UK & World News
Military Course Called For 'Muslim Hiroshima'
A course for the US military, which called for Muslim cities to be obliterated "like Hiroshima", has been suspended by the Pentagon.
Details of some of the inflammatory language used on the course, which was taught at the Joint Forces Staff College in Virginia, have been posted online.
It teaches that America's enemy is Islam in general and not just terrorists and calls for a "total war".
"They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit," the course instructor Army Lt Col Matthew Dooley said in a presentation for the course last July.
Lt Col Dooley, who served in Bosnia and Iraq and won a Bronze Star Medal, still works for the college but is no longer teaching.
America's most senior military officer has now ordered an investigation and a review of all education materials.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said: "It was totally objectionable, against our values, and it wasn't academically sound."
The college, for professional military members, teaches mid-level officers and government civilians on planning and executing war.
In one exercise, the course presumed that the Geneva Conventions, which sets standards of armed conflict, were "no longer relevant".
It adds: "This would leave open the option once again of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable...)."
His war plan suggests possible outcomes such as "Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation... Islam reduced to cult status" and the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia "destroyed".
A former assistant defence secretary has told Sky News there is a link between this kind of course and the incidents of US forces destroying copies of the Koran and mistreating Afghan corpses.
Lawrence Korb said: "If you feel that the enemy is not al Qaeda or the Taliban but is Islam, when you see something like the Koran you say, 'Well, this is part of the enemy' rather than something that is sacred to people who are not your enemy.
"The fact that this climate is created makes these incidents more likely."
Last year, the White House ordered a review of government teaching materials after courses run by the FBI were found to contain anti-Islamic sentiments.
Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told Sky: "When we see top leaders of the military in the future being trained by these kinds of people, absorbing this kind of misinformation and agenda-driven polemics, it is inevitably going to have a negative impact down the road.
"It hurts our society, it hurts our nation's image and it hurts our nation's security by creating the false impression that America is at war with Islam and not just terrorists who seek to do us harm."
The course on Islam was an elective one and not part of the required core curriculum.
It was offered five times a year, with about 20 students each time, meaning roughly 800 students have taken the course since it began in 2004.