pro-rated for the amount of time spent actually performing the job prior to discharge.

The jobs where homophobia would have a significant impact on unit moral and cohesion are a concern. I believe a rational argument could be made to apply the same rules to homosexuals and women for combat units. However the military is much more high tech and many jobs are not direct line of fire types where your sexual orientation may be an issue. For example Computer, electronics, air traffic control, nuclear propulsion, and linguistics. These jobs are undermanned and cannot afford to lose any qualified people.

I have served with a few homosexuals and I can tell you no one cared because they were good at their jobs. They never made a big deal about it so it wasn't an issue. DADT is literally a joke for most people in the military, its common to hear someone respond with "you can't ask me that" when their jokingly masculinity is questioned.
2.19.2006 9:04pm
dk35 (mail):
Bernie,

I'm curious, what would be the rational argument for keeping gay folks out of combat units? Is it because some of the straight folks may feel uncomfortable with them being there and thus unable to be at their utmost efficiency? Is it because, if you have at least two gay folks in one combat unit, that you may end up having a romantic relationship develop and thus have two people not at peak efficiency? Is it because a gay soldier might develop a crush on one of the straight soldiers, thus impeding his peak efficiency?

Since you have served, I'm sincerely interested in your opionion as to which of the above argument(s) (if any) you think would be presented as the rational argument. As some disclosure, I'm gay, and have never served, and don't really see find any of those arguments convincing, but I'm honestly intersted in knowing which of them you think would carry the most weight among the current military.
2.19.2006 9:21pm
Bernie (mail):
I will tell you what I think, but I am not in an infantry type unit so these are just guesses. I am in submarine nuclear propulsion so the only thing I care about is brain power. It is just my opinion the same arguements could apply to gays in combat units that apply to women. The bigest is that unit cohesion is life or death important and anything that lessens that is detrimental. Beoynd that, I got nuthin. I don't believe it is a particuarly strong arguement but I don't have anything resembling facts either way.

We do not allow women on subs, but that is a size and space issue. There just isn't the room for separete berthing or bathrooms.

I wish I could give you more insite but I don't have the experience in that area.
2.19.2006 9:57pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> No they aren't, not if they can prove they are straight - see the dichotomy?

How does someone prove that s\he is straight?

S\He may be able to trot out opposite-sex partners,
but that just changes the accusation to "okay - bi".
2.19.2006 11:19pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"How does someone prove that s\he is straight?"

Exactly - leads to witch hunts. 'Asking around' is the general way the gather such perceptions. Again, DADT is an a travesty.
2.20.2006 1:38am
Julian Droms:
> it is better to know who is gay than to not know.
> That way you can avoid showering with those
> particular people.
>
> So, DADT actually makes it worse, not better, for
> people in the military who want to avoid gay
> people seeing them naked.

Frankly, given the choice (not saying I should have it) I'd rather not know. As long as they don't talk to me about it, gawk, and more or less keep to themselves about it, I'm not bothered.

But I am going to be bothered if a group of guys talk in a serious tone about raunchy gay sex and then I end up having to be in close quarters with them later. Sorry, that's just the way I feel about it. I know a lot of women would feel the same way in a group of str8 men.
2.20.2006 3:29am
Julian Droms:
Anyhow, what I specifically think about it is pretty irrelevant. What's relevant is what the average Joe military recruit is going to think about it. You have your opinion on what that is, I have mine. Fact is, we don't know.
2.20.2006 3:31am
Grand CRU (mail):

Look at Jim Crow, but look at the sodomy laws of the time - many that applied to same sex acts only.



Actually, that simply isn't true. Sodomy laws in all states were mere codifications of prior common law. Prior common law made no distinction between sodomy involving gays or straights. All sodomy was bad. In addition, fornication laws existed side by side with sodomy laws. What you are trying to argue, I suspect, is that fornication laws fell by the wayside, leaving sodomy laws in many states standing. But that doesn't change that the sodomy laws remaining on the books were sexual-orientation neutral. So I'm not really sure what your argument is.

If you admit that "blacks had it worse," then I don't understand what we have left to argue about. I would agree that someone with a hangnail feels pain, but I wouldn't say that a hangnail is equal to torture. The point is that gay activists often turn hangnails into torture by referring to the civil rights struggle that blacks faced. It is a fact that such rhetorical moves offend millions of blacks and cost Democrats the Presidency in 2004. The idea that "antigay" discrimination is equal to Jim Crow segregation is absurd and offensive. Orders of magnitude matter.

