Cablegate: Provincial Reconstruction Team Staffing Assessment


DE RUEHGB #1132/01 1020308
P 110308Z APR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) In December 2007, the Office of Provincial Affairs (OPA)
requested Team Leaders from the Provincial Reconstruction Teams
(PRTs) and the Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams (ePRTs) to
conduct a bottom-up staffing assessment to determine what, if any,
additional positions and skill sets they needed to effectively
address their teams' and OPA's goals and objectives. The deadline
for this assessment was February 15th. Upon review of these
submissions, OPA determined that the team leaders' initial requests
required additional justification and analysis. Consequently, we
directed team leaders to revisit their assessments, prioritize their
immediate skill set/position requests, indicate if life
support/billeting could be absorbed within the teams' resources, and
provide justifications for these new positions. This reassessment
yielded a total request for 65 new positions for our PRTs/ePRTs.
Given OPA's current authorized PRT personnel ceiling of 469, these
positions, if approved, would require an adjustment of the PRT
staffing limits to 534.

2. (U) Two key assumptions underlie this request: that the current
PRT footprint of 25 PRTs/ePRTs and 6 PSTs, would remain essentially
the same through 2009; and that MNC-I would provide appropriate life
support and military security to support PRT operations through that

3. (U) Skill sets/ numbers requested:

Governance - 14
To develop partnerships and effective working relationships between
and among provincial/local government entities and officials;
coordinate capacity development in multiyear planning, budget
preparation and execution; develop QRF projects to reinforce local
governance. (Included in this request is a Governance advisor for
Women's initiatives to continue with a particular focus on women's
issues in one of our ePRTs, which is targeting programming towards
women representatives on newly established district councils.

IPAOs (Iraq Provincial Action Officers) - 11
To provide political and economic reporting on provincial
atmospherics, improvements in progress towards five key strategic
objectives (Governance; political development; rule of law;
reconciliation; economic development).

Agricultural Specialists - 7
To perform baseline assessments of provincial agricultural sectors;
to coordinate with and advise local farmers, cooperatives, and
government agricultural officials on agricultural projects and
investments; use QRF and other program tools to assist in the
reestablishment of local agriculture infrastructure.

Business Development - 7
To conduct baseline business assessments and work with the private
sector and local government to foster business development,
especially in sectors with potential to generate significant
employment opportunities; to advise chambers of commerce and
business associations on methods to improve, expand or redirect
their activities to the benefit of their members, again with a focus
on opportunities likely to lead to employment growth.

Engineers - 5
To assist in training, coaching, and mentoring Iraqi
engineer/reconstruction counterparts on all aspects of project and
reconstruction development and management ; work with the Provincial
Reconstruction Development Councils to support competent engineering
assessments, scopes of work, quality assurance and control, and
project management, with a focus on projects supported by QRF.

Industrial specialist - 4
To advise and assist provincial governments in assessing,
developing, monitoring, and evaluating capabilities of local oil and
gas utilities and to suggest strategies and appropriate technologies
to improve production and distribution to the provinces; to advise
provincial governments on plans, programs, priorities, and policies
related to power generation and electrical grid planning

Public Health - 3
To work with relevant Iraqi organizations in the design and
execution of rural health care programs, hospitals, clinics, and
emergency medicine

Public Diplomacy officer - 3
To inform and advocate with local audiences for PRT/BCT programs in
support of Mission Strategic Plan objectives and highlight efforts
to promote reconciliation/anti-extremism, improved local education,
and to provide support to provincial and district authorities in the
effective use of media.

Rule of Law - 3
To serve as DOS and DOJ representatives responsible for rule of law
initiatives at provincial level; increase citizen access to both the
judicial system and legal representation; to serve as advisor to
local law enforcement and corrections' agencies and other rule of
law institutions.
Budget specialist - 2
To advise Provincial Council members and Provincial Accounting
Directors General on developing budget policies that promote
transparency, improve budget formulation and budget execution.

Public Utility specialists/Water, Waste Mgt., Public Works - 4
To provide expert assessment, advice and and enhance the
professional support to municipal service-providers, while managing
active reconstruction efforts on local water systems.; to support
public works initiatives at the provincial level; plans with and
supports local Iraqi counterparts charged with managing public works
projects including sanitary sewer, water, gas, electric,
telecommunications, and other public utilities as well as roads,
bridges, rails and public property planning issues. Knowledge of
environmental impact assessments required.

Veterinarians - 2
To build institutional capacity to improve animal health and food
safety practices and serve as general agricultural advisor to local
and provincial officials.

Management officer - 1
To manage and coordinate PRT logistical operations, QRF
administration, etc. (Note: given the administrative burdens placed
upon teams, frequent requests for information on various aspects of
PRT operations, and regular comments by team leaders, we would have
expected a greater expressed need for administrative support
positions on the PRTs. We are exploring additional options to fill
this need. End Note.)

4. (U) Deputy Team Leaders (DTL): On the PRTS, the essential
positions of Deputy Team Leaders are provided by MNC-I command.
However, on the ePRTs, team leaders have the opportunity to appoint
their deputies. Most have chosen from civil affairs officers
assigned to their teams. Others have designated the USAID rep as
deputy. A recent report produced by the Center for Army Lessons
Learned (CALL) notes that generally the DTL slots have been filled
by volunteers from within the Individual Ready Reserve System. Some
have/have not had the requisite civil affairs or interagency
experience valuable to leadership on the PRTs. OPA has been advised
that the Civil Affairs Psychological Operations Command (CAPOC)
might be a source of additional, experienced Civil Affairs Officers
with the skills necessary for the important position of DTL.

5. (U) OPA notes that three requests have been made for Public
Health specialists. Several months ago we hosted a senior
delegation of U.S. health officials (Navy Surgeon General, DoD AS
for Health, Director/CDC). All expressed interest in PRT activities
in public health. Additionally, the Embassy has recently welcomed a
Deputy Health Attache, who has expressed the interest of his office
in greater interaction with the PRTs. MNF-I has also stated its
interest in securing greater information on the Iraqi health sector.
This high level interest should be taken as a possible indicator of
increased public health activity at the PRT level.


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