When President Obama signed a bill repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell today, he wasn’t actually repealing the 17-year-old policy. The law directs the Pentagon to drop the policy — but only after Obama, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all certify that the military is ready for it.
And the question has been how long that may take. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been purposely tight-lipped about a time line, refusing to publicly make even vague estimates.
Obama, though, gave a ballpark to The Advocate‘s Kerry Eleveld.“My strong sense is this is a matter of months,” he said. “Absolutely not years.”
“We will get this done in a timely fashion, and the chiefs are confident that it will get done in a timely fashion,” he went on. “They understand this is not something that they’re going to be slow-walking.”
Obama also noted that Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen is taking the Pentagon’s implementation review with him on his year-end vacation. He said the process, which includes training and education at all levels of the services, will begin within the next several weeks.
The policy, which bars openly gay men and women, will be repealed 60 days after the certification. Obama warned those currently serving today that the law is still in place until then.