View Full Version : Iraq Security for U.S. Teams Uncertain

03-03-2006, 12:34 PM
3 Mar. Washington Post - Iraq Security for U.S. Teams Uncertain (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/02/AR2006030202014.html).

The Bush administration has decided to establish more reconstruction teams in Iraq's provinces to coordinate U.S. aid and fortify local governments, but the State Department has been unable so far to gain a Pentagon commitment to provide U.S. troops to protect the groups, U.S. officials said...

The uncertainty over who will protect the new teams underscores how deeply security considerations affect every aspect of U.S. policy in Iraq, particularly the troubled effort to spark a broad-based reconstruction.

The United States has also begun discussions with Britain, Italy and other nations that have forces in Iraq about taking charge of some of the groups, known as provincial reconstruction teams, or PRTs...

Additionally, U.S. authorities are looking at the possibility of setting up Iraqi-led teams in some provinces and linking them to U.S.- or coalition-led PRTs in neighboring provinces, several officials said...

Original plans called for the creation of 16 PRTs -- essentially, one in each of Iraq's 18 provinces, except for the three northern Kurdish provinces, which would share a regional PRT. The latest plan envisions nine U.S.-led PRTs and two or three coalition-led ones. The Iraqi-led teams might be assigned the remaining provinces.

Though Britain and Italy appear furthest along toward taking charge of PRTs, U.S. officials said, South Korea, Japan, Poland and Australia have also expressed interest.

"There's an understanding that the same PRT model may not be applicable in every province," the administration official said. "Each province will be at a different level of development and have different needs. So you may have a U.S.-led PRT, a coalition-led one or an Iraqi PRT."