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In South Sudan, a new approach in ending child soldiers’ use

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In South Sudan a new approach in ending child soldiers use

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — After coming face to face with “unpredictable” gun-waving children almost 25 years ago, the former commander of the failed U.N. peacekeeping mission during the Rwandan genocide dedicated his life to eliminating the use of children as weapons of war.

In an interview with The Associated Press in civil war-torn South Sudan, Romeo Dallaire, who is widely known for warning the U.N. about Rwanda’s massacre in 1994, said the current approach to combatting child soldier recruitment is not “sufficient.” Local security forces must be part of the solution, he said.

“My personal experiences of having to negotiate with, having to face children with weapons … may not have been the right way of doing it,” Dallaire said.

His visit marked the launch of a three-year-program by the Canada-based Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. The $2.2 million project funded by Global Affairs Canada aims to work with at least 1,200 South Sudanese soldiers, police and prison personnel. The first round of training will include 50 senior army officers.

With 19,000 children associated with armed groups, South Sudan has one of the world’s highest rates of child soldiers, according to the U.N.

Almost 6,000 child soldiers were recruited by government and opposition forces in the past four years of fighting, according to a U.N. report released in September.

“The figures are unacceptably high,” Virginia Gamba, the new U.N. chief for children and armed conflict, said during a recent visit.

South Sudan leads the world with the highest number of child soldiers released, but rapid rates of recruitment are stifling progress. In the last two years UNICEF facilitated the release of over 900 child soldiers yet more than 1,650 children were recruited by armed groups over approximately the same period, according to the U.N.

“These kids’ families were poor when they left and they’re still poor when they go back, so kids return to the army once released,” William Deng Deng, chairman for South Sudan’s national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration commission, told AP. While it’s not government policy to recruit children, Deng said it happens because youth socialize with armed groups in their communities.

In an attempt to break this cycle, the Dallaire initiative keeps in mind the realities that both soldiers and children face in conflict. By providing guidance to soldiers on how to interact with children in specific scenarios, the training focuses on behavior change, said Shelly Whitman, the executive director.

“We don’t come in to do the finger-pointing. We come in to say, ‘How can we help change that?’” Whitman said.

One expert said that while persuading armed groups not to recruit children is an important step, the issue can only be addressed as part of a broader protection strategy.

“That’s the mistake that international donor governments continue to make, to believe that complex development challenges like the phenomena of child soldiers can be addressed with one-off interventions and innovations over a short funding cycle. It can’t,” said Samantha Nutt, founder of War Child USA, an organization that supports children and families in war zones.

The Dallaire initiative comes during South Sudan’s latest fragile attempt at peace, with opposition leader Riek Machar once again to serve as President Salva Kiir’s deputy in their third attempt at working together since the country gained independence in 2011.

Dallaire said he hopes his initiative, which already operates in several countries and plans to launch in Nigeria, Sudan and Congo, will advance the peace efforts. He said any force in South Sudan that even considers working with child soldiers should instead see children as a “liability to their engagement in the peace process.”

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Foreign Affairs

Russia threatens new crisis in Cuba as warship harbors in Havana

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Russia threatens new crisis in Cuba as warship harbors in Havana

Russia is revving up the engines of the new Cold War as it sends a state-of-the-art warship armed with cruise missiles to Havana, Cuba, around 90 miles from the shores of Florida. This latest provocation marks the closest Russia has come to garnering a response from the United States over its combative measures to counter America’s alleged ramping up of aggression in Europe.

Neither side believes they are being the aggressor. Neither side is willing to back down.

This is significant for two reasons. First, the presence of a ship capable of completely leveling a small city by the sea is more than just an exercise. It’s a clear statement to the Trump administration that they do not want troops and, most importantly, nuclear weapons in the Europe. Second, it’s a departure from standard operating procedure for Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been reluctant to participate in Cuba at all in recent years.

But Cuba’s strategic importance cannot be overstated. Russia invoking their ally that is closest to the United States is an unambiguous warning.

Russia knows the Trump administration is juggling balls on multiple fronts right now. They are pushing their aggression towards him in hopes of subverting his presidency and sowing grievances already seeded in America.

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Democrats

Tulsi doubles down

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Tulsi doubles down

SETTING THE SCENE

Presidential candidates and other politicians cannot rely upon consensus to determine which path to take. But they do need to listen to what the people are saying.