Pointing to isolated incidents does not prove there is a widespread phenomenon. I have yet to see any proof of widespread evidence of discrimination against gays that does not rely on conflating general social mores that apply to everyone with specific discrimination that targets gays as a discrete group. If you have some proof, such as a statistical study or a historical analysis, I would be happy to consult it and be persuaded. I suspect you have no evidence whatsoever other than rhetoric and anecdotes.
2.20.2006 6:55am
Medis:
Julian,

I think your imagination is getting the better of you. I've known a lot of openly gay people. I've never had a conversation with them about "raunchy gay sex".

In general, I think you are underestimating how much control you would retain in these situations--if you didn't want to have gay friends or expose your nakedness to gay eyesight, for the most part you could avoid it.

And actually, I'm not quite just guessing about how people would react, or consulting my own intuition. I've read some research on "homophobia", and seen some real experiences with it. It turns out that most people who report strong feelings of homophobia have not had much, if any, experience with openly gay people. Once they do, in the vast majority of cases, their self-reported homophobia ends up going away.

In short, what they imagine being around openly gay people would be like, and how they would feel about that, does not match reality.
2.20.2006 9:35am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
--Actually, that simply isn't true. Sodomy laws in all states were mere codifications of prior common law. Prior common law made no distinction between sodomy involving gays or straights. --

As Clayton Cramer is fond of pointing out, Justice Kennedy (who wrote the opinion in Lawrence) made a similar point. But indeed, laws that prohibited SAME SEX SODOMY did exist on the books in various colonies (yet he uses that point to argue against Lawrence). And the very statute that was struck down in Texas applied only to homosexual activity, not heterosexual.

-- If you admit that "blacks had it worse," then I don't understand what we have left to argue about. --

Only someone entirely ignorant of civil rights laws would say something like this. Why don't you read some of the statutes themselves and see all of the categories they protect. As to the rest, you've been offered evidence of past mistreatment of gays, which you've simply ignored.

You could talk to Alan Turing, but, whoops, he's dead. You could talk to Dr. Frank Kameny -- he's alive and had his professional career ruined because he was gay. I know his email, but won't post it here. I could ask him for permission to send it to you privately though. Would you like me to?
2.20.2006 11:38am
Grand CRU (mail):

And the very statute that was struck down in Texas applied only to homosexual activity, not heterosexual.



This, again, is not true. Facially -- meaning as written -- the statute applied to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. You might then say, well, it was only enforced against gay people. But that isn't really true, either, because the fact of the matter is the statute wasn't much enforced against anybody. Which only proves my point, because Lawrence v. Texas was an isolated incident; it is not proof of some widespread societal phenomenon. Frankly, if you read the facts in the case, the way the sodomy statute ended up being "appplied" was totally random; the cop was there for a completely unrelated charge and happened to see them engaging in sodomy because the door happened to be open. Yet you try to spin that into sex police hunting down gays left and right in Texas, which is untrue, and only serves to undermine your credibility. As I said, if this is the only evidence you have, then you have nothing with which to persuade me. Calling me ignorant of an isolated incident of bias against one person does not help you prove that anti-gay-specific discrimination is or has ever been widespread and as pernicious and systemic as Jim Crow at its height. The laws the prohibited "same-sex sodomy" were pederasty laws, which are not anti-homosexuality laws, and those laws co-existed beside anti-fornication statutes. The existence of those laws does not prove that gays were being targeted as a discrete group. There is a difference between being gay and being a pederast. This is the same kind of disingenuous conflation that I called you out for before and that in part caused Kerry's loss in 2004.
2.20.2006 1:12pm
Grand CRU (mail):
Got cut off! ... "But if you have some studies that prove your case, as I said, I would be happy to consult them."
2.20.2006 1:13pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):

I have yet to see any proof of widespread evidence of discrimination against gays that does not rely on conflating general social mores that apply to everyone with specific discrimination that targets gays as a discrete group. If you have some proof, such as a statistical study or a historical analysis, I would be happy to consult it and be persuaded.


Its hard for me to imagine that anyone seriously thinks there is not a substantial history of discrimination against gays and lesbians. There are hundreds of historical analyses describing anti-gay discrimination and persecution, documenting among other things, the federal government's requirement that gay employees be discharged from any federal employment from the 1950s through the 1980s, the Hollywood studios' production code that from 1934 through the 1960s prohibited the inclusion of gay or lesbian characters or the discussion of homosexual issues in Hollywood films, numerous states' regulations prohibiting bars, restaurants, and other establishments with liquor licenses from employing or serving homosexuals or allowing homosexuals to congregate on their premises, the Nazi holocaust (do you deny that too?). You are either being disingenuous or willfully ignorant.

Among the many, many examples of historical analyses of the widespread persecution of gays and lesbians you may wish to consult:
John D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities, the Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970, at 44 (1983).
David K Johnson, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government (2003).
Deb Price, Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court (2002).
Byrne Fone, Homophobia: A History (2001).
2.20.2006 2:31pm
Julian Droms:
Medis said:
>
> Julian,
>
> I think your imagination is getting the
> better of you. I've known a lot of
> openly gay people. I've never had a
> conversation with them about "raunchy
> gay sex".

