Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) program was started back in October of 2003 with the aim of disarming of Afghanistan's militias. The DDR-program started in Kunduz, a province in the north that borders Uzbekistan, where some Afghans really intended to start a new life. Some others merely wanted to cash in on the incentives provided (usually a good amount of cash and some food). But as the Candian Press is reporting, the DDR program isn't exactly a dashing succes.

About 100 army officers, most of them highly skilled rocket and electrical engineers who were on the brink of retirement, refused to sign their discharge papers Monday at a ceremony intended to mark Afghanistan's demilitarization.

The ceremony outside Kabul marked commencement of the main phase of the country's disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, or DDR, program. But with the deputy defence minister in attendance, along with the Japanese ambassador, whose country is sponsoring the attempt to disarm mainly Afghan militias and demobilize 100,000 of their troops, the officers balked.

During the two-hour ceremony, which included patriotic music and speeches, the first of 62 Soviet-made anti-aircraft missiles belonging to 99 Rocket Brigade were hauled off to a cantonement site about 40 kilometres away. But the supposedly retiring officers, who are not militiamen, said the whole process was a charade. They had no intention of walking away from their jobs, they said, and the missiles were all duds, disarmed and rendered useless years ago. Many of the five-metre rockets were badly damaged, riddled with shrapnel and bullet holes or bent and twisted out of shape.

"They are taking these weapons but these weapons are not functioning," said one. "They have no explosives or propellant; they can't be used."
The DDR process is not simply a "hand-in-your-weapons" program. There are incentives, like I mentioned, such as food and money. It gives Afghans a chance to rejoin mainstream society (or what's left of it) and to contribute in the rebuilding of their country. Those who turn in their weapons can receive free education and vocational training. Many have become policemen, deminers or have joined the Afghan National Army.

Though these incentives may work at times for footsoldiers, they won't convince Afghanistan's warlords. They're thinking that if they can keep their weapons until after the September elections, they'll be in the clear. And if the DDR program fails, that may just happen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


The problem with many of the programs in Afghanistan is that they have not been carefully designed. People respond to incentives, however, creating those incentives is far from straightforward.

For example, I saw a Frontline documentary on an Arab who was working for the CIA. He mentioned that many of the people swept up in raids and taken to Gitmo were innocent, and that their families had turned them in only to collect the bounty offered by the US military. This was sometimes done with the person's consent. In other words, putting up a bounty on all Taliban and Al-Qaeda sympathisors often can be quite uncontructive in a very poor country, where it is very easy to level such an accusation. And if that's all one needs to do to make a buck, well you can bet many will lie to pay for next month's food bill.



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Throughout the centuries history tells of men and women with the midas touch, who achieved greatness against what seemed insurmountable odds. To some their successes appeared to be the result of blind luck, to others the reward for hard work, but the truth about the successes of men such as Andrew Carnagie and Henry Ford is much more interesting.

Success is a state of mind to which all people should aspire. Like many others you can unlock te gate to achievement and the fulfilment of yor personal desires. With the six steps outlined below anyone can arrive at a set destination, with the added advantage of renewed self-confidence and secure in the knowledge that every goal is attainable.
Step 1. Desire
The key factor involved in the process of achieving any desire lies in the response of one's mind to the objective. If a complacent attitude is apparent then there will be a lack of enthusiasm leading to failure or only half-success.
If a goal is to be reached determination is needed to carry set plans through to a successful conclusion. This determination must have enough mental 'weight' behind it to propel you forward onto the road of achievement. This mental state can only be instilled by one thing - desire!
As can be easily seen, when we look around us, it is this desire-force that has launched mankind on his frenzied zest for ever-new knowledge and has enabled him to push back the boundaries of science to never dreamed of achievement.

It is this same desire-force that must be used in our business and personal affairs if the success we seek is to materialize. It is not very hard to develop this kind of desire for all you have to do is go after what you really want - its that simple. With this desire you will have all the persistence you need to accomplish your goal. There is a great saying "you never fail until you give up"!
Take heed of what Napoleon Bonaparte said "What we ardently and constantly desire, we always get".

