A Pentagon accounting error overestimates the value of weapons sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion – an error that has driven up the cost of every new aid program
- Accounting error left Pentagon with over $6 billion in unspent aid to Ukraine
- The error occurred because officials used the cost of the new weapons to calculate the cost, as opposed to the off-the-shelf supply the United States actually sent to Ukraine.
- The $6 billion in unspent aid will mitigate the need for Congress to approve additional aid to Ukraine before the end of the fiscal year
The Pentagon said an accounting error led to a $6.2 billion overstatement of the value of weapons sent to Ukraine over the past two years as the European nation battled a Russian invasion.
The material error means that there is a surplus of funds available for future military aid packages sent to Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters that the multi-billion error was the result of the military services using replacement costs as opposed to the book value of equipment sent in. Ukraine.
This error drove up the cost of each new aid program, as new weapons are more expensive than old ones, and thus led those affected to believe that more of the approved funding had been used than it had been. had not actually been spent.
The Pentagon on Tuesday admitted a $6.2 billion accounting error in the amount of strategic aid the United States has sent to Ukraine over the past two years.
Military aid, delivered as part of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, is unloaded from a plane at Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine
The discovery of the error was uncovered near the end of fiscal year 2023, giving the Pentagon an additional $6.2 billion to spend on military aid to Ukraine in the upcoming fiscal year.
The Department of Defense often uses what is called the Presidential Withdrawal Authority in order to get weapons to Ukraine faster than they would have to if they went through the normal bureaucratic process.
It allows the DoD to pull supplies from shelves or inventory and ship them directly to Ukraine.
The Pentagon-led Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative is intended to provide long-term financing for purchases such as air defense systems.
According to the Associated Press, the United States has committed more than $40 billion in security assistance funds – that is, money for long-term defense projects – to the Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion. Now taking into account the Pentagon’s miscalculation, that figure is more like $34 billion.
Authorities have approved nearly $113 billion in funding for Ukraine, split into four rounds – some of that funding is earmarked for resupplying equipment used on the front lines.
U.S. Marines and British Royal Marines conduct a landing drill from the sea during military exercise Baltops 23 near Ventspils, Latvia, June 6, 2023
Lithuanian military aid, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, delivered under the Ukraine Security Support Program, is unloaded from a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at the international airport of Boryspil outside Kyiv, Ukraine
Members of Congress have urged the DoD to better track the aid the United States sends to Ukraine lest American taxpayers’ money end up in the wrong hands.
The Pentagon has assured concerned members that a “robust program” is in place to track all aid entering Ukraine, and is then used to keep tabs on it while it is there.
Singh clarified that the accounting error will not impact the delivery of US aid to Ukraine.
The White House currently has no plans to ask Congress for further assistance to Ukraine until the end of the fiscal year in September.