Top Marine: "Don't Ask" Repeal Would "Cost Marines' Lives"
4:31 PM, Dec 14, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Starts and Stripes reports that Marine Corps Commandant General James F. Amos just dropped a rhetorical bomb on renewed efforts to repeal "don't ask, don't tell":
Amos opposed repeal of DADT during recent Senate hearings--as did the chiefs of the Army and Air Force--on the grounds that it would hurt unit cohesion and combat effectiveness, but did not so starkly spell out the logical result of imposing another burden on combat Marines. Nearly 60% of Marines who have been deployed to combat zones and 67% of Marines in combat arms units (infantry, artillery, armor) said repealing DADT would have a "negative effect on their unit’s effectiveness in completing its mission 'in a field environment or out at sea.'"
Whether Amos's words have any effect on the effort to repeal DADT remains to be seen. House Democrats are introducing a stand-alone repeal bill, which incoming House Armed Services chairman Buck McKeon (R, Calif.) denounced today for prioritizing social policy ahead of the troops:
But the lame-duck Democrats have enough votes to quickly pass the bill in the House.
Chances for repeal at this point depend almost entirely on (1) whether there's enough time to bring up a vote on a stand-alone repeal bill in the Senate and (2) whether moderate GOP senators such as Lisa Murkowski and Scott Brown vote for repeal.
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