The one year anniversary of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s repeal is almost upon us, and a new study of openly gay soldiers in the Israel Defense Force or IDF has found that there is little damage to uni cohesion. In fact, the Palm Center study found that there was no correlation between the presence of openly gay troops and the cohesiveness of the unit.
The study was conducted by Danny Kaplan of Bar Ilan University and Amir Rosenmann of the University of Haifa. Aarn Belkin, the director of the Palm Center, stated that “As we reach the one year anniversary of repeal of the United States military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ (DADT) policy, this new study responds to the central concern that an integrated military would harm cohesion.”
According to the Palm Center of the Williams Institute:
The authors surveyed 417 male Israeli soldiers from 22 military installations. Statistical analysis of responses to the survey indicated that for both combat and non-combat units, the presence of openly gay troops in a unit had no relationship to the cohesiveness of the unit. Israel has allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military since 1993.
Prior to the repeal of DADT in September 2011, some military and political leaders predicted that a policy of open service would undermine unit cohesion in the U.S. military.