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Gates Defends Long DADT Repeal Study

Gates Defends Long DADT Repeal Study


Defense secretary Robert Gates reiterated his intention to complete the military's analysis on how to implement the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" before the repeal actually takes place.

In an interview with CNN's John King that aired Monday, Gates defended the process toward repeal.

"I know there's some that are suspicious out there that this is some kind of effort to slow roll this process," Gates said. "But as I said in that testimony, I've led several huge public institutions and I've led change in every one of them and there's a smart way to do change, and there's a stupid way to do change. This one has to be done smart.

Gates wrote a letter to House Armed Services Committee chairman Ike Skelton in April, expressing his preference for the ban on gays in the military to be lifted by Congress only after the Pentagon finishes its extensive analysis, which is due December 1. The late date could jeopardize the chances of repealing the ban before 2011. On May 3, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin then asked Gates to clarify his letter.

Three days later, Gates responded, "The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change but how we ... best prepare for it." Gates said the statement continues to be his position and that of the department's. He added, "The outcome of this review is also intended to fully inform both Presidential and Congressional decision making to ensure a change in this law properly and fully addresses the various and complex considerations involved."

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