Pentagon 'Accounting Error' Will Free Up Extra $3 Billion for Ukraine

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

Pentagon officials confirmed on Thursday that an “accounting error” led to an overestimation of approximately $3 billion regarding the value of the ammunition, missiles, and other equipment it had sent to Ukraine, potentially paving the way for additional weapons to be provided to Kyiv in its defense against Russian forces.


According to two senior defense officials, the error occurred as a result of an inflated valuation assigned to the weaponry obtained from U.S. stocks and subsequently transferred to Ukraine.

“We’ve discovered inconsistencies in how we value the equipment that we’ve given,” a senior defense official told Reuters, who broke the story. “The services – the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines – were using the current replacement cost of the item.”

The official added there is a possibility that the extent of overvalued weaponry could exceed $3 billion, explaining that the Pentagon is currently carrying out a more thorough investigation.

Since August 2021, the U.S. has dispatched weaponry worth approximately $21.1 billion to Ukraine from its reserves. Although these funds have been authorized by a bipartisan majority of Congress, the issue remains controversial in both right and left-wing circles, which wish to see America decrease its involvement in foreign conflicts.

By altering the valuation of this equipment, the Biden administration could potentially postpone the need to seek additional funding authorization from Congress for Ukraine, particularly as the debt ceiling dispute continues.


The U.S. has so far provided Ukraine with a wide range of military equipment, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, Javelin anti-tank weapons, and a Patriot surface-to-air missile system. However, neither side is close to claiming victory in a war that has so far dragged on for 15 months and with no clear outcome in sight.

The White House, meanwhile, remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine and its President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. During remarks on Poland earlier this year, Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to supporting the war Ukrainian effort alongside dozens of other NATO allies:

President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail.  And the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail. Every day the war continues is his choice.  He could end the war with a word. It’s simple. If Russia stopped invading Ukraine, it would end the war.  If Ukraine stopped defending itself against Russia, it would be the end of Ukraine.”

That’s why, together, we’re making sure Ukraine can defend itself. The United States has assembled a worldwide coalition of more than 50 nations to get critical weapons and supplies to the brave Ukrainian fighters on the frontlines.  Air defense systems, artillery, ammunition, tanks, and armored vehicles.


Yet Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MO), the most senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said allowing the additional funds to go to Ukraine without Congressional approval would be a “major mistake.”

“The Department of Defense’s change in evaluating the costs of arms sent to Ukraine is a major mistake,” Wicker said. “Its effect would be to underestimate future needs for our European allies. Our priority should be a Ukrainian victory over Putin. Unilaterally altering military aid calculations is an attempt at deception and undermines this goal.”


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