The Department of Defense said an accounting error led it to overestimate the value of weapons being sent to Ukraine, freeing up at least $3 billion that can be used to provide additional military assistance.
“During our regular oversight process of presidential drawdown packages, the Department discovered inconsistencies in equipment valuation for Ukraine,” said Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh, per the Associated Press. “In some cases, ‘replacement cost’ rather than ‘net book value’ was used, therefore overestimating the value of the equipment drawn down from U.S. stocks.”
In other words, when the U.S. sent older equipment to Ukraine it sometimes valued it as if it were new. Correcting the valuations to reflect the age of the equipment reduces the total amount that has been sent to Ukraine so far, making it possible to send more material under existing authorizations. The U.S. has provided nearly $37 billion in military aid to Ukraine so far, with most of it being drawn from existing Pentagon stockpiles.
The news has been welcomed by some Ukraine supporters, since it will allow the U.S. to continue to provide aid to Ukraine into the fall without additional authorization from Congress. The Pentagon had said that about $2.3 billion remained from the funds provided through presidential drawdown authority, which worried some Ukraine supporters who are concerned that Republicans in the House may refuse to provide additional aid. Now, that figure is closer to $5.3 billion.
Still, some lawmakers complained that the accounting error may have harmed Ukraine as it planned its widely-expected spring offensive against Russian forces occupying parts of the country. “The revelation of a three-billion-dollar accounting error discovered two months ago and only today shared with Congress is extremely problematic, to say the least,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul and House Armed Services Chairman Mike Rogers in a statement. “These funds could have been used for extra supplies and weapons for the upcoming counteroffensive, instead of rationing funds to last for the remainder of the fiscal year.”