Small Wars Journal

Iraq Weekly Briefing: Reconstruction, Economic and Political Update

Paul Brinkley, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, and Philip Reeker, US Embassy, Baghdad, join BG Kevin Bergner, Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, in an expansion of the normal weekly Iraq update. Bergner starts off with a security update then turns over to Reeker and Brinkley who discuss reconstruction, economic and political efforts underway to assist the government of Iraq. Of note - Brinkley provides a detailed update on Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Q&A follows the formal brief.

SWJ PRT Briefing Notes:

- Unique experience in that the civilian and military sides are working so close together and a perfect example is the PRTs

- PRTs are an important focus of the overall mission in Iraq

- PRTs: Small civilian-military units designed to assist local and provincial governments to govern effectively and deliver essential services

- PRTs designed to bolster moderates, promote reconciliation, support counterinsurgency operations, foster development and build the capacity of local government officials to perform their duties

- Emphasis on shaping the political environment rather than building infrastructure

- Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) and PRTs work together as one team receiving guidance from Amb. Crocker and Gen. Petraeus

- BCT commander has lead for security and movement

- PRT leader has responsibility for political, reconstruction and economic issues

- PRTs are joint coalition efforts. Includes civilian and military members from U.K., Italy and Korea

- PRTs help extend reach of Iraqi government in key provinces and help build the stability necessary for full-turnover to Iraqi control

- Empowers the provincial governments

- Iraqis lead process on project funding and implementation

- PRTs act as a "kick-start" for developmental processes

- PRTs support decentralization of government services

- Five PRT thematic areas of focus: rule of law, infrastructure, economic development, governance, and public diplomacy

- "Short-term solutions to long-term development challenges"

- 25 PRTs to-date: 10 original full-sized teams (30-60 personnel), 5 smaller teams (4-14 personnel) and 10 new embedded teams (up to 8 and adding specialists)

- Numbers do not include military movement and support personnel

- Looking at adding additional teams as necessary / requested

Selected PRT Background Links:

Provincial Reconstruction Teams - Department of State Fact Sheet

Expanded Provincial Reconstruction Teams Speed the Transition to Self-Reliance - White House Fact Sheet

Provincial Reconstruction Teams - Wikipedia

Initial Benchmark Assessment Report - White House

Reconstruction in Iraq: The Uncertain Way Ahead - Center for Strategic and International Studies

Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq - United States Institute of Peace

Military Must Fill Iraq Civilian Jobs - Washington Post

Pentagon to Fill Iraq Reconstruction Jobs Temporarily - New York Times

Negroponte Advises New Diplomats to Seek Challenging Posts - New York Times

Iraq Rebuilding Short on Qualified Civilians - Washington Post

Iraq- PRTs Help Iraqis with Rule of Law and Connecting With Central Government - Civil-Military Relations Blog

Stabilization and Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Are PRTs a Model or a Muddle? - Parameters

The U.S. Experience with Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan: Lessons Identified - United States Institute of Peace

Provincial Reconstruction Teams: Military Relations with International and Nongovernmental Organizations in Afghanistan - United States Institute of Peace

Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project - PCR Project Blog

Interagency Transformation, Education & AAR - National Defense University

Agency for International Development - Department of State

Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization - Department of State

Humanitarian Information Unit - Department of State

SWJ Reference Library Interagency Page

Current PRT Job Opportunities - Department of State

Current PRT Job Opportunities - Department of Defense