Aid Delivery and Militarization of Reconstruction of Afghanistan


Besmel, Parwez, and Paul Deasy. 2012. “Aid Delivery and Militarization of Reconstruction of Afghanistan.” 

Authors: Parwez Besmel, Paul Deasy


This paper analyzes the role of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in aid delivery and militarization of reconstruction in Afghanistan. In order to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan population, American troops for the first time established a Provincial Reconstruction Team( PRT) in 2002 in Gardez province which is followed by other PRTs in Bamyan, Kundiz,Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, and Hirat provinces throughout 2003. PRT a civil-military organization within ISAF originally designed to assist in stability through capacity building, reconstruction and delivery of " essential public services such as security, law and order, justice, health care, and education" (PRT Handbook 2011, p 2). In contrary stability was not achieved and the Afghan government also remained weak. Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized PRTs and urged its transition and dismantling because he believes that they are impediment to the central government’s expanding its authority throughout the country. Using qualitative and quantitative analysis this paper we addresses these questions: Why PRT was created? How it militarized the reconstruction in Afghanistan? And what are the consequences of these militarization efforts.


This paper discusses the confusion among Afghans regarding who is in charge due to the parallel structure of aid delivery.  In fact, President Karzai believes that the current structure of aid delivery has actually weakened the Afghan government. The U.S. bombing followed by dropping aid packages continues to add complexity to the issue.  Additionally, relief work has been used as a logistical tool by the military to “gain the hearts and minds” of the Afghan population.  The paper suggests that the military should stick with security rather than humanitarian aid.  Women in particular are not supportive of the PRTs because they feel as the teams come in to do their work in the name of “women” and “women’s rights.”  

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Men, Humanitarian Assistance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Violence Regions: Asia, Middle East Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2012

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