Defense Secretary James Mattis should put “mission readiness” above social agendas in his recommendation to the White House regarding whether or not transgendered persons should serve in the military, contends a military expert.
Mattis on Friday delivered his recommendation to the White House, the Hill reported, but it was not released to the public.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to discuss the recommendation, but several published reports claimed Mattis recommended that people with gender dysphoria be allowed to continue in the military.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, warned that if true, there will be consequences for the military’s ability to defend the nation.
“The defense secretary’s trial balloon, if accurately described, will not fly. Such a plan would be unworkable and unfaithful to orders that President Donald Trump has every right to issue,” she said.
It also would be “inconsistent” with commitments already made during the 2016 election campaign and in the first year of the administration, she said.
President Trump said last July he believed transgenders should not be in the U.S. military, and he followed with a memo prohibiting the military from enlisting such volunteers and from using funds to pay for gender-transition-related surgery.
The memo instructed Mattis to review the issue and make a recommendation in six months.
While the review was underway, several courts were confronted with lawsuits claiming that transgendered individuals have a right to be in the military.
Donnelly said Mattis’ decision could have been influenced by an Obama appointee who headed a panel that reviewed the issue.
“Instead of capitulating to federal courts without defending presidential prerogatives, Secretary Mattis should call for an immediate petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting intervention to stop federal district judges from running our military on the transgender issue or any other matter of national security,” she said.
Donnelly said that in the meantime, the Department of Defense “also should protect presidential prerogatives by issuing court-ordered contracts to transgender applicants on a conditional basis.”
“It is only fair to inform applicants who suffer from gender dysphoria that if the government prevails in pending litigation, their enlistment or re-enlistment contracts would be void.”
She said the Defense Department also should put an end to subsidies for transgender surgeries, discontinue Pentagon ‘LGBT Pride’ events and revoke all Obama-era directives that force military personnel to act upon “unscientific theories about gender ‘transitions’ that are biologically impossible.”
She said gender dysphoria cases in the military pose many problems, arguing being male or female is at the DNA level, not simply a matter of clothing.
There are privacy-violation issues, ethical conflicts for medical personnel and problems with deployability, since transgenders have extensive medical treatment for therapies, surgeries and months of “real life experience” living as a person of the opposite sex, Donnelly noted.
Then there also are the demands for payment for medical treatment, even surgeries.
“Convoluted policies that do not improve military readiness are not about combat lethality, they are about political correctness, which President Trump promised to eliminate in the military,” Donnelly said. “Secretary Mattis should remember to ask a simple question: How would my recommendations improve mission readiness and combat lethality? No other consideration is more important than that.”
Trump stated last year the nation “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.”
He cited the results of his consultations with generals and military experts, as well as the “tremendous medical costs and disruption.”
There is no requirement that Trump follow the recommendation, but he had asked for the review after his initial plans sparked lawsuits by advocacy groups demanding the transgender advocacy in the military continue.
The Defense Department did not appeal the lower court decisions to the Supreme Court, which set a bad precedent, Donnelly said.
The dispute dates back to Obama’s overturning of centuries of precedent by ordering that transgenders be allowed to enlist.
President Trump reversed the order, but transgender activists went to court in several jurisdictions, and judges ruled that while Obama was allowed to make the change, President Trump didn’t have the authority to reverse it.
One such judge was Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who faced criticism for acting as the “supreme judicial commander of the military by refusing to temporarily halt her order against Trump’s decision.
Donnelly pointed out that, under the U.S. Constitution, federal judges have no power to run the military.
“Nevertheless, four U.S. District judges have ordered the Department of Defense (DoD) to ignore official instructions from President Donald J. Trump, and to fully implement unprecedented mandates to recruit transgenders into the military,” she wrote.
She said if transgenders are allowed in the military, those driven by the social agenda “will focus only on the satisfaction of persons who are being allowed to serve despite a psychological condition that – until the Obama administration came along ˗˗ used to be among many physical or psychological problems that disqualified individuals for military service.”