Georgia County Government - November/December 2012 - (Page 24)

Feature A First-Hand Look at Governing in Iraq and Afghanistan By Mike Stewart In 2008, Government Relations Manager Mike Stewart left the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) to pursue an opportunity to lend his local governance expertise to the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan through a program developed by the U.S. Department of State. Initially hired as a city management advisor, Stewart was assigned to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) located at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Warhorse in the Diyala Province. After several weeks of training on governance in Iraq, cultural norms and counter threat measures, Stewart deployed to Iraq in early August 2008. ACCG is pleased to share the following account of Stewart’s experience. M 24 ike Stewart was assigned to the PRT branch in Muqtadiya, the second largest city in the Diyala Province, and at one time identified by Al Queda in Iraq as their “caliphate,” or the center of operations. Although he was slated to serve as the State Department representative and advisor to the U.S. military, he ended up working on banking and budget issues in the capital city of Baqubah. First Stop: Diyala Province, Iraq In February 2009, Stewart was asked to lead the infrastructure team on the PRT. As part of this assignment, he developed a system with his team and the Iraqi officials to establish budget priorities, assess needs and measure progress. Shortly thereafter, the infrastructure and governance sections of the PRT were combined into one team and Stewart was asked to lead the combined unit. As a result, Stewart and his team were better able to coordinate efforts with the larger provincial government and the local governments in the province. Stewart and his team made much progress in developing trust with their Iraqi counterparts. They helped to identify and to find ways to better manage the budget process and spend money allocated from the central government in Baghdad. Mi Mike S tewart ’s initial assignment ewar t s niti l ssignmen art niti ial ignm nt wit with he S Dep rtm nt th S tat with the U.S. Department of the State epa me wa to was to ser ve as the cit y management ve h city anagem n gem advisor o th Provincial advisor for the Provincial o Recon tru tion ea locate at Recons truction Team located at ons ruction ocated F or war Ope n Base F OB) Forward Operating Base (FOB) war FOB) Warh Warhor e Diya a rovince. hi Warhor se in Diyala Province. T his iy vinc pho p ov des aerial ie photo provides an aerial view of the hot aerial iew i he base Pho by ike Stewar t base Photo by Mike S tewar t. e. Phot h k GEORGIA COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - November/December 2012

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Augusta-Richmond County
2013 Legislative Preview
2012 Legislative Service Awards
A First-Hand Look at Governing in Iraq and Afghanistan
Preferred Partner News: How 4G LTE is Changing the Face of County Government
Preferred Partner News: FivePoint’s Suite of Products: Making Georgia Courts More Effi cient
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - November/December 2012