The decade's most triggering comedy
A report just made public from the inspector general for the Department of Defense shows that the U.S. could not track all of the weapons and military equipment it had sent to Ukraine even as criminal gangs in the country have illicitly obtained military weapons.
The report, first filed in October 2022, was just released following a Freedom of Information Act request from The Heritage Foundation and other outlets and comes after lawmakers have expressed concerns over lack of oversight for the billions in U.S. dollars sent to Ukraine.
“During the evaluation, we found that the DoD was unable to provide end-use monitoring (EUM) in accordance with DOD policy because of limited U.S. presence in Ukraine,” the report says. “Therefore, we are issuing this report identifying the challenges faced by DoD personnel responsible for conducting EUM and Enhanced EUM (EEUM) when there are limited or no U.S. personnel present in the area the equipment is being used.”
After describing the inability of the U.S. to track all of the weapons it had sent to Ukraine, the report listed several examples of groups in the country obtaining military equipment for nefarious purposes, though the origin of the equipment remained unclear as the report was heavily redacted.
“In mid-August 2022, the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] disrupted a group of volunteer battalion members who took more than 60 rifles and almost 1,000 rounds of ammunition and stored them illegally in a warehouse, presumably for sale on the black market,” the report said.
In another instance, arms traffickers stole equipment from the frontlines.
“In late June 2022, the SBU disrupted a group of arms traffickers who were selling weapons and ammunition stolen from the front lines in southern Ukraine,” the report said.
The report also noted that members of an organized crime group controlled by a Russian official were able to obtain ammo and a grenade launcher after joining a volunteer Ukraine battalion.
“The group members joined a volunteer battalion using forged identity documents and procured weapons, including grenade launcher and a machine gun, and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. The perceived intent of the group was to conduct destabilizing activities,” the report said.
Since the war began, Congress has allocated roughly $113 billion in aid to Ukraine; no other country has come close to what the U.S. has sent. On Tuesday, the State Department announced that another $400 million in arms and equipment would be sent to Ukraine.
Included in the military aid is the decision from the Biden administration to send Ukraine cluster bombs, a decision that has faced some bipartisan criticism due to the nature of the bombs.
Some Republicans, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), have called for a complete end to aid to Ukraine.