Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: U.S. Touts Provincial Reconstruction Teams as a Model

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default U.S. Touts Provincial Reconstruction Teams as a Model

    13 October Los Angeles Times - U.S. Touts Provincial Reconstruction Teams as a Model by Doug Smith.

    ... In a muted ceremony on a U.S. base in this northern city, Khalilzad inaugurated the reconstruction team for Salahuddin province, the last of seven teams the U.S. has established. In addition, Britain, Italy and South Korea are sponsoring a team each.

    While characterizing the reconstruction groups as the "embodiment of the U.S. commitment … to ensuring Iraq's success," Khalilzad acknowledged their limited financial resources...

    The teams will focus primarily on developing leadership at the local and provincial levels to continue the rebuilding process with diminishing U.S. financial aid...

    The teams represent a "transition from working with them to spend U.S. money to working with them to spend Iraqi money," Robert Tillery of the State Department said in a telephone interview Thursday...

    Provincial reconstruction teams are modeled on a similar concept used in Afghanistan. Each team consists of about 65 specialists from the State Department, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USAID and the American military's civil affairs contingent.

    The Iraqi Constitution does not allow local governments to raise revenue, thus forcing the provinces to compete for money from Baghdad. "We hear every time we go to the provinces that governments … want the authority to raise revenue," Tillery said at a recent news briefing. "And you can't blame them."

    He said efforts were underway to insert a clause allowing local taxation into Iraq's national charter...

  2. #2
    Council Member pcmfr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    62

    Default

    I always thought the names of the PRTs were somewhat ironic. What kind of infrastructure was there to begin with in AF that needs to be "reconstructed?"

  3. #3
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SOCAL
    Posts
    2,152

    Default How does this square with recent reporting?

    Military Wants More Civilians to Help in Iraq http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/07/wa...He0o40mA2JEsKQ

    I'm curious as to how the recent article above relates to the PRT blog entry. Although it totally makes sense that interagency cooperation and involvement would go a long way towards sustainable development, what if a PRT was built and nobody came?

    Is it the inherent danger of working outside the wire? Is Iraq (Foreign Service) duty viewed as "hiding in the bilges of a sinking ship" and on par with the sentiment we know exists about advisor duty?

    Madame Secretary Rice was referenced to have asked for about 120 military personnel to staff 350 new DoS jobs in Iraq that are a spinoff of the new strategy...I'd go in a heartbeat, but that's not the point.

    Have we lost that JFKian sense of selflisness? I look back to my readings in Vietnam history, and there were plenty of civilian govt. employees out in the boonies. Granted, the environment may have been a bit more benign, but if these PRTs are a critical component to the revised strategy, then it is likely doomed if we can't get people on board to pack their trash and go forward.

    This lack of cohesiveness is killing us with a death by a thousand cuts, and the insurgents (or terrorists if you prefer) are laughing all the way home.

  4. #4
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,099

    Default

    30 Oct 07 testimony before the HASC Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations: Learning from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Experience:

    Ambassador John E. Herbst, Coordinator, Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization, DoS
    My office is charged with two tasks. The first is to ensure that the entire U.S. Government is organized to deal with reconstruction and stabilization (R&S) crises affecting U.S. national interests, to include harmonizing civilian and military activities. The second and equally important task is to build the civilian capacity to staff these missions when called upon to respond.

    These tasks are simple to describe, but not so simple to achieve. It requires a major, perhaps even a revolutionary, change in the way the U.S. approaches conflict response. Just as the military underwent tremendous reform in the 1980s following the passage of Goldwater-Nichols legislation, we are proposing shifts across our civilian agencies that similarly promote unity of effort so that we best leverage limited resources, and avoid working at cross-purposes.....
    Celeste Ward, Dpty Asst Secretary, Stability Operations Capabilities, DoD

    Note: I didn't quote Ms. Ward, because I didn't feel that she said anything substantive. But you can follow the link and decide for yourself.

