Homosexuals Should Serve Openly in the Military
According to the International Herald Tribune, at least 58 Arab linguists were kicked out of the U.S. military ("U.S. military continues to discharge gay Arab linguists, and Congress members seek hearing", Par. 1). One might ask why, during this time of combating Islamic terrorist networks and insurgents in Iraq, would the military get rid of people with such valuable talents? The answer is simple: these men and women are homosexual. Gays and lesbians can serve in the U.S. military but only if they keep their sexuality a secret. This is known as the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and has been in effect since 1993. The United States is one of only a handful of nations in NATO that do not permit openly gay individuals to serve in the military (Ottosson 8). The United States should replace this archaic policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for three main reasons: it's harmful and expensive to our military, it unfairly discriminates against homosexuals, and our closest allies in the War on Terrorism have lifted these bans with no effect on military fighting capability.
The current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is harmful to the U.S. military in two different ways. Not only is the policy further escalating the manpower shortages in the U.S. military it also cost millions of dollars to enforce.
Our nation has had a shortage of Arab linguists, even after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. According to the Associated Press just 543 Arabic and 166 Farsi linguists graduated from the Defense Language Institute in 2004 ("More gay linguists discharged than first thought", Par. 11). 2004 is the year in which 849 servicemen died fighting an insurgency in Iraq. Arab linguists are instrumental in fighting these insurgent networks. Not allowing gays to serve openly may also deter homosexuals from signing up in a time when the Army is going to great lengths to increase its...