Sen. J.D. Vance Warns Colleagues: Weapons Sent to Ukraine Were Not Adequately Tracked

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) has circulated a memo to Republican colleagues in advance of a closed-door meeting on Ukraine aid warning that nearly 60 percent of the $1.699 billions in weapons with sensitive technology that were given to Ukraine were not tracked, according to a recent Pentagon watchdog report.

The memo’s “Bottom line” said:

Claims of radical transparency and tracking of U.S. weapons in Ukraine are simply not accurate. Assertions that that ‘there is no evidence of illicit transfer of [enhanced end-use monitoring] defense articles provided to Ukraine’ sidestep the reality that an accurate, up-to-date inventory of U.S.-supplied weapons in Ukraine — which the DOD [inspector general] report demonstrates that the U.S. does not have — is necessary to determine whether weapons have fallen into the wrong hands. The DOD IG found that while revised inventory processes have ‘contributed to an improved delinquency rate,’ ‘significant personnel limitations and accountability challenges remain.’

While the Pentagon has long-insisted there is “no evidence” of widespread diversion of military equipment given to Ukraine, Vance’s memo noted that the Pentagon IG report found that U.S. personnel on the ground could not keep up with the “volume of weapons streaming into Ukraine and failed to keep an accurate, timely record of them.”

The report said it was only in September 2022 — more than six months after Russia’s invasion that February — that a less fallible barcode scanner system was finally introduced.

The EEUM items given to Ukraine represent only a small portion of the more than $23.6 billion in U.S. weapons given to Ukraine.

In total, Congress has approved more than $113 billion for Ukraine since the conflict with Russia began, with about $45 billion of that in security aid, and the rest in economic and humanitarian aid.

The Pentagon claims it has now run out of authorized funds for Ukraine. It last released a $250 million security assistance package on December 27, which included 155 mm rounds, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and other high-demand items drawn from existing U.S. stockpiles. However, an additional $1.7 billion has been provided by the State Department in the form of foreign military financing.

The Biden administration is seeking to send $61 billion more in aid to Ukraine as part of a $110 billion security package that has been hung up in deliberations in the Senate since last year. The package would also fund aid to Israel, as well as include money for border security, but Republicans say more needs to be done and spent on the border.

 

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