Reconstruction Leaders' Perceptions of the Commander's Emergency Response Program in Iraq
SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION ARLINGTON VA
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Since 2004, the Congress authorized almost 4 billion for the Department of Defense s DoD Commander s Emergency Response Program CERP in Iraq. The CERP s purpose was to enable commanders to respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements within their areas of responsibility by carrying out programs and projects that provided immediate support to the Iraqi people. American Commanders in Iraq used CERP funds to build schools, roads, health clinics, sewers, and for non-construction projects like micro-grants to support economic development and condolence payments. The DoD viewed CERP as an important counterinsurgency tool that contributed to maintaining stability. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction SIGIR previously reported on the use of CERP in Iraq, raising questions about its scope, the challenges of managing large projects, and the susceptibility of the program to fraud. SIGIR s critique were echoed by others concerns about the use of CERP to support conventional i.e., non-counterinsurgency stabilization and reconstruction objectives, and whether the rules and procedures in place were adequate to safeguard the program from abuse. To ascertain the utility of CERP, SIGIR disseminated a survey that solicited the insights of reconstruction personnel who used or were associated with CERP. Along with Army battalion commanders the primary CERP users, SIGIR surveyed United States Marine Corps USMC battalion commanders, State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team PRT leaders, U.S. Agency for International Development USAID PRT members, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE officials. Taken together, these groups represent the primary U.S. government bodies responsible for the nomination, execution, and subsequent monitoring and evaluation of CERP projects during Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF.
- Administration and Management
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare