History of PRTs
PRTs are an initiative whose stated objectives include extending the influence of the Afghan government outside Kabul, encouraging international and non-governmental organizations to operate in rural areas outside of Kabul, and facilitating reconstruction. Primary functions are focused on the coordination of the reconstruction process, identification of reconstruction projects, conducting village assessments, and liaising with regional commanders. PRT interactions with local leaders/elders also establishes and maintains positive relations with the populations and enables a more stable and secure environment in the surrounding areas.
. Extend the authority of the central government beyond Kabul
. Monitor, assess and report on developments in the regions
. Facilitate information sharing
. Contribute to the reconstruction process
. Closely coordinate with the U. N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, non-governmental organizations and international
Purpose of PRTs
A PRT is not, and has never pretended to be, a uniformed NGO, nor an experienced construction or development agency.
The term "reconstruction" does not completely describe a force that has the comparative advantage over the abilities of civilian assistance organizations with its additional provision of security. Small military teams, British, German and US, can reach into remote communities, provide the "eyes and ears" on the ground, and simultaneously provide a deterrence presence and a tangible oversight of central government programs. Advantages include:
. They are armed and uniformed and so can work in the more insecure areas and have a higher risk threshold.
. They have clout-the reachback capability to the full force of their respective missions, which means they have access to a
robust power base and have an advantage over all other power holders (legitimate and illegitimate).
. They have high visibility in remote areas where their mere presence increases the perception of security and government
. They have long-range patrols to reach remote villages, bringing problems to the attention of the international community and
. They have the ability to spread central government information into remote areas and dispel rumors.
. They have diverse capability-security monitoring, reporting, limited reconstruction, information promulgation, a secure base and
good office facilities to meet with civilian persons, organizations and businesses.
. Bamian - New Zealand
. Tarin Kowt
. Parwan - South Korea/United States
. Lashkar Gah
. Mazar-E-Sharif - United Kingdom
. Konduz - Germany
. Anticipated openings (subject to change):
. Lashkar Gah - Sept. 30
. Tarin Kowt - Oct. 28
. Sharana - Nov. 21 (proposed)