President Donald Trump stunned observers when he announced the ban on transgendered members of the military. But apparently it wasn’t just outsiders who were surprised.
According to US defense officials, those who were not aware of this change in policy included the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Chairman General Joseph Dunford has done his best to act diplomatically. Any courses of action have been delayed until the Defense Secretary sends guidelines on how to implement the new policy.
Until then, Dunford says, “we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect.”
Senator John McCain has suggested that Defense Secretary Mattis was also caught off-guard by the sudden announcement- and that he was in the middle of reviewing the transgender policy of the military before Trump’s sudden announcement on Wednesday.

Looming Culture War?

The culture wars in the United States have obviously been heating up ever since Trump took office in January. President Trump has been a historically polarizing president, who’s taken actions that, at the very least, have been extremely politically audacious.
The transgender ban is only the latest of these stunts, but it may be his most audacious yet.
The intersection of military and transgender strikes a particular nerve on both sides.
To those on one side of the divide, Trump’s tweets seem to tacitly suggest that transgendered members are not fit for service.
Meanwhile, others view this as a case of pragmatism vs. lofty (and imposed) social goals.
There is some discussion of political play, at hand.
Perhaps the move is meant to put pressure on Democrats running for election in the Rust Belt region–in hopes that forcing Democrats to explicitly stand their ground on LBGTQ issues, they might alienate certain demographics in their constituents that tend to oppose transgender rights.
At any rate, it seems that Trump has done his best to force hands and, politically, is making very little effort to foster reconciliation.