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Audit: Pentagon Overspent $400 Million in Ukraine Aid

Audit: Pentagon Overspent $400 Million in Ukraine Aid
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By Staff, Agencies

The US Navy has overspent hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine due to recurring accounting errors, according to a Pentagon watchdog’s report that warned the service branch may not have the funds to cover the shortfall next time.

The report released on Tuesday by the US War Department Office of Inspector General [OIG] stated that “the Navy overexecuted its funding three times during fiscal year 2022” when it came to Ukraine supplemental assistance.

While the US Navy appropriated around $1.7 billion in funds to Ukraine, the watchdog found that the branch “overexecuted its allotment of Ukraine assistance funds… totaling $398.9 million.” The overspending was due to the Navy’s failure to address long-standing problems with its automated accounting system.

As a result, accounting errors had to be corrected manually on several occasions, leading the OIG to stress that “the Navy did not have adequate internal controls to prevent over-execution of funds from reoccurring.” It added that the military branch also focused on identifying errors after they had already taken place, rather than preventing them.

The OIG warned that while the Navy had resources to cover the difference, “such funds may not be available in the future.”

While the US has become one of Ukraine’s most prominent donors, with Washington allocating around $113 billion to the embattled nation since the start of the conflict, major concerns have arisen about misuse of the funds.

An OIG report in January found that the Pentagon did not properly track $1 billion worth of weapons and other military equipment. This came amid the White House’s long-standing assurances that there was no evidence that weapons had been stolen, despite Ukraine’s reputation for rampant corruption.

Moreover, the Pentagon watchdog announced last month that it had opened more than 50 cases into possible “theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion” of military aid to Ukraine. One of the cases highlighted by Robert Storch, the OIG head, involved items arriving in Poland before disappearing from a shipping manifest once they were sent across the border into Ukraine.

Russia has consistently denounced the arms shipments and repeatedly warned of weapons spillover, alleging that the equipment finds its way onto the black market and into the hands of organized crime and terrorists.

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