This Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) report on Operation Freedom's Sentinel (OFS) summarizes historical oversight activities from April 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021, and provides background about events leading up to recent, significant and fast moving developments in Afghanistan. Future Lead IG quarterly reports will further highlight these and other developments in Afghanistan.
During the reporting period, the Biden Administration announced that U.S. and NATO forces would withdraw from Afghanistan no later than September 11, 2021. The Department of Defense (DoD) announced that special operations forces would deploy to Afghanistan to support the safe withdrawal of U.S. personnel.
During the withdrawal, the Taliban increased its campaign of violence against ANDSF and civilians across the country. Despite the rise in violence, ongoing peace negotiations between the Afghan Islamic Republic and Taliban negotiating teams continued but achieved no substantive progress. According to the Department of State (DoS), the Taliban continues to engage in the peace process because the group seeks international legitimacy and assistance, as well as the removal of U.S. and UN sanctions.