    Joseph A. Christoff and Janet St. Laurent , Director, International Affairs & Trade Team and Director, Defense Capabilities & Management Team, GAO
    State and DOD have begun to take steps to better coordinate stabilization and reconstruction activities, but several significant challenges may hinder their ability to integrate planning for potential operations and strengthen military and civilian capabilities to conduct them. State’s Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization is developing a framework for U.S. agencies to use when planning stabilization and reconstruction operations, but the framework has yet to be fully applied to any operation. The National Security Council has not approved the entire framework, guidance related to the framework is unclear, and some interagency partners have not accepted it. For example, some interagency partners stated that the framework’s planning process is cumbersome and too time consuming for the results it produces. While steps have been taken to address concerns and strengthen the framework’s effectiveness, differences in planning capacities and procedures among U.S. government agencies may pose obstacles to effective coordination.

    DOD has taken several positive steps to improve its ability to conduct stability operations but faces challenges in developing capabilities and measures of effectiveness, integrating the contributions of non-DOD agencies into military contingency plans, and incorporating lessons learned from past operations into future plans. These challenges, if not addressed, may hinder DOD’s ability to fully coordinate and integrate stabilization and reconstruction activities with other agencies or to develop the full range of capabilities those operations may require. Among its many efforts, DOD has developed a new policy, planning construct and joint operating concept with a greater focus on stability operations, and each service is pursuing efforts to improve capabilities. However, inadequate guidance, practices that inhibit sharing of planning information with non-DOD organizations, and differences in the planning capabilities and capacities of DOD and non-DOD organizations hinder the effectiveness of these improvement efforts.....

  5. #5
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Does anyone think the PRTs are similar to the Revolutionary Development Cadres in Phoenix Program during Vietnam?

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,099

    Default

    5 Dec 07 testimony before the HASC Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Provincial Reconstruction Teams - Historical and Current Perspectives on Doctrine and Strategy:

    Bernard Carreau, NDU

    General (Ret) Volney F. Warner

    BG (Ret) Rick Olson (Former Cdr CJTF-76)

    Kathleen Hicks, CSIS

  7. #7
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Small world.

    Volney Warner was my Corps Commander--his son was my comrade in Ranger School and later in 2-505 when senior had XVIII Corps. Jim (the son) retired in 2006 as a BG.

    Rick Olson and I took French together.

  8. #8
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,099

    Default

    29 Jan 08 testimony before the HASC Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Interagency Reform: Can the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Case Study Illuminate the Future of Reconstruction and Stabilization Operations?

    Carlos Pascual, The Brookings Institution
    ...as a nation we need to understand that addressing conflict and helping nations build peace is a national security priority. It requires both civilian and military capacity. Yet we do not have a national security budget – we have a budget for defense and another for foreign affairs. A stabilization and reconstruction capacity that is essential for the success of defense missions will remain under funded if it is not seen as part of an investment in national security that cuts across accounts....
    Barbara Bodine, Princeton University

    Michele Flournoy, Center for a New American Security

    Nora Bensahel, RAND
    ....there are some ways to minimize some of the negative effects of interagency competition and increase U.S. capacity for stability operations. These include:

    1. Manage interagency competition....

    2. Create incentives for interagency secondments....

    3. Increase the capacity of USAID....

    4. Establish flexible funding mechanisms....

    5. There is no substitute for an involved president and an involved Congress....

  9. #9
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,099

    Default

    14 Feb 08 testimony before the HASC Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Provincial Reconstruction Teams: A Case for Interagency National Security Reform?:

    Ryan Henry, Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Policy)

    Stephen D. Mull, Acting Asst Secretary, Bureau of Pol-Mil Affairs, DoS

    Michael E. Hess, Asst Administrator, Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Bureau, USAID


    (Barry Pavel, Principal Deputy Asst SecDef (SOLIC and Interdependent Capabilities), also appeared, but a transcript of his testimony is not available.)

