Pressure has continued building for the Biden administration and Pentagon to provide stricter oversight and accounting for the massive military assistance and weaponry sent overseas to Ukraine, at a moment total defense aid is about to hit the $20 billion mark.
GOP leaders have warned the Biden administration to expect greater restrictions and oversight during the next Congress. This as the kind of enthusiastic support for the Ukrainians among the broader American public seen in the opening months of the war appears to have turned to frustration at the spectacle of open-ended amounts of taxpayer funds being poured into a conflict which has no end in sight...
Tucker Carlson and L. Todd Wood question why Democrats have fought against an audit of the tens of billions of dollars the US has sent to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/c08s2pfZmZ— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 26, 2022
Despite the State Department and Pentagon recently presenting plans to ensure greater oversight, Republicans who will soon enjoy a slim majority in Congress are readying to press for more, reports The Washington Post.
"Yet the reckoning could begin before the Republican takeover. A series of provisions on offer in the House-passed version of this year’s annual defense authorization bill would require a web of overlapping reports from the Pentagon and the inspectors general who police transfers of articles of war, plus the establishment of a task force to design and implement enhanced tracking measures," The Washington Post writes.
Among the most dangerous and ambitious of these efforts so far was reveled weeks ago. American troops are said to be performing "inspections" of US weapon caches on the ground in Ukraine, but significantly away from frontline fighting. There have already been several inspections overseen by a US Defense attache and a US Office of Defense Cooperation team based out of the Ukrainian capital.
Yet as the new Washington Post reporting details, a growing number of Democrats are joining skeptical Republicans:
"The taxpayers deserve to know that investment is going where its intended to go," Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), a veteran-turned-lawmaker, said in an interview.
Crow led an effort in the House Armed Services Committee to include in the defense bill instructions to the Defense Department Inspector General to review, audit, investigate and otherwise inspect the Pentagon’s efforts to support Ukraine. He called the directive "necessary," even if he does not count himself among the critics insinuating the Defense Department and the Ukrainians have failed to take the matter seriously enough.
Recently there have even been documented instances of large amounts of US weaponry falling into the hands of Russian forces. And perhaps even more alarming is that Western-provided arms are ending up on the black market, and even make their way outside the country to criminal gangs, as the government of Finland recently admitted.
"We’re not playing a mission of perfection here. This is a brutal, large-scale land war — house to house, street to street, trench to trench. There will be things lost," Rep. Crow said further. "We’re not trying to prevent every single piece from falling into the hands of the Russians, but we want to make sure it’s not happening at a large scale."