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11 Jan, 2024 15:24

Pentagon report finds failure to track $1 billion in weaponry for Ukraine

Nearly 40,000 pieces of highly sensitive military equipment were not adequately inventorized, a new report has concluded
Pentagon report finds failure to track $1 billion in weaponry for Ukraine

More than $1 billion worth of sophisticated weaponry sent to Ukraine by the US was poorly tracked, according to a new report by the Pentagon's inspector general. The redacted version of the inquiry's findings was made public on Thursday, one day after it was submitted to the US Congress.

The investigation focuses on the implementation of enhanced end-use monitoring (EEUM) procedures by the Pentagon. These procedures apply to a limited range of highly sensitive and sophisticated equipment and weaponry, including shoulder-mounted missile systems, kamikaze drones, night-vision devices, and other hardware.

According to the report, the US and its partner nations have supplied Ukraine with an estimated $1.699 billion worth of EEUM-designated hardware. However, despite efforts by the Pentagon and the Ukrainian military to conduct required inventories of the equipment, significant personnel limitations and accountability challenges persist. As of June 2, 2023, approximately 59% of the total value, just over $1 billion, remained improperly tracked.

Lack of proper accountability “may increase the risk of theft and diversion” of the sophisticated EEUM-designated equipment, the report notes. Thus far, the inspector general was not actually tasked with finding out whether the untracked hardware actually ended up stolen. 

“It was beyond the scope of our evaluation to determine whether there has been a diversion of such assistance,” the report reads.

The Pentagon inspector general “now has personnel stationed in Ukraine” and continues to investigate “allegations of criminal conduct with regard to US security assistance to Ukraine.”

Claims of misuse and theft of military hardware, lavishly poured into Ukraine by the collective West, emerged early into the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, which broke out back in February 2022. 

For instance, sophisticated weapons supplied to the country, such as the US-made ‘Switchblade’ kamikaze drones or NLAW shoulder-fired anti-tank missile launchers, have been reported readily available for purchase on the Darknet.

Weaponry destined for Ukraine has also reportedly surfaced during conflicts around the globe, including the ongoing escalation in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.