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Deadline Looms for DADT Enforcement Changes

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The Pentagon is preparing for possible changes to to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy which Jeh Johnson, general counsel for the Defense Department, said earlier this month would be delivered by March 19.

Defense secretary Robert Gates issued a deadline for this week to announce the changes.

Those adjustments, known as the Obama Rule, could include altering what can be categorized as admissible evidence to initiate a discharge, raising the level of review for who can launch or approve a discharge, and limiting investigations based on third-party allegations, among others, according to the Palm Center, a military think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Author and Palm Center research fellow Nathaniel Frank said the move may be the "beginning of the end" of "don't ask, don't tell." Aaron Belkin, the director of the Palm Center, noted that the military's action would contribute to dampening the effects of "don't ask, don't tell," even if Congress takes no action to suspend or repeal the policy.

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