The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday ordered the entire U.S. military to scour its training material to ensure it doesn’t contain anti-Islamic content, Danger Room has learned. The order came after the Pentagon suspended a course for senior officers that was found to contain derogatory material about Islam.
The extraordinary order by General Martin Dempsey, the highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. armed forces, was prompted by content in a course titled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” that was presented as an elective at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. The course instructed captains, commanders, lieutenant colonels and colonels from across all four armed services that “Islam had already declared war on the West,” said Lt. Gen. George Flynn, Dempsey’s deputy for training and education.
“It was inflammatory,” Flynn told Danger Room on Tuesday. “We said, ‘Wait a second, that’s really not what we’re talking about.’ That is not how we view this problem or the challenges we have in the world today.”
The strong response by the Pentagon brass illustrates growing sensitivity around the issue since Danger Room’s investigation of anti-Islam material in the FBI’s counterterrorism training last September. That story sparked strong condemnation of the training material from the U.S. Attorney General on down, and prompted the White House to order a review of U.S. counterterrorism training last October.
Despite that White House order, the “Perspectives” course, taught since 2004, not only evaded review, but had defenders in the Joint Forces Staff College that taught it.
I may not agree with everything Ackerman believes about the Obama administration's domestic policy, but he's been the most solid foreign policy, military, and national security beat reporter out there for some time, so when he delivers an article of this magnitude, it's worth your time to go read the whole thing.
As far as the Pentagon goes? About damned time. Reversing a decade of "raghead sunzabitches" as DoD policy always had to be a vital step towards our evolution in dealing with the Middle East. Good for General Dempsey. That's a strong message, and one that needs to be reinforced at every opportunity.