May 19

Past Event

Lessons Learned from the Service of Gays and Lesbians in Allied Militaries

Audio

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Summary

In the weeks ahead, Congress and the Pentagon will review the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, weighing the future service of gays and lesbians in the U.S. military. While U.S. officials are still discussing policy options, several nations allied with the United States have already implemented inclusive policies that allow homosexuals to serve openly while maintaining their military’s operational effectiveness. How were the policies of the other nations implemented and what lessons can be drawn from their experiences?

On May 19, the 21st Century Defense Initiative at Brookings and the University of California Santa Barbara’s Palm Center hosted military officers and experts from Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and Sweden to explore their militaries’ experiences in implementing these policy changes. The conference sought to inform the discussion of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by exploring how exactly their militaries transitioned to allowing openly gay service members and what insights they might provide to the United States on this issue. The event included four panels that explored the key questions, ranging from ministerial-level perspectives all the way down to tactical unit commanders’ experiences.

After each panel, panelists took audience questions.

Event Agenda

  • 9:30 a.m. - Welcome and Introduction

    • 21st Century Defense Initiative, " itemprop="jobTitle" /> Moderator: <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/experts/singerp.aspx">Peter W. Singer</a>

      Senior Fellow and Director, 21st Century Defense Initiative

    • Moderator: Aaron Belkin

      Director, The Palm Center

      University of California, Santa Barbara

  • 9:45 a.m. - Panel 1: Ministerial Policy Experiences and Lessons Learned

    • Lieutenant Commander Craig Jones

      Royal Navy (ret.)

      United Kingdom

    • Mr. Ori Kapara

      Research Specialist, Center for Behavioral Sciences, Israel Defense Forces

      * Note: Mr. Kapara’s views are his own and do not represent the opinions of the IDF.

    • Major General Walter Semianiw

      Chief of Military Personnel, Canadian Forces

    • Major General Simon VL Willis

      Former Head Defense Personnel Executive, Australian Army (ret.)

    • Moderator: Aaron Belkin

      Director, The Palm Center

      University of California, Santa Barbara

  • 11:00 a.m. - Panel 2: Scholarly Studies and Lessons Learned

    • Victoria Basham

      Assistant Professor, Exeter College, United Kingdom

    • Danny Kaplan

      Professor, Bar Ilan University, Israel

    • Alan Okros

      Professor, Canadian Forces College

    • Mr. Karol Wenek

      Director General, Canadian Military Personnel

    • Moderator: Nathaniel Frank

      Senior Fellow, The Palm Center

      University of California, Santa Barbara

  • 1:30 p.m. - Panel 3: Command Experiences and Lessons Learned

    • Commander Luc Cassivi

      Canadian Forces

    • Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grimshaw

      Canadian Forces

    • Major Peter Kees Hamstra

      Royal Netherlands Army

    • Lieutenant Colonel Mick King

      Australian Army

    • Colonel Kees Matthijssen

      Royal Netherlands Army

    • Moderator: Lieutenant Colonel Charles McLean

      USMC Federal Executive Fellow, 21st Century Defense Initiative

      The Brookings Institution

  • 2:45 p.m. - Panel 4: Service Member Experiences and Lessons Learned

    • Commander Luc Cassivi

      Canadian Forces

    • Major Peter Kees Hamstra

      Royal Netherlands Army

    • Major Wilco Mulder

      Royal Netherlands Army

    • Leif Ohlson

      Swedish Armed Forces

    • Lieutenant Commander Craig Jones

      Royal Navy (ret.)

      United Kingdom

    • 21st Century Defense Initiative, " itemprop="jobTitle" /> Moderator: <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/experts/singerp.aspx">Peter W. Singer</a>

      Senior Fellow and Director, 21st Century Defense Initiative

Details

May 19, 2010

9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Map

For More Information

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(202) 797-6105