American Warlord: A True Story by Johnny Dwyer:
The U.S. government gave Taylor a platform to pursue power at any cost. This was not by design but rather through indifference, negligence, and a failure to grasp who Taylor was. In the early 1990s—as genocide in the Balkans and Rwanda were confounding the international community—Taylor introduced the world to a new type of violence. Indelible images began appearing in the media: fetish-clad fighters and child soldiers fighting African peacekeepers on the outskirts of Monrovia; survivors of rebel attacks in the diamond fields of Sierra Leone, appearing in Freetown with their hands severed, lips cut off, and the initials RUF—for Taylor’s proxy army, the Revolutionary United Front—carved into their chests. The violence was unspeakable and unstoppable.