The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said last week that the Secretary of State needs to give Congress reports on Iranian activities in the Americas. The GAO report, Strategy to Counter Iran in the Western Hemisphere Has Gaps That State Department Should Address, details what appears to be an ongoing struggle between the Congress and Foggy Bottom to have the State Department produce information about Iranian threats throughout the region. The GAO’s only recommendation:
For elements identified in the Combatting Terrorism: Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012 that were not fully addressed in the strategy, the Secretary of State should provide the relevant congressional committees with information that would fully address these elements. In the absence of such information, State should explain to the congressional committees why it was not included in the strategy.
We’re hearing from senior Congressional officials that efforts are already under way to secure what is needed, albeit not “legally required.” While they are at it, Congress should also find out why the ODNI, at some point, appears to have been cut out of the consultation process.
Maybe the folks at Foggy Bottom will have a change of heart after the November 4 mid-term Congressional elections.
In a few days, we’ll publish a post on our findings of the study. In the meantime, a copy: