As U.S. Senators introduce a bill to cut off aid to nations using child soldiers, a U.S. military tribunal prepares to formally try a child "enemy combatant" for murder.
This charade ended with the cold war. Weak states that had been propped up by foreign aid and outside military assistance quickly collapsed. And Eastern bloc countries that had been cranking out Kalashnikovs for the Soviet Army had to find new markets. Africa, with its unpatrolled skies and endless shorelines, its gold mines and diamond mines and free-flowing cash economies, beckoned.
The result, Dr. Reno said, was that the political landscape opened up to well-armed opportunists, no longer inconvenienced by state regulations, state security or moral principles. “When there isn’t that big barrier anymore,” he said, “all these weird things start to happen.”
Like the use of child soldiers, who are often drawn into these movements, or kept there, with magic and superstition.
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