Report | Dec. 16, 2016

Assessment of U.S. and Coalition Efforts to Train, Advise, Assist, and Equip the Kurdish Security Forces in Iraq DODIG-2017-033

 

Objective

To assess U.S. and Coalition efforts to train, advise, assist, and equip the Kurdish Security Forces (KSF) to conduct operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  

Findings

We found that the U.S. and Coalition train, advise, assist, and equip activities have helped the KSF to further develop its capability to conduct combat operations against ISIL.  

We also identified several areas for improvement in the U.S. and Coalition’s mission to train, advise, assist, and equip the KSF:

  • U.S. officials did not have a comprehensive written plan to sustain the two brigade equipment sets that the U.S. intended to provide to the KSF, which could result in equipment deterioration.
  • U.S. units lacked visibility of U.S.‑transported equipment (both U.S.-purchased and Coalition-donated) within the U.S.-managed supply chain to be supplied to the KSF, which could lead to duplicate acquisition as well as potential loss of accountability.
  • U.S. units initiated and performed informal advise and assist activities with the KSF in the areas of training, development, logistics, and ministry professionalization that needed to be established as an official requirement to sustain their positive effects.  

Recommendations

We recommend that:  

• Commander, U.S. Central Command:

  • Determine the requirements to sustain the functioning of the KSF brigade equipment sets and issue a written sustainment plan that includes those requirements.
  • Execute the requirements identified in the written sustainment plan.
  • Conduct periodic reviews to monitor readiness and take necessary actions to maintain acceptable readiness for the KSF brigade sets.

• Commander, U.S. Central Command, in coordination with Commander, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, review distribution procedures to ensure all equipment items, including both Coalition-donated and ITEF‑purchased (bought with Iraqi Train and Equip Fund [ITEF]), are tracked and monitored through the supply chain to ensure accountability throughout the distribution process.  

• Commander, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, in coordination with Combined Joint Force Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve, formalize and continue the current advise and assist missions being conducted in training development, logistics, and resource management.  

• Chief, Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq, formalize and expand the current advise and assist mission being conducted at the Ministry of Peshmerga.  

Management Comments and Our Response

The U.S. Central Command, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, Combined Joint Force Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, and Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq provided comments to a draft of this report.  

The Deputy Chief of Staff, Combined Joint Force Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve, disagreed with Recommendation B.1 and partially agreed with Recommendation B.3. The Chief, Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq neither agreed nor disagreed with Recommendation B.2.  

These recommendations addressed the need to develop and execute a sustainment plan for the two brigade equipment sets the U.S. was providing the KSF.  

Based on these responses from the field commands, as well as discussions with personnel from the U.S. Central Command Inspector General, we redirected Recommendations B.1, B.2, and B.3 to Commander, U.S. Central Command, who has the authority to direct their implementation.  We request Commander, U.S. Central Command, to provide comments in response to this final report by January 20, 2017.  

The Chief, J4-Operations, U.S. Central Command, responding for Commander, U.S. Central Command, and the Director, 1st Theater Sustainment Command ITEF Equipping Cell, responding for the Commander, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, agreed with Recommendation C to enhance asset visibility and capture accountability of ITEF-purchased equipment by coordinating on the implementation of a Logistics Management Modernization System by December 2016.   No further comment is required.  

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve agreed with Recommendation D.1 to formalize the current advise and assist missions being conducted in KSF training development, logistics and resource management.  No further comment is requested.  

The Chief, Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq neither agreed nor disagreed with Recommendation D.2, which was to formalize the current security assistance activities being conducted at the Ministry of Peshmerga.  Based on the Chief’s comments, we made minor revisions to the recommendation. Therefore, we request the Chief, Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq to provide additional comments on Recommendation D.2 in response to this final report by January 20, 2017.  

This report is a result of Project No. D2016-D00SPO-0046.000.