Author Topic: Child Soldiers  (Read 39158 times)

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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2012, 22:51:34 »
You guys are missing the point. We all know you will follow legal orders and do your duty. That you may suffer from guilt/PTSD for those actions is in the future. You are not thinking about that as you do your duty.

Its the lefties, the media, Stapes and crew who will label you as baby killers, war criminals. They will do that to sell Tide detergent/Pepsi, newspapers, get on the MP gravy train of forming a government, get PM Harper.

They don't care about you in the least. You are nothing to them but a tool.

Old Sweat can correct me, but I believe the point of German SS troops as child soldiers is incorrect. For example the 12th SS Panzer Division in Normandy was made up of Hitler Youth who joined the SS when they became of age. The NCOs and Officers where Eastern Front veterans were no quarter was asked or given. Take fanatical  youth, all their lives indoctrinated re the master race, with battle hardened Eastern Front veterans and you get, not child soldiers. They were at least 17 YOA, and believed in their superiority.

Near the end, Germany "used" the 14/15 YOA and old guys like me.
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Offline cupper

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2012, 22:53:54 »

The practice of indoctrinating and employing child soldiers in any aspect of asymmetrical warfare must be something that the international community takes a firm stand (i.e. material action) against offending nation-states or non-nation organizations.  Sadly many children are irrecoverable by the time they are established in conflict, but the practice should be curbed so that others don't follow.

I read Long Way Gone a couple of years ago written by Ishmael Beah a former child soldier from Sierra Leon who was eventually rehabilitated, and move to the US.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/long-way-gone-ishmael-beah/1008037647?ean=9780374531263&itm=5&usri=child+soldiers+sierra+leone

It is an interesting read, and tells of the experiences that they go through and the difficulties of rehabilitation. 
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Offline jeffb

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2012, 22:59:05 »
You are correct. The 12th SS was comprised of 17 year old graduates of the Hitler Youth with a cadre of experienced NCO's and officers.

I get your point about the other impacts. I wanted to consider if there was a moral/ethical obligation here. I full appreciate and agree that the actuality of the killing of child soldiers would be extremely difficult order to give and to carry out.

It is so hard to really say what any of us would do without being in a situation like this but I would like to think that the reason that there are child soldiers in Africa right now is precisely because we have not faced the problem head on earlier.

I can't imagine a more nightmarish scenario for Canada to send it's soldiers into either politically, for the troops themselves or in the media. However, I also can't imagine a scenario more nightmarish then having a gang of thugs come to my house in the middle of the night, rape and kill my wife and then turn my child into a monster.

I don't think they've been mentioned yet but Dellaire's book They Fight like Soldiers, They die like children and the book by Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone both opened my eyes to how widespread this problem really is and the realities regarding who these children are.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2012, 23:02:36 »
Its the lefties, the media, Stapes and crew who will label you as baby killers, war criminals. They will do that to sell Tide detergent/Pepsi, newspapers, get on the MP gravy train of forming a government, get PM Harper.

They don't care about you in the least. You are nothing to them but a tool.

Those who will take the 'baby killers' line tend to be idiots who are only listened to in their own circle jerk. The more prominent ones - Staples, political figures, etc - tend to levy their criticism more at the originators of policy, particularly the Conservative government, and they do so more because that is what their conscience and principles dictate. I'm not going to dismiss their views quite so handily as you do- and they are, after all, Canadians as well whose opinions DO matter, to an extent, in what we commit our military to.

But no, I've spent more than half a decade at a very left wing university, have had discussions with a number of people- many to often be seen in orange shirts - have seen Staples speak, and so on and so forth. Their views tend neither to be as simplistic nor as blanket in their application as you would suggest. I've had many ask me about my experiences in Afghanistan and be openly critical of the mission, but none call me a war criminal.

I would very much hope that our involvement in a mission that committed us to direct combat against child soldiers would at least find a place in our discourse, even if it wasn't comfortable for those of us fighting it.  The 'national interest' is no easy thing to determine or aggregate, and all Canadians have something to say.

