The Start of Third Generation DDR Policy

Timothy Koch, graduate student of international affairs at The New School

The third generation of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) has increasingly been framed within the rubric of the emergence of a “radical religious” aspect to conflict.  This concept is not foreign to conflict in general, however; as a misnomer it is a defining feature of today’s conflicts.  This notion has created a need for DDR practitioners to address the ideology of conflict in order to maximize success within the world of DDR.

            Groups such as Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and the Islamic State hold their perverse interpretation of religious identity as an integral part to their group, and its ability to recruit and sustain violence.  In fact, these groups often cite religion as a prime mover for waging war.  While these groups would have people believe they are practitioners of religions, such as Islam, it is easy to see that any radical religious group with a zealous and misinterpreted ideology can take on this role.  We have seen examples in the past such as the Branch Davidians Waco, Texas who were stockpiling enormous amounts of weapons in preparation for a type of holy war or day of reckoning. 

            This aspect of conflict must be understood in order to DDR these groups.  DDR practitioners must attempt to reframe religious ideology and beliefs to their own advantage in attempts to dissuade ‘formers’ from these groups from committing acts. of violence as a means of political or social dissent.  It would be useful for DDR teams to integrate religious surrogates or experts in their practices in an attempt to produce material, and expand discourse around religious ideology and philosophies.  Formers and religious scholars acting as surrogates could gain more respect and hold much more weight in their conversation and negotiation skills in terms of discussing religion. 

            It is easy to see that DDR practitioners cannot treat these groups like the freedom fighters of generation one or the rebel groups of generation two.  These groups are of a different character, and because their religious ideology is such an important part to their personal and group identity it must be addressed.  These groups have a perverse and twisted idea regarding their religion and the rest of the world, and some moderately orientation surrogates cab assist in reform and ‘deradicalization’ efforts through a reorientation in their own religion.  These formally non-conventional groups are becoming the norm of today and we must take adequate steps to combat them and we must create relevant DDR policies and guidelines to provide a road map to DDR them.  The idea of a religious surrogate within the DDR team must be included in these policies and guidelines.

Countering Violent Extremism

Sam Trudeau

Countering Violent Extremism

The radicalization of armed groups is one of the more pressing challenges facing third generation DDR. The shift in the character of conflicts since the early to mid-2000s has been marked by the growing presence of armed extremist groups operating in intra-state wars, a reality that has repeatedly challenged peacekeeping and peace building operations mandated by international bodies like the United Nations Security Council. Security Council members have usually sought to exclude radicalized groups from Comprehensive Peace Agreements (CPA) and participation in Council mandated DDR initiatives. Instead, these groups are usually dealt with through military means that aim to disrupt and degrade their capabilities in the hopes of ultimately ending their operations permanently. Yet armed extremist fighters have proven resilient and demonstrated a capacity to regroup after essentially waiting-out the military operations targeting them. The transnational nature of many of these groups and the porous borders in many conflict zones have facilitated these tactics.

 

Groups such as Al Shaabab in Somalia have been able to regroup and carry out operations in neighboring countries such as Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia. Mali-based groups such as Ansar al Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) have been able to do the same in Algeria, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. These armed extremists have consequently been able to repeatedly act as spoilers to state and peace building initiatives in both countries after having weathered military pushes to defeat and dislodge them. This game of cat and mouse between local and international military missions targeting armed extremist groups seems to highlight the fact that combatants attached to armed ideological movements are at times driven by political grievances that cannot simply be disappeared through the use of force. In many cases, the cycle of violence seems likely to continue and further perpetuate violent extremism if a political space to express legitimate grievances is not created in a manner that engages the individuals that make up these groups. Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiatives have been identified as a tool that might help create an opening, at least in certain cases, to include individuals in these groups into the reintegration processes of DDR initiatives. The challenge seems to be identifying instances where military and counterterrorism operations can be coupled with DDR to defuse violent extremism and under what conditions creating a political space is appropriate.

 

In Somalia for instance, efforts have been made to engage with rank and file members of Al Shaabab who have disbanded from the group. In theory, allowing these individuals to participate in DDR reintegration processes with a CVE component focusing on de-radicalization, while at the same time affording them the opportunity to engage in a political process that2 addresses legitimate grievances, can be understood as promoting political agency to tackle radicalization.

