Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Child Soldiers

The use of child soldiers is not a new issue or area of concern, so I won’t go into the matter here, except on one point that comes to mind. It is said that children are very impressionable and malleable, which makes it easy for military forces or warlords or whatever to mold them into killers. Certainly that is true. But are people as young as 18 — legal age for combat in the US and UK — not susceptible?

Having been in the military myself, I can tell you that 18- and 19-year-olds are amazingly easy to brainwash. If being responsible for one’s actions, being mature, shall we say, is a criterion, I think an age closer to 30 would be appropriate. But that would never be chosen as the minimum age for draft or enlistment because in truth military forces need young, strong bodies and easily influenced minds.

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