I also hope that, in the end, the point of view contending that something real and tangible must be done about the employment of children in this context would prevail. It's a hideous irony that to save more children, some might have to be destroyed to dismantle these groups...
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2012, 23:18:24 »
Well you hit the key: there is no national interest to deploy the CF in Africa. They may be a wish to deploy the CF to assist with a UN/NATO mission in Africa (Libya), but no Canadian national interest.

The Liberals committed the CF to Afghanistan. Once they were out of power some members of the LPC called the CF war criminals etc, parroted by the G & M, TS, CBC et el. The leader of the CPC did not stand up and say our members are wrong, the CF is doing their duty IAW the law.

Let the Chinese do it. They have no compulsion to not kill their own citizens, let alone black africans of any age.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2012, 23:36:14 »
Well you hit the key: there is no national interest to deploy the CF in Africa. They may be a wish to deploy the CF to assist with a UN/NATO mission in Africa (Libya), but no Canadian national interest.

That begs some questions, doesn't it? Is 'mere' humanitarian concern enough to constitute national interest? If not, what were we doing spending money bombing Libya or Kosovo- or sending troops to the FRY or what have you. Can humanitarianism be either a necessary and/or a sufficient cause for us to determine 'interests' are in play and it's worth a deployment? I honestly hope that yes, we will deem it to be worth fighting against atrocity merely for the sake of doing so- I'm not comfortable thinking that fears of small tragedy such as what we're speaking of would cause our nation to completely disengage from having a role to play, be it in Africa or what have you. I would suggest that there is a direct benefit to us, as a western nation, to be seen to do so when other countries do as well. IT's easy to be callous and disinterested after Somalia and Rwanda, but will history vindicate an isolationism in the face of crimes against humanity? I suspect not.

So where's the balance then? How much as we as Canadians willing to subject we as soldiers to, and for what benefit weighed against what risks? Is shooting indoctrinated kids in the face something so awful that it must necessarily be a no-go, even if it dooms another generation of them to face the same thing- and then are we complicit by inaction?

I'm not trying to lead with these questions, I'm more musing- though it definitely gives you a hint as to where I come from on my ideology and principles. I like to think that even in the face of really sick crap we'll try to do the right thing even at some cost to ourselves. I'm just too cynical to think that the decision making process will be as principled as the overall intent if we do head in the direction of continuing to contribute to intervention in humanity's darkest spots.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2012, 23:52:10 »
I used to train child soldiers in the British Army. School leavers - aged between 16 and 17 - before they were old enough to enter adult soldier recruit training. We even had an extra milk allowance for them.

How did they do? Excellent. And they were fanatics, because we trained them that way of course and they believed and did everything we said without a hint of cynicism or shirking. They did just about everything an adult soldier could do, but couldn't carry as much weight... so we were hungrier  ;D.

What happened to them? Many became the most outstanding SNCOs in the regiment/army.

What would I do if I was fighting against them? Slot them as fast as possible before they swarmed me and chopped off my soft bits. Think 'Chucky with pit bull tendencies'. No question.

And thanks to the wonder of Youtube, that's me, 4th in from the left at 6.23. Everyone of those Junior Parachute Company permanent staff members - except me and about 5 others - were just back from the Falklands War.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhrMWog9l-8&feature=related

And here's another clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc6RlbPi2FI

Fanatics, every single one, thank Gawd.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 00:37:09 by daftandbarmy »
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Online Good2Golf

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2012, 01:18:16 »
Well you hit the key: there is no national interest to deploy the CF in Africa. They may be a wish to deploy the CF to assist with a UN/NATO mission in Africa (Libya), but no Canadian national interest...

An interesting point, and one which forces many to consider the difference between national "interests" that may serve the Nation in a materialistic manner, and national "values" which (many of) the Nation's citizens believe to be the "right thing to do." 

Canada's large part to play in the establishment of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) reinforced Canadians' belief in general that there are cases internationally where there is a moral obligation to act against atrocities or contraventions of international law that do not pragmatically serve individual nations in a material manner.

