Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, was grilled by CNN on Sunday after the Pentagon revealed that the U.S. made an accounting error of at least $3 billion in the value of weapons it sent to Ukraine.
CNN’s anchor Jaker Tapper, said: “The Pentagon admitted this week that they made an accounting mistake that suggests that the U.S. may have at least $3 billion in Ukraine aid that they didn’t even know about.”
“That is a terrible accounting mistake. It gives ammunition to those who criticize U.S. assistance to Ukraine and to those who claim that there is not enough oversight. Do you worry about this accounting mistake?” Tapper asked Sullivan.
According to AP News, the Pentagon acknowledged Thursday that they overestimated by $3 billion the value of the weapons that were sent to Ukraine. This was in response to criticisms from Republican members of Congress who argued that American funding of the war in Ukraine could lead to a further escalation. Sullivan, on the other hand, argued that this $3 billion mistake was a lucky accounting error that would allow for more funding to be sent to Ukraine.
Sabrina Singh, Deputy Defense Public Relations Secretary, stated that the Department “discovered inconsistencies” in equipment valuations for Ukraine during its “oversight of presidential drawdown package.”
In some cases, the replacement costs’ were used instead of the ‘netbooks value’, which led to an overestimation of the value of the equipment that was taken from U.S. stock. The overvaluation of equipment has not affected our support for Ukraine or our ability to move capabilities to the battlefront,” Singh said.
Officials from the Department of Defense have also said that they will not restrict the government’s “support for Ukraine.”
“That money did not disappear out of the door,” Sullivan said to Tapper.
“That’s not a waste. This is a simple tally of how much military gear we’ve given them. The Pentagon counted the cost of the equipment that we provided, not just the cost. After you make this adjustment, we now have $3 billion more to spend on Ukraine to buy even more weapons,” he said.
“At the end of the day, not one penny of U.S. Dollars will have gone missing, or have been misallocated,” Sullivan concluded.
Sullivan acknowledged that it would have made it better if Pentagon had done the accounting right up front, but that American taxpayers can “be confident that this money is spent effectively and properly” and that Ukraine “gets what it needs”.
Since the Russian invasion in late February of 2022, the U.S. has provided almost $40 billion in military assistance. The letter was sent by 19 Republican members of the House and Senate to President Biden on Thursday, asking him to stop sending U.S. military aid to Ukraine. They argued that tensions with Russia have only increased with each additional package.
Here is the Fox News report: