The decade's most triggering comedy
The Pentagon has reportedly overestimated the value of weapons and equipment it has sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion dollars over the last two years, and it intends to make up the shortfall in future shipments.
According to Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh, an internal review found that the military had used the estimated cost to replace the transferred equipment instead of the value recorded in the Pentagon’s books. That discrepancy resulted in a $3.6 billion shortfall this fiscal year, and a $2.6 billion shortfall in FY 2022.
Since that money has already been allocated by Congress, the Pentagon has the authority to make up the difference without further appropriations. Conveniently, this windfall comes as FY 2023 comes 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.
The revelation also coincides with the long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive into Russian-occupied territory that began earlier this month. The counter-offensive thus far has largely been exploratory as Ukraine forces begin to probe the Russian line for weaknesses. Russia has responded by launching an increasing number of drone attacks on Kyiv. The Kakhovka hydroelectric dam was demolished early in the fighting, triggering a mass evacuation and an “ecological disaster.”
Over the course of the war, the U.S. has approved $113 billion in aid for Ukraine, and $40 billion in military aid. The last aid package, passed by Congress last December, was meant to last through the end of FY 2023 in September, but unanticipated costs brought on by the counter-offensive may exhaust those funds more quickly.
While President Biden has publicly insisted that the U.S. will support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia, Republicans in Congress and souring public opinion could limit future aid as the war continues with no clear end in sight.
Last month, Biden approved efforts by the U.S. and its allies to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine and to train their pilots to fly them, following a pattern of 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.