As others have noted, whether the 'warm fuzzy' that Canadians would gain from seeing their (National) values supported/furthered by the elected government sending Canadian troops into an R2P-like situation would have to be considered in the context of the complete commitment of National support to those very soldiers sent into such an operation.  Would that happen?  I'm not sure it would across the board, but as many have noted, I do think that the Canadian public at large has proven itself reasonably capable at separating the individual soldier from the Government that makes policy that the soldier acts in support of.

Regards
G2G

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2012, 07:24:20 »
That begs some questions, doesn't it? Is 'mere' humanitarian concern enough to constitute national interest? ...


Yes, of course.

In Nov 1938 our newspapers were full of these headlines:



and these pictures:



We Canadians, my parents for sure, knew that there was a moral cause ... just as, maybe even more important than the strategic threat posed by Nazi Germany.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2012, 09:48:50 »
G2G:
Quote
Canada's large part to play in the establishment of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) reinforced Canadians' belief in general that there are cases internationally where there is a moral obligation to act against atrocities or contraventions of international law that do not pragmatically serve individual nations in a material manner.

It is not that simple. If it was, the CF would be in Syria now. We aren't for a lot of reasons besides not being able to do force projection.

The opposition/media would tear the CF apart in a witch hunt if "child soldiers" were shot at. If you don't believe that you are naive.

The opposition/media are always ready to manufacturer news/crises.

Rifleman62:

Quote
Right now, if :

- 2 PPCLI was somewhere in Africa, and following all the rules (anyone's: Canada/NATO/UN);
- fourteen boys, aged approximately 12 to 14 were wounded, with three mortally wounded after an armed attack on a element of Canadians delivering food aid;
-  two Canadian soldiers were wounded (none killed);
- the entire episode, from start to finish, was video taped by CBC, and witnessed by a G & M repeater; and
- the video clearly shows, beyond doubt, that the Canadians held their fire to the last instant, attempted,by whatever means to stop the attack, took two wounded, then fourteen individual  soldiers each took one shot only at their target (no sounds of "rapid" fire).

So where do you think the focus of the story would be? How would that video be edited? What part of the video would be repeated, and repeated (guess:the dead "boys", focusing on the youngest). The outrage of Iggy and Jack (and Quebec) would be bouncing off the rocky mountains.
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Offline Wookilar

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2012, 10:24:00 »
This was a very large part of our Combat Psychology course. We used an encounter the Brits had in Sierra Leone a few years ago.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/05/21/think_again_child_soldiers

"The British Army only recognized
the problem after one of its patrols was captured by child RUF soldiers in
Sierra Leone, having been hesitant to attack the under-15-year-olds. Britain later
used pyrotechnics and loud explosions in that conflict to induce panic among
the ill-trained youngsters, many of whom would simply run away."

The conclusions of the class were sharply delineated by experience level. My younger peers all said "shoot them." Us older ones all went "welllllll" and then the few CWO's and senior members taking the class had thoughts that went into the strategic level.

I've had kids point what looked like loaded weapons at me and have taken some not-exactly-in-my-precise-direction fire but I have never been involved in a 2-way range. Maybe my reactions would be coloured differently if I had of been, but I think I would be very similar to the British troops. I don't know if I would hesitate or not...which probably means that I would.

Now, there are always mitigating circumstances. Our posture, HumInt, Int on drug use, etc etc may make it easier (or maybe harder) to pull the trigger. But I don't think it's something I would be able to forget any time soon.

Wook
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Online Old Sweat

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2012, 10:29:18 »
Old Sweat can correct me, but I believe the point of German SS troops as child soldiers is incorrect. For example the 12th SS Panzer Division in Normandy was made up of Hitler Youth who joined the SS when they became of age. The NCOs and Officers where Eastern Front veterans were no quarter was asked or given. Take fanatical  youth, all their lives indoctrinated re the master race, with battle hardened Eastern Front veterans and you get, not child soldiers. They were at least 17 YOA, and believed in their superiority.

