This Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) quarterly report to the Congress is our fourth on Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) and covers the 3-month period, October 1-2015 – December 31, 2015. OIR is dedicated to countering the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq, Syria, the region, and the broader international community. The U.S. counter ISIL strategy includes support to military operations associated with OIR as well as diplomacy, governance, security programs and activities, and, separately, humanitarian assistance.
OIR saw significant changes, successes, and challenges this quarter. In October 2015, for example, the United States and its global coalition partners intensified strikes on ISIL targets, focused on retaking cities in Iraq and Syria, destroyed oil infrastructure and supply routes, and killed several of ISIL’s high-value fighters. However, many challenges remain, including clearing explosives and remaining ISIL fighters from liberated areas and providing critical stabilization support in cities like Tikrit and Ramadi, a city estimated to be 80% in ruin. The humanitarian and refugee crisis remains dire. Water, food, and other basic needs are still limited for millions of people displaced internally and millions who have fled to refugee locations outside of Syria or Iraq.
This quarterly report covers the events and activities that occurred related to OIR and the lines of U.S. effort as well as the associated humanitarian crisis. Major General Michael Nagata, the former Director of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force-Syria and Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command Central, was interviewed on the challenges and long-term objective of training moderate Syrian opposition fighters within the broader U.S. strategy for countering ISIL in Syria. A summary of that interview is included in the Building Partner Capacity section of the report.
During this reporting period, the Lead IG agencies continued to engage in strategic oversight planning and conduct oversight projects within their respective agencies. As appropriate, these oversight projects are mentioned throughout the report in the lines of effort discussions.
Section 8L provides a mandate for the three Lead IG agencies—the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG), 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 will apply their extensive regional experience and in-depth institutional knowledge to conduct integrated, strategic oversight of the whole-of-government mission to destroy ISIL and address the severe humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria.