I feel that Richards' focus is to dispute Kaplan's New Barbarism theory, and for the most part is successful. He contends that the youth involved in the war point to political causes as their reason for fighting. This is the crux of his argument, yet I feel his evidence is not necessarily in line with such a bold statement. Chapter Four outlines his findings regarding how young people experience and react to war in contemporary Africa. While I agree that the New Barbarism theory does not consider this aspect, I do not agree with Richards' argument that these young people who are fighting the power are fully conscious of the political ramifications. My interpretations of Richards' interviews form my opinion, as I understood many of the young soldiers (particularly one named "Charlie") to have joined based on sheer survival, not due to political loyalties. While Richards tediously delineates the conflict in Sierra Leone from any inkling of the New Barbarism theory, I find it difficult to follow his argument from the angle of what is and what is not political. Part of providing a counterattack on a theory or supplying fodder for an original theory is to disprove the argument and then build yours. I feel Richards has dismantled New Barbarism, but does not necessarily provide the reader with the proper tools and equipment to rebuild it.