Conflict & Justice

Pentagon slams 'war on Islam' course in US


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey speaks during a press briefing with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, May 10, 2012.



America’s most senior military officer has condemned a course taught at a US military college in Virginia that advocated a “total war” against Muslims.

General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the voluntary course – which also suggested possible nuclear strikes on cities holy to Islam such as Mecca – was “totally objectionable,” “against our values,” and not “academically sound,” the BBC reports.

A full investigation was ordered into the course – which has now been suspended – after one of the students objected to the training material in late April, Dempsey added. The Pentagon hopes a full report will be out by the end of the month.

While hundreds of officers would have taken the course since it started being offered in 2004, it is unclear how long the material identified as objectionable has been on the curriculum, according to Reuters.

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The story broke after a presentation of the course material was posted on’s Danger Room blog.

In a presentation last July at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, which teaches subjects related to planning and executing war to mid-level officers and government civilians, the instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, said: “They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit,” the Associated Press reports.

He added that, for the purposes of a theoretical war plan, international laws protecting civilians in armed conflict such as the Geneva Conventions were “no longer relevant,” leaving open the option of “taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable to the Mecca and Medina destruction decision point).” 

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