It was a nation founded by slaves, who soon became the masters. From the beginning of Liberia, there was conflict between the American blacks sent “back” to Africa, and the natives who never left it. Like so many differences, this led to war—the rebellion led by Charles Taylor to overthrow Liberian leader Samuel Doe. But the fighting did not stay in Liberia. It triggered a domino effect, impacting the economies, lives and leaders of West Africa. This book is an army officer’s version of the causes of the political turbulence that hit the shores of the West African sub-region: the major players, the reasons for their actions, the victims and the extent of their pain. The Liberian crisis spilled over the Sierra Leone border, exposing the inefficiency of the West African peacekeeping force created to mediate the crisis. Limited by inexperience and geopolitical double standards, the peacekeeping force saw Samuel Doe killed in front of their eyes. The weak state of Sierra Leone’s army and its leadership left her borders vulnerable to insurgent attacks. The civil war became an economic opportunity for the sale of weapons, diamonds, mercenary services and a bargaining chip for negotiation. A military government led by young officers was born out of the chaos, a last resort for the endless economic hardship. This didn’t happen fifty years ago. Taylor’s rebellion began in 1990. His civil war was the first in Liberia, but not the last. The fighting raged into the 2000s, taking the lives of over 200,000. As in Darfur, history is now; may we learn from it.