The Office of Inspector General of the United States Department of State has published a report entitled Inspection of the Afghanistan Affairs Unit. This 28-page PDF is dated November 2022. The OIG reviewed the U.S. State Department’s Afghanistan Affairs Unit’s operating environment, and inspected the unit’s executive direction, policy and program implementation, and resource management.
On August 31, 2021, upon the conclusion of the chaotic Kabul non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO), the Department of State (DoS) suspended operations at Embassy Kabul and moved the core embassy staff to Doha, Qatar. At this new location the staff was to maintain diplomatic operations and respond to the ongoing political and humanitarian crises in Afghanistan. In February 2022, the DoS formalized the Doha operation as the Afghanistan Affairs Unit (AAU) – its status now the official U.S. diplomatic mission to Afghanistan.
The DoS OIG report provided six recommendations to improve AAU operations:
- The Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs should delineate and publicize the roles and responsibilities of the Afghanistan Affairs Unit and other Department offices dealing with Afghanistan issues.
- The Afghanistan Affairs Unit should maintain its official website with current and relevant information.
- The Afghanistan Affairs Unit should implement a unified, mission-wide contact management system.
- The Afghanistan Affairs Unit should develop and implement a written fraud prevention strategy and standard operating procedures.
- The Afghanistan Affairs Unit should comply with Department records management requirements for records storage and the capturing and archiving of electronic messages.
- The Afghanistan Affairs Unit should comply with the Department’s domestic employee teleworking overseas policy and eligibility requirements.
The report is more valuable and interesting for the understanding provided of the history, mission, inner workings, and functions of the Afghanistan Affair Unit than a reading of the six recommendations above.
Inspection of the Afghanistan Affairs Unit, U.S. Department of State Office of Inspector General, ISP-I23-05, November 2022, PDF, 28 pages.