The CERP was formally established by the Coalition Provisional Authority in July 2003 to provide U.S. military commanders in Iraq with a stabilization tool that benefitted the Iraqi people. The program supported urgent, small-scale projects that local governments could sustain, that generally cost less than $25,000, and that provided employment. DoD defined urgent as “any chronic and acute inadequacy of an essential good or service that, in the judgment of the local commander, calls for immediate action.” Among other things, CERP funds were used to: build schools, health clinics, roads, and sewers; pay condolence payments; support economic development; purchase equipment; and perform civic cleanup. DoD used CERP as a “combat multiplier” whose projects helped improve and maintain security in Iraq through non-lethal means. The program was considered “critical to supporting military commanders in the field in executing counterinsurgency operations” and its pacification effects important to saving lives.
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The aim of reintegration is to stabilize local areas by convincing insurgents, their leaders and their supporters to cease active and/or passive support for the insurgency and to become peaceful members of Afghan society. Reintegration will supplement the continuing lethal and non-lethal activities that form a part of counterinsurgency operations. Reintegration will complement efforts to support political, governance, social and economic opportunity within communities. U.S. support for the Afghan Reintegration Programs must be attuned to Afghan culture.
The Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds were the primary mechanism employed by Det L in using money as a weapons system. CERP funds were most readily available and afforded CA flexibility and responsiveness. CA Marines also used Post-Operations Emergency Relief Fund (POERF), an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) NATO fund available for named operations. With the MEB higher headquarters (Regional Command-South) able to authorize single expenditures of up to 17,500 Euros (approximately U.S. $23,301) and as much as 70,000 Euros (approximately U.S. $93,204) available at a given time, the benefits of POERF included the ability to fill gaps when CERP was not available or could not be used due to statutory restrictions. For example, governed by ISAF SOP 930 and described as having fewer bureaucratic hurdles to overcome than CERP, POERF was used to rapidly fund programs such as providing emergency financial assistance to internally displaced people who were forced to relocate due to MEB military operations.
The Money As A Weapon System – Afghanistan Commander’s Emergency Response Program Standard Operating Procedure supports the United States Government Integrated Civilian-Military Campaign Plan and ISAF Theater Campaign Plan (TCP). The Theater Campaign Plan lists objectives that include improving governance and socio-economic development in order to provide a secure environment for sustainable stability that is observable to the population. CERP provides an enabling tool that commanders can utilize to achieve these objectives. This is accomplished through an assortment of projects planned with desired COIN effects such as addressing urgent needs of the population, promoting GIRoA legitimacy, countering Taliban influence, increasing needed capacity, gaining access, building/expanding relationships, promoting economic growth, and demonstrating positive intent or goodwill.
January 4, 2011 in News
Roads, canals and schools built in Afghanistan as part of a special U.S. military program are crumbling under Afghan stewardship, despite steps imposed over the past year to ensure that reconstruction money is not being wasted, according to government reports and interviews with military and civilian personnel. U.S. troops in Afghanistan have spent about $2 billion over six years on 16,000 humanitarian projects through the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, which gives a battalion-level commander the power to treat aid dollars as ammunition. A report slated for release this month reveals that CERP projects can quickly slide into neglect after being transferred to Afghan control. The Afghans had problems maintaining about half of the 69 projects reviewed in eastern Laghman province, according to the audit by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
August 19, 2010 in U.S. Army
The Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) has become a critical capability in the commander’s toolbox for conducting stability operations. CERP funds provide tactical commanders a means to conduct multiple stability tasks that have traditionally been performed by U.S., foreign, or indigenous professional civilian personnel or agencies. These tasks include but are not limited to the reconstruction of infrastructure, support to governance, restoration of public services, and support to economic development. This handbook focuses on basic tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for the application of the CERP. Its intended audience is the brigade, battalion, and provincial reconstruction team commander and staff. This handbook is based on lessons learned and best practices in use today in both Iraq and Afghanistan and identifies the training, planning, and operational procedures required to fund projects and services the commander requires during the conduct of stability operations. This handbook also provides the TTP to guide the commander through the regulatory and administrative requirements of the CERP.
The purpose of the CERP program is to enable commanders to respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements within their Area of Responsibility (AOR) by carrying out programs that will immediately assist the indigenous population. “Urgent” is defined as any chronic or acute inadequacy of an essential good or service that, in the judgment of the local commander, calls for immediate action. CERP is intended for projects that can be sustained by the local population or government and cost less than $500K per project. Projects equal to or greater than $500K are expected to be relatively few in number. Commanders are required to verify that local, national, donor nation, nongovernmental organizations or other aid or reconstruction resources are not reasonably available before using CERP funds.
June 14, 2010 in Department of Defense
The purpose of the Business Development and Outreach Program (BDOP) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) is to define the BOOP mission, roles and responsibilities of the Business Development Consultants (SOC) and the J3lDirector, BDOP, U.S. Government contracting procedures, ethical guidelines, BDOP initiatives, education, training and consulting support, vendor engagements, local engagement with government and business leaders, and cultural orientation for u.s. Forces Iraq/Afghanistan and Iraqi/Afghan interlocutors.
May 14, 2010 in U.S. Forces Iraq
OIF is a dynamic, full spectrum operation encompassing both kinetic and non-kinetic operations and is arguably the most complex and challenging fiscal environment in our nation’s history. The dollar amounts spent supporting or are substantial and represent the treasure of our nation. Leaders must know what funding resources are available and how to best apply them in order to gain the maximum operational effectiveness. This “Money as a Weapons System” (MAAWS) SOP is published to educate and advise you on how to financially resource operations here in Iraq. It will serve as a financial road map to assist you in navigating the myriad of funding challenges and issues that will arise during your time in Iraq.. recommend you keep a copy readily available, and ensure the appropriate leadership in your organizations has access to a copy as necessary.
October 21, 2009 in Multi-National Corps Iraq
Welcome to Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). OIF is a dynamic, full spectrum operation encompassing both kinetic and non-kinetic operations and is arguably the most complex and challenging fiscal environment in our Nation’s history. The dollar amounts spent supporting OIF are substantial and represent the treasure of our nation. Leaders must know what funding resources are available and how to best apply them in order to maximize their use.