Look, I've said before. When it comes to the discussion of the economics of recruiting, it doesn't matter what I think, or what the reality is. All that matters is how many guys actually recruit. In an economic analysis that includes costs of recruiting in relation to a specific policy, that should be addressed in full. That is all that critics of the study are saying.

You may say that even if recruiting goes down, repealing DADT is justified for moral reasons, and you might be right. Others are just saying, in an economic study, accounting for economic benefits of a new policy without even making effort for account for economic costs makes for a study of limited policy value. It's nothing specific to this study, but in fact all sorts of studies published by Universities and NGOs use this tactic when they have a policy goal they wish to accomplish.

As for your interest in my views personally, it just so happens that I have quite many gay and bisexual friends and aquaintences. And although you apparently allege that making crude jokes or suggestions is an uncommon occurrence among gay men, in my experience many of these guys do in fact, routinely. And while in a public setting this does't distract me in the least, it does cause me to keep my distance when it comes to certain types of activities with those people, just as I don't do certain things in close quarters with women.

In the setting of the military, where exiting can be a troubling process in case circumstances become uncomfortable, that's definately a consideration. That's all I'm saying. Argue with me all you want. But you're only speaking to one person, when if there is a "problem" with that attitude according to you, I doubt that it is anything particularly specific to me.
2.20.2006 2:55pm
Kendall:
Grand CRU - This, again, is not true. Facially -- meaning as written -- the statute applied to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

This is factually accurate only if you engage in semantics as the state of texas did in oral arguments. On page 28 at the very bottom the question is asked "You don't even have to get to the -- as I understand it, as I understand it you don't have to get to the characterization of homosexual. The statute clearly defines certain acts committed by or together with individuals of the same sex and that's your class.
Mr. Rosenthal (for the state): Yes, it is.
Question: What more do you need?
Mr. Rosenthal: We're -- the class actually is people who violate the act, not classes of people based on orientation.


I suppose this distinction has some relevance. Two straight boys deciding suddenly it'd be fun to have sex with each other are probably not gay. Afterall, most straight boys want to have sex, right?
2.20.2006 3:17pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Let's try a hypothesis:

Let's presume it's proven beyond dispute that the inclusion of open gays in a unit degrades its performance.
No argument here, we're presuming it for the sake of discussion.

Would that justify keeping open gays out of the military?

Would that justify keeping open gays in units whose cohesion is less important (finance as opposed to Infantry, for example)?
2.20.2006 4:40pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Let's imagine if you will a state passes a law (before Lawrence) that prevents male/female oral and anal sex but allows same-sex behavior. Their justification is because same-sex behavior is by its nature non-procreative, government has no interest in regulating it. But because male-female sex can be procreative, the law wants to best insure this happens and that nature is not "cheated."

According to CRU's logic, this law doesn't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation because after all, homosexuals can engage in heterosexual sex and when they do, they are likewise forbidden from engaging in oral or anal sex. And if heterosexuals want to engage in oral or anal sex, they have the "option" of looking for a same-sex partner.
2.20.2006 4:51pm
Kendall:
Richard Aubrey - Interesting question. I think there are certainly a couple of issues there. First, lets draw a distinction between a combat division and say, a support division. In combat, efficiency is obviously key, you've gotta make sure that all the members of the unit are one well oiled, perfectly comfortable machine. In theory if a unit is in combat and is disrupted by someone that's inherently bad.

But, there are a couple of problems with that. Its certainly the case that members of the military may enter that institution with MULTIPLE biases. Certainly white supremacists are not forbidden entry into the military that I am aware of, nor are black panther party members, nor are atheists, muslims, jews, protestants, catholics, sikhs, or a multitude of groups that for one reason or another might not like each other.

How then are differences scrapped by the time basic training is over? It is the role of Sergeants it seems to me to meld people into an effective unit REGARDLESS of past personal biases, regardless of ingrown prejudices. I accept your hypothesis but at the same time I would submit that prejudice and initial degradation of unit cohesion would not necessarily stand up to military training and military discipline as properly applied.

For my second point, I'll go even further. Lets say that even after basic training some prejudicial hatreds still exist in the unit. Say one soldier is openly gay and can't stop talking about his boyfriend and it gets to be intolerable to some members of his unit. There is nothing that I am aware of stopping him being transferred to another, non combat division of the military where there would not be NEARLY the same level of concern with who is bunking with who.

Should the military truly care if a translator is gay? should we care if a guard at Guantanamo is gay? Does a wounded soldier seriously object to a gay military doctor?