In practice however, such initiatives have to be carefully calibrated to the political and social realities on the ground if they are expected to facilitate true social reintegration. In Mali, individuals and communities associated with radicalized groups were given the opportunity to disassociate themselves from Ansar al Dine and MUJAO and join the CPA under broad coalitions. Yet, this process was hampered by a lack of political will towards the CPA that left DDR processes stalled. These types of delays have proven detrimental DDR and led individuals and communities to return to radicalized armed groups. In this context, CVE might help prevent the slide back towards extremism, but ultimately the speed of implementation and political will of actors are crucial to a achieving long-lasting outcomes.

Sam Trudeau

 

Countering Violent Extremism

 

The radicalization of armed groups is one of the more pressing challenges facing third generation DDR. The shift in the character of conflicts since the early to mid-2000s has been marked by the growing presence of armed extremist groups operating in intra-state wars, a reality that has repeatedly challenged peacekeeping and peace building operations mandated by international bodies like the United Nations Security Council. Security Council members have usually sought to exclude radicalized groups from Comprehensive Peace Agreements (CPA) and participation in Council mandated DDR initiatives. Instead, these groups are usually dealt with through military means that aim to disrupt and degrade their capabilities in the hopes of ultimately ending their operations permanently. Yet armed extremist fighters have proven resilient and demonstrated a capacity to regroup after essentially waiting-out the military operations targeting them. The transnational nature of many of these groups and the porous borders in many conflict zones have facilitated these tactics.

 

Groups such as Al Shaabab in Somalia have been able to regroup and carry out operations in neighboring countries such as Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia. Mali-based groups such as Ansar al Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) have been able to do the same in Algeria, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. These armed extremists have consequently been able to repeatedly act as spoilers to state and peace building initiatives in both countries after having weathered military pushes to defeat and dislodge them. This game of cat and mouse between local and international military missions targeting armed extremist groups seems to highlight the fact that combatants attached to armed ideological movements are at times driven by political grievances that cannot simply be disappeared through the use of force. In many cases, the cycle of violence seems likely to continue and further perpetuate violent extremism if a political space to express legitimate grievances is not created in a manner that engages the individuals that make up these groups. Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiatives have been identified as a tool that might help create an opening, at least in certain cases, to include individuals in these groups into the reintegration processes of DDR initiatives. The challenge seems to be identifying instances where military and counterterrorism operations can be coupled with DDR to defuse violent extremism and under what conditions creating a political space is appropriate.

 

In Somalia for instance, efforts have been made to engage with rank and file members of Al Shaabab who have disbanded from the group. In theory, allowing these individuals to participate in DDR reintegration processes with a CVE component focusing on de-radicalization, while at the same time affording them the opportunity to engage in a political process that2 addresses legitimate grievances, can be understood as promoting political agency to tackle radicalization.

In practice however, such initiatives have to be carefully calibrated to the political and social realities on the ground if they are expected to facilitate true social reintegration. In Mali, individuals and communities associated with radicalized groups were given the opportunity to disassociate themselves from Ansar al Dine and MUJAO and join the CPA under broad coalitions. Yet, this process was hampered by a lack of political will towards the CPA that left DDR processes stalled. These types of delays have proven detrimental DDR and led individuals and communities to return to radicalized armed groups. In this context, CVE might help prevent the slide back towards extremism, but ultimately the speed of implementation and political will of actors are crucial to a achieving long-lasting outcomes.

Should DDR only apply to societies in post conflict situations? 

Submitted by: Llaura Garcia

The Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) is a reintegration program implemented in Afghanistan to help create and stabilize peace. The program is about building a better future by creating peace in the region and reintegrating ex-combatants into the community. The strategy of the APRP is available to all who are willing to join in rebuilding Afghanistan through peace and accepting the constitution. APRP is providing a better alternative to fighting. The program is about renouncing violence, transparency by those who govern, working together, training, addressing grievances, outreach, different reintegration packages, and overall –building a community. Overall, the framework of the program seems sound that it provides structure, balance, and vision for what the programs wants to accomplish for the Afghan people.

