For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 13, 2007
Fact Sheet: Expanded Provincial Reconstruction Teams Speed the Transition to Self-Reliance
President Bush Participates in Video Teleconference with Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders, Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders, and Brigade Combat Commanders
In Focus: Renewal in Iraq
"Much of the progress we are seeing is the result of the work of our Provincial Reconstruction Teams. These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen moderates, and speed the transition to Iraqi self-reliance."
- President George W. Bush 6/28/07
Under The President's New Way Forward For Iraq, The Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Program Has Expanded. PRTs are joint civilian-military units that support local leaders and empower provincial authorities by working closely with the communities they serve. The expansion of this joint Department of State-Department of Defense mission will employ both civilian and military resources toward a common strategic plan.
- The Total Number Of PRTs Has Increased To 20 With The Creation Of Ten PRTs Embedded With U.S. Brigade Combat Teams; Personnel Are Increasing From 290 To Over 600, With Approximately 410 Now Deployed In The Field. Additional personnel also continue to be deployed to the original PRTs. The teams include American diplomats, military officers, development experts, and other specialists in fields such as law, engineering, industrial development, urban planning, and agribusiness from many U.S. departments and the private sector.
- Ten Of the New PRTs Are Embedded With U.S. Brigade Combat Teams In Baghdad, Anbar, And North Babil Provinces.
- Four Additional Embedded PRTs Are Planned For The Outer Baghdad Area. Another PRT Is Planned In Wasit Province Southwest Of Baghdad, Bringing The Eventual Total Number Of PRTs To 25.
Strategic Purpose Of The PRT Mission
- The Embedded PRTs 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. Targeting assistance, such as micro-loans 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. Assisting local and municipal officials, helping them more effectively interact with the central government and local citizenry, unlocking 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.
Accomplishments Of PRTs
The PRTs Are Implementing Programs Aimed At Improving Local Governance, Restoring Essential Services, Promoting Small Business, And Building Confidence And Reconciliation Among Their Iraqi Counterparts. A variety of activities are underway, and a number of accomplishments are evident in just the first two months after their stand-up:
- In partnership with the district council, an embedded PRT has aided the development of an Economic Growth Strategy, including a new Business Information Center to promote private sector economic growth.
- Another embedded PRT has assisted in the formation of a project management office that coordinates more than 168 projects, with a value of $400 million, in its battle space.
- An embedded PRT has promoted the renovation and reopening of the Doura Market Complex which has increased the number of shops open from only 2 in December to over 235 today.
- An embedded PRT has identified eight "model communities," through which the PRT will encourage local participation in government and increased security by establishing training and assistance programs.
- An embedded PRT has assisted the establishment of an Economic Development Office which is expanding business leadership by creating a jobs center, helping open up State-Owned-Enterprises, and promoting micro-businesses.
The Original 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 Erbil (Korea).
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.
- 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, 173 cases have been tried, resulting in 96 convictions and 77 acquittals.
- Baghdad: The Baghdad PRT has helped build the capacity of the Provincial Reconstruction Development Committee (PRDC) by strengthening the linkages between Baghdads nine Districts and six Qada councils and the Provincial Council. With the assistance of PRT the PRDC has approved a total of 68 PRDC projects worth $110 million in Economic Support Funds (ESF). At this time, 42 projects valued at $81 million dollars have been awarded for construction.
- Anbar: The Anbar PRT has played an active, and often central, role to help re-connect broken lines of communication between the central GOI in Baghdad and Anbar provincial government. The Governor is now able to directly advocate for the needs of his province with the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and other Executive branch leaders in the central Iraqi government.
- Diyala: The Diyala PRT has partnered with Iraqis on the Baqubah General Hospital Renovation a major addition to the existing basic structure will enable more specialized infant and child care as well as the detection and treatment of infectious diseases that impact a large portion of the local population.
# # #