Pentagon overestimated cost of weapons sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion
Stars and Stripes June 20, 2023
WASHINGTON — The Defense Department overestimated the value of the weapons and equipment sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion, an accounting error that would allow the United States to provide more military aid to Ukrainian forces without asking Congress for additional money, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
“In a significant number of cases, [the military] services used replacement costs rather than net book value, thereby overestimating the value of equipment drawn down from U.S. stocks,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters. “These evaluation errors in no way limited or restricted the size of any of our [presidential drawdown authorities], or provision of support to Ukraine.”
Most weapons and equipment provided to Ukraine in its war against invading Russian forces have come through the presidential drawdown authority, which means the aid comes directly from Pentagon stocks and is sent quickly on an emergency basis. Aid given this way typically means it reaches Ukraine in a matter of weeks.
To date, the U.S. has provided more than $40 billion to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February 2022. The aid provided has included weapons, millions of munition and ammunition rounds, trucks, sensors, radars and other equipment.
The Pentagon reported in May that an accounting error of at least $3 billion for weapons and equipment for Ukraine was caused when officials used costs to replace some weapons rather than the current value of weapons.
Singh said Tuesday that the Pentagon overvalued the equipment that it had given to Ukraine in fiscal 2023 by $3.6 billion and $2.6 billion in fiscal 2022.
The U.S. earlier in June provided two packages of military aid for Ukraine worth just less than $2.5 billion. One worth $325 million included more Stryker and Bradley armored vehicles after reports that Ukraine lost more than a dozen Bradley Fighting Vehicles as its troops began a long-anticipated counter offensive a few weeks ago. The Pentagon also announced a long-term U.S. arms sale worth $2.1 billion to Ukraine focused on air-defense munitions.