German and Norwegian Perspectives on Euro-Atlantic Security
Edited By Robin Allers, Carlo Masala and Rolf Tamnes
Chapter 12: Norwegian Lead in Afghanistan: A Small State Approach to a Large Commitment
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Norwegian Lead in Afghanistan:A Small State Approach to a Large Commitment
Lene Ekhaugen and Ida Maria Oma
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) have been a key, albeit contested, component of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.1 They constituted the main vehicle of the gradual geographic expansion of the mission. The 28 ISAF PRTs established across the country from late 2003 onwards were all joint teams of civilian and military personnel. They shared the mission statement of assisting the Afghan government in extending its authority, facilitating the development of a stable and secure environment, and enabling security sector reform and reconstruction efforts.2 They differed in a number of respects, however, such as size, composition and level of civil-military integration. Decisions concerning the structure of each PRT were a matter primarily for the lead nation – the country providing the core of a PRT.3
This chapter examines the evolution of the Norwegian-led PRT – the so-called PRT Meymaneh – in the North-Western province of Faryab.4 It details how and ← 237 | 238 → why the small state of Norway developed its own take on its PRT in Afghanistan, and demonstrates that Norway developed a military-oriented PRT partly distinct from the approaches of other ISAF PRT lead nations. The PRT’s role and structure was geared towards security rather than governance and reconstruction. It was also governed by a national policy dictating a strict separation of military and civilian roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, PRT Meymaneh largely evolved detached from any...
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