Saturday, February 23, 2008

Provincial Reconstruction Team

The always-excellent Small Wars Journal has posted the link to a Princeton study about Provincial Reconstruction Teams or PRTs in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am very interested in the progress of PRTs because they represent a necessary strategic and tactical integration in peace-building, and I would like to be part of the evolution. What are PRTs?


I. Introduction

Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) are civil military organizations designed to operate in semi-permissive environments usually following open hostilities. They were designed as a transitional structure to provide improved security and to facilitate reconstruction and economic development.

While the concept of integrated civil-military units has existed since the 1990s, PRTs were first implemented by the United States in 2002 during Operation Enduring Freedom following the invasion of Afghanistan. PRTs have since become a model used in Iraq and Afghanistan by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United States, and European and other coalition members for introducing post-conflict, reconstruction, security, and development activities in areas still too hostile for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and United Nations (UN) relief agencies.

PRTs have become an integral part of peacekeeping and stability operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they have also been criticized for their mixed effectiveness, over-emphasis on military objectives and priorities, failure to effectively coordinate and communicate with UN and NGO organizations, and differences in staffing and mission. Today, there are 50 PRTs: 25 in Afghanistan under the authority of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (NATO/ISAF), and 25 in Iraq.5 Of these, the United States leads 12 in Afghanistan and 22 in Iraq.
Read the rest of the study.


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