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This guidebook is designed to help U.S. Army personnel more effectively use economic assistance to support economic and infrastructure development. The guidebook should help tactical commanders choose and implement more effective programs and projects in their areas of responsibility and better understand the economic context of their efforts. It describes key characteristics of the economic environment, the key players that soldiers are likely to encounter, and who may be involved in what sorts of assistance efforts. It also provides suggestions on what to and what not to do, with examples from current and past operations. Suggestions on providing assistance are grouped into the following areas: humanitarian assistance; infrastructure and essential services; agriculture; currencies, budgets, finance, and foreign trade; private sector development and employment generation; natural resource management; and the effects of the U.S. military on local economies. To write this guidebook, the authors visited commanders in Afghanistan, conducted interviews with returning U.S. military officers, drew on their own experiences in Iraq, Liberia, and the Balkans, and tapped the substantial literature about effective economic assistance.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    What You Need to Know Before You Go

  • Chapter Three

    Players, Coordination, and Resources

  • Chapter Four

    Humanitarian Assistance

  • Chapter Five

    Infrastructure and Essential Services

  • Chapter Six


  • Chapter Seven

    Currencies, Budgets, Finance, and Foreign Trade

  • Chapter Eight

    Private Sector Development and Employment Generation

  • Chapter Nine

    Natural Resource Management

  • Chapter Ten

    The Effects of the U.S. Military on Local Economies

  • Appendix A

    Holding a Bidder's Conference

  • Appendix B

    Areas of Responsibility for Relevant U.S. Government Agencies

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

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