By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 30 2010 8:30 AM ET
An in-depth look at the rocky relationship between President Barack Obama and the military shows that he, lacking experience in uniform and saddled by two foreign wars and domestic priorities, deferred to Defense Secretary Robert Gates in setting a “slow pace” to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The New York Times examined what it called the “steep learning curve” faced by Obama in his first term as commander in chief. During the bumpy times, the president has yielded to Gates, an experienced holdover from the Bush administration.
“Mr. Obama has relied on Mr. Gates as his ambassador to the military and deferred to him repeatedly,” reported the Times. “When Mr. Gates wanted to force out Gen. David D. McKiernan in May 2009 as commander in Afghanistan in favor of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Mr. Obama signed off. Likewise, cognizant of Bill Clinton’s ill-fated effort to end the ban on gay and lesbian soldiers, Mr. Obama let Mr. Gates set a slow pace in overturning the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, even though it has disappointed gay rights advocates.”
Read the full article here.