This is the 11th Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) report to the United States Congress on Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the overseas contingency operation (OCO) against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The report covers the period July 1, 2017, to September 30, 2017, and summarizes the quarter’s key events according to the five Strategic Oversight Areas adopted by the Lead IG agencies: Security, Governance and Civil Society, Stabilization, Support to Mission and Humanitarian Assistance. The report also provides a brief overview of the Syrian civil war, particularly as it relates to OIR, and discusses ISIS’s global reach and U.S. Government efforts to counter trafficking in persons in OIR areas of operations. Lastly, the report describes completed, ongoing, and planned Lead IG and partner agency oversight work related to OIR.
OIR is dedicated to countering the terrorist threat posed by ISIS in Iraq, Syria, regionally, and worldwide. The U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS includes support to military operations associated with OIR as well as diplomacy, governance, security programs and activities, and, separately, humanitarian assistance.
Between July 1, 2017, and September 30, 2017, Iraqi Security Forces supported by a U.S.-led Coalition of 73 nations and organizations defeated ISIS in Mosul, the northern Iraqi city where the group declared its “caliphate” in 2014, and in Tal Afar, a city located between Mosul and the border with Syria. In Syria, Coalition-back forces liberated more than 75 percent of Raqqah, ISIS’s self-proclaimed capital, by September 30, and ousted ISIS from remaining pockets of the city on October 17th. U.S. and Coalition forces continued to train, assist, advise, and equip partner forces in both countries. 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 five reports related to OIR. These reports related to acquisition and cross-servicing agreements, residential fuel loss, Rewards for Justice payments, and the Conventional Weapons Destruction Program. In total, 31 oversight project were ongoing as of September 30, 2017.
In addition, the Fraud and Corruption Investigative Working Group, consisting of representatives from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (the DoD OIG’s investigative division) coordinated 86 open investigations with the DoS OIG, USAID OIG, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The investigations involved allegations of procurement or program fraud, corruption, theft, and trafficking in persons.
Section 8L of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, provides a mandate for the three Lead IG agencies—the DoD OIG, Department of State OIG, and 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 whole-of-government mission to defeat ISIS and address the severe humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria.