Committee hears testimony on PRTs

Oct. 18, 2007 at 5:09 PM
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WASHINGTON , Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A congressional hearing in Washington Thursday was aimed at the use and effectiveness of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee held the hearing highlighting the release of a final report on Provincial Reconstruction Teams by Special Inspector General for Iraq Stuart W. Bowen Jr. with additional testimony from Robert M. Perito, a senior program officer of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

“The new SIGIR report shows the need for putting effective tools in place to objectively determine whether Provincial Reconstruction Teams are fulfilling their missions," said Chairman Vic Snyder, D-Ark., and Ranking Member Todd Akin, R-Mo., in a joint statement.

"Five years after the initial Provincial Reconstruction Teams were established in Afghanistan, and more than two years after they began in Iraq, their progress is still measured through ad hoc observations and anecdotal evidence. The current evaluation process does not measure up to the importance of this mission."

Snyder and Akin also urged that everything possible be done to ensure the resources of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams are not wasted.

“We believe that the Departments of State, Defense, and others involved in the Provincial Reconstruction Teams mission must work together with a sense of urgency to craft strategic objectives and performance measures, so that Congress and the American people can have a clear view of what kind of progress is actually being made,” said Snyder and Akin.

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