So says Marc Ambinder:

For 17 years, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy has grabbed thousands of gay soldiers by their collars and thrown them out of the military. By this time next year, that policy will be gone. Gay people will be openly serving in the United States Armed Forces. You might be forgiven for disbelieving that prediction, especially given the angry broadsides that gay rights activists are directing at the White House. ...
Obama has said that he wants gays integrated into the military in the right way -- in a way that builds on a foundation of legitimacy that only the Pentagon brass can create. And the time frame for repealing the ban was determined on the basis of what Sec. Gates and Adm. Mullen need in order to build that legitimacy.
That's not an answer that soldiers dismissed under Don't Ask, Don't Tell like to hear, and they've got every right to be angry. But it's a strategy that will repeal DADT in a way such that no subsequent president could reverse the ban by executive order. It will be permanent. The Pentagon is expected to present the findings of its internal study in September, and the Senate will vote on a repeal either in the rump session of Congress late in 2010 or early in 2011. That's the track. It's getting done.