Showing posts with label PRT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PRT. Show all posts

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Paper - NGOs and PRTs in Afghanistan

"Members of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been critical of the Provincial Reconstruction team (PRT) initiative in Afghanistan since its inception, claiming that the mixture of military and humanitarian operations has resulted in 'blurred lines' that inhibit insurgents from identifying who is and is not a combatant. Certain organizations have hypothesized that aid workers are more likely to come under attack as a result of this mixture. Although this claim has surfaced in multiple outlets over the years, there was a lack of empirical evidence to support it. This study tests this hypothesis using a panel-corrected standard error regression model of all 34 Afghan provinces in 2010 and 2011. Preliminary results show that NGOs were likely to encounter a greater number of security incidents in provinces with PRTs; however, further analysis reveals this was only the case in provinces with teams not led by the US. This calls into question the validity of a general 'blurred lines' explanation for decreased worker security."
Read "Blurred Lines? Provincial Reconstruction Teams and NGO Insecurity in Afghanistan", by David F. Mitchell in Stability: International Journal of Security & Development, 2010-2011, March 2015.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Whole of Government Approach in Afghanistan Questioned

A recent article in a Canadian newspaper looks at the 'whole of government' approach used by the Canadians in the Afghan conflict in the Kandahar area. It specifically looks at the activities of the Canadian Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). Read more in "Whole of government is old wine in a new bottle", Ottawa Citizen, February 20, 2014.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

PRTs Closing Down in Afghanistan

ANP graduates of an academy in Bamyan practice
their skills. New Zealand  members of the
Bamyan PRT taught  the students police tactics.
(Photo SGT Chris Bonbrake Mar 1, 2013)
As ISAF withdraws its forces from Afghanistan it is methodically shutting down the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) that have been in existence for a number of years. The first PRT was established in Gardez, Afghanistan in early 2003 around the nucleus of a Special Forces Operational Detachment A (SFODA) from 20th Special Forces Group. The twelve-man ODA provided the medical, combat, communications, intelligence, and engineer skills that allowed other specialities such as Civil Affairs, Psyops, and medical specialists to start working development, governance, security, and ANSF training issues. A second PRT was established in Bamyan under the same construct commanded by a Special Forces major. Eventually many provinces would have a PRT - many of them manned by different ISAF nations. These PRTs had an average assigned strength of 100 personnel although some were quite larger.

Many personnel were attached to the PRT to include USAID, agricultural specialists, Afghan Hands, State Department, law enforcement professionals (LEPs), and others. Much of the aid money flowed through the PRTs much to the dismay of Karzai and the ministries (MRRD, MAIL, DAIL, etc.) who wanted to be able to skim money off the top of much of the aid money at the national level before the provincial and district Afghans could get to it.

Within the last year many of these PRTs have been closed down. see "U.S. Winds Down Afghanistan Aid Program", The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2012.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blog Post on PRTs and Our Goals in Afghanistan

A blogger - who also works for an NGO in Helmand Province - provides his perspective on whether we should have Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan.  He also goes at length discussing what our aims and objectives are.  See the blog post here at "Ride for the Brand", Free Range International (Outside the Wire, Inside the Loop), February 11, 2011.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Debate Continues in Afghanistan

Karzai's call for dismantling the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) has prompted a lot of debate.  At the following link are more articles on this topic.  "Debate on the Future of PRTs in Afghanistan Continues", Afghanistan Conflict Monitor, February 8, 2011.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reflections on the Czech Republic PRT in Logar

Karzai's wish to transition the work (and money) of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan to the Karzai government is not getting much support among the nations that provide the money and the countries that run the individual PRTs.  The Czech Republic is one of the international donors that also provides personnel for the PRT - in this case in Logar.  Read a Czech viewpoint on PRTs in "Rules of disengagement in Afghanistan", The Prague Post, February 16, 2011.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Canadian's in Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Finish Development Projects

The Canadian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kandahar has transferred its ownership of the PRT to the United States.  However, there are still some Canadian civilians working there completing development projects that were started earlier.  In addition, the Canadians are transferring some projects over to local Afghan officials - a task that PRTs were formed to do - start projects and then get the local Afghans to run them.  Read more in "As combat mission winds down, civilians in Kandahar rush to complete projects", The Vancouver Sun, February 9, 2011.  Read news about military operations and local governance in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Criticism of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) of Afghanistan

A commentator with experience in Afghanistan has provided us some insight about the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan.  He agrees with the recent Karzai statement that the PRTs should be dismantled and the money turned over to the Afghan government.  Joshua Foust writes this in "The AFPAK Channel" blog for Foreign Policy Magazine.  Hmmmmm.  So turn over the money to the Afghan government and let them head up development projects.  Sure . . . that will work.  Why don't we just wire the money to the Dubai and Swiss bank accounts of the corrupt Afghan officials and eliminate the middle man?  Read his commentary in "Actually, Karzai is right about PRTs", Foreign Policy, February 8, 2011.

