An explosive memo has surfaced revealing that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doesn’t care if other countries force children to be soldiers.
There is a reason why the United States doesn’t give military aid to nations that recruit child soldiers. It undermines our world standing and makes us hypocrites on the issue of human rights.
Our country has a list of nations who are in violation of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act. Those nations are barred from receiving military aid from the United States. The list used to include Iraq, Afghanistan, and Myanmar. But Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has removed them from the list.
And he was accused of violating the law by 12 State Department officials in a “dissent” memo issued in July.
“Beyond contravening U.S. law, this decision risks marring the credibility of a broad range of State Department reports and analyses and has weakened one of the U.S. government’s primary diplomatic tools to deter governmental armed forces and government-supported armed groups from recruiting and using children in combat and support roles around the world.”
Tillerson apparently attempted to justify the decision to remove these nations early because they are “working” on ending the practice of recruiting child soldiers.
According to The Hill,
Tillerson’s adviser, Brian Hook, said in a Sept. 1 memo in response to the dissent memo that the countries removed from the list use child soldiers. But he said there was a difference between countries that are “making little or no effort to correct their child soldier violations…and those which are making sincere — if as yet incomplete — efforts.”
But Tillerson’s decision still broke the law. As long as child soldiers still exist in these countries, there is zero justification for removing them from the list.
Iraq, Afghanistan, and Myanmar would no longer have any incentive to end the practice because they can just take the military aid and run. So, taxpayers will end up giving money to nations that continue to use child soldiers, soldiers who could end up being used against us, which means our troops may be forced to kill children. And that’s something that should not be allowed to happen. Our men and women in uniform have enough to deal with without having to worry about dead children on their consciences. Many of them already come back home with suicidal thoughts and psychological traumas.
Surely, Donald Trump does not want his legacy to include the condoning of child soldiers. That being said, it’s time for Tillerson to resign or be fired. Allowing nations that recruit child soldiers to get military aid is shameful and only further erodes any respect we have left on the international stage.