- Should the military care what the troops think? Truman didn't care when he integrated African-Americans into the military. I do not recall any surveys as women have gained more and more opportunities in the armed forces. However, if the survey is less for whether or not versus how, then perhaps it can be justified. If it is to provide a fig leaf so that SecDef Gates can go ahead and do what is right, then it is a gamble but an interesting one.
- Is this crappy social science? Perhaps as one does not need to have a complete sample to get decent results. So, this might suggest the fig leaf explanation may actually be correct. Are the questions problematic? Well, survey-writing is always challenging as the questions often shape the likely responses (I am no expert here, and my one attempt at a survey kind of blew up).
So, the survey may or may not be a good idea, but the transition will inevitably have some difficulties and controversies along the way. Given how many Canadian commanders seem unable to follow the basic rules about sex with subordinates and while deployed, these issues will never go away entirely.