New Zealand Rejects Karzai's Call for End of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan

The Minister of Defence of New Zealand has rejected calls by Karzai to dismantle the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan. New Zealand has been running the PRT in Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan for several years. 
"Speaking to the BBC, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said the provincial reconstruction teams throughout the country are hindering the development of home-grown institutions. Mr Karzai said the teams are like an alternative system of government and threaten to undermine stability in Afghanistan.

There are 125 Defence Force personnel with New Zealand's Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan province in central Afghanistan. The team has been based there since 2003 running regular security patrols and working with local companies to build bridges, schools and police stations." 
Read more in the news article "Minister defends work of NZ team in Bamyan", Radio New Zealand News, February 10, 2011.

Karzai Wants to End Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT)

Karzai has called for the dismantling of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) that are scattered around Afghanistan at the province and district level.  The PRTs are organized to help provide medical care, development projects and dispense international aid (money) throughout the country - complementing and working with local Afghan government officials at the province and district level.  In many areas, the PRTs are the only sign that the Afghan government has any presence at all.  Karzai says the PRTs are a dual mechanism competing with the Afghan governmental structure.  Most observers are critical of Karzai's stance on PRTs and say he just wants to get the aid money to flow through Afghan government institutions in order to provide more opportunity for corruption and to gain more political clout throughout the country. This observer says keep the PRTs and keep the money out of the hands of Karzai's corrupt cronies.  This is one of the few things we are doing right in the country.  Read more about Karzai's criticism of the PRTs in "Karzai Seeks End to NATO Reconstruction Teams", The New York Times, February 6, 2011.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Karzia Critical of US Dispensed Aid in Afghanistan

President Karzai of Afghanistan has publicly stated that military and other international organizations that dispense aid in Afghanistan are undermining his government.  The US and ISAF have a number of programs in place that provide aid at the local level and help to establish local governance and village security.  The programs are administered by a variety of means - usually through USAID, the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT), CERP funding projects, or other programs.  The funding stream is passed from the US government down to the local level bypassing the corrupt Afghan central government that would take its usual 30 to 50 % off the top to buy villas in Dubai, fancy automobiles, and plush houses in Kabul for its high-level officials and family members.  Read more in "Karzai critical of aid bypassing Afghan government", The Washington Post, February 6, 2011.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Kandahar PRT Located at Camp Nathan Smith Transitions from Canada to U.S.

As the Canadians transition from a combat role to a training role in Afghanistan various moves will be made over the next year.  One is the transitioning of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) from Canada to the U.S. military.  The PRT, located at Camp Nathan Smith, was turned over to the Americans this past month.  The KPRT is a mix of Soldiers and civilians from Canada (now the U.S.) and has been led by the Canadians since 2005.  Most PRTs number about 50-100 personnel.  Read more about the KPRT in the article below.
See "Canada turns Kandahar reconstruction team over to the U.S.", The Vancouver Sun, January 12, 2011.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Report from Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Zabul, Afghanistan

Zabul Province in Afghanistan has recently deserved the attention it deserves from the military.  It is an important province due to a number of factors.  Highway 1 runs through Zabul Province (it connects Kandahar with Kabul).  The province is home to leaders and members of the insurgency and neighbors Kandahar Province.  Recent military operations have enhanced security which in turn helps with efforts to improve governance and development.  The following news release paints a rosy picture of the Afghan government's efforts in Zabul Province.  Let's hope it is true.  See "Measurable progress made in Afghanistan's Zabul Province", The Reading Eagle, January 16, 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan and USAID: Some Background

The Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) located in 26 regional areas across Afghanistan are an interagency effort to deliver governance and development to rural areas.  The PRTs assist the Afghan government, coalition military and the international community in delivering assistance at the provincial and district levels.

USAID plays a major role with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams.  Read a fact sheet on USAID and the PRTs at the link below:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Delivers Humanitarian Supplies in Afghanistan

A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is actively working with Afghan troops to deliver humanitarian supplies within the Paktya province.  Read more in "PRT links Afghan faces to Afghan progress", CJTF 82, November 10, 2010.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Canada's PRT in Kandahar 'Wildy Successful'

A U.S. diplomat who has worked in the south of Afghanistan recently had kind words for a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) headed up by Canadian forces.  Read "Canada's PRT in Afghanistan 'wildly successful': US diplomat", The Montreal Gazette, October 31, 2010.