Obama Renews Waiver of Child Soldiers Act With Presidential Memorandum

The President has just renewed rather gruesome thing, emphasis added:

Presidential Memorandum — Presidential Determination with respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT: Determination with Respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008

Pursuant to section 404 of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA) (title IV, Public Law 110-457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen; and further determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to allow for continued provision of International Military Education and Training funds and nonlethal Excess Defense Articles, and the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of U.S. origin defense articles; and I hereby waive such provisions accordingly.

You are authorized and directed to submit this determination to the Congress, along with the accompanying Memorandum of Justification, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register.


What the deuce?!  He signed this bill into law when he was in the Senate. How far we have come… and look, it’s tied to Yemen. Again. The bulk of the GITMO detainees are of Yemen origin and the ones listed to be released nearly all are.

Via ABC news:

Tens of millions of dollars of U.S. military financing will continue to flow to Yemen and three other countries that recruit and use child soldiers, despite a 2008 U.S. law designed to restrict U.S. taxpayer funding of foreign militaries that enlist children to fight in war.

The White House issued a memorandum Tuesday evening to allow military funding to Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Chad, three of the six countries on the State Department’s list of foreign governments that recruit and use child soldiers in state-backed armed forces and militias.

Human rights advocates say the presidential waivers, issued for a second year in a row, undermine the intentions of Congress.


The article goes on to do some cheer leading of this move citing the drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki – a U.S. Citizen and high level member of Al Qaeda. How that is an excuse to remove sanctions on child soldiers is beyond me. Here is Obama releasing adult prisoners to return to that life in Yemen and simultaneously removing restrictions (not that they were ever followed) on who they rebuild their army with when they return home.

More from the ABC article:

The State Department has requested $35 million in foreign military financing for the Yemeni government for the 2012 fiscal year. The aid represents one portion of the total military, security and other assistance to the country, which has exceeded $100 million annually in recent years.

Those are our tax dollars, folks. We saw what grateful allies they are.

Congress is ticked; Obama is doing all he can without them again:

Congress has no intention of letting this scenario play out again next year. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), vice chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, successfully added an amendment to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act reauthorization bill today that would force the administration to give Congress 15 days notice before issuing waivers for the child-soldier penalties. – The Cable, ForeignPolicy.com

Let Freedom Ring isn’t taking this lightly either:


Flashback to 2010, Robert Gates trots out and announces $150 million in aid to Yemen to fight terrorism. Clearly that worked since a year later, Gates comes out worried about a possible collapse of the Yemen government who now has $150 million of our dollars – or rather the former long-time President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, now probably has our $150 million. (Related: Yemeni Children Suffer U.S.-Funded Conflict)

Related Reading:

EXCLUSIVE: Guantánamo Scandal: The 40 Prisoners Still Held But Cleared for Release At Least Five Years Ago

Michelle Malkin » What’s behind Obama’s curious timing of Gitmo jihadist Omar Khadr’s release

Yemen To Get UAVs From The U.S.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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