Examines why many governments, rebels, and terrorist organizations are using children as soldiers. Despite the supposed taboo against the practice, many governments, rebels, and terrorist groups use children in war to spy and kill. In Tools of War, Tools of State, Robert Tynes examines this complex problem, demonstrating that the modern use of children in war is a tactical innovation. He discusses how boys and girls on the battlefield bolster troop size, create moral dilemmas, and deepen the level of fear. He also reveals how the practice has become an essential component for groups such as ISIS and al-Shabaab, in their state-making projects. Using statistical methods to analyze conflicts from 1987 to 2007, Tynes shows how widespread child soldier use is and confirms the theory that it is tactically advantageous. Through historical analysis, he explains how child soldiering developed out of Mao’s protracted war theory and the militarization of youth during the twentieth century. A case study of the civil war in Sierra Leone, which details the brutality involved when children are forced to fight, is included.
“Robert Tynes has written the most comprehensive and thorough explanation to date of how and why children become involved in war. Examining the problem from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives, he does a superb job of showing the ways in which children are exploited by states and nonstate actors to carry out the most heinous forms of political violence.” — Mia Bloom, author of Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror and Bombshell: Women and Terrorism
“Tools of War, Tools of State explores the often overlooked but extremely important issue of the use of child soldiers, shedding light on why insurgents are motivated to bring children into their ranks, give them guns, and put them on the battlefield.” — Victor Asal, author of Legal Path Dependence and the Long Arm of the Religious State: Sodomy Provisions and Gay Rights across Nations and over Time
“Robert Tynes makes an important contribution to one of the most critical humanitarian issues of our time: the use of child soldiers in combat. He does a masterful job examining why both governments and rebel groups choose to use child soldiers and exploring his innovative argument using a range of methods from ethnographic interviews and case studies to network and regression analyses. The book will be of interest to academics, students, and policy professionals.” — David L. Rousseau, author of Democracy and War: Institutions, Norms, and the Evolution of International Conflict
About the author
Robert Tynes is Associate Director of Research and Site Director for the Bard Prison Initiative at Bard College.
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