– Domani Spero
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the May 20-21, 2012, NATO summit in Chicago expressed agreement to phase out the PRTs in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The July 2014 CRS report also indicates that as of December 1, 2013, 12 PRTs have been transferred to Afghan control, and that the remaining 16 are to be transferred by the end of 2014. District Support Teams (DSTs), which help district officials provide government services, are to close by the end of 2014 as well. USAID and CRS calculations put the PRT projects cost (development and local governance) from FY2001 to 2011 at over USD $1.2 billion.
Below via the CRS:
The PRTs, the concept for which was announced in December 2002, have performed activities ranging from resolving local disputes to coordinating local reconstruction projects, although most U.S.-run PRTs and most PRTs in combat-heavy areas focused on counterinsurgency. Many of the additional U.S.civilian officials deployed to Afghanistan during 2009 and 2010 were based at PRTs, which have facilities, vehicles, and security. Some aid agencies say they felt more secure since the PRT program began,49 but several relief groups did not want to associate with military forces because doing so might taint their perceived neutrality. Virtually all the PRTs, listed in Table 15, were placed under the ISAF mission. Each PRT operated by the United States has had U.S. forces to train Afghan security forces; DOD civil affairs officers; representatives of USAID, State Department, and other agencies; and Afghan government (Interior Ministry) personnel. USAID officers assigned to the PRTs administer PRT reconstruction projects. USAID spending on PRT projects is in the table at the end of this report.
Despite the benefits, President Karzai consistently criticized the PRTs as holding back Afghan capacity-building and repeatedly called for their abolition as “parallel governing structures.” USAID observers backed some of the criticism, saying that there was little Afghan input into PRT development project decision-making or as contractors for PRT-funded construction.
* * *
- PRT Farah transfers Forward Operating Base Farah to Afghanistan (dvidshub.net)
- PRT Paktya: A change of command, a change in mission (dvidshub.net)
- Provincial Reconstruction Team – Uruzgan share Iftar with Afghan colleagues (dvidshub.net)
- Hungary to grant one-off aid to Afghan interpreters (politics.hu)
- Afghan schools and clinics built by British military forced to close (guardian.co.uk)
- Canada’s PRT in Afghanistan ‘wildly successful’: U.S. diplomat (canada.com)