Home Politics IG report finds Pentagon failed to account for more than $1B in weapons sent to Ukraine

IG report finds Pentagon failed to account for more than $1B in weapons sent to Ukraine

by admin
Read this article for free!
Plus get unlimited access to thousands of articles, videos and more with your free account!
Please enter a valid email address.
By entering your email, you are agreeing to Fox News Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided.

A new Department of Defense Inspector General report released Thursday finds more than $1 billion worth of weapons sent to Ukraine were not properly tracked by U.S. defense officials. 

The DOD IG has personnel stationed in Ukraine and is investigating with its Defense Criminal Investigative Service allegations of diversion of weapons. For now, the IG says, ‘It was beyond the scope of our evaluation to determine whether there has been diversion of such assistance.’ 

The weapons in question are small and include shoulder-fired missiles, one-way attack drones and night-vision devices. 

‘From a monetary perspective, the delinquent serial numbers account for more than $1.005 billion of the total $1.699 billion (59 percent of the total value) of EEUM‑designated defense articles as of June 2, 2023,’ the report says. ‘Until those challenges are resolved, the DoD will not be able to fully account for all of the more than $1.699 billion in EEUM‑designated defense articles provided to Ukraine.’

As Congress weighs sending more U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, a growing number of lawmakers are demanding greater oversight. 

The Pentagon sent the report to Congress on Wednesday and a redacted version was released Thursday.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby reacted to the report’s findings at a Thursday press briefing.

Despite concern that sensitive weapons material could be bartered by arms dealers on the black market, Kirby largely justified why American defense officials didn’t fully account for nearly 40,000 weapons that the U.S. provided to Ukraine by citing the active warzone and risk of sending personnel to conduct inventory on the frontlines. 

‘Let me broadly say, we have for many, many months now been interested in improving and improving accountability over the end use of material that is provided to Ukraine. We have had that conversation with our Ukrainian partners and they share our concerns about accountability,’ Kirby said. ‘Now, we are grateful for the work that the DoD did, that was a  significant body of work and we appreciate that. We’re going to go through this. I know DoD has already gone through this and reacted to it.’

Kirby noted that report ‘made clear that DoD has made some improvements, including things like handheld scanners and trying to boost a little bit of the footprint there at the embassy to try to help with better tracking of material.’ Kirby also noted that in the report ‘there’s no evidence of any sort of wide scale diversion or illicit diversion of any of the material that’s been going on to Ukraine,’ and given the wartime environment, ‘there are real limits to our ability to count every… bullet, every artillery shell.’

‘We have a small footprint at the embassy of military men and women who are working on this accountability,’ Kirby said. ‘We don’t want to, nor should we be expected to, put them in greater harm’s way, closer to the front, to inspect every little shipment and how it’s being used. I mean, it’s a combat environment.’

Since Russian forces seized Crimea and portions of the Donbas region in 2014, the United States had provided more than $47 billion in military assistance to Ukraine. Before the February 2022 full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, as the IG report notes, Office of Defense Cooperation personnel with the U.S. embassy in Ukraine ‘were required to inspect and document serial number inventories of new EEIM-designated defense articles in Ukraine.’ But especially after U.S. employees were ordered to evacuate Kyiv, the inventory process was disrupted. 

Since then, during the course of the Biden administration sending another approximately $44.2 billion in military assistance, according to the State Department’s estimates released in late December, the inventory process and delinquency rate has improved. 

Regarding the logistical challenges of inventory during an active war zone, the IG report states, ‘ODC-Ukraine personnel experienced logistical and personnel limitation challenges that prevented them from conducting inventories of all EEUM-designated defense articles before transfer into Ukraine. ODC-Ukraine officials stated that they relocated additional staff to the logistics hubs in a partner nation in July 2022 to conduct initial serial number inventories of EEUM-designated defense articles upon their arrival. An ODC-Ukraine official stated that the geographic distance between the logistics hubs posed a challenge that impeded conducting EEUM inventories.’

The report, however, still notes the ‘DoD did not fully comply with EEUM program requirements for defense article accountability in a hostile environment.’

The DoD Inspector General did not clarify exactly how many of the 39,139 high-risk pieces of material that were given to Ukraine in the years before and after the February 2022 full-scale invasion were considered ‘delinquent.’ But as the New York Times noted, the latest data available from June shows the U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than 10,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 2,500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, about 750 Kamikaze Switchblade drones, 430 medium-range air-to-air missiles and 23,000 night vision devices. 

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

You may also like