A report from the Government Accountability Office estimates that enforcing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell cost taxpayers $193.3 million from 2004 through 2009. Almost 200 million dollars were spent just to keep 3,664 soldiers from serving in our nation’s military. That’s $52,800 of taxpayer money per soldier.
And it’s not like those soldiers walked away with that money. The cost was spent recruiting and training replacements. 39% of the discharged soldiers held critical occupations, and another 23 of the officers possessed critical foreign language skills, speaking Arabic, Spanish, and more.
While these numbers are staggering, especially given the context of our current economic crisis and government debt, they represent only the past five years. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been on the books since 1994.
With that said, President Obama has still not issued his certification that the Pentagon is prepared to move forward with the repeal of the discriminatory military policy. From there, it will be an additional 60 days before the more inclusive policy takes effect.
That’s 200 million that could have been spent on education, police officers, or foster care. What would you have spent that $200 million on instead?