The military presence within Provincial Reconstruction Teams negates the “neutral” public perception of humanitarian aid. In the modern era, humanitarian aid has become an independent, neutral, free action in times of need. Continuing to associate aid with an armed sovereign presence will detract from its ability to help.
Civilian specialists are often more experienced in reconstruction and growth than their military counterparts, and the inclusion of PRTs in the military budget takes away control and leadership from their most critical members. PRT leadership shows little consideration of the larger strategic implications of the tasks at hand, relying instead on an objective-oriented approach. This shortcoming has giving credence to the idea that reconstruction would be more effectively understood by the State Department.
Making matters worse is that the military is unable to adequately monitor or evaluate the success of PRTs, largely because its expertise simply isn’t humanitarian aid. Because the U.S. military’s tremendous ability lies in other areas, relieving our troops of the responsibility to provide aid would simultaneously strengthen our defense forces and improve humanitarian aid.