  10. #10
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Norfolk VA
    Posts
    77

    Default Different PRTs

    I think its been pointed out elsewhere, but its worth noting that that PRTs in Afghanistan are different from those in Iraq. Having just left Baghdad, I'm more familiar with Iraq. In Iraq, the PRTs are State Department organizations that, while they have military members, are supervised by the US embassy (by the Office of Provincial Affairs--OPA). Iraq PRTs, for the most part, do not have their own organic security capability and are reliant on nearby military units. My understanding is that the PRTs in Afghanistan are part of the military chain of command (reporting through DoD)and have a small military unit (platoon?) organic to provide security and help them move around the battlefield.
    I think these differences are significant when you consider the underlying impact on the missions and capabilities of the PRTs in each campaign.

  11. #11
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
    I think its been pointed out elsewhere, but its worth noting that that PRTs in Afghanistan are different from those in Iraq.
    From my limited understanding of the PRTs in Afghanistan, it's somewhat more complex than that. I believe there are 12 operating in the American sector, 10 of which are US (1 Turkish and 1 Aus). Lines of reporting are "complex", and sometimes involve a dual structure. There are also separate PRTs and "embedded" PRTs - the ones with troops.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  12. #12
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,111

    Default Afghanistan PRT's

    USIP Report # 152

    The U.S. Experience with Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan: Lessons Identified

    by Robert M. Perito

    http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr152.html

    Summary

    * Important lessons for current and future U.S. peace and stability operations can be found in the experiences of Americans who served in Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan. PRTs are small, joint civilian-military organizations whose mission is to promote governance, security, and reconstruction throughout the country.
    * In June 2005, the United States led thirteen PRTs and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) directed nine. This multinational program was characterized by an emphasis on flexibility, a proliferation of national models, and an ad hoc approach to security and development.
    * The U.S. model featured a complement of seventy-nine American military and three civilian government representatives. The U.S. PRTs stressed governance, force protection, and quick impact development projects to "win hearts and minds."
    * The PRT emphasis on governance translated into supporting the respective provincial governors.
    * Security was limited to self-protection, providing a security presence, and assisting Afghan forces.
    * Reconstruction projects suffered from a lack of coordination and oversight. Military involvement in development brought criticism from relief agencies that claimed it put them at risk by blurring the distinction between combatants and humanitarian workers.
    * In the view of many PRT veterans, the entire multinational PRT program would benefit from an agreed concept of operations and an effective central coordinating authority. The U.S. PRTs would profit from interagency delimitation of civilian and military roles and improved civilian agency staffing, funding, and administrative support.
    * PRT veterans believe the addition of USAID representatives and better coordination with Afghan national development plans improved U.S. PRT reconstruction efforts. Rapidly disbursing long-term funding sources available to civilian representatives would rationalize and speed reconstruction efforts, which should focus on security-related infrastructure.
    * PRT veterans also argue that PRTs are primarily military organizations; thus, better suited for performing security-related tasks. PRTs should concentrate on supporting Afghan security sector reform and providing a security presence in contested areas.
    Sapere Aude

  13. #13
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,099

    Default

    Also from USIP on the PRTs in Afghanistan, conducted a bit over two years ago:

    Oral Histories: Afghanistan Provincial Reconstruction Teams

    The link brings you to a page of links to pdf files with the transcripts of interviews with US government officials, military personnel, and members of international organizations and NGOs.

  14. #14
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,111

    Default German Overseas Military Missions

    A 2006 article from Die Zeit in German

    http://www.zeit.de/online/2006/44/bu...landseinsaetze

    Die laufenden Auslandseinsätze der Bundeswehr

    Die Bundeswehr ist momentan mit insgesamt rund 9000 Soldaten an zehn verschiedenen internationalen Einsätzen beteiligt. Ein Überblick über die Missionen.
    'The Ongoing Overseas Missions of the Bundeswehr'

    'The Bundeswehr is currently covering (partitioned in) 10 different international missions with approximately 9,000 soldiers. A summary (overview) of the missions."

