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Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : Ex-General, Senators Spar Over Gays Issue

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Operation Desert Storm’s second-in-command sparred with senators over lifting the military ban on homosexuals. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Calvin Waller insisted that to do so would make the U.S. military “a second-rate fighting force.” At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on President Clinton’s proposed policy change, senators pressed Gen. Waller to concede that he personally knows gays who served their country well in the armed forces and that in combat a soldier’s sexual orientation has no effect on fighting ability. However, Waller said the spirit and performance of military units improves when a homosexual is identified and removed.


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