Don't Ask, Don't Tell Costs $ 200 Million

Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The policy brought in by President Bill Clinton in a move to protect gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the US armed forces (Trans folks are going to wait a long time) has also been used to toss them out. And the Military has done a good job of that, sending more than 10,000 trained military personnel packing since 1994.

The Government Accounting Office says it costs approximately $10,500 to recruit replacements for those discharged. That number is likely just scraping the surface of the direct costs to the Military. The report adds it did not calculate the cost of training in specilised areas nor training of and replacement of officers.

$200 million dollars is the cost at a minimum. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (represents gays and lesbians discharged by the military) suggests the money could have been spent on 12 Blackhawk helicopters or 800 sidewinder missles. I hasten to add they could also equip 5 to 10 thousand Humvees in Iraq with protection so current service personnel are safer or 40 to 50 thousand bullet proof vests.

In Canada we saw the restriction on gays and lesbians removed 10 years ago. No force in the world is more integrated with the US forces than the Canadian Armed Forces. Gays and lesbians haven't affected Canadian forces abilities nor its moral. They work with Americans on joint efforts around the world, in NORAD, in the joint training exercises and NATO.

When will the American leaders and military shed this intolerance and join the ranks of a civilised world.

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