While I believe that this program will take a very long time for the process to be completed, APRP has a good vision and structure to move forward and eventually accomplish its goal. I believe that while the reintegration packages are different, the programs will provide training, education, and a chance for the people and the ex-combatants to move forward as a united group of people. In reading this and other programs about DDR, what struck me is that these packages of reintegration are being done only in post conflict situations. I wonder why can’t there be some sort of “preemptive” reintegration in areas that has deep divisions in societies.

In the aftermath of the US elections, many are shocked and many were saddened or angered by the results. How is it related? The results show deep division in society and the world overall. While the conflict and division may not lead to an all-out war, it does incite hate which translate back to areas where there are deep divisions and conflict. Here in the US, minorities are being harassed and even attacked for just being who they are and in Britain, minorities are being attacked as well. Many believe that the hate being incited by the government officials are inconsequential to the good that they will do for the country but is that really the truth? While I believe that not all Trump supporters are racists bigots, they are slightly giving the nod that the words that came out of Mr. Trump’s mouth is acceptable. It’s not bad enough that the country is still having racism issues but to have a President of the United States –the highest and probably one of the most prestigious titles in the world incite violence or hate is just frightening.

Since the end of the last election, a friend of mine wearing a hijab was told to “go home,” a coworker’s family was worried that they might get deported, and so many other examples of hate all over the world. So how is this related to DDR? Reintegration. Some of the mechanisms used in the reintegration packages should be highly recommended to these “modern society” to help bridge the gap. The funding will of course come from their governments but the fact if that not all post-conflict areas are the only ones that needs to have reintegration packages. I believe that given the state of the world and so many hateful actions reported and even caught on tape, I believe that countries should implement their own reintegration package to help bridge the gap between and to truly move forward as a united nation.

Jail: Jihad’s New Recruitment Center

Jail: Jihad’s New Recruitment Center

By Tamara Dickey

Reintegration of ex-Violent Extremists (VE) rarely occurs without intervention programs, many of which include forms of deradicalization and/or disengagement from terrorist organizations.  Most often states’ primary engagement with VEs is when they are detained or in prison.  Unfortunately, a broad general analysis of prisons has shown that many lack policies, capacity, and intention in their role on Countering Violent Extremists (CVE).  Prisons, in both Western and non-Western states, have recently been identified as incubators for terrorist if detainees and prisoners are not handled tactically.  Detention centers, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, have also been coined terrorist universities (Thompson), pressure cookers for extremism, and centers for jailhouse Islam.

The structure and organization of prisons and detention centers has been identified as a key problem in Countering Violent Extremists (CVE), mainly the issue of consolidating large groups of offenders together.  By grouping vulnerable low level offenders with already radicalized VEs the manifestation of mass radicalization was allowed to transpire.  According to a prison guard who spoke to the New York Times, training and the capacity for controlling this particular environment of potential radicalization did not occur.  “We are not really trained or prepared in any way to deal with religious radicalism […]. If we have such a hard time regulating something as simple as cigarettes, how do you expect us to regulate something as abstract as ideas, as religion” (Thompson).

In the case of these detention centers, prison authorities were ill equipped to understand the radicalization process.  Guards lacked the training and expertise to control the radicalization efforts within the centers.  Prison infrastructure and the capacity to handle massive numbers of detainees was also a critical problem. Coalition prisons, as an example, soon became a free training ground for recruitment and radicalization.

Critics have pointed to high profile cases of terrorists who can be traced back to detention centers and prisons, as examples of failed CVE actions.  For example:

  • 9 members of the Islamic State’s top command were held at Camp Bucca, a detention center that struggled with rapid radicalization of detainees (Barrett 20).
  • Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, the brothers responsible for the violent assault on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo are suspected of being radicalized in a French prison (Temple-Raston).
  • Department of National Intelligence estimates that 30% of Guantanamo Bay detainees, both confirmed and suspected re-engagement, have “re-engaged” with terrorist groups (“Summery of the Reengagement of Detainees Formally Held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba”).

Analysis of United States’ detention centers in the Middle East found gross overpopulation, as well as a lack of policy regarding detainee radicalization and reintegration as a leading problem in recidivism.  Andrew Thompson, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom wrote in a New York Times article “the United States must convince its regional partners to avoid mixing radicals and moderates, and provide alternatives to prison for small-scale criminals. If we continue to replay the history of mass incarceration in the Middle East, we will remain stuck in the current cycle where our counterterrorism efforts create more terrorists” (Thompson).