Step 2. Goals
If success is to come your must realise what is expected to materialize. This statement may seem obvious at first but if careful thought is given its meaning takes on deeper significance.
Many people fail to gain satisfactory results from their endeavours because they did not know what they wanted to accomplish in the first place. Your objective must not be hazy or incomplete. Before you reach your goal you must be able to identify how your life will be different when you achieve it. You must know exactly what it is that you want to achieve. How will your life be better/different? How will you feel? What way will you look? What situations will you find yourself in? Will other people in your life be effected and if so how will they react? You need a clear definite picture in your mind of what the attainment of your goal will mean to you.

Step 3. Belief
Belief is the back-up system of desire. It keep the fires of enthusiasm burning and makes us continually strive to get nearer the goal attainment. Faith can truly move mountains; the mountains of fear, inferiority, worry and low self esteem - 'the success killers'!
Once a goal is firmly fixed in mind and our desire-force is hurtling us toward seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the firm belief that we can gain a favourable outcome can spur us on to victory. When the mind has been manipulated to reflect this state, wonderful physical results can ensue, producing symptoms of success in our lives in every area imaginable.
Although many can attest to the power of belief and to the wondrous accomplishments that were achieved through nothing else except faith, it still remains that many individuals find it hard to believe that a positive outcome will be forthcoming when they are faced with momentous opposition. Whether the opposition is mental or physical the fact that nothing seems to be going right and everything seems to be wrong is enough for even the strongest of us to 'throw in the towel'. But it is in these very situations that faith can conquer all. Faith in yourself, what you are doing and belief that that your objective will be reached.
There are some who bemoan "easier said than done". This is exactly the kind of mental attitude that sustains the problems that they are trying to eradicate. If your belief power is not apparent, take hope for it can be acquired.
Each morning and night recite your intentions from a written list of your goals. Voice your belief in your own abilities. Tell yourself that in due course you will be successful. As you go about your daily affairs reflect as often as possible on your goals and affirm that they are yours now. Fool your mind into believing it and you will see your world reflect it!

Step 4. Plan
Having decided upon your goal and being determined to build your faith you need to give your desire-force a 'vehicle' through which it may materialize. This 'vehicle' will take the form of a definite plan of action.
Do you need to acquire certain skills? Do you need to know certain people or be in certain places to help you achieve your goal? Make a plan that will help you get closer to your end objective. Research your desires and get clear on what you need to do. Then do it!
Ensure that your plan is workable and realistic for you. Although your plan should remain flexible so that changes can be made when appropriate only make changes after careful consideration. Trial and error will eventually show the way to a good plan although you should be open to intuition also.
However, I should point out that, it is very likely your goal will materialize in a most unexpected way. The fact that you have set a plan for its accomplishment tends to set things in motion and like a chain reaction (or the butterfly effect) subtle changes made by you may cause dramatic changes elsewhere and your goal may come before your plan is completed.

Step 5. Visualization
Visualization is the art of creating mental movies of your completed goal. This has many beneficial effects upon your consciousness. Without going into the deeper esoteric benefits of using this art let me just say that you are truly designing your life when you use it. It has one other major benefit - it strengthens your desire and persistence because you momentarily experience the thrill of having achieved your goal!
Just form a mental picture of having achieved your goal. See what you will see. Feel how wonderful it will be. See how it effects everyone around you. Hear people congratulate you. When this state is experienced nothing will stop you in your quest for your objective and thus your belief-power will also be reinforced.

Step 6. The Subconscious Mind
It is within the subconscious part of your mind that you hold all th positive and negative beliefs about yourself - your self-image. These beliefs are reflected back to you in the form of attitudes. Therefore it is from the subconscious mind that the thought of failure or success comes.

Attitudes are just mental programs and so is your self-image. They can easily be changed (yes I said 'easily'). Any attitude or belief can be changed by using the formula outlined in this article - by combining affirmations with visualization. Henry Ford used it, as did Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Arnold Swatzeneger. It is reported in some circles that a similar technique was employed by Bill Gates to build his global empire. Andrew Carnegie used it exactly as described to attain and give away multi-millions even though he was an unschooled manual worker when he started it. Carnegie's legacy can still be seen today when you freely borrow a book from any Carnegie library of which there are thousands.
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