    It goes on to cover activities in UNFIL in Lebanon, EFOR in Bosnia, EUFOR RD in the Congo, Active Endeavour in the Atlantic?, UNMIS in Sudan, UNOMIG in Georgia, and UNMEE in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    For this thread the detail on OEF support to Maritime security off the Horn of Africa and the Humanitarian mission in Northern Afghanistan is of interest.

    For those of you who catch the ZDF video podcast of the daily news (in German and free) the 1 February 2008 show pretty much captures Germany's attitude towards sending combat troops into southern Afghanistan 'No we already have the third largest contingent of troops'.

    We will see if this attitude changes with the coming spring and associated snowmelt and opening of the mountain passes...
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 02-18-2008 at 08:19 PM.
    Sapere Aude

  15. #15
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,343

    Default Afghan PRT work

    I understand the value of PRTs and am aware that the Czechs are soon to have an independent one, with a reinforced Army company alongside - alas cannot recall which province they are going to.

    In Helmand, where the UK and allies are there is a UK PRT. There the difficulty has been in getting Kabul to release funding - allocated to Kabul - so £20m in one year built twenty wells. Not value for money there and heaven knows what the annoucement by PM Gordon Brown in late '07 of an aid allocation of £200m actually will produce.

    Security first. Then build schools and sink wells.

    None of the collective experience augurs well for the much-mooted USAID effort in NWFP, where security is unclear and local hostility guaranteed. Afghans are too poor - yes proud - not to accept help, however meagre.

    I suspect the idea of a NATO/UN "overlord", sorry co-ordinator, is underpinned by the diversion of aid funds.

    davidbfpo

  16. #16
    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    REMFing it up in DC
    Posts
    250

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post

    I suspect the idea of a NATO/UN "overlord", sorry co-ordinator, is underpinned by the diversion of aid funds.

    davidbfpo
    Given how mightily we've struggled to coordinate our military efforts, with just a relative handful of military commands theoretically merged into one ISAF command structure, I shudder to think of the difficulties in coordinating the many national agencies under some type of coordinated structure.

    Keeping aid funds and agency/NGO work with the decentralized PRTs in theory prevents an ineffective cookie-cutter approach, but the accounting problems you mention mean that HQs are going to step in. . .

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

  17. #17
    Council Member redbullets's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Springfield, Virginia
    Posts
    61

    Default Contractors on PRTs

    Here's an unfortunate wrinkle around PRTs and their staffing.

    Both in Afghanistan and Iraq, due, I suppose to the lack of enthusiastic volunteers, contractors occupy some positions on the teams. This makes some of the smaller NGOs like mine nervous about information sharing and anything beyond that.

    Based on years of experience, when we meet USAID and Department for International Development (DfID, of the UK) personnel in the field, we ask if they are core or contract employees. It makes us nervous to share too much information with folks who might be tasked by their contributing company with both output delivered under the existing contract, as well as business development tasks on top. We've heard more than once, in the field, "well, we're supposed to do that" from contract employees of PRTs, and that causes us to immediately leave the room and cease all contact. The conflicts of interest seem obvious, but they continue to exist, and we're not overly enthusiastic about sticking our own heads in the noose.

    Cheers,
    Joe

    Just because you haven't been hit yet does NOT mean you're doing it right.

    "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." President Dwight D. Eisenhower

  18. #18
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,111

    Default PRT Analysis

    This Princeton report is linked on the the SWC site and covers the US, UK, German, Canadian, Italian, and Lithuanian PRT's. "The Lithuanian PRT includes Ukranians, Croatians, Georgians, Icelanders, U.S., U.K., and Danish soldiers."

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/200...truction-team/

    To date, there has been no comprehensive review of PRT models to evaluate effectiveness or address shortcomings. This report seeks to answer three questions in order to begin filling the knowledge gap:

    - Should the United States and coalition partners continue to use PRTs?
    - Are PRTs achieving the goals for which they are funded?
    - What are the best practices of countries that sponsor and contribute to PRTs?

    Because there is very little standardization of mission and operations across PRTs, we used the following assumptions as the basis for our analysis and research.

