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.
(U//FOUO) U.S. Marine Corps Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Operations in Afghanistan Lessons Learned Report
This report is a continuation of the collection effort on units supporting operations in Afghanistan as directed by the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration. The collection sought to examine the mission, scope, successes, shortfalls, equipment, manning and emerging issues associated with 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (4th LAR) operations. Interviews of 28 commanders and staff were conducted at various camps and bases in Afghanistan from December 2009 – April 2010.
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.
To find out about the thousands of similiar projects that are currently being funded in Afghanistan, see: Afghanistan Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) Spending Data 2010-2011
Money As A Weapon System Afghanistan (MAAWS-A) SOP February 2011.
This data represents a complete breakdown of Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) and Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) planned spending in 2010-2011 by province and per capita as reported in CENTCOM’s CIDNE (Combined Information Data Network Exchange). The data includes information on more than 4300 projects going back as far as 2001.