New ideas on prison organization and policy have refocused attention on reintegration and rehabilitation verses detention.   Since, most detained or imprisoned VEs and suspected VEs are released– which can be seen in the case of 626 Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been released, repatriated, or resettled (“Guantánamo by the Numbers”)– primary focus on preventing recidivism of terrorist depends on the efforts of disengagement from terror organizations and deradicalization programs.   Combating Violent Extremist (CVE) must therefore include best practices of engaging with VEs being and continue through the detention process, which include programs for disengagement and/or deradicalization.

 

Work Cited:

Barrett, Richard. “The Islamic State.” The Soufan Group, 2014. http://soufangroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/TSG-The-Islamic-State-Nov14.pdf.

 

“Guantánamo by the Numbers.” Human Rights First. October 30, 2015. Accessed November 1, 2015. https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/sites/default/files/gtmo-by-the-numbers.pdf.

 

“Summery of the Reengagement of Detainees Formally Held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” Department of National Intelligence. July 15, 2015. http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/GTMO Sept_2015.pdf.

 

Temple-Raston, Diana. “French Prisons Prove To Be Effective Incubators For Islamic Extremism.” NPR. January 22, 2015. Accessed November 1, 2015. http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/01/22/379081047/french-prisons-prove-to-be-effective-incubators-for-islamic-extremism.

 

Thompson, Andrew, and Jeremi Suri. “How America Helped ISIS.” The New York Times. October 2, 2014.

Strong Contribution of The “Weaker Sex” in DDR

By: Senani Dehigolla

The role of women in war and peace while being subjected to heated debates around the world also emphasises the significance that needs to be attributed to them as an integral part of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration. Being a major target of combatants women are undoubtedly the most affected during conflict or in circumstances of war owing to their physical vulnerability. Paradoxically, some instances of modern day war fare prove that the integration of women in to military either as combatants or as strategic approaches triggers the need of reconceptualising the requirement of the so called “weaker sex” in DDR. When Yazidi women’s armed struggle against ISIS takes the centre stage, going back in the historical time line it is possible to trace the active participation of extraordinary women such as Joan of Arc, Rani Lakshmi Bhai of Jansi against British India, the French women against the Nazis etc. who were in the limelight for their capacity for military prowess to engage in struggles for national liberation or struggles for their own safety.

Women’s participation is a key ingredient in achieving DDR goals as well as for sustainable societal balance in correcting the damage done to the social fabric of a country. Under the Security Council resolution 1325, measuring the advancement of women in all aspects of peace-building is crucial to DDR and other post conflict reconstruction activities. The caseload of Congo is a classic example where the role of women is instrumental in rebuilding the nation while serving as a real challenge. The degree of violation of women’s human rights is immense and ranges from physical abuse such as sexual harassment to contracting deadly diseases like HIV/ AIDS as a result where rebuilding their lives in a later achieved peace is also perplexing. The deep rooted family traditions and male dominated society hinders the possibility of addressing the special needs of women which prevents them from actively participating in DDR and other crisis prevention interventions. Therefore, moving the social lens from men towards women requires much effort on the ground.

UNDP’s survey in Congo to identify conflict affected women could be noteworthy as it has detected the subtle ways in which the issues can be solved. As an instance, the solidarity fund for agriculture to empower women was remarkable in combating unemployment due to lower skill level. The studies have shown that the women led families which are a result of losing their spouses in war were proven extremely weak in economic stability underlining that that women empowerment is decisive to DDR. Promotion of women’s rights by working to reconcile traditional values with progressive ideas will lead to improving the participation of women in society. Their vigorous involvement in early economic reconstruction activities also has the capacity to fight the social and economic marginalization of women. Local institutions and donors for Congo have experienced the creditable progress and the visibility of UNDP intervention. Increased economic and social opportunities while carefully considering local interpretations paves the way for a better future for women in confronting  social obstacles and fighting their own battles of a disturbed past. Their contribution to DDR matters in major and minor levels deciding its rate of success.

