The Pentagon’s DADT repeal survey, enacted for the satisfaction of John McCain, does not satisfy John McCain. Leaked details of the report point toward a favorable reception of openly gay service men and women, but McCain wants a new study, one that looks at battle effectiveness and morale and demands more time. Time isn’t exactly on the White House’s side on DADT. McCain’s filibuster of the Defense Authorization Bill, to which DADT repeal is appended, was successful in pushing the bill toward the upcoming lame duck session of Congress. If no headway is made on repeal then it will be removed from the bill and voted on separately next session where it has less chance of passing.
McCain’s initial request for a military survey wasn’t exactly illogical or ill reasoned. A well-researched study showing support for DADT repeal might help turn the votes of previous objectors. It lends support to motion at hand and gives credence to the President’s decision. This makes McCain’s new request, particularly its timing, appear disingenuous. What about the first survey isn’t up to par? He doesn’t specify. It may have been enough for him several months ago but as time goes on his mind seems to have changed (from three years ago).
If McCain wants a study on battle effectiveness and morale he can look to any number of NATO and/or EU nations involved in Afghanistan or Iraq. Britain, France, Russia (admittedly not a member of either organization), Germany, the Netherlands and others all allow homosexuals to openly serve in their military organizations and have since or prior to 2000. Israel too has allowed homosexuals to openly serve since the early 90’s. None of these countries’ military have experienced an outpouring of homophobia during wartime, none have experienced loss of morale because of same sex soldiers spying on each other in the showers, and none have been hit with the gay bomb.
McCain’s bid for time could kill repeal for now. There’s no question that it will come up again but the question is when. In reality, DADT repeal might have a better chance in waiting out McCain.