The State Department’s inspector general is launching a series of investigations into the end of the Biden administration’s diplomatic operations in Afghanistan, according to State Department and congressional officials, as well as documents viewed by POLITICO.
The reviews will focus on the State Department’s Special Immigrant Visa program; Afghans processed for refugee admission into the U.S.; resettlement of those refugees and visa recipients; and the emergency evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul “to include evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan nationals,” according to an Oct. 15 action memorandum to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that was obtained by POLITICO.
Diana Shaw, the department’s acting inspector general, notified Congress of the move on Monday. In a separate letter to top lawmakers obtained by POLITICO, Shaw said her office was launching “several oversight projects” related to the end of the U.S. military and diplomatic missions in Afghanistan.
“Given the elevated interest in this work by Congress and the unique circumstances requiring coordination across the Inspector General community, I wanted to notify our committees of jurisdiction of this important work,” Shaw wrote in her letter, which was sent to leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as the intelligence committees in both chambers, among others.
Asked about the memo’s content, State OIG spokesperson Ryan Holden said “State OIG notified its committees of jurisdiction today of planned projects in the areas you mention. This work will be conducted in coordination with other members of the IG community. However, it is inaccurate to say that these projects are investigations. We indicated to Congress that these projects will be reviews.”