Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, felt that repeal should come during a time of peace, rather than while the Marines are deployed in combat operations in Afghanistan.
“My recommendation would be that it begins when our singular focus is no longer on combat operations,” he said.
Gen. George Casey, current Chief of Staff of the United States Army, said that the policy should be repealed but also questioned the timing.
“Leadership is the key to everything. If we do this, it will get done and it will get done well,” he said. “I believe any course of action that gives us the time to prepare is the right course of action. We have to have the time to prepare.”
All six chiefs suggested repeal through Congress would be preferable to another court ruling that would find the policy unconstitutional. A federal judge ruled in October that the policy violated freedom of speech and due process in a lawsuit brought forward by the Log Cabin Republicans. The Department of Justice is currently appealing the ruling.
Support for repeal again fell along party lines with Democrats supporting a repeal while Republicans said the current policy was largely a success and should be kept in place. Many Republicans said the policy was political in nature and questioned the need for a hearing during a time of war.
Yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mullen urged Congress to move forward with repeal during the current lame-duck session.
Top photo (from left): Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.), Carl Levin (D-Mi.) and John McCain (R-Az.) of the Senate Armed Services Committee (via flickr Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)