Report | Feb. 2, 2017

Lead Inspector General for Operation Inherent Resolve | Quarterly Report to the United States Congress | October 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016

 This Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) report on Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) is the eighth quarterly report detailing the overseas contingency operation (OCO). This report summarizes the quarter’s key events, provides an update on the nine Strategic Lines of Effort to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), describes completed, ongoing, and planned Lead IG agency and partner agency oversight work related to this OCO, and provides a brief overview of the Syrian civil war, particularly as it relates to OIR. This report covers the period from October 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016.

OIR is dedicated to countering the terrorist threat posed by ISIL in Iraq, Syria, the region, and the broader international community. The U.S. strategy to counter ISIL includes support to military operations associated with OIR as well as diplomacy, governance, security programs and activities, and, separately, humanitarian assistance.

Between October 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, Coalition-backed forces captured roughly two-thirds of the eastern half of Mosul, ISIL’s last stronghold in Iraq, and began operations to isolate Raqqah, ISIL’s self-proclaimed capital in Syria. In Iraq, ISIL responded with fierce resistance, deploying suicide bombers, snipers, rockets, and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices known as VBIEDs, among other tactics, to slow the Iraqi Security Forces attack on Mosul, and reactivated insurgent activity elsewhere in the country. In Syria, ISIL continued to control Raqqah and areas in the north and center of the country, and recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from the Syrian regime. This report discusses these and other activities that occurred during the quarter in more detail.

This quarter, the Lead IG agencies and oversight partners released 10 reports related to OIR. The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued reports on the U.S. and Coalition efforts related to forces in Iraq and the Department of State (DoS) OIG examined the vetting process for Syrian non-lethal assistance. The DoD OIG and DoS OIG issued reports on contractor oversight and controls in theater and the DoS OIG issued a report on governance and stability initiatives. The GAO issued a classified report addressing ISIL messaging and the Department of Homeland Security OIG released three reports on programs involving airport security, immigration, and drug interdiction. Additionally, the Lead IG agencies had 29 ongoing and 22 planned oversight projects, at the end of the  this quarter.

As of December 31, 2016, the Lead IG agencies had 50 ongoing OIR-related or 22 planned oversight projectsinvestigations pertaining to alleged , and 70 percent of them were related to procurement or program fraud and corruption. During the quarter, tThe Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the DoD OIG’s investigative component, also initiated a trafficking in persons investigations program and opened five such investigations related to OIR this quarter.

Section 8L of the Inspector General Act of 1978 provides a mandate for the three Lead IG agencies—the DoD OIG, DoS OIG, and U.S. Agency for International Development OIG—to work together to develop and carry out joint, comprehensive, and strategic oversight. Each IG retains statutory independence, but together, they apply their extensive regional experience and in-depth institutional knowledge to conduct oversight of the whole-of-government mission to destroy ISIL and address the severe humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria.