Will 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Move Faster Now That Obama is Sending 30,000 More to Afghanistan?
Wonder how many of these cadets aren't telling?
The White House was asked about troop levels with regard to the Afghanistan announcement and where Defense Secretary Gates was on his review of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (via transcript).
GIBBS: Well, I have not heard an update from the Secretary on that. I know that obviously the President wants that policy changed. In terms of -- I mean, obviously it's not just Army. This is Army and Marines, as well as -- well, Army and Marines. They are -- this was very specifically asked in terms of whether force flow options would interrupt either Marine or Army policies that have been instituted to give longer breaks for tours of duty and then return home. The Joint Chiefs, to a commander, all told the Commander-in-Chief that they could meet the force requirement without interrupting what they had instituted in order to provide that time at home and away from the tour of duty.
Q But the troops are stretched thin. I mean, it's not --
GIBBS: No doubt. And I think that the President was very clear in wanting to see the Joint Chiefs to, quite frankly, ask them very directly whether that was the case. There's no doubt that there has been for many, many years a strain on our forces; that that strain has caused repeated tours. And only recently has Secretary Gates and others instituted policies that ensure that we had time outside of a theater of war and that they believe was necessary to maintain an all-volunteer force, which they think obviously is tremendously important, as well as just dealing with the stress physically and mentally on them.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)