Defense Forensics: Additional Planning and Oversight Needed to Establish an Enduring Expeditionary Forensic Capability
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
DOD used expeditionary forensics for collecting fingerprints and deoxyribonucleic acid DNA to identify, target, and disrupt terrorists and enemy combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan. The increased incidence of improvised explosive devices IEDs and other asymmetric threats has increased the demand for expeditionary forensic capabilities. Many of DoDs expeditionary forensic activities are resourced through DoDs Overseas Contingency Operations funds. DoD estimates that it cost between 800 million and 1 billion of these funds from 2005 through 2012 to support expeditionary forensics activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, as military operations are projected to draw down in Afghanistan, this funding is expected to substantially decline by the end of 2014. Consequently, DoD is taking steps to establish expeditionary forensics as an enduring capability in DoDs base budget. GAO was asked to examine DoDs expeditionary forensic capability. This report assessed the extent to which DoD has taken steps to establish an enduring expeditionary forensic capability. To address this objective, GAO reviewed relevant policy, plans, and budget estimates, and interviewed cognizant DoD officials. GAO is making four recommendations to DoD, including incorporating key elements in its strategic plan, periodically reviewing and evaluating DoD components proposed forensic budget estimates, including expeditionary forensics, and issuing guidance on collecting and reporting forensic budget data. DoD concurred with all four recommendations.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare