According to 2016 GOP hopeful Ben Carson, transgender troops in the U.S. military are a problem which requires fixing. As a solution, Carson is suggesting that the old military policy, called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” be restored.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Ben Carson believes the threat of ISIS in America could be tied to the issue of Syrian refugees, although he has publicly met with refugees in Jordan during a “fact finding” endeavor. Unfortunately for the 2016 presidential candidate, Carson’s poll numbers have dropped sharply in recent weeks, so he is scrambling to catch up with Donald Trump.
In July of 2015, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ordered a six-month review of the U.S. military policy which bans transgender troops from serving openly.
“The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions,” Carter said in a statement, according to Buzzfeed.
Carter said the review group started with the “presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified.” According to Ben Carson, transgender troops represent an experiment for the American military which could go wrong.
“I do not appreciate using our military as a laboratory for social experimentation,” Carson said, according to NBC. “We have too many important things to do when our men and women are out there fighting the enemy, the last thing we need to be doing is saying, ‘What would it be like if we introduced several transgender people into this platoon?’ Give me a break. Deal with the transgender thing somewhere else. I liked the old ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ philosophy. Why do you have to go around flaunting your sexuality? It’s not necessary. You don’t need to talk about that. We need to talk about how we eliminate the enemy.”
Carson’s comments came as the deadline for Carter’s review is coming up. Although the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ military policy allowed gay, lesbian, and bisexual troops to serve openly, it is estimated that around 15,000 transgender troops are currently serving in the U.S. military but are not allowed openly discuss their sexuality.
“This means that as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before,” Carter said. “They’ll be able to drive tanks, give orders, lead infantry soldiers into combat.”
When Carson spoke about women in the military, the 2016 candidate said he supported the idea as long as the U.S. military does not lower physical standards for women.
“As far as women are concerned on the battlefield, I have a tendency to want to protect women, but I also have great respect for women and all the success I’ve had in life is because of women,” Carson said. “So I am never going to say no to the women, I’m not, but I am very frightened, when it comes to certain job descriptions, if we lower the standards.”
Concerned Veterans for America CEO Pete Hegseth also asked Carson if he though that political correctness was affecting the U.S. military.
“What woman wants to go out in the front line in the dirt and slime fighting?” Carson replied. “I mean, if they want to do it and they’re capable of it, no problem, I would never deny them. But I would be steadfast about the requirements. If you can’t lift a 175-pound person on your shoulder and hoist them out of there, then if I’m out there I don’t want you as my backup.”
What do you think about Ben Carson’s comments about transgender troops and women in the military?