Mali & DDR

By: Sam Trudeau

The ongoing situation in Mali seems to encompass many of the most pressing challenges facing DDR programs around the world. The United Nations peacekeeping force deployed to help stabilize the country is still basically operating in a conflict zone, despite attempts to enforce a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. State-building and peace-building operations like DDR are therefore undertaken in extremely volatile environments prone to sporadic surges of violence that threaten reversing initial DDR initiatives like setting up cantonment sites for former fighters and training and supervising mixed-patrols. Mali’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) involves three main although relatively fragmented groups: the Malian government, the pro-Tuareg separatist Coordination of Azawad Movement (CMA), and the pro-Government “Platform” which consist of Tuareg and Arab militias. Although radicalized actors such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, various local Al Qaeda offshoots such as the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, Ansar Al Dine as well as scores of foreign fighters were initially defeated and pushed out of Northern Mali by a French military operation, these armed actors have to some extent been able to regroup and resume operations. Criminal groups vying for smuggling routes have also participated in the violence. Favoring a military approach towards radical groups and excluding their combatants from DDR initiatives creates difficult dynamics on ground. Excluded from Mali’s CPA, they still retain the capability to act as spoilers to peace-building efforts. Besides the presence of radicalized fighters, the secessionist aspirations of the CMA and the central government’s apparent refusal to accept autonomous Tuareg governance in parts of the North have led to a political deadlock regarding the future of the CPA and efforts at reconciliation. The contested legitimacy of the political components of the peace plan seem to create real limitations to what DDR efforts might actually be able accomplish. From this perspective, the peace-building mandate enacted by the United Nations Security Council might to a certain extent be too ambitious given the realities on the ground and ultimately set DDR efforts up to fail. The United Nations Secretary General’s latest report on Mali already outlines some of the difficulties faced by DDR initiatives. Efforts to estimate the number of fighters on all sides eligible for demobilization into cantonment have been slowed down by a lack of cooperation as well as the large number of fighters. Although the number of belligerents designated for cantonment by all sides was initially expected to account for 6 000 combatants, the CMA has itself presented a list of more than 18 000 fighters. The pro-government Platform meanwhile had by the spring of 2016 still not provided its own list of fighters. Another important impediment to DDR efforts in Mali has been the state and international community’s inability to foster development in northern parts of the country. Economic disenfranchisement and a dire lack of basic services through Northern Mali is often identified in public opinion surveys as important driver of the conflict. The success DDR efforts, especially its longterm objectives, are therefore very much dependent on the state and international community’s ability to meet the needs of the populations in the North and create opportunities for sustainable development.

Family, Reintegration & DDR:

 

– by Ardra Manasi:  The New School

The measurement of DDR outcomes and the evaluation of its success often poses serious challenges. The complexity of the third generation DDR approaches, typified by measures in countering violent extremism (CVE), lies in its shift of engagement from state centric actors to non-state actors, that include often violent extremist (VE) groups like Taliban as in the context of Afghanistan. How does one measure the success of DDR in such a setting? The conventional measurement parameters like the number of weapons collected, the funds utilized and the number of ex-combatants demobilized might present a useful scenario. But can a non-conventional measurement parameter like monitoring the number of days that the individual militant spent with his/her family after demobilization be a useful measure to guide DDR practitioners? How far can family be helpful in understanding an individual’s integration into the community at large?

The Integrated IDDR Standards, the key operational guidelines for implementing DDR on the ground does not pay much attention to the role of family in its reintegration efforts. The disarmament and demobilization phase is followed by ex-combatants eventually returning to their homes, often equipped with socio-economic reinsertion packages. But it is useful to think about of how ‘home’/ ‘family’ becomes a site of both confrontation and adaptation. Is the combatant’s family receptive and welcoming? Or are they hostile and condescending? This gets even more worse for women ex-combatants returning home as they are perceived to have defied their gender roles by taking up arms (The case of women ex-combatants in Sri Lanka’s LTTE illustrate this).

