Little more than five years ago, Liberia was emerging from fourteen years of brutal war and pillage that had left it in ruins. today, it has a democratically elected president, and the security sector is experiencing reforms that are unprecedented not only in the country, but in the world. Under cover of a 15,000-strong UN peacekeeping force, it drew both its army and defence ministry to zero, in order to recruit, vet and train the personnel for these institutions from the ground up. Such "root and branch" security sector reform (SSR) was bold. But, given the many abuses perpetrated by the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) both before and during the civil war, the vast majority of Liberians supported it.