Schwartz Calls Immediate DADT Repeal Risky

An immediate repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy barring openly homosexual service members would present an undue risk to Air Force effectiveness in combat zones, according to Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff. “My best military judgment does not agree with the study assessment that the short-term risk to military effectiveness is low,” he stated before the Senate Armed Services Committee Dec. 3. Schwartz said he “remains concerned” about a possible repeal’s short-term impact on “military effectiveness in Afghanistan.” Although “close combat” conditions pertain to a relative few, he expressed reticence to placing “any additional discretionary demands on our leadership cadres in Afghanistan.” If legislation is passed repealing the policy, Schwartz appealed for certification and full implementation to be deferred until 2012, allowing time for the Air Force to conduct training and education programs. (Schwartz written testimony)