Pentagon IG Doubtful Ukraine Is Tracking US-Supplied Arms, Will Conduct Audit
Starting all the way back in April, some US defense officials had been expressing concern that Ukraine weapons shipments sent from Washington were entering a big “black hole” once they cross the border into the conflict – given there appeared little to no oversight or accountability in terms of arms and serial number tracking.
Ukrainian government officials have taken pains to to try and assure Western allies and international press that they are indeed carefully monitoring the weapons and munitions provided from allies, also to ensure they don’t end up on the black market or in the hands of unauthorized militants or terrorists.
But now we have the closest thing thus far to confirmation that indeed there’s a lack of necessary oversight, given on Thursday the Pentagon’s acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell told Bloomberg that while he believes Ukrainian forces are using up all that they’ve been given by the US, it remains that there’s little “fidelity” as to where the weapons actually end up. This is due in large part, he explained, to the Ukrainians tracking external arms via hand receipts.
For this reason he’s looking to trace, test, and audit whether the Ukrainians are properly logging US-supplied military hardware. He says the Pentagon is on “alert” – looking evidence of gaps, missing weapons, and lack of oversight in the system.
Speaking of the Defense Department’s multi-billion dollar military assistance program, O’Donnell was quoted as follows in Bloomberg:
NATO officials “seem confident that the security was sufficient for the transfer of weapons” and “as far as we can tell, right now, everything that is supposed to shoot and go boom, they are using every bit of it,” O’Donnell said. But, he added, “this needs to be tested” through auditing.
…O’Donnell said the system had to be tested because Ukrainian officials do their accounting of American equipment with “hand receipts, it’s all paper.” Once equipment gets to Ukraine “I don’t think they have much fidelity” as to where it ends up, he said.
To illustrate the enormity of such an undertaking as overseeing an audit on whether the arms make it to their designated Ukrainian military recipients, the Pentagon IG explained the following:
“We have developed a universe of thousands of Ukraine-related contracts” that come in under $2 million each, Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell said in an interview. That’s more than 7,800 contracts valued at a combined $2.2 billion, O’Donnell added, even before an approaching deluge of bigger-ticket orders for advanced weapons such as the long-range HIMARS rocket systems prized by Ukrainian troops.
It must be remembered that the US infamously armed the jihadi resistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, only to have many of those weapons go straight into the hands of the Islamic State and other al-Qaeda affiliate groups. The consequence was an Islamic Caliphate that took over large swaths of Iraq and Syria.
US mainstream media has begun to begrudgingly admit there’s a serious problem…
We removed a tweet promoting our recent doc, “Arming Ukraine,” which quoted the founder of the nonprofit Blue-Yellow, Jonas Ohman’s assessment in late April that only around 30% of aid was reaching the front lines in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/EgA96BrD9O
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 8, 2022
And in Ukraine, Neo-Nazi groups like the Azov Battalion have been incorporated into the national armed forces. In an interview months into the war, President Volodymyr Zelensky was asked about the presence of these extremist groups within Ukraine’s military. Zelensky insisted they are “defending our country,” saying “they are what they are.” But regardless, this certainly isn’t stopping the Biden administration from pouring serious amounts of weaponry and military hardware straight into their hands.
Sat, 08/27/2022 – 13:00