Pentagon accounting error overvalued Ukraine military aid by $3B
The Pentagon revealed Thursday that it has overcounted the value of the military aid the United States has sent Ukraine by at least $3 billion.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the mistake that the Defense Department overestimated the value of the missiles, vehicles, ammunition and other equipment it sent from U.S. stocks to Ukraine due to an accounting error.
Deputy Defense press secretary Sabrina Singh confirmed the overestimation to The Hill.
“During our regular oversight process of presidential drawdown packages, the Department discovered inconsistencies in equipment valuation for Ukraine,” Singh said in a statement, referring to the authority that allows the administration to pull directly from its military inventory.
In some cases, the Pentagon used replacement costs to calculate the aid, rather than the weapons’ value when it was purchased, thereby overestimating the value of what was shipped to Kyiv, she said.
“This over-valuation has not constrained our support to Ukraine nor impacted our ability to flow capabilities to the battlefield,” she added.
A defense official said the Pentagon is still determining the total over-valuation but assesses it to be at least $3 billion.
The new estimation means another $3 billion worth of weapons is now available to be given to Ukraine, the official said.
Pentagon and State Department officials told congressional staff members of the oversight on Thursday, The New York Times reported.
The admission also means that the Biden administrations won’t have to ask Congress to authorize more aid for Ukraine in the near future — an ask that some on Capitol Hill believe could strain U.S. weapons stocks beyond what is safe for national security.
Still, some Republican lawmakers expressed frustration Thursday at the error, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.).
“The revelation of a three-billion-dollar accounting error discovered two months ago and only today shared with Congress is extremely problematic, to say the least,” the two said in a joint statement. “These funds could have been used for extra supplies and weapons for the upcoming counteroffensive, instead of rationing funds to last for the remainder of the fiscal year.”
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