A class urging senior US military officers to wage “total war” on Islam wasn’t just the work of one misguided teacher. According to an inquiry ordered by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it was the result of “institutional failures in oversight and judgment” at one of the military’s top educational institutions.
Those are the results of a months-long, military-wide review into the US armed forces’ educational programs. It followed a series of Danger Room articles on counter-terrorism training throughout the American government that sought to portray the world’s billion-plus Muslims as enemies of the United States.
The worst of those courses was taught at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. Titled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” the course began years ago as an inoffensive examination of the roots of violent extremism. But in later years, the class was “modified to adopt a teaching methodology that portrayed Islam almost entirely in a negative way,” said Col. Dave Lapan, a spokesman for Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation’s top military officer.
The instructor of the course, Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, spent weeks arguing that the US was at war with the Islamic faith. In planning for that war’s next phases, Dooley invited his students to use the lessons of “Hiroshima” to wipe out whole cities at once, and to target the “civilian population wherever necessary.”