Bureau of Public Affairs
March 28, 2007
Provincial Reconstruction Teams: Building Iraqi Capacity and Accelerating the Transition to Iraqi Self-ReliancePDF version
President Bush announced on January 10 that the United States will expand its Provincial Reconstruction Team program to support U.S. strategic priorities in Iraq and to help accelerate the transition to Iraqi self-reliance. Under the plan announced by the President, the expanded Provincial Reconstruction Team program will double the U.S. civilian presence in the provinces and decentralize efforts to accelerate transition to Iraqi self-reliance.
What are PRTs?
Provincial Reconstruction Teams, or PRTs, are small civilianmilitary units created to support local moderates and to empower provincial authorities. They are composed of American and Coalition diplomats, military officers, development experts, and other specialists in fields such as rule of law, engineering, and agribusiness. PRT members work closely with Iraqi provincial leaders and the Iraqi communities that they serve. While PRTs dispense money for reconstruction projects, the strategic purpose of these civil-military field teams is both political and economic. By building provincial governments' abilities to deliver essential services to Iraqi citizens, PRTs help to extend the reach of the Iraqi government to all corners of the country and help build the stability necessary to complete the transition to full Iraqi control.
How do Provincial Reconstruction Teams Work?
Provincial Reconstruction Teams bolster moderates by establishing and strengthening relationships with local Iraqi leaders — business leaders, community leaders, and elected officials — who are committed to building a prosperous, peaceful, and democratic Iraq. PRTs support these Iraqis through targeted assistance (such as microloans and grants) to help them start new small businesses and create jobs, provide services that meet the local needs of their communities, and develop the capacity to govern in an effective, sustainable way.
This is a joint military-civilian mission. PRTs utilize both civilian and military resources under a common strategic plan crafted by the Team Leader and Brigade Commander. The Team Leader leads a core team composed of a USAID Development Advisor, a Department of Defense Civil Affairs Officer, and a Bilingual Bicultural Advisor.
Where are the PRTs located?
The announced expansion of the PRT program will create 10 new PRTs, in addition to the existing 10 (20 in total): six new PRTs in Baghdad, three in Anbar, and one in North Babil - in addition to already existing U.S.-led PRTs in Baghdad, Anbar, Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah ad Din, Diyala, and Babil and Coalition-led PRTs in Basrah (UK), Dhi Qar (Italy), and Arbil (Korea).