Trump rules out talks with NKorea; Mattis says still room for

Trump rules out talks with NKorea; Mattis says still room for

Trump rules out talks with NKorea; Mattis says still room for

The ban on transgender soldiers in the military has been a disaster from the beginning. However, this isn't a win.

Mattis' statement clarified a statement made on Tuesday by Trump saying that "all options are on the table" concerning a possible response to latest Pyongyang's missile launch.

"In the interim, current policy with respect to now serving members will remain in place", Mattis said in a statement on Tuesday.

It's true the Trump's order signed last week includes time for "further study" on implementing the ban, but the study is unlikely to change anything because of the order's wording.

In section 1 (b), the President requests that both Mattis and the Department of Homeland Security complete a thorough study to determine whether "terminating that policy [allowing trans folk to serve in the military] and practice would not have the negative effects", which some have pointed out may follow from removing people from active duty.

This study is not new to the military.

Mattis did not give a timeline for how long the panel may take, while transgender troops continue to serve.

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Under the Obama administration, the Pentagon rescinded a longstanding ban on transgender troops from serving. Transgender service members have also filed suit in federal court to challenge the directive. Before doing so, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter conducted a study very much like Mattis's.

While policy "remaining in place" may sound different from President Donald Trump's trans military ban guidance-or that it freezes his ban altogether-it does not. At the last moment in June, he delayed the Pentagon's plan to accept new transgender troops. The August 25 Memorandum is perfectly clear: President Trump has ordered the military to ban transgender people from serving.

Gay and lesbian troops have been able to serve openly in the US military since 2011; transgender service members were allowed to do the same in 2016, through an order from then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

The panel will be drawn from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, but its members have yet to be named. The effective dates for all three changes are in 2018.

- 18 foreign countries permit transgender persons to serve openly in the military. But Mattis previously expressed skepticism toward that study's conclusions, according to the Washington Post, indicating he may be interested in research that leads the Pentagon to an alternate conclusion on transgender troops' military impact.

Mattis and the Department of Homeland Security must provide their recommendations on how to implement the transgender ban by February 21, 2018.

The future for transgender military service members became uncertain after Trump announced that he would reinstate a ban that had been previously lifted by the Obama administration.

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