By way of CJ:
It’s one thing to accidentally kill a child in the exchange of gunfire, but to actually have one in your sights and to pull the trigger is not something I think any Soldier is prepared for. They don’t train us to have to kill kids, but that’s the position the terrorists are putting us in. This story just really broke my heart.
The US military said on Saturday its soldiers shot dead a 12-year-old boy who tried to attack a joint American and Iraqi patrol with a grenade in the tense northern city of Mosul.
“Coalition forces fired on two of three individuals positively identified as involved in the attack, killing one, who they later discovered was a 12-year-old boy,” Master Sergeant Michael Wetzel told AFP.
“We have every reason to believe that insurgents are paying children to conduct these attacks or assist the attackers in some capacity, but undoubtedly placing the children in harm’s way,” he said, following Thursday’s shooting.
Read the rest HERE.
Foreign Policy has an interesting article on "Child Soldiers":
From Inside Gitmo:
In Afghanistan, a 14-year-old was responsible for the first killing of a NATO soldier -- likely just one of the estimated 8,000 child soldiers who do or have worked as part of the Taliban's forces.
Face to face with child soldiers in battle, Western military forces are often befuddled as to what to do. Should they engage, retreat, surrender, or attempt to disarm? The U.S. Army's war manual, for example, offers no guidance on rules of engagement. 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 biggest challenge of all in ending child soldiering lies in the types of conflicts that employ the young. Children tend to be recruited in brutal, long-running civil wars, the kind that simmer for years or even decades. Unfortunately, these wars constitute the main form of armed conflict today. Until they stop, the recruitment of children never will.
There are many articles and reports documenting the use of child soldierssome as young as just six years oldin Afghanistan and Iraq. Some selections covering this problem during the early days of the war in Afghanistan include Hannah Beech Farkhar, The Child Soldiers, Time, November 4, 2001; Rachel Stohl, Children on the Front Line: Child Soldiers in Afghanistan, Center for Defense Information, October 15, 2001; and David Rohde, 12 Year Olds Take Up Arms Against Taliban, New York Times, October 2, 2001. More recent articles of interest on this subject include Monte Morin, Taliban Recruiting Afghan Children for Suicide Bombings, Stars and Stripes, June 27, 2007; Marc Perelman, A New, Younger Jihadi Threat Emerges, Christian Science Monitor, December 28, 2007; Nick Owens, Child Soldiers Trained by the Taliban to Kill British Soldiers, Mirror.co.uk, February 8, 2008; and Juvenile Detainees Gain Second Chance through Dar Al-Hikmah from the Operation Iraqi Freedom Official Website of the Multi-National Force Iraq, August 17, 2007. Videos of child soldiers, including six-year-old Juma Gul, who had been tricked by the Taliban into wearing a suicide vest and instructed to throw himself at U.S. soldiers, can be found by typing child soldiers Taliban into the search box at YouTube.com.
Also read: Gitmo detainee supposedly 12 years old when captured and held for 6 years.