Accession Number:

ADA463231

Title:

Killing Them Softly: At War with Children

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-05-17

Pagination or Media Count:

27.0

Abstract:

Children have been present in some capacity on almost every battlefield in every era. Today more than 300,000 child soldiers, boys and girls, are serving as armed hostile combatants in insurgencies, civil wars, and other conflicts on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. The U.S. military and other military forces have already found themselves in battle with underage combatants -- with varying degrees of success. This likelihood will only continue to increase as professional soldiers engage in peacekeeping operations and military operations other than war. The phenomena of child soldiers must factor into all facets of military combat doctrine, training, and weapons technology. A multi-phased predeployment to post-engagement approach that incorporates clear legal guidelines, tailored training, advanced planning, critical intelligence, and the employment of non-lethal weapons can effectively prepare troops to take some of the guesswork out of potentially deadly confrontations with underage combatants. Further, such an approach will allow troops to respond effectively and appropriately to the threat posed by child soldiers and reduce or eliminate the potential for demoralizing aftereffects on the adult professional soldier.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE