What Provincial Reconstruction Teams Can Teach Us About Interagency Coordination

  • Ms. Sonya M. Tsiros

Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) were interagency teams employed in Iraq and Afghanistan to assist in stabilization and reconstruction operations. The experience of PRTs offers lessons for efforts to improve coordination of the activities of the various national security agencies at the strategic level. Many aspects of PRTs, including the physical colocation of different agency representatives and collaborative leadership structures, are necessary ingredients where close interagency coordination is required. Nonetheless, although PRTs provide a useful model, it is one that cannot be entirely duplicated in other environments. The key lesson PRTs offer is the importance of defined roles and mission, cross-agency funding to promote a unified effort, and coordinating structures at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.