Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 41 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/29/17

Trump's transgender ban and the Pentagon's politically correct absurdity

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   23 comments
Message Finian Cunningham
Become a Fan
  (40 fans)

From RT

Protest erupts against President Trump's transgender military ban
Protest erupts against President Trump's transgender military ban
(Image by YouTube, Channel: The Times of India)
  Details   DMCA

US President Donald Trump seems to be heading for another clash with the Pentagon over his renewed order banning transgender individuals from serving in the military.

When Trump first announced the ban last month, the reversal of policy initiated under President Obama in 2016 caught military chiefs by surprise. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford led the pushback. He appeared to rebuke the president for making decrees by Twitter, and said there would be no change on Pentagon policy admitting transgenders into the armed forces until a formal order was received.

This week, the White House doubled down by issuing a memo to the Pentagon reiterating Trump's ruling that no transgender individuals are to be allowed to serve in the military. He appeared to soften his order somewhat by giving the Defense Secretary, James Mattis, the discretion on what to do about transgenders who are already in the forces.

It is not clear at this stage if the Pentagon will seek to overturn Trump's order. The ban has sparked protests from LGBT groups, which has resonated with others who have denounced President Trump for appearing to incite racial tensions over his ambiguous response to white supremacist violence. This has been spurred most recently by Trump's pardoning of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of racial profiling.

Trump's position on the transgender issue cites two reasons for the ban. To reduce the cost to federal government of individual service members who opt for sexual reassignment surgery. The president also claims that transgenders in the military are disruptive of unit cohesion and the overall fighting ability of forces.

Why Trump should choose to pick up this issue is not clear. The numbers do not seem to make sense: the Pentagon does not give out figures, but according to a Rand Corp study the number of transgender people in the US military is around 1,300. Out of a total of 1.3 million US forces that amounts to a tiny minority of 0.1 percent. Also according to Rand, the estimated cost to federal government for transgender surgery is minuscule compared with the total Pentagon health care budget, some $8 million out of a total $49 billion, or about 0.01 percent. All this could be a sop to Trump's voter base, who tend to be socially conservative.

At a time when Trump is under fire for sympathies allegedly lying with the racist and bigoted, it seems rather strange that he should give opponents another cause for condemnation, namely banning transgenders in the military, especially since the numbers show the matter to be a very marginal one.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Well Said 2   Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Finian Cunningham Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

G20 Summit, Top Agenda Item: Bye-Bye American Empire

"Mentally Unfit" Trump Signals Palace Coup Option

Rubio's Gloating Betrays US Sabotage in Venezuela Power Blitz

Is a military coup against Trump in the cards?

Russia Vindicated by Terrorist Surrenders in Syria

America -- the Most Frightened Nation on Earth

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend