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Publisher's Summary

As the leader of the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda, Lieutenant-General Romo Dallaire came face-to-face with the horrifying reality of child soldiers during the genocide of 1994. Since then the incidence of child soldiers has proliferated in conflicts around the world: they are cheap, plentiful, expendable, with an incredible capacity, once drugged and brainwashed, for both loyalty and barbarism.

The dilemma of the adult soldier who faces them is poignantly expressed in this book's title: when children are shooting at you, they are soldiers, but as soon as they are wounded or killed, they are children once again. Believing that not one of us should tolerate a child being used in this fashion, Dallaire has made it his mission to end the use of child soldiers. Where Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone gave us wrenching testimony of the devastating experience of being a child soldier, Dallaire offers intellectually daring and enlightened approaches to the child soldier phenomenon, and insightful, empowering solutions to eradicate it.

©2010 Romeo A. Dallaire, L.Gen (ret) Inc., Foreword copyright 2010 Ishmael Beah, Illustrations copyright 2010 Ben Weeks (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Dallaire's Mission to End Use of Child Soldiers

I'm honored to be the first to review this book because he's one of my heroes. As he said in chapter 2 of this book, "...in conflicts around the world, especially in the African continent, if it's possible to use children as a weapon system it should be possible to neutralize this weapon system to end the use of child soldiers, not to eradicate the child, but to eradicate the use of these child soldiers in war...." In a nutshell, this book is an "attempt to decommission a weapons system, itself a crime against humanity, but nonetheless still used extensively in conflicts around the world...." This book answered a lot of the questions I had about his childhood and career as a military man. It's so easy to understand, informative, hopeful, creative, interesting, and the narrator is good. The book is clearly based on reality, but three chapters are imaginative. Highly recommended but don't stop here 'cause he also wrote Shake Hands With the Devil (about the Rwandan genocide) and Waiting for First Light (about his ongoing struggle with PTSD), which I hope will be on Audible soon.