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U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine Was Poorly Tracked, Pentagon Report Concludes

U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine Was Poorly Tracked, Pentagon Report Concludes


More than $1 billion price of shoulder-fired missiles, kamikaze drones and night-vision gadgets that the United States has despatched to Ukraine haven’t been correctly tracked by American officers, a brand new Pentagon report concludes, elevating considerations they might be stolen or smuggled at a time Congress is debating whether or not to ship extra navy support to Kyiv.

The report by the Defense Department’s inspector common, launched on Thursday, presents no proof that any of the weapons have been misused after being shipped to a U.S. navy logistics hub in Poland or despatched onward to Ukraine’s battlefields.

“It was past the scope of our analysis to find out whether or not there was diversion of such help,” the report said.

But it discovered that American protection officers and diplomats in Washington and Europe had didn’t rapidly or absolutely account for practically 40,000 weapons that by regulation ought to have been carefully monitored as a result of their delicate expertise and comparatively small dimension makes them enticing bounty for arms smugglers.

The report was despatched to Congress on Wednesday and a replica of it was supplied to The New York Times. The Pentagon’s inspector common launched a redacted version of it on Thursday.

The excessive price of weapons that had been lacking or in any other case instantly unaccounted for in authorities databases “could enhance the chance of theft or diversion,” the report discovered.

Even with out higher strategies in place, it concluded, monitoring extra materiel despatched to Ukraine will “be tough because the stock continues to alter, and accuracy and completeness will seemingly solely grow to be harder over time.”

The variety of the weapons reviewed within the report represents solely a small fraction of about $50 billion in navy gear that the United States has despatched Ukraine since 2014, when Russia seized Crimea and elements of the japanese Donbas area. Most of the weapons which have been delivered to this point — together with tanks, air-defense programs, artillery launchers and ammunition — had been pledged after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Still, the Pentagon investigation presents a primary glimpse of efforts to account for probably the most high-risk instruments of American navy would possibly which have been rushed to Ukraine within the final two years. An growing variety of lawmakers, skeptical of the prices of being Ukraine’s single largest navy benefactor, are resisting sending extra support to Kyiv and have demanded the oversight.

The report didn’t element precisely how most of the 39,139 high-risk items of materiel that got to Ukraine within the years earlier than and after the invasion had been thought of “delinquent” however it put the potential loss at about $1 billion of the whole $1.69 billion price of the weapons that had been despatched.

As of final June, the newest knowledge obtainable, the United States had given Ukraine greater than 10,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 2,500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles and about 750 Kamikaze Switchblade drones, 430 medium-range air-to-air missiles and 23,000 evening imaginative and prescient gadgets.

Dangerous fight circumstances made it largely unattainable for Defense Department officers to journey to the entrance strains to make sure the weapons had been getting used as supposed, in line with Pentagon and State Department officers liable for monitoring them.

The required accounting procedures “will not be sensible in a dynamic and hostile wartime surroundings,” Alexandra N. Baker, the appearing undersecretary of protection for coverage, wrote in a Nov. 15 response to an earlier draft of the report.

She additionally stated there weren’t sufficient to Defense Department workers on the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to simply monitor all the most delicate weapons and gear, which she stated at the moment complete greater than 50,000 objects in Ukraine “and rising.”

It “is past the capability of the restricted D.O.D. personnel in nation to bodily stock, even when entry had been unrestricted,” Ms. Baker wrote in her response, a replica of which was included within the report.

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