40,000 Weapons Sent to Ukraine Have Gone Missing: Pentagon IG

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

According to a report by the Pentagon inspector general, more than 40,000 weapons worth more than $1 billion were shipped to Ukraine but never made it to the battlefield.


Many of the weapons were sent to a U.S. military logistics hub in Poland, while others were shipped directly to Ukraine. The equipment includes shoulder-fired missiles, kamikaze drones, and night-vision goggles.

Alexandra "Sasha" Baker, the acting undersecretary of defense for policy, said last November, when a draft of the report was leaked, that required accounting procedures “are not practical in a dynamic and hostile wartime environment."

The IG report found that "American defense officials and diplomats in Washington and Europe had failed to quickly or fully account for many of the nearly 40,000 weapons that by law should have been closely monitored because of their battlefield impact, sensitive technology, and relatively small size," according to the New York Times.

I guess they were too busy, or something.

“These are identified as the items — that because of their sensitivity, their vulnerability to diversion or misuse or the consequences of that — it’s particularly important to have this additional tracking and accountability in place,” said Robert Storch, the Pentagon’s inspector general. Storch is the primary watchdog for American aid sent to Ukraine’s war effort.


The report was sent to Congress on Wednesday and a copy of it was provided to The New York Times. The Pentagon’s inspector general released a redacted version of it on Thursday. It did not investigate whether any weapons had been diverted for illicit use, which “was beyond the scope of our evaluation to determine,” it noted.

So, whose job is it to determine if terrorists got their hands on a couple of dozen shoulder-fired missiles? The flying public wants to know.

Perhaps before we send another $60 billion to Ukraine, we might want to put into place more effective means to track the weapons — just as Congress has demanded.

The findings released on Thursday will almost certainly fuel skepticism in Congress over providing more military aid to Ukraine; already, House Republicans are blocking a national security spending plan that would provide an additional $61 billion for the war effort as frontline troops begin to run out of weapons. Combined with Ukraine’s long history of corruption and arms smuggling, the demand for closer accounting is certain to rise.

That we're two years into the war and the Biden administration is just now getting serious about tracking American military assistance is ridiculous. It's a timely question considering weapons that were already "delinquent."


As much as 60 percent of the arms and equipment that were provided as of June were “delinquent,” either because they were delayed in being inventoried in a database designed to track them, or because they were never added after they left American or allied military stockpiles.

Laziness? Incompetence? Stupidity? Perhaps a combination of all three? One billion dollars worth of U.S. weapons, not to mention the technology that created them, has literally gone missing and the bureaucratic game of CYA is preventing the IG from finding out if the weapons were diverted or just lost.

Biden and the Pentagon have been stonewalling Congress about possible corruption by the second-most corrupt government in Europe since the beginning of the war. They could and should do a much better job of tracking these weapons to keep them out of the hands of bad actors who could turn those weapons on the United States.


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