The Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) announced the selection of the Honorable Robert P. Storch, the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG), as the Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) for Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR). In that capacity, Inspector General Storch will work closely with the other Lead IG partner oversight offices—the Department of State (State) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) OIGs—to deliver comprehensive and effective oversight of the wider U.S. response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The Lead IG designation will take effect on October 18, 2023
On July 13, 2023, the President of the United States issued Executive Order (EO) 14102, Ordering the Selected Reserve and Certain Members of the Individual Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty. EO 14102 authorized the Secretary of Defense to order reserve units and individuals to active duty for the effective conduct of OAR in and around the U.S. European Command area of responsibility. On August 18, 2023, the Secretary of the Army issued the first activation orders for OAR, resulting in the operation becoming a contingency operation as a matter of law. Upon the commencement of such contingency operations, and pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 419(b)(1), the CIGIE Chairperson is responsible for designating a Lead IG to provide comprehensive oversight and reporting over all aspects of the operation.
“Atlantic Resolve” dates back to 2014 when the United States began an effort to bolster the NATO alliance in the wake of Russian military actions in Ukraine. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, the mission has grown, with the U.S. Congress appropriating $113 billion for security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other countries affected by the war; U.S. European Command operations and related support for the U.S. military; and operations of other U.S. Government agencies involved in the Ukraine response.
Inspector General Storch stated, “The selection of the DoD OIG as the Lead Inspector General for Operation Atlantic Resolve reflects our steadfast commitment to transparent and comprehensive oversight of DoD security assistance in and around the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, including Ukraine. Our organization has served as the Lead IG for eight overseas contingency operations, and we are well-prepared for this new assignment. In carrying out this responsibility, I look forward to continuing our strong collaboration with our partners at State and USAID OIGs, as well as the larger oversight community, as we conduct this critical work for U.S. taxpayers.”
Acting Inspector General Diana Shaw, who will serve as the Associate Lead IG, said, “State OIG welcomes this new phase in our oversight of U.S. government assistance to Ukraine. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, we have been actively engaged with DoD OIG and USAID OIG in overseeing all aspects of the U.S. response. This designation enhances our existing oversight capabilities and will allow us to provide even greater assurance to Congress and the U.S. taxpayer that U.S. assistance is reaching intended beneficiaries, achieving intended goals, and free from fraud and corruption.”
Acting Deputy Inspector General, Performing the Duties of the Inspector General, Nicole Angarella said, “The designation of OAR as an OCO and the subsequent triggering of the Lead IG structure provides USAID OIG and our partner oversight agencies with critical authorities to further enhance our aggressive oversight of U.S. assistance to Ukraine. USAID OIG is committed to ensuring that the approximately $34 billion in assistance to Ukraine, executed by USAID, is not subject to waste, fraud, and abuse.”
As the Lead IG for OAR, Inspector General Storch and his State and USAID OIG partners, have deployed oversight staff to Ukraine and throughout the region, and have to date issued 44 oversight reports related to the U.S. response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with an additional 79 reports planned and ongoing. Together, the three IGs will continue to coordinate and collaborate to provide comprehensive, whole-of-government oversight of the U.S. response, and will issue publicly available quarterly reports on the contingency operation to Congress.