The Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General says the Biden administration has lost track of more than $ 1 billion worth of weapons donated to Ukraine. In a recent report, the inspector general said the Department of Defense did not comply with enhanced end-use monitoring (EEUM). The report further noted that the failure to track the weapons raises concerns that they could be stolen or smuggled.
According to a related New York Times article, almost 40,000 weapons should have been closely monitored because their technology and small size make them an attractive prospect for smugglers.
The report comes as Congress debates yet more aid to Ukraine, with Republicans hesitant to agree to funding packages, partly as a bargaining chip to pressure the White House to take action on the southern border.
Talks on the aid package stalled in December due to Republican demands, and in January, progressive lawmakers expressed their own concerns because aid to Israel is also included in the legislative proposal.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington said on January 11 that the US must place conditions on any further aid to the Jewish state. “It’s very important that Israel follow the international laws of war, and I don’t believe that they are right now,” she said. She is supported by independent Senator Bernie Sanders.
By way of compromise with the GOP, Biden has offered $6 billion for increased border control, but Republicans say this is not enough and will not solve the crisis. “Funding is not our problem,” said Floridian Rep. Byron Donalds. He added that the issue is one of policy, and President Biden can reverse those policies but chooses not to.
Overall, the spending package includes $14.3 billion in additional funding for Israel, as well as a further $50 billion for Ukraine. On top of criticisms that Biden is neglecting the US southern border, GOP lawmakers also accused him of “mishandling the worst war in Europe since World War II.”