The Pentagon has released its report. Congressional Democrats are all atwitter. But will Don't Ask, Don't Tell actually end this year?
The answer remains uncertain, with a clearer picture expected after this week.
As expected, the Pentagon's internal working group has found that ending DADT doesn't really carry a risk to U.S. servicemembers, doesn't threaten any U.S. military campaigns, and is supported by two thirds of troops and their family members, while 40-60 percent (a seemingly gigantic discrepancy between those two figures...) of Marine Corps and combat arms specialties think repealing DADT will have a negative impact.
Other than that last statistic, this is all supposed to create momentum for ending the policy. Some GOP senators had said they wanted to wait until the review came out before voting on it. Now, the review has come out, and that concern has been alleviated.
A big enough majority of U.S. senators support ending DADT for this policy, on its own, to pass.
The problems, however, are time and procedure.
The DADT repeal is included in the current Defense authorization bill, a big piece of legislation that usually takes weeks to pass, sometimes including hundreds of amendments that see votes and varying durations of debate. Republican senators, including Maine's Susan Collins, objected to voting on the Defense bill without bringing more amendments to the floor--amendments unrelated to DADT--when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called it up for a vote just before the Senate's August recess. It appears there simply won't be enough time for the Senate to consider dozens of Defense amendments before the end of the year, and that DADT won't see a final vote before the end of the year.