Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America

TitleUnfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsFrank, Nathaniel
Number of Pages368
PublisherThomas Dunne Books
CityNew York

When the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy emerged as a political compromise under Bill Clinton in 1993, it only ended up worsening the destructive gay ban that had been on the books since World War II. Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Nathaniel Frank exposes the military's policy toward gays and lesbians. He reveals how the ban on open gays and lesbians in the U.S. military has greatly increased discharges, hampered recruitment, and—contrary to the rationale offered by proponents of the ban—led to lower morale and cohesion within military ranks. In addition to the moral pitfalls of the gay ban, Frank shows the practical damage it has wrought. Most recently, the discharge of valuable Arabic translators (who happen to be gay) under the current policy has left U.S. forces ill-equipped in the fight against terrorism. 

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