For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 22, 2007
Fact Sheet: Expanding Provincial Reconstruction Teams to Achieve Iraqi Self Reliance
President Bush Meets with Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders
In Focus: Renewal in Iraq
"We will double the number of provincial reconstruction teams. These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen the moderates, and speed the transition to Iraqi self-reliance." President George W. Bush, 1/10/07
Under The President's New Way Forward For Iraq, The Number Of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) Will Increase. PRTs are joint civilian-military units that support local leaders and empower provincial authorities by working closely with the communities they serve. The expansion is a joint Department of State-Department of Defense mission that will employ both civilian and military resources toward a common strategic plan.
- The Number Of PRTs Will Increase To 20 And In Personnel From 290 To Over 600.
- The Ten New PRTs Will Be Embedded In U.S. Brigade Combat Teams In Baghdad, Anbar, And North Babil Provinces.
Strategic Purpose Of The Expanded PRT Mission
- The Expanded PRTs Will Serve As Powerful Tools In Achieving Our Counterinsurgency Strategy By:
- Bolstering Moderates. Using a decentralized approach to reach out beyond the central government to identify and empower those who reject violence as a means of achieving their goals.
- Promoting Reconciliation. Fostering improved communication and cooperation across Iraqi society to facilitate dialogue and the equitable use of Iraqi resources for the benefit of all the Iraqi people.
- Fostering Economic Development. Targeted assistance, such as microloans and grants to help create small businesses and jobs, provide services to meet community needs, and develop capacity for effective and sustainable governance.
- Building Provincial Capacity. Assist local and provincial officials, helping them more effectively interact with the central government and local citizenry, unlock Iraqi funds to support the delivery of critical essential services to the Iraqi people, and promote increasing self-reliance.
- By Helping Build Provincial Governments' Abilities To Deliver Essential Services To Iraqi Citizens, PRTs Help Extend The Reach Of The Iraqi Government In Key Provinces And Help Build The Stability Necessary To Complete The Transition To Full Iraqi Control. PRTs will use both civilian and military resources toward a common strategic plan crafted by the Team Leader and the Brigade Commander.
The Existing Program Includes U.S.-Led PRTs In Baghdad, Anbar, Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah Ad Din, Diyala, And Babil, And U.S. Participation In Coalition-Led PRTs In Basrah (UK), Dhi Qar (Italy), And Arbil (Korea).
- The Expansion Will Add Six New PRTs In Baghdad, Three In Anbar, And One In North Babil. Additional personnel will also be deployed to existing PRTs. The teams will include American diplomats, military officers, development experts, and other specialists in fields such as law, engineering, and agribusiness.
Accomplishments Of Existing PRTs
PRTs Help Provincial Leaders Secure Funds From The Central Government By Helping Forge Better Working Relationships Between Provincial Leaders And Their Counterparts In The Central Government. Through these new relationships, provincial leaders are able to voice their concerns and obtain approvals for critical essential services projects. This process helps them develop greater self-reliance and increases their capacity to govern.
- Kirkuk: Through PRT assistance, Kirkuk's provincial government nominated and approved 575 projects funded by Iraqi Rapid Reconstruction and Economic Development Funds. This is a major step forward in managing their own projects and finances.
- Ninewa: The Ninewa PRT helped establish the Mosul branch of the Central Criminal Court of Iraq to adjudicate terrorism cases. Since the Court opened in December, 40 cases and 56 defendants have been tried resulting in 32 convictions and 24 acquittals.
- Baghdad: With Baghdad PRT assistance, the Baghdad Provincial Council established a local newspaper, the "Baghdaduna." This weekly newspaper increases government transparency and accountability by publicizing Provincial Council decisions and reporting news about Baghdad Province.
- Anbar: The Anbar PRT fostered intra-Anbar dialogue between the Provincial Council and anti-insurgent tribal leaders, resulting in increased engagement with all parties to encourage a power-sharing agreement.
- Diyala: The Diyala PRT partnered with Iraqis to create an agricultural soil testing laboratory used by all sectors of the agricultural complex, resulting in improved soil fertility and nutrition in the area.
- Babil: The Babil PRT helped enhance fiscal and project management as well as improve infrastructure by assisting the Babil provincial government in organizing a Project Management Unit in order to responsibly commit $115 million from the 2006 capital investment budget.
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