Enforcing the ban on open gay service
cost the military nearly $200 million over six years, according to a
new report from the Government Accountability Office, the Stars
and Stripes reported.
The policy, known as “Don't Ask,
Don't Tell,” was effectively
repealed during Congress' lame-duck session in December but won't
be officially lifted until after President Obama and Pentagon leaders
certify that the military is ready for the change.
From fiscal 2004 through fiscal 2009
the military spent roughly $53,000 per gay service member dismissed
under the policy. The majority of the expense, according to the
report, came from costs associated with recruiting replacements and
retraining of new troops.
The report also estimates
administration costs at $8 million. That includes legal work,
processing of separation paperwork and addressing inquiries.
The report was compiled at the request
of Congressional Democrats.
On Wednesday, California Representative
Duncan D. Hunter, a Republican, introduced
legislation that if approved would almost certainly block repeal of
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell” by requiring the four service chiefs to
sign off on repeal of the policy.