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News | Jan. 18, 2024

Press Release: Management Advisory: Leahy Vetting of DoD-Trained Ukrainian Armed Forces (DODIG-2024-046)

Inspector General Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General released the “Management Advisory on the Leahy Vetting of DoD-Trained Ukrainian Armed Forces.” The advisory highlights limitations in the DoD’s ability to demonstrate compliance with the Leahy Laws, which prohibit the United States from providing assistance to a unit of a foreign security force if credible information indicates that the unit committed a gross violation of human rights.  Examples of gross violations of human rights include torture, extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, and rape.   

“DoD’s Leahy vetting process must ensure that we are not providing security assistance, such as DoD training, to foreign military units suspected of war crimes,” said IG Storch. “However, we found that the DoD’s vetting process lacked the necessary data to ensure full compliance, which increased the risk that foreign troops may have been or may be allowed to attend DoD training who were prohibited from doing so.”

For example, officials in the Office of Defense Cooperation-Kyiv (ODC-Kyiv) and the Security Assistance Group-Ukraine (SAG-U) were unable to verify which Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) units had been vetted and authorized to send personnel to specific training events. ODC-Kyiv and SAG-U were also unable to fully verify whether UAF personnel arriving at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany belonged to a Leahy-vetted unit.

As reflected in the Management Advisory, ODC-Kyiv took corrective measures by immediately changing how it documented units that received Leahy vetting and were approved to send personnel to training.  Nevertheless, in this Advisory, the DoD OIG made three recommendations to the Commander of U.S. European Command to further improve compliance. Among them, the DoD OIG recommended that ODC-Kyiv officials update their standard operating procedures to reflect the implemented procedural improvements. It further recommended that DoD officials should collect and maintain the necessary information to verify that UAF personnel receiving training belong to a Leahy-vetted unit.

This management advisory is the third report in a series of four oversight products pertaining to DoD training of the UAF. The first two reports were DODIG-2023-086, “Audit of DoD Training of Ukrainian Armed Forces,” and DODIG-2023-105, “Management Advisory: Security Classification Guidance in the U.S. European Command for Ukraine Assistance.” The last audit in this series, which is currently underway, will address training on the Patriot missile system and collective training for the UAF.