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The United States has the biggest, most efficiently organized, most effective system for recruiting child soldiers in the world. Its major public face is the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.

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This Memorial Day, there will undoubtedly be much cant in the form of tributes to “our heroes” and then, Tuesday morning, when the mangled cars have been towed away, the barbecue grills cleaned, and the “heroes” set aside, the forgetting will continue.

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Donald Rumsfeld paid a visit to a missile defense interceptor site on Sunday, and managed limited praise for the failure-ridden program. The Bush administration, which deployed the system before testing was complete, has plans for expansion with a new base in Europe.

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Want to know some of the main reasons Hezbollah commands so much respect in Lebanon? "They cover medical bills, offer health insurance, pay school fees and make seed money available for small businesses. They are invisible but omnipresent, providing essential services that the Lebanese government through years of war was incapable of offering."

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