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Civilian Surge

During the later part of the Afghan conflict (starting in 2009) the U.S. government decided to significantly increase the number of civilians in Afghanistan to aid in the stabilization and counterinsurgency efforts of the U.S. military. Described as a White House priority, the whole-of-government mechanism was hailed as an essential component of the counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan.

Implementation. The Department of State (DoS) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had to quickly recruit, train, and deploy hundreds of civilians to Afghanistan. This was harder to do than originally thought. The numbers of civilians deployed were less than needed and not always of the best quality.

Fielding. Many worked in Kabul at the U.S. Embassy or in the 'Green Zone'. Some would work in the Provincial Reconstruction Teams or PRTs located in one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

Reports and Publications about the Afghan Civilian Surge

Princeton, Lessons from the U.S. Civilian Surge in Afghanistan, 2009-2014, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton University, January 2016. This 39-page report is posted on website of the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI).

CAP, Rethinking the Civilian Surge: Lessons from the Provinicial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan, Center for American Progress, December 14, 2015.

Parker, Norma et al, Lessons Learned: USAID Perspectives on the Experience with Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan, USAID, June 2013.

Brown, Frances Z., The U.S. Surge and Afghan Local Governance: Lessons for Transition, United States Institute of Peace (USPI), Special Report 316, September 2012.

Civic, Melanie and Bernard Carreau, "Building a Civilian Lessons Learned System", Prism 1, No. 2, pages 133-140.

News Reports on the Civilian Surge in Afghanistan

September 8, 2011. "Cost of civilian 'surge' in Afghanistan: $1.7 billion", The Washington Post.

August 8, 2011. "Whatever Happened to the Civilian Surge in Afghanistan?", Time.

November 8, 2010. "Analysis: How to make civilian 'surge' in Afghanistan work", CNN News.

October 27, 2010. "Afghan Civilian Surge Lacks Integration With Military", ABC News.

March 31, 2010. "Waiting on a Civilian Surge in Afghanistan", Council on Foreign Relations.



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