• From the PRT Diaspora: A New Hope

    February 25, 2012 // Comments Off on From the PRT Diaspora: A New Hope

    An email from a former PRT member…

    Before I worked with the PRT program I thought the foreign service was full of brilliant diplomats and that all the policies were in good hands. Now I’m not so sure and feel unsettled anytime I hear the DOS is in charge of doing something important.

    Your book brought back so many memories as I was reading it I was struck by how common the experience was that we shared. I did 2.5 years on two PRTs in [Iraq]. As hopeless and ineffective as the program was though, it was also the best job I’ve ever had, just like the Peace Corps but with money. Maybe we didn’t accomplish much but a few of us did learn a great deal. And I will never forget all those great soldiers and a few of the civilians I worked with. Seriously, I did learn a lot there and hope to use the skills and knowledge to actually have a positive impact on Iraq in the coming years. I am currently in Baghdad about to launch a consulting firm to help companies operate and set up shop here.

    Despite all the incompetence that you accurately describe, I do see things going in a good direction in Iraq, at least as far as the economy goes. The commitment of the U.S. to stay despite all the losses we took deserves some of the credit for that. I set up a page on Facebook to follow economic developments.

    Please check it out, as the news is not all bad and I will be posting at least a few positive stories here and there.

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    Posted in Embassy/State, Iraq