Can an ex- combatant’s family play a role in ensuring that he doesn’t take up arms again? Conversely, what role may a family play in willfully getting an ex-combatnat to become a recidivist?  The family members can turn out to be either positive or negative influencers i.e they can either play a role in “radicalization” of fighters or can play a reformatory role. The latter revealing fact can be leveraged for reintegration efforts, especially for engaging with VE groups. For instance, the family members of such groups can receive special training in terms of taking care of the psychological needs of these ex-combatants and also for aiding in their de-radicalization efforts, supported by the UN or other community organizations. Drawing upon the case of Iraq, Doug Stone (2015), the brain behind the ‘Rome Memorandum’ (a compendium of best practices for rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders) argues that for addressing radicalization issues among the violent extremists, the receiving community should be involved along with the militants, either one-on-one or in groups.

Ex-combatants often end up caught between their old extremist affiliations and the very society or community they sought to represent in their struggle. Usually, to the ex-combatant, the former extremist linkages have become unattractive and while the society they seek to integrate into has little need for them. Being caught in such a bind, this results in maladjustment and worse, an incentive to relapse into old ways of violence, criminal behavior, or extremism. This often results from a feeling of being unwanted in their old homes and an ongoing sense of drift. This is particularly true of non-ideological foot soldiers who, unlike ideological leaders, were conscripted into violent struggles to provide “muscle”.  It is here that the families become very important in terms of actively participating in the ex-combatant’s ‘normalization’ process.

Instead of a homogenous rehabilitation package devised for treating individual combatants as an undifferentiated mass, a more effective approach is one that is tiered in how it is administered, is continuously engaged over time, and multi-pronged as far as interventions are concerned.  To this end, this could include bringing families of those affected into community events together, to help them understand the pitfalls and potentialities ahead for themselves and the ex-combatants. This could also involve sensitizing the wives of men who have returned and helping them to cope with the returnee’s stress which may result in psycho-sexual anxieties as well.  On an economic front, if packages for families are tied to the ex-fighters’ continued cooperation and non-violence, there is a collective pressure at work that forces the fighter to aid his family on one end, while simultaneously, it allows the family to see the fighter as one among them.  Furthermore, the family members can be trusted sources for providing reliable information about the ex-combatants and their interactions once they are back home in terms of psychological profiles by a non-professional third party.

It is equally important to design DDR policies which address the psycho-social needs of such families who often face social stigma and alienation from the rest of the community. Developing policy guidelines in the IDDRS for family based integration as a component of ‘Reintegration’ can be a right step in this direction.

 

Living Conflict: The Current Challenge of DDR

By Timothy Koch, graduate student of International Affairs at the New School

Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) in the modern age is facing a number of specific challenges that must be addressed in order to maximize safety and promote success rates.  One of the most important challenges that modern day DDR programs will face is their operation in areas where war and fighting is still occurring.  This new aspect presents a new and life threatening dynamic of modern DDR programs and will arguably be the most difficult challenge they face.

Previously, teams had operated in zones when a peace process was currently being implemented or had been implemented in the past; however this is no longer the case. DDR teams have never before operated under this magnitude of stress and danger, and in order to promote safety and success this challenge must be addressed head on. It is imperative that the teams gain specific and intrinsic knowledge of the conflict zone and general dynamic before and during the process.  These teams must familiarize themselves with the nature of the conflict, its actors, and the current dynamic of the conflict itself.  DDR teams have had these responsibilities before; however now it is important to remember that the conflict is not stagnant and can be perpetual and ever changing.  They must gain this knowledge and know that at any second the dynamic could shift and send their team and their own lives into a more dangerous situation.

The knowledge that is gained allows DDR teams to have more tools available to them in order to begin disarmament. They can offer incentives to turn in weapons and thus informally begin the peace process themselves. This will an easier route to a formal peace process and negotiations as once certain groups begin to disarm others may begin to follow suit making disarmament as whole more feasible.

The dynamic field of DDR is adapting to the challenges that are met on the ground and the teams must constantly remember that in order to ensure their safety and to promote success as much as they can. An environment with a lack of a formal peace process is a scary and daunting place and operators are right to think that strategies that had applied before could would not apply to their current situation.   Only one strategy can truly be prescribed to any and all DDR operations. It is the strategy of gaining knowledge beforehand and to continue to learn while on the ground.  Only then will safety be maximized and this is completely necessary in the world of DDR today.