Armed Conflict Executive Branch

Pentagon Improperly Tracked $1 Billion of Arms to Ukraine, Per Watchdog Report

Tyler McBrien
Friday, January 12, 2024, 10:44 AM
The Pentagon’s inspector general reports that 59 percent of the value of small arms sent to Ukraine remained delinquent.

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On Jan. 10, the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General published a report entitled, “Evaluation of the DoD’s Enhanced End-Use Monitoring of Defense Articles Provided to Ukraine.” The report found that the Pentagon failed to maintain an accurate inventory of $1.005 billion of the total $1.699 billion (59 percent) worth of small arms sent to Ukraine.

The report attributed several reasons to the Defense Department’s failure to track the shoulder-fired missiles, night-vision goggles, one-way attack drones, and other sensitive equipment given to Ukraine, including “the limited number” of Office of Defense Cooperation–Ukraine personnel “at logistics hubs in a partner nation” and in Ukraine; “the absence of procedures for conducting [end-use monitoring] in a hostile environment” until December 2022; “the movement restrictions for [end-use monitoring] personnel” within Ukraine; and “a lack of internal controls for validating data in the [end-use monitoring] database.

Though the report did not conclude that any military aid to Ukraine had been diverted from its intended use, the inspector general put forth several recommendations in light of the findings. The report recommends that Pentagon officials: improve inventory procedures for weapons, as well as the completeness and timeliness of loss reporting within the database; coordinate with the State Department; establish and implement procedures prior to transferring weapons to a hostile environment; improve the accuracy and completeness of the database; and others.

Read the report here or below: 

Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.

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