This Friday, the White House Press Secretary quietly released a presidential memorandum signed by President Obama that essentially overturns the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA), which criminalized the use of soldiers under the age of 15.
The law, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, gave the U.S. government authority to prosecute, deny entry, or deport anyone who knowingly recruited child soldiers.
The memorandum signed by Obama overturned this law’s sanctions with regards to Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen. So, apparently, child soldiers are ok in these countries, but nowhere else.
A presidential memorandum, in case you are wondering, is an order issued from the president to the executive branch. Since the sanctions in the CSPA were enforced by the executive branch, the memorandum makes them null and void since the executive branch will be longer allowed to enforce them.
I’m sure the cognitive dissonance will kick in and hard line Democrats, who are usually in favor of human rights, will find some way to justify Obama’s actions, but I don’t see how.
So what was the Administration’s motive for signing this memorandum? One possibility is money. With the stroke of a pen, Obama has allowed the U.S. military to sell weapons to the countries listed above even if they recruit child soldiers, which was previously prohibited. I’m sure this makes the weapons contractors and the military very happy.