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Handbook 09-27
April 2009

Chapter 10

Shura: Operation Enduring Freedom Local Leader Engagements

Shura (Arabic for consultation) is not representational in nature as defined in Army Regulation 37-47, Representation Funds of the Secretary of the Army, paragraph 201. The purpose of shura is not to extend courtesies to local leaders, but rather to meet with local civic leaders to discuss recent events, diffuse potential unrest, and foster relations and stability with the local Afghan people. Provincial reconstruction teams (PRT) and agribusiness development teams (ADT) may meet with local leaders to conduct village reconstruction assessments, identify reconstruction projects, and coordinate the reconstruction process. These events should not promote entertainment, mark a holiday, or dedicate a facility.

Guidelines

Commanders should hold events with civic leaders (authorized guests). Authorized guests include but are not limited to local Afghan citizens whose rank, position, function, or stature justifies official courtesies, such as provincial governors and leaders, village elders, and mullahs. Authorized guests may also be distinguished citizens; military personnel; or government officials, national or regional dignitaries, officials of citizens committees, and prominent citizens of local communities who have contributed to or who are needed to achieve U.S. objectives in Afghanistan.

Attendees

For events with less than 30 attendees, approximately 6 attendees (20 percent) should be authorized guests: a ratio of one authorized guest to four Department of Defense (DOD) personnel.

For events attended by 30 people or more, 15 attendees must be local nationals: a ratio of one authorized guest to one DOD personnel.

Funding thresholds and restrictions

Gifts and alcohol are strictly prohibited using operations and maintenance funding.

Funding thresholds:

  • Each PRT and battalion-size maneuver unit will be limited to $25 thousand (K) annually.
  • No single event will exceed a total cost of $2K for food or refreshments.
  • Units will not spend more than $20 per attendee for food and refreshments.
  • Commingling of battalion and PRT funds is prohibited. For control and execution in accordance with this policy, brigade task force (TF) commanders must ensure units do not commingle funds and properly allocate shura funds.

Duties and responsibilities

TF commanders (O-6 or above) will review the conference agenda to ensure compliance with the commanding general's guidance, approve requests for funding, and sign all Department of the Army (DA) Forms 3953 (Purchase Request and Commitment [PR&C]). The commander may not delegate this authority.

Battalion and PRT commanders will:

  • Develop and publish a conference agenda.
  • Complete a DA Form 3953 requesting the necessary funds.
  • Publish a list of invited conference attendees.
  • Forward a completed funding request packet that includes a conference agenda, list of attendees, recommended menu, and completed DA Form 3953 to the brigade staff judge advocate (SJA) for legal review.

The brigade SJA will review funding requests for legal sufficiency. If legally sufficient, the SJA will forward the package to the appropriate TF commander for approval. If insufficient, the SJA will return the request to the battalion or PRT commander with an attached legal opinion.

The supporting resource manager will ensure each submitted funding packet includes the following prior to certifying funds:

  • A properly completed DA Form 3953 approved and signed by the TF (O-6) commander.
  • A list of menu items to be purchased.
  • A list of all invited attendees.
  • A legal review from the unit SJA certifying that the request is legally sufficient.

Submit requests for exceptions to policy through the CJTF-101 SJA, Office of the Resource Manager (CJ8), and Civil-Military Operations (CJ9) to the Chief of Staff for approval.


 

 
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