From NBC's Jim Miklaszewski
On Capitol Hill today, Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George Casey told the Senate Armed Services Committee he had "serious concerns" about attempting to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" while the U.S. military is actively engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Casey suggested that implement the repeal of the ban against gays and lesbians openly serving in the military could be disruptive and hurt military readiness.
Casey, like Gen. Ray Odierno, top U.S. military commander in Iraq said yesterday, supports Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plan to take a year, poll the troops and study the impact of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," then take another year to figure out how to implement the repeal.
Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the committee, raised some eyebrows when he suggested that a moratorium on enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" be slipped into the Defense Authorization Bill, that would protect gays and lesbians from being forced out of the military pending the Pentagon studies.
Sen. John McCain strongly opposed the idea and under tough questioning got the Secretary of Army John McHugh to also voice his objection to the moratorium.