A former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested Sunday that gays shouldn't be able to openly serve in the US military because no country with openly serving gays has ever defeated the US in a war.
Gen. Hugh Shelton told ABC's Christiane Amanpour that it's the servicemen in the Army and Marines who should get to decide whether or not the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy is ended.
"I think it's time to let's see what the men and women that are at the basic combat unit -- particularly the men in the Marines and Army -- have to say when the survey comes in on the first of December," he said.
"If the men and women in uniform at the fighting level, particularly the Marines and Army, say, 'No it doesn't make any difference to us,' ... it won't break the readiness of our great armed forces," Shelton continued.
"Why do you think it would?" interrupted Amanpour. "I mean some of the great allies of the United States have. Whether it’s Canada, whether it’s Britain, France, Australia, even Israel allows openly gay men and women to serve in the military. And they have great armies, great militaries."
"They have great militaries, great armies," Shelton answered. "But if you check the historical records, Christiane, as you know, we've never lost to any of them. We are the top of the pile. We are the best in the world. And we want to stay that way."
To the best of Raw Story's knowledge, the US has never fought a war against an army with openly serving gay troops.
Earlier this month, Shelton received attention for saying the Iraq war was a "fiasco" due to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's "lies."
"President Bush and his team got us enmeshed in Iraq based on extraordinarily poor intelligence and a series of lies purporting that we had to protect Americans from Saddam's evil empire because it posed such a threat to our national security," Shelton wrote in his memoir.
This video is from ABC's This Week, broadcast Oct. 24, 2010.