Press Room

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Costs Almost Double GAO Estimate, New Study Reports

Sub-Heading: 
Study Authors Include Former Defense Secretary, West Point Professors, Military Experts
Release Date: 
February 13, 2006
Press Contact: 
Nathaniel Frank, Senior Research Fellow Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, University of California, Santa Barbara 805-893-5664

SANTA BARBARA, CA, February 14, 2006 -- A Blue Ribbon Commission has determined that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy cost the Pentagon at least $363.8 million to implement during its first ten years.

For a pdf version of this release, click here.

For Immediate Release:

SANTA BARBARA, CA, February 14, 2006 -- A Blue Ribbon Commission has determined that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy cost the Pentagon at least $363.8 million to implement during its first ten years. The Commission, which includes former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and other military experts, was formed after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a February, 2005 report that was based on questionable data and methodology. GAO's estimate, the Commission found, was 91 percent too low. Because the Commission used conservative assumptions, its finding should be seen as a lower-bound estimate.

The Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military is an official research unit of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Center is governed by a distinguished board of advisors including the Honorable Lawrence J. Korb of the Center for American Progress, Honorable Coit Blacker of Stanford University and Professor Janet Halley of Harvard Law School. Its mission is to promote the study of gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities in the armed forces.

The raw data we obtained via a Freedom of Information Act included many inconsistenecies, and we cleaned the data according to the guidelines listed in footnote 14 of the study. To see the raw data, please click here (6.9MB Excel File).