EE.UU. ha pasado a retiro a más de 9.488 soldados homosexuales

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon spent more than $200 million and lost valuable personnel over the last decade from its «Don’t ask, don’t tell» policy on homosexual conduct, according to a congressional report released on Thursday.
Of the 9,488 service members discharged under the policy since 1994, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said 322 had some proficiency in strategically important languages such as Farsi and Arabic, skills the Pentagon said are in short supply.
The report about personnel losses comes as the Pentagon struggles to meet recruitment goals and keep sufficient forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The GAO said 757 of the discharged personnel were in critical occupations such as interpreters and intelligence analysts, jobs the Pentagon deemed worthy of selective re-enlistment bonuses.
The GAO report said full costs of the policy cannot be estimated because the Pentagon does not collect data on investigations, counseling, discharge reviews and other costs.
But it said it cost about $190 million to recruit and train the personnel. These costs exclude the Marine Corps, which was unable to estimate occupation-related training costs.
Critics said the report showed the military’s policy against homosexuals was forcing out people with essential skills to combat terrorism, as well as draining funds.
Rep. Martin Meehan, a Massachusetts Democrat and member of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said he will introduce a bill next week to repeal the military’s restrictions on homosexuals.
«It is more apparent than ever before that, as we conduct a Global War on Terror and face tremendous personnel shortages, that the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ law is undermining our military readiness,» said Meehan, who requested the GAO report along with about 20 other House Democrats.
The Pentagon since 1993 has operated under the «Don’t ask, don’t tell» policy established under former President Bill Clinton, who tried to lift the long-standing ban on homosexuals serving in the military.
Under the policy, the military is not to ask about and service members are not to reveal their sexual orientation.
In its response to the GAO report, the Pentagon said just 0.37 percent of the personnel were discharged for homosexual conduct from the total pool of people discharged from 1994-2003 for various reasons such as drug offenses, being overweight and pregnancies.
The U.S. policy is in contrast to one in Britain, where the Royal Navy announced a drive on Monday to recruit gays, using a lobbying group to promote homosexual rights in the force and advertising in the gay press for the first time. Britain lifted its ban on gays serving in the military in 2000.

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