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Afghan War News > Units > PRT

Provincial Reconstruction Teams
(PRTs) in Afghanistan

The first Provincial Reconstruction Team or PRT was established in Gardez, Afghanistan in early January 2003. A Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) from 20th Special Forces Group that had been deployed to Zaranj on the border with Iran was moved to Gardez to form the nucleus of a PRT. The SF ODA was augmented with Civil Affairs, medical, security personnel, and other personnel.

After years of fighting - first the mujahedeen against the communist regime and the Soviet invasion and occupation, then the civil war between the mujahedeen and the communist government, followed by the civil war among the various warlords and mujahedeen groups, and finally the Taliban takeover of the country - the country of Afghanistan was devastated. Afghanistan in early 2002 was severely devastated, underdeveloped, and with poor physical infrastructure. It was quite apparent to the United States and its allies that some type of reconstruction effort would be needed immediately after the fall of the Taliban.

Over the course of the next several years a number of PRTs were established in many of the Afghan provinces. These PRTs were provided by a number of different nations and many performed their missions quite differently from each other.

Number of PRTs. At various times during the Afghan conflict there were differing numbers of PRTs. Each PRT was based in a province and as many as 26 provinces had PRTs. some were led by the United States while others were led and staffed by other ISAF countries.

Function of the PRTs. The PRTs were focused on building a bridge from the provincial government to the national government and ministries but also a bridge from the provincial government down to the district and community level.

Military Manuals on Stability Operations and PRTs

DA, Afghanistan Provincial Reconstruction Team Handbook, Department of the Army, United States Army Combined Arms Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 2011.

DA, Stability Operations, Field Manual 3-07, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., 2008.

ISAF, ISAF Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Handbook, International Security Assistance Force, 2008.

DoD, PRT Playbook, Department of the Army, Fort Leavenworth: United States Army Combined Arms Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), 2007.

Papers, Reports, and Publications about PRTs
(pubs listed in chronological order)


Mitchell, David. "Blurred Lines? Provincial Reconstruction Teams and NGO Insecurity in Afghanistan, 2010-2011", Stability: International Journal of Security & Development,  March 2015. The author examines the claim by NGOs that the mixture of military and humanitarian operations has resulted in 'blurred lines' and that puts the NGOs in danger during a conflict.


Werner, LTC Lars. "The PRT Kunduz: An Unsuccessful Command Structure", Global ECCO, CTX Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2014. Werner served in the Kunduz PRT in 2011.


Blair, Katherine M. Progress in Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations: Can the U.S. Learn?, paper submitted for Degree of Masters of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University, 2012. . . . /Blair_american_0008N_10291display.pdf


Malkasian, Carter and Gerald Meyerle, Provincial Reconstruction Teams: How Do We Know They Work?, Carlisle: U.S. Army War College, 2009.


_____, Agency Stovepipes vs. Strategic Agility: Lessons We Need to Learn from Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., 2008.

Christoff, Joseph A., editor. Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan and Iraq", United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 2008.


Congress, Provincial Reconstruction Teams - Historical and Current Perspectives on Doctrine and Strategy, Committee on Armed Services, December 5, 2007.

Congress, Measuring and Increasing the Effectiveness of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, Committee on Armed Services, October 18, 2007.


Piiparienen, Touko. "A Clash of Mindsets? An Insider's Account of Provincial Reconstruction Teams." International Peacekeeping 14, no. 1 (2007): 143-57.

U.S. ____, Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan: An Interagency Assessment,  2006.


McNerney, Michael J. "Stabilization and Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Are PRTs a Model or a Muddle?", Parameters 35, no. 4, 2005, pages 32-46.

Perito, Robert M. The U.S. Experience with Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C., 2005.

News Articles about PRTs

February 15, 2011. "The unnoticed surge in Afghan security". Chicago Tribune. LTG William B. Caldwell, commanding general for the NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan, provides his thoughts on the growth and capability of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).




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