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Report | Nov. 17, 2016

Lead Inspector General for Operation Freedom's Sentinel | Quarterly Report to the United States Congress | July 1, 2016 - September 30, 2016

 This Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) report to the United States Congress on Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) is the sixth quarterly report detailing the overseas contingency operation (OCO). The report summarizes the quarter’s key events, provides an update on the OFS mission and its operating environment, and describes completed, ongoing, and planned Lead IG and oversight partner agency work related to this OCO. This report covers the period from July 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016.

Under OFS, U.S. forces are conducting two complementary missions in Afghanistan: 1) the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led Resolute Support Mission to train, advise, assist, and equip Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, and 2) the U.S. counterterrorism mission against al Qaeda, the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), and their affiliates in Afghanistan. The objective of the Resolute Support Mission is to develop self-sustaining Afghan security forces that are capable of maintaining security under responsible Afghan civilian authorities. U.S. counterterrorism efforts remain focused on preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorists planning attacks against the U.S. homeland and against U.S. interests and partners.

This report describes the security situation in Afghanistan, including efforts by the Taliban and other insurgent groups to seize population centers and destabilize the Afghan government. In this report, we describe the key events and U.S. military officials’ assessment of the fight between Afghan security forces and the Taliban as the quarter ended. The report also discusses the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan and NATO-led efforts to strengthen Afghan security forces. The progress in building the capacity of Afghan forces continues to be slow and uneven. However, the international community confirmed its physical and financial support for the Afghan government at two important conferences that took place during the last 3 months.

This quarter, the Lead IG agencies, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and other oversight partners released ten reports related to OFS.  Examples of completed oversight work include an assessment of the U.S. and coalition efforts to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Army Special Operations Forces; a review of the management of the Afghan National Army vehicle maintenance program; a lessons-learned look at corruption in Afghanistan; and a study related to the oversight of construction projects supporting contingency operations. As of September 30, 2016, the Lead IG agencies and oversight partners had 47 projects that were either ongoing or scheduled to begin in FY 2017.

In addition, the Lead IG agencies and oversight partners were conducting 17 ongoing investigations into alleged fraud, waste, and abuse related to the OFS mission, as of September 30, 2016, and opened 3 new investigations of fraud, waste, and abuse related to the OFS mission and closed 3 investigations during the quarter.

Section 8L of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, provides a mandate for the three Lead IG agencies—the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG), Department of State Office of Inspector General (DoS OIG), and U.S. Agency for International Development Office of Inspector General (USAID 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 OFS mission.