Showing posts with label PRT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PRT. Show all posts

Thursday, February 28

Helmand PRT

The Provincial Reconstruction Team described in Fear of Beauty is a small subset of the overall Helmand team. The novel describes a US agriculture group, whose security members also have another mission in the remote area around fictional Laashekoh.

The actual and overall Helmand PRT is a complex organization, civilian-led, with 160 staff members. The PRT is led by the United Kingdom, a multinational effort of the US, Denmark and Estonia.

The PRT, which for years has dispatched teams around the province, describes its goals:

"Success in Helmand, where the insurgency and drugs trade interact to create particular challenges, is essential for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Why we do it It is vital that Afghanistan becomes a stable and secure state that is able to suppress violent extremism within its borders. We cannot allow Afghanistan to again become a safe haven for terrorists." 

Fear of Beauty provides but a small snapshot and a few insights into the PRT work. Progress has been made. For example, Mercy Corps has trained 50,000 people in improved farming techniques.

Is the story of Fear of Beauty improbable? Not according to some US veterans and Afghan refugees. 

Photo of Helmand River, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and US military.

Friday, February 8


One doesn't hear much about the PRTs - the provincial reconstruction teams scattered throughout Afghanistan, providing education, technical advice and resources for agricultural and other endeavors. As the United States and other country withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the teams are heading home, too, but not before cutting ribbons on projects intended to help Afghan people into the future.

A PRT team and Farah City officials celebrated the completion of a demonstration greenhouse project -  "intended to connect Farahi farmers with new and innovative techniques to improve crop yields and profit margins," reports Lt. j.g. Matthew Strong for DVIDS, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System. 

The greenhouse was a joint venture of the PRT; Abdul Manan Matin, head of the Farah Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock; and US AID. The organizers hope the greenhouse as a model for farmers to use in building their own facilities and develop Afghan agribusiness.

Strong quotes Matin in his article: "I want this facility to be like a home for Farahi farmers... a place where farmers can come to learn new techniques that help them make more money and support their families."

Fear of Beauty focuses on an PRT agricultural team working from an outpost in northern Helmand Province.