So I'd say it matters and yet it doesn't. I can certainly see a case of initial prejudice, but I DO have a hard time seeing it last through even basic training, and even if it DID that wouldn't leave the military optionless.
2.20.2006 4:56pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Kendall. I didn't specify a reason that the inclusion of openly gay soldiers would degrade a unit's performance.
You presumed it was biases against them.

What if it's something else? One could ask the Israelis why they do it, and I suppose speculate about other reasons.

But the real question I have is which is more important to non-soldiers. Keep in mind that, as Robert Leckie said, "In the dark ledgers of war, all the entries are in red." Which is one reason I nearly had a coronary when some &&&&&&&said, during hearings, that we were a powerful country and could afford a bit of inefficiency in the military.

Colin Powell, who is famously black until it's convenient to ignore the fact, is against it and doesn't see the race/gay analog.

Anyway, my guess is that non-soldiers wouldn't give a brap, considering it's not their hinie at risk, and it makes them feel good to be promoting inclusiveness at no cost to themselves.
2.20.2006 8:03pm
Kendall:
Richard Aubrey - I suppose its possible there would be another reason that including a gay soldier would degrade a units performance other than bias against homosexuals but I don't know what it would be. Afterall, homosexuals are essentially a typical population, a cross section of america, the only real difference being who someone is romantically involved with. Certainly I suppose a case could be made that a gay soldier is more prone than a straight soldier to develop a romantic attachment to a soldier in their unit, but it shouldn't be assumed that such would occur.

As you pointed out, the Israeli military allows homosexuals to serve openly and to my knowledge they're still an effective fighting force.

You might be right that such an issue is more important to non soldiers than to soldiers, but frankly, so what? Not to be harsh, but the military is not a democracy, it IS however civillian run. If the US military decides to end DADT and allow gays to serve openly as do a majority of major industrialized nations there is no reason to suspect we'd have any more of a collapse of cohesion than Britain or Israel did and every reason to suspect we'd be able to retain more translators and other people in key positions.
2.20.2006 8:26pm
Medis:
Julian,

As an aside, I am not claiming this study is comprehensive. I am just specifically questioning your basis for claiming "there probably are a lot of guys who are cut out, but who wouldn't join once DADT is repealed."

Anyway, as you report them, I think your own experiences are indeed instructive. You have gay friends, and you have found ways to avoid situations that would make you feel uncomfortable. As those with actual military experience in this discussion have explained, the same basic tactics can work in the military--even if you have gay perople serving with you, you can largely avoid uncomfortable situations. So, again, I think your imagination is getting the better of you when you imagine that being in the military would make you considerably more uncomfortable about being around gay people.

So, I think your point basically rests on the assumption that people who would otherwise want to serve in the military would similarly let their imaginations get the better of them. But I would suggest that assumption is not going to be warranted, at least not beyond a very limited initial period. And that is because people interested in serving in the military are usually going to know people serving in the military. And those people already serving will be able to tell potential recruits what it is really like serving with openly gay people. And I strongly suspect that most of the people serving will report that it is a non-issue in practice. And that in turn will placate potential recruits who might share your concerns about gay people in the abstract, but who otherwise do want to serve in the military.

Of course, I can't prove all this to a certainty--although I do think the basic idea is grounded in empirical studies--precisely because we haven't tried dropping DA/DT. But conversely, neither can you prove that your speculation that recruiting will significantly drop--which in my view is ungrounded and indeed contradicted by your own experiences--is true.

I'm not sure how to resolve this, actually--again, the precise problem is the lack of a direct data. So, we might have to do our best with something like the experience of other militaries combined with more general studies of "homophobia". But certainly we cannot simply assign an arbitrarily high recruiting cost to ending DA/DT on the basis of mere ungrounded speculation.
2.21.2006 11:01am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Kendall. Some years ago, there were hearings on this subject before Congress. Some supporters suggested, as you did, that the Israelis did it, so it must be okay. But further witnesses testified that, as I said earlier, the Israelis didn't put openly gay men in the line units.
There must be or have been a reason.
2.21.2006 11:13am
Kendall:
Actually Richard, at the time of the DADT hearings under Clinton Israel did NOT allow open homosexuals to serve, nor did Britain, and that fact was one of the reasons for the compromise solution of DADT. In the decade plus since then much has changed and now homosexuals ARE in fact allowed to serve fully and completely in those and other militaries.
2.21.2006 1:08pm
Feh (mail):
It warms my cold heart to see gay rights campaigners waste this kind of time and money on a meaningless statistic that will never make any difference whatsoever in a policy debate.

Seriously, I was starting to think you folks had your act together. Thanks for reassuring me.
2.21.2006 1:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Kendall. In that case, those testifying in favor of letting gays serve lied about the Israeli case. Interesting.
2.21.2006 4:57pm