The Pentagon has made a costly mistake. It turns out that the value of weapons and equipment sent to Ukraine has been overestimated by a whopping $6.2 billion dollars over the past two years. But don’t worry, the Pentagon has a plan to make up for this shortfall in future shipments.
According to Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh, an internal review revealed that the military had used the estimated cost to replace the transferred equipment instead of the actual value recorded in the Pentagon’s books. This discrepancy has resulted in a $3.6 billion shortfall this fiscal year, and a $2.6 billion shortfall in FY 2022.
But here’s the interesting part: since the money has already been allocated by Congress, the Pentagon has the authority to make up the difference without needing further appropriations. It’s like finding a hidden treasure just when you need it the most. And guess what? This windfall comes at the perfect time as FY 2023 is coming to a close and existing Congressional funds for the war effort were running low.
“It’s just going to go back into the pot of money that we have allocated for the future Pentagon stock drawdowns,” Singh said.
As if this revelation wasn’t enough, it also coincides with the long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive into Russian-occupied territory that began earlier this month. The counter-offensive has been an exciting exploration as Ukrainian forces test the Russian line for weaknesses. In response, Russia has launched an increasing number of drone attacks on Kyiv. The Kakhovka hydroelectric dam was even demolished, causing a mass evacuation and triggering an “ecological disaster.”
Throughout the war, the U.S. has approved a staggering $113 billion in aid for Ukraine, including $40 billion in military aid. The last aid package, passed by Congress last December, was meant to last until the end of FY 2023 in September. However, unexpected costs resulting from the counter-offensive may deplete those funds sooner than anticipated.
While President Biden has publicly pledged unwavering support for Ukraine until Russia is defeated, there are concerns that Republicans in Congress and public opinion may limit future aid as the war continues with no clear end in sight.
Just last month, Biden approved the transfer of F-16 fighters to Ukraine and the training of their pilots to fly them. This marks a reluctant escalation in the amount of long-range equipment being sent to the war-torn nation.
On Tuesday, Moscow claimed that the Ukrainian military was planning to strike targets in Russian-held Crimea using British and American missile systems, and warned that Russia would retaliate if that happened. Crimea is claimed by Ukraine, but was annexed by the Russian Federation in 2014 after an internationally condemned invasion.
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