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Pentagon Accounting Error: Overvaluation of Aid to Ukraine Reaches $6.2 Billion

Revised figures highlight significant miscalculation in weaponry value, impacting fiscal years 2022 and 2023

In a surprising revelation, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday that the accounting error initially reported last month regarding aid provided to Ukraine was significantly larger than previously stated. Rather than the initial estimate of $3 billion, the error amounted to an overvaluation of $6.2 billion. The error spans fiscal years 2022 and 2023 and stems from the method used to calculate the value of weaponry transferred to Ukraine.

During a news briefing, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh explained that the miscalculation occurred when the US military officials counted the value of replacing weaponry, rather than the value of the actual equipment, resulting in an inflated cost for each aid package. This method led to the false assumption that a greater portion of the funding had been utilized.

Singh clarified, stating, "In a significant number of cases, services used replacement costs rather than net book value, thereby overestimating the value of the equipment drawn down from US stocks and provided to Ukraine."

The revised calculation of the accounting error reveals a much larger discrepancy than initially estimated in May. For fiscal year 2023, the final calculation stands at $3.6 billion, while for fiscal year 2022, it amounts to $2.6 billion, bringing the combined total to $6.2 billion.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon assured that these valuation errors would not restrict or limit the size of any Program Objective Memorandum (POM) Development and Assistance (PDA), nor impact the provision of support to Ukraine. This means that the additional $6.2 billion accounting error is expected to alleviate the need for Congress to pass an additional assistance package before the end of the fiscal year in September.

Last month's initial revelation of a $3 billion accounting error triggered frustration among Republican lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees. They expressed concerns that the mistake resulted in reduced US support for Ukraine's counteroffensive efforts.

In response to the error, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul and House Armed Services Chairman Mike Rogers issued a joint statement, stating, "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."

The revised figures are expected to impact ongoing discussions between administration officials and lawmakers regarding the need for additional Ukraine funding. The White House had previously stated that it was not planning to request new Ukraine funding from Congress before the end of the fiscal year in September. However, some lawmakers and congressional staffers have expressed concerns that the existing funds could run out by mid-summer.

The Pentagon's revised accounting error highlights the importance of accurate financial calculations in matters of international aid and military support. The development underscores the need for increased scrutiny and transparency to ensure the effective allocation of resources and the smooth functioning of assistance programs.

As the investigation into the accounting error continues, the Pentagon remains committed to rectifying the issue and upholding its commitment to supporting Ukraine's defense capabilities and ongoing efforts to ensure stability in the region.

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