Near the end, Germany "used" the 14/15 YOA and old guys like me.

Correct. The Hitler Youth Division was built around a cadre of officers and NCOs from various Waffen SS organizations, but the 1st SS Panzer Division "Liebstandarte" probably was the greatest contributor. The men were 17- and 18-year-olds from the Hitler Youth who were concentrated in one formation instead of being distributed through the reinforcement system.

While there is a general discussion of the murders attributed to the division in my history of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, the actual situation was not as generally preceived. Murders were traced to both panzer grenadier regiments and the engineer and reconnaissance battalions. The worst offenders were 26 Panzer Grenadier Regiment and the 12 SS Reconnaissance Battalion, who committed most of the murders deliberately under orders of their chain of command. Kurt Meyer, who usually is singled out, actually was a minor player and there was very little evidence that he had ordered the relatively few murders at the Abbeye d'Ardenne. (sp?)

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2012, 10:33:04 »
That incident, as described by Wook, has been dramatized a couple of times. One I believe was "I Survived". The theme was used for a couple of episodes of "Soldier, Soldier" (a program even my wife enjoyed!!). The Major in command of the patrol was reprimanded for unprofessional conduct.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 11:30:48 by Rifleman62 »
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Offline winnipegoo7

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2012, 15:32:27 »
I can't help myself, but this makes me think of a movie.

Private Joker: "How can you shoot women or children? "
Door Gunner: "Easy! Ya just don't lead 'em so much! Ain't war hell?"

-Full Metal Jacket

Offline Colin P

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2012, 16:52:17 »
Hopefully the issue is resolved by a sniper with a clean shot, because if any ******* deserves to die, he is on the top of my list.

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2012, 18:06:28 »
G2G:
It is not that simple. If it was, the CF would be in Syria now. We aren't for a lot of reasons besides not being able to do force projection.

The opposition/media would tear the CF apart in a witch hunt if "child soldiers" were shot at. If you don't believe that you are naive...

Note that I didn't say that Canadians don't have the reputation of "picking and choosing" when or how they feel they should engage states that, amongst other things, use child soldiers...

Have no fear - no naiveté here...


Regards
G2G 

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2012, 23:02:00 »
I did not think so G2G.
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2012, 23:03:02 »
Hopefully the issue is resolved by a sniper with a clean shot, because if any ******* deserves to die, he is on the top of my list.

That would be a good resolution.
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Offline HollywoodCowboy

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #43 on: February 29, 2012, 17:41:06 »
IMHO

It all depends on the situation, killing anyone regardless of age sucks, we all signed that dotted line knowing full well what we would be getting into both physically and mentally.
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Offline Shipwreck

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2012, 13:35:32 »
It appears I'm not the only one thinking about this:
N/A

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Fighting child soldiers?
« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2012, 21:22:03 »
Quote
We fight this battle not for ourselves but for our children, and our childrens children. Which is why I'm forming a childrens brigade"

SVK
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Offline Vanquest

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Dealing with Child Soldiers on deployment
« Reply #46 on: November 29, 2017, 10:07:14 »
A discussion for any stories or personal experience you have when dealing with child soldiers overseas, and what it was like.
Note: Possible Deployment in Africa dealing with Child Soldiers soon.

Offline Vanquest

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Dealing With Child Soldiers
« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2017, 19:43:17 »
Stories, first hand or from what youve heard on dealing with child soldiers or child terrorists and what its like

Offline Q.Lamb

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Re: Dealing With Child Soldiers
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2017, 20:04:42 »
This post/question could have been made with a lot more tact. From my understanding (not a military member. BMQ Jan 2018, so no experience...) not many people will be willing to talk to you about anything related to the harshness of this particular subject. Not many want to take about the trials of deployment with family members, let alone on a public forum. I doubt you will get much from this thread.

If I'm wrong please someone correct me.

Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Child Soldiers
« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2017, 21:31:34 »
There's a doctrine written for it.  That's how we're going to handle it.

I have a feeling this is a troll post.