U.S. Embassy Baghdad
December 17, 2007
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs)
“We’re very focused on the need to return control to Baghdad. But we’re also very focused on the need to build capacity in the local and provincial governments and to be able to deliver economic and reconstruction assistance there.”
Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice
January 11, 2007
First established in Iraq in 2005 and inaugurated by Secretary Rice in November that year, the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) initiative is a civilian-military inter-agency effort that is the primary U.S. Government interface between U.S., Coalition partners and provincial and local governments throughout all of Iraq’s 18 provinces.
As of mid-December 2007 there were 28 PRTs located in all 18 of Iraq’s provinces -- 15 embedded with military units -- staffed by approximately 700 people. Since 2003, the U.S. Government has spent $32 billion on reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Iraq supported by PRTs.
The PRTs are an important tool in helping Iraq achieve economic and political stabilization by bolstering moderates, promoting reconciliation, fostering economic development and building provincial capacity.
They do this by assisting provincial and local governments to deliver essential needs like schools, roads and sewage and water services. A major focus is to build local and regional capacity in governance.
All provinces in Iraq are now served by a total of twenty-eight PRTs, with the majority of Iraq’s population served by ten full-sized teams stretching from Mosul in the north to Basrah in the far south. Coalition participation includes the British-led PRT in Basrah, the Italian-led team in Dhi Qar and the Korean-led team in Erbil. The PRTs work closely with a U.S. or coalition military unit in their area to build capacity in their Provincial governments.
Ten of the twenty- teams are the new “embedded” PRTs formulated as part of President Bush’s New Way Forward strategy. These civilian-led teams work hand-and-glove in BCTs (Brigade Combat Teams) or Regiments (U.S. Marines) to support the military surge in Anbar Province and the greater Baghdad area.
Manning of the PRTs is diverse: Department of State, USAID, Coalition military personnel, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Gulf Region Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contract personnel. The Office of Provincial Affairs within the U.S. Embassy Baghdad provides policy guidance and support to the PRT program.
PRT support comes from a variety of sources, including Coalition partners and donor nations with the majority coming from the U.S. Principal programs associated with PRTs include U.S. funded CSP (Community Stabilization Program); the PRDC (Provincial Reconstruction & Development Committee) program; the LGP (Local Governance Program); the Civil Society Program; and the INMA Agri-business Program.