Pentagon Says It Discovered Extra $6.2 Billion For Ukraine Weapons Aid Thanks To Accounting Error

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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The Department of Defense (DOD) overestimated the value of weapons sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion over the past two years, a spokesperson said Tuesday, adding that the extra cash would be allocated to further aid.

An accounting error led to the Pentagon valuing weapons based on replacement costs instead of the book price for systems during fiscal years 2022 and 2023, leading to an over-accounting of $6.2 billion — twice as high as previous estimates, Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters at a briefing Tuesday. The surplus money will be devoted toward additional aid packages before the current fiscal year ends, she added.

“It’s just going to go back into the pot of money that we have allocated for the future Pentagon stock drawdowns,” Singh said.

The Pentagon previously disclosed that the accounting error produced a nearly $3 billion discrepancy, The Associated Press reported. Further review of the error exposed a $3.6 billion overvaluation of weapons in 2023 and $2.6 billion in the 2022 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. (RELATED: Leaked Document Appears To Show US Doubts About Ukraine’s Anticipated Counteroffensive: REPORT)

The revelations come as specifics on funds remaining for further security packages are unclear and the 2023 Congressional budget cycle is coming to a close, according to the AP.

The Biden administration reported $40.7 billion in total security aid to Ukraine since 2021 after the latest tranche of weapons and equipment was announced on June 13, according to a fact sheet. But, the actual number may be just under $34 billion.

Most of that aid is authorized via the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows the Department of Defense to pull directly from existing U.S. stocks, and would be the source of the accounting error. The remainder of U.S. weapons aid is contracted directly from the defense industry through a program called the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

Congress last set aside $45 billion in December to supply both Ukraine and backfill equipment the U.S. and NATO allies have allotted to Kyiv.

Two weeks ago, Ukraine launched a long-anticipated counteroffensive aimed at pushing Russia out of territory occupied since close to the beginning of the war. Experts said Ukraine timed the offensive based on when needed Western-donated equipment would arrive to the front.

“We’ve given Ukraine’s forces important training and impressive capabilities, but war is fluid, dynamic and unpredictable,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at a press briefing on June 15. “Ukraine’s fight is not some easy sprint to the finish line and our message remains clear: We will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

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