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Report | Nov. 20, 2017

Lead Inspector General for Operation Freedom's Sentinel | Quarterly Report to the United States Congress | July 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017

This Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) report to the United States Congress on Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) is the 10th quarterly report detailing the overseas contingency operation (OCO). The report summarizes significant events involving OFS and describes completed, ongoing, and planned Lead IG and oversight partner agency work. This report covers the period from July 1, 2017, to September 30, 2017.

U.S. forces are conducting two complementary missions under OFS: 1) counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda, its associates in Afghanistan, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan (ISIS-K); and 2) training, advising, and assisting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led Resolute Support Mission. 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. 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.

This quarter, the United States announced a revised strategy to defeat the terrorists and insurgents in Afghanistan as well as South Asia. This strategy calls for a “conditions-based approach” with no timelines; an additional 3,000-4,000 U.S. troops to serve as advisors to the Afghan forces; increased pressure on Pakistan to end its support for terrorist and insurgent organizations; and expanded rules of engagement to enable U.S. forces to target the Taliban.  Meanwhile, the ANDSF put plans into motion to expand its special forces, and the first 2 of a planned 159 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters arrived for the Afghan Air Force, with pilot training programs expected to begin shortly.

Lead IG and partner oversight agencies released nine reports during this quarter that included a review of counternarcotics agreements, oversight of ammunition provided to the
Afghan forces, and an audit of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ programs in Pakistan. As of the end of the quarter, 61 oversight projects were either ongoing or planned. 

Lead IG investigations led to guilty pleas from a contractor receiving kickbacks and a Federal employee soliciting bribes. The Lead IG investigative components and the military investigative organizations initiated 13 investigations related to OFS, involving allegations of procurement or program fraud, corruption, and trafficking in persons. Seven OFS-related investigation were closed this quarter, and 31 remained open.

Beginning this quarter, United States Forces – Afghanistan classified key personnel statistics and metrics used to assess the ANDSF and Afghan security ministries. These figures, which were publicly released and addressed in this report last quarter, are now included along with additional related information in a classified appendix. This appendix is distributed and made available to the appropriate Government agencies and congressional committees.