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Reference Guide 11-39
August 2011

Other Considerations


  • Personal relationships trump everything! Effective personal relationships can drive success despite otherwise ineffective planning, support, and execution. Conversely, poor personal relationships can cause failure even though functioning systems are working effectively.
    • Be civil and cordial, and above all, be professional.
    • Be patient.
    • Go face-to-face as much as possible. If face-to-face is not possible, use the phone over e-mail.
  • Support relationships. Need to agree upon and assign support relationships. When do military support civilians, and vice versa?
  • Leadership responsibility. Visibly promoting and setting the tone for strong working relationships and collaboration is a leadership responsibility - at all levels.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Each organization (brigade combat team [BCT], maneuver battalion [BN], and provincial reconstruction team [PRT]), to include Department of State (DOS), United States Agency of International Development (USAID), and United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA), has certain strengths, weaknesses, capabilities, and limitations. For instance, the PRT and the agencies are generally strong on expertise, but typically limited on personnel - one-deep in functional areas. It is essential that organizational leaders are made aware of these strengths and weaknesses from the outset. It is likewise essential that the "integrated command teams" collaborate to optimize strengths and overcome weakness.

It's really BNs. The maneuver BN is the linchpin organization for influencing/achieving "unity of effort":

  • The BN commander and PRT commander have the same boss.
  • The BN serves with the PRT in the provincial integrated command team.
  • The BN communicates directly and frequently with the BCT - and can serve as a conduit for the PRT. The BN commander understands the BCT commander's intent.
  • The BN communicates directly and frequently with the PRT (and district stability teams [DSTs]). The BN is involved in the battle rhythm of the PRT (and DSTs).
  • The BN owns the battle space in which the PRT and DSTs operate.
  • The BN partners/coordinates with the PRT (and DSTs) on key leader engagements, targeting, and nonlethal source of instability and capacity-building actions.
  • The BN has far more day-to-day contact with Afghan civilians (than the PRT has with them) by virtue of its vastly greater number of Soldiers and its security missions.
  • The BN can greatly enhance BCT and PRT efforts at supporting governance and development through its daily positive contacts with Afghan civilians, collection of district stability framework survey responses, etc.¬†Conversely, the BN can damage BCT and PRT efforts if some of its Soldiers act in an undisciplined manner towards the Afghan people.


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