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Petraeus: Troops may not care if gay ban repealed

Gen. David Petraeus speaks at Princeton University's Alexander Hall during the school's Alumni Day in Princeton, N.J., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. Gen. David Petraeus speaks at Princeton University's Alexander Hall during the school's Alumni Day in Princeton, N.J., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
By Anne Gearan
AP National Security Writer / February 21, 2010

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WASHINGTON—The U.S. commander overseeing troops in Iraq and Afghanistan says he's not sure that troops in the field care about the sexual orientation of fellow service members.

Gen. David Petraeus (peh-TRAY'-uhs) says he's served alongside gays and lesbians, and what matters are someone's skills and smarts.

Petraeus tells NBC's "Meet The Press" that he supports Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plan to study how the ban could be repealed. Advocates for a quick repeal have said the yearlong review is a stalling tactic. But Petraeus says it's a good idea to look at potential problems.

He wouldn't give his personal opinion on whether the ban should be lifted. He says he'll do so when he testifies to Congress in the spring.