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Pentagon watchdog: US did not track all weapons sent to Ukraine

by Abbey Fenbert January 12, 2024 1:00 AM 2 min read
Pentagon Spokesperson Gen. Pat Ryder at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Oct. 31, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
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The U.S. improved its systems for monitoring military aid sent to Ukraine, but failed to track over $1 billion in weapons as of June 2023, according to a report from the U.S. Defense Department Inspector General's Office published Jan. 10.  

Certain U.S.-supplied defense equipment is subject to enhanced end-use monitoring (EEUM), meaning the items are supposed to be closely tracked. The additional monitoring requirements apply to weapons such as Javelin and Stinger missiles, Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), unmanned aircraft systems, and night vision devices.

The inspector general's report says that of the $1.699 billion in EEUM-designated military aid sent to Ukraine, $1.005 billion remains "delinquent."

The report said there were multiple reasons the equipment wasn't inventoried, including personnel issues and "the absence of procedures for conducting EEUM in a hostile environment until December 2022."

The report also said that the U.S. Defense Department had improved its monitoring capacities and reduced its "overall delinquency rate."

Pentagon Spokesperson Gen. Pat Ryder said in a press briefing Jan. 11 that the findings do not mean weapons sent to Ukraine are being misused, diverted, or stolen.

There is “no credible evidence of illicit diversion of US-provided advanced conventional weapons from Ukraine," Ryder said.

“We do see some instances of Russia continuing to spread disinformation to the contrary, but the fact is, we observe the Ukrainians employing these capabilities on the battlefield. We’re seeing them use them effectively, for all the obvious reasons in that Russia continues to present a significant threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

The report may lend fuel to Republican lawmakers who oppose continued U.S. aid to Ukraine. Billions of dollars in additional security assistance to Ukraine remains locked in a partisan battle, delaying crucial aid as Kyiv enters its third year of war.

The inspector general's report did not say the EEUM delinquency indicated that the weapons had been stolen or diverted.

"It was beyond the scope of our evaluation to determine whether there has been diversion of such assistance," the report said.

The U.S. Defense Department sent personnel to Kyiv in September 2023 to assist with EEUM procedures.

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