After overestimating the worth of the munitions it has already provided Kyiv by approximately $3 billion, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday that it could deliver more weapons to Ukraine without spending approval from Congress.
According to AP’s reporting, the miscalculation occurred when government officials incorrectly estimated the cost of weapons already shipped to the conflict zone based on the valuation of new equipment rather than used equipment acquired from U.S. stocks.
Reports say this poor accounting methodology has come to light at a time when the Pentagon comes under increasing pressure from Congress to account for the billions of dollars it has sent in weapons, equipment, ammunition, and training to Ukraine.
Since older, already-existing equipment can be shipped to Ukraine more quickly, the Pentagon has elected to use it in many military aid packages. According to a statement released by Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh, the Department of Defense found anomalies in equipment valuation for Ukraine during its routine assessment of presidential drawdown packages.
Using ‘replacement cost’ rather than ‘netbook value’ might lead to overestimating the worth of equipment purchased with cash from the U.S. stock market.
Singh said the blunder hadn’t impacted U.S. support for Ukraine or the ability to get help to the front lines.
The AP quoted a defense official as saying that the Pentagon is still trying to calculate the exact size of the surplus.
The official said the comptroller had instructed the military services to assess all prior aid packages to Ukraine using the correct cost numbers, but they were only allowed to do so under the condition of anonymity so as not to compromise internal discussions.
The official explained that the department would have more budget flexibility as the Ukraine offensive approaches.
Ukraine has received approximately $37 billion in U.S. military aid since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
There has already been a warning that domestic military stocks have been driven to “dangerously low levels” not seen in decades due to the influx of U.S. weapons to Ukraine.