‘Smoke and mirrors’: Defense IG running more than 50 criminal investigations into Ukraine aid

The Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office is currently running 50+ investigations into all the money being funneled to Ukraine though the investigations have reportedly produced nothing substantive.

“The DoD OIG currently has more than 50 ongoing investigative matters at different stages looking into allegations related to U.S. security assistance for Ukraine of the type that we typically see in conflict situations, such as procurement fraud, product substitution, theft, fraud, or corruption, and diversion or counterproliferation,” the DOD IG, Robert Storch, told the Washington Examiner on Friday.

“However, based on our completed work to date, we have not substantiated any such allegations, though that may well change in the future,” he added.

Responding to this news, critics expressed doubt that there will ever be any real accountability:

According to Bloomberg, Storch’s office is working with the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to monitor the estimated $113 billion– with a B — that has been funneled to Ukraine by the Biden administration.

The auditors have thus far reportedly uncovered “stresses and gaps” in providing assistance, Scorch said. As an example, the audits revealed “incomplete manifests for shipments transferred to Ukraine through Poland.”

“As a result, DoD personnel did not have required visibility and accountability of all types of equipment during the transfer process,” the auditors reportedly said in a June statement.

Yet despite these issues, the Pentagon thus far “has responded well” to Ukraine’s military assistance needs “with the agility to carry out what’s essentially a train and supply mission,” Scorch said.

All this comes after the IG’s office released separate reports last week “on the department’s sustainment plan for Bradley, Stryker, and Abrams armored weapons systems and one on the sustainment strategies for the Patriot air defense systems,” according to the Examiner.

The office concluded that the DOD hasn’t yet pieced together a plan for the Ukrainians to make certain the weapons have long-term usefulness.

“While the DoD is currently working on developing such a plan, the lack of foresight in this matter is concerning, and should be rectified promptly,” Scorch reportedly said.

Pentagon deputy spokesperson Sabrina Singh meanwhile acknowledged last week that the DOD is “certainly aware that we could be doing more.”

“We have sent unprecedented security assistance to Ukraine at such a rapid rate. And Ukraine is right now, modernizing its military in the middle of a war,” she told reporters.

“On top of that, we don’t have boots on the ground in Ukraine. We don’t have people out in the field being able to do sustain — sustainment and maintenance alongside the Ukrainians, so we do offer tele-support, but again, we’re not on the ground,” she added.

All this also comes amid a separate investigation launched by the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.

“The Committee remains concerned about the Department of Defense’s (DoD) ability to conduct end-use monitoring of weapons, equipment, and other defense articles going to Ukraine,” the committee’s Republican members announced earlier this month.

“It is vital that DoD works to ensure weapons and other forms of security assistance are used for their intended purposes, that they do not fall into the hands of our enemies, and that the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse is mitigated. The Committee is seeking further documents and information to understand how DoD intends to ensure adequate oversight of defense articles for Ukraine in light of a recent Inspector General report casting doubt on DoD’s prior assurances to the Committee,” they added.

The Ukrainians for their part aren’t helping much because they’re too busy fighting.

“They acknowledge that they are fighting a two-front battle,” one senior official in the office of the Defense Department Inspector General told Defense One last year. “They are fighting the Russians and they were fighting internal corruption.”

Vivek Saxena

Comment

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles