(The Globe and Mail) – Retired general Roméo Dallaire says he believes Canadian troops will be mentally and tactically prepared to handle encounters with child soldiers on future deployments – such as a Mali peacekeeping commitment Ottawa is considering – as long as pre-mission training reflects a new Forces directive on dealing with underage combatants. He said Canadian soldiers must learn how to defuse or de-escalate confrontations with child soldiers rather than withdraw from such incidents. Otherwise, he said, they play into the hands of belligerent forces who use children to fight precisely because unprepared foreign troops are reluctant to shoot children and confused about how to deal with them. “Pulling away … has been so much the norm and gives the advantage to the guy who is recruiting these kids.”