Tulsi Gabbard is more than just a presidential candidate and a politician. There is no realistic expectation that the Democratic National Committee will rein her in for her campaign rhetoric. Likewise, there is zero possibility that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi cares what Congresswoman Gabbard says or does.

So if she were just a presidential candidate and a member of Congress, there would be no need for this concern over her extreme comments. But she is also a commissioned officer in Hawaii National Guard. That is a different matter altogether.

SEQUENCE TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE SITUATION

First, watch this latest in a nearly daily stream of videos which she is putting out:

Second, read our previous warnings:

Missed signals can lead to tragedy!

Third, read this article which focuses upon Major Tulsi Gabbard and the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

Tulsi and UCMJ

Fourth, read our recent retrospective on the threat posed by Iran:

Where were you?

Fifth, to dispel any notion that we are now just making an apologetic on behalf of Donald Trump, read this one:

Cults of personality and the U.S. presidency

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Then you will be prepared to take action and contact Major Tulsi Gabbard’s chain-of-command to demand accountability from them that she be kept in compliance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Hawaii Army National Guard Commander
Deputy Hawaii Adjutant General
Brigadier General Kenneth S. Hara

Gen Hara

Hawaii Army National Guard
Commander and Chief of Staff Offices
91-1227 Enterprise Avenue
Kapolei, HI 96707
Phone: (808) 672-1012
Fax: (808) 672-1252

Hawaii Adjutant General
Major General Arthur “Joe” Logan

Hawaii Governor
David Y. Ige

A VERY BIG “IF”

IF Major Gabbard were to be called to active duty for a conflict against Iran, her condemnation of Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton would most definitely make her a national security risk. So would her outspoken support of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange along with her inability to comprehend the significance and consequences of compromising classified information in a war zone.

If you send her there, you better watch her like a hawk!

RESPONSIBLE FEDERAL AUTHORITIES

Military echelons of command at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, U.S. Army Pacific, U S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of the Army, Secretary of Defense and ultimately President of the United States must take heed of the extreme bizarre rhetoric of Major Tulsi Gabbard.

Though not in her chain of command, but as target of her unfounded accusations, National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House National Security Council should also be alert to what she is saying.

Force protection and security of national secrets are of paramount importance and all necessary measures must be taken to ensure that a rogue officer does not compromise them to further her own political ambitions.

Remember, those in positions of authority and responsibility were forewarned what Major Nidal Hasan was spewing forth before he committed the Fort Hood massacre of his fellow soldiers. Nobody is suggesting that Major Tulsi Gabbard is a threat to do something of that nature.

CONSEQUENCES OF INACTION

But if nothing is done about her constant videos and other statements condemning her Commander-in-Chief and National Security Advisor in which she paints them as warmongers and portrays Iran as the victim, somebody is going to have a lot of explaining to do if she ever translates her words into actions, whatever those actions might be.

NOQ Report continues to make the clarion call for alertness and situational awareness. You won’t be able to claim you weren’t warned in advance to adequately vet Major Tulsi Gabbard.

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Democrats

Maxine Waters repeats Iranian talking points while pretending to represent Americans

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Maxine Waters repeats Iranian talking points while pretending to be representing Americans

Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) is arguably the least honest person on Capitol Hill, and that’s saying a lot. Her latest display of late-stage Trump Derangement Syndrome came in the form of a Tweet that ignores American intelligence reports while calling the leaders of our armed forces liars. Instead, she chose to get her talking points directly from Iran.

You can’t make this up.

All indicators from the Pentagon verify that the American drone Iran shot down last week was in international airspace flying over the Strait of Hormuz. This report, repeated by multiple domestic news agencies and confirmed by our military leaders, also happens to jibe with common sense following the bombing of two oil tankers in the area.

But instead of listening to the official report or abiding by the word of our armed services, the Congresswoman decided it was better to echo the talking points of our enemies in Iran and repeat the claims made by Iranian state-run media.

Only California would continuously elect such an anti-American representative. It’s time for everyone in the 43 district, including Democrats, to take a long look at Omar Navarro.

Her freshman colleague, Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), called her out for taking the word of the enemy instead of accepting the truth from our own military. Maxine Waters will side with anyone, even Iran, who goes against the President.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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