    -Using a variety of models, missions and functions, PRTs initiate progress on reconstruction, security, and development in post-conflict environments.
    - The PRT concept is part of a larger set of responses to post-conflict challenges.
    - PRTs are part of an evolutionary process of civil-military relations and interagency cooperation.
    Here is a British Army view, CMIC oriented, presented by MG Riley

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Nat...rity/hl893.cfm

    I thought I would give you a divisional commander’s view, informed by two years’ service in Iraq with the British and U.S. armies, as well as in Sierra Leone and the Balkans. These operations have all been complex, involving kinetic warfighting, counter-insurgency, information operations, humanitarian support, civil– military cooperation (CIMIC),[1] and security-sector reform running concurrently in the same battle space.
    Here is a short German analysis (March 2004) of their military structure vs. mission requirements:

    http://www.swp-berlin.org/de/common/...5cf84e2145757a

    The article examines how ~242,000 Bundeswehr personnel are utilized in terms of a strategy which must address european security and political concerns, international terrorism, conflict prevention, and coping with crisises. It appears that ~35,000 soldiers are designated for high intensity operations.

    The Bundeswehr website provides this snapshot (2007) on funding for reconstruction work

    http://www.einsatz.bundeswehr.de/C12...-6460_isaf.pdf

    Deutschland unterstützt als viertgrößter bilateraler Geber den Wieder- aufbau und die Entwicklung Afghanistans seit 2002 mit jährlich über 80 Mio. Euro. Dieser Beitrag wurde 2007 auf 100 Mio. Euro erhöht und soll 2008 auf 125 Mio. Euro steigen.
    'Germany underwrites as the fourth largest provider for Reconstruction and Development in Afghanistan since 2002 with a yearly 80 million Euro. This became 100 million Euro in 2007. Funding/Euro was increased and will rise to 125 million Euro in 2008.'

    (This entry leads to questions about the funding contributions of the 1st through 3rd place providers, insight would be appreciated).

    Wikipedia has an interesting link on PRT's as well

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinc...struction_Team
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 02-24-2008 at 06:18 PM.
    Sapere Aude

  19. #19
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SOCAL
    Posts
    2,152

    Default

    Provincial reconstruction teams are modeled on a similar concept used in Afghanistan. Each team consists of about 65 specialists from the State Department, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USAID and the American military's civil affairs contingent.
    I just came across a solicitation of sorts on the Lightfighter.net forum, posted by someone who states that: "The company I work for is gearing up for a major Iraq-wide project involving management and leadership of provincial reconstruction teams.

    There are a wide variety of positions, from construction, public planning, liason with local groups, engineering, etc.

    Experience in country is a must, as are leadership skills.

    If you are interested, send me a PM. This is a long, long term contract."


    I paid particular attention to the use of the word company vice agency/organization. What are folks' thoughts on the merits of contracting out "leadership skills"?

    Will this mean that, as with PMCs delivering security products, there could be companies out there contracting the business of PRT work, assuming that some govt agencies will not be able to source the manpower that is required (and needs to be willing) to fill the PRT slots?

  20. #20
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Default

    Hi JC,

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I paid particular attention to the use of the word company vice agency/organization. What are folks' thoughts on the merits of contracting out "leadership skills"?
    Isn't that the modern way ? I paid more attention to the phrase "this will be a long, long term contract." There are some very interesting assumptions behind that statement, most of which I really don't like. For example, a friend of mine just finished bidding on a contract to do provincial reconstruction in an African country - full infrastructure upgrades, training, economic development, etc. - and that contract is only going to last for 3 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Will this mean that, as with PMCs delivering security products, there could be companies out there contracting the business of PRT work, assuming that some govt agencies will not be able to source the manpower that is required (and needs to be willing) to fill the PRT slots?
    They already exist JC. Increasingly we are seeing government agencies refusing to develop internal capacity. By way of a parallel, they are operating in exactly the same way the Byzantine bureaucrats did after the death of Basil II - I just hope that there policies don't have a similar effect (think Manzikert, 1071).
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •