For the second year in a row, the Obama administration has waived financial penalties for countries that enslave children and turn them into soldiers, ensuring that tens of millions of U.S. tax dollars will continue to be used by those who support the brutish practice.
In a Tuesday meeting described by Foreign Policy magazine, White House officials explained that the waivers for the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 were handed out again this year because many of the offending countries did not have enough time to comply with its requirements. Others, they said, were exempt from the law because they were incorporated just recently.
The law was intended to prevent any military aid from going to support the use of child soldiers, yet in South Sudan, over $100 million in military aid will go to support the new nation’s military, which has a long history of conscripting children.
In Yemen, as well, another $35 million will be given to the country’s military, ostensibly to foster continued support of America’s terror war — yet, Foreign Policy notes that the U.S. State Department actually admitted that they don’t know for sure who really controls Yemen’s fighters.
Other countries exempted from the laws include Chad, which the administration said has taken dramatic steps toward eliminating the practice, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which was given a partial waiver that will still allow their soldiers to be trained by the U.S. military — despite the continued presence of child soldiers.