This combined Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) quarterly and biannual report to Congress on Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) includes our second quarterly report on the overseas contingency operation as well as Lead IG oversight for the 6-month period, ending September 30, 2015. OFS has two complementary missions in Afghanistan: U.S. counterterrorism operations and U.S. support for NATO’s Resolute Support capacity building effort.
Our report examines U.S. activities in support of the OFS mission in this fluid operational environment. Afghanistan’s National Unity Government completed its first year in office on September 29, 2015, one day after the Taliban attacked and occupied the provincial capital of Kunduz. This high-profile attack demonstrated the challenges the Afghan government faces, with support from the United States and the international coalition, in bringing stability to the nation. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) were able to take back control of the city in mid-October. On October 15, 2015, President Obama announced his decision to keep the current U.S. troop level of 9,800 through most of 2016 and to draw down to 5,500 by the end of 2016.
The Lead IG agencies, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and other oversight partners continue to examine the sustainment of the ANDSF and the essential functions that support them, as well as the transition to a reduced military footprint in the future. We are also monitoring the capacity building and capabilities of the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF), which has assumed increased responsibility for counterterrorism operations, a mission new with the designation of OFS.
During this biannual reporting period, U.S. oversight agencies released 13 reports and have 38 ongoing and planned oversight projects related to the Resolute Support mission, ANDSF capacity building, and counterterrorism. In addition, the Fiscal Year 2016 Comprehensive Oversight Plan for Overseas Contingency Operations (COP-OCO), including the Joint Strategic Oversight Plan for Afghanistan featuring OFS oversight activities, became effective October 1, 2015.
Section 8L provides a mandate for the three Lead IG agencies—the Department of Defense Inspector General , Department of State Office of Inspector General , and U.S. Agency for International Development Office of Inspector General—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.