The Biden administration has announced that it has an additional $6.2 billion available for aid to Ukraine due to an accounting mistake made by the Pentagon, according to the Associated Press. Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh clarified that the value of military equipment sent to Ukraine was determined based on replacement costs rather than the book value of the equipment. Singh confirmed that the final calculation for FY23 is $3.6 billion, while for FY22 it is $2.6 billion, resulting in a combined total of $6.2 billion, as reported by CNN.
Singh emphasized that these valuation errors did not impact the size of aid provided to Ukraine or hinder the provision of support. She stated that the money would be reallocated to the existing budget allocated for Ukraine. This additional funding is expected to reduce the necessity for Congress to pass an additional assistance package before the end of the fiscal year in September, as noted by CNN.
Since the conflict in Ukraine began, the United States has already provided $34 billion in military aid, along with a total spending package of $113 billion, which includes the replacement cost of weapons sent to Ukraine and aid for NATO allies supporting Ukraine.
The Pentagon identified the accounting error on March 31, and initially, they estimated the discrepancy to be $3 billion. This revelation sparked concerns regarding oversight and criticism of U.S. aid to Ukraine, with CNN’s Jake Tapper raising questions to national security adviser Jake Sullivan, as reported by Fox News.
Sullivan clarified that the accounting error did not mean that money had been lost or misallocated. He explained that it reflected how the Pentagon calculated the cost of military equipment provided to Ukraine, considering the replacement cost rather than the actual cost. Adjusting for this discrepancy revealed an additional $3 billion that could be utilized to provide more weapons to Ukraine.
Sullivan assured that no U.S. dollars would go missing or be misallocated in this process. However, the allocation of aid to Ukraine has been a contentious issue, with Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene expressing hesitation to approve the National Defense Authorization Act if it includes funding for the war in Ukraine.
On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell highlighted the importance of supporting Ukraine, emphasizing the investment in America’s own security and the benefits it brings to American workers and service members, according to Politico.