Concerned is a clause added to the $874 billion US defense budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which calls for a second layer of oversight on aid to Ukraine modeled after the inspector general established for Afghan reconstruction. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida who leans conservative, has claimed that the White House lacks adequate controls to stop fraud and other misuse of the $113 billion in aid that Congress authorized to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
The Pentagon inspector general and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) are already collaborating with pertinent congressional committees to “ensure accountability,” according to the administration’s Monday argument. The GAO and the Pentagon inspector general are currently looking into “every aspect of this assistance,” according to a statement from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The White House is also against a defense bill amendment that would give the inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction more power. Inspectors from the US State Department and US Agency for International Development already oversee the aid, according to the OMB, so “this expansion is both unnecessary and unprecedented.”
Independent inspector general for Afghanistan’s reconstruction John Sopko issued a strong safeguards warning in February, saying that corruption could undermine US aid to Ukraine. Ukraine may experience a repeat of the US errors in Afghanistan, where much aid was “diverted or stolen.”
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According to Sopko, “you’re bound to get corrupt elements to steal the money, not just from the Ukrainian or host government, but also from US government contractors or other third-party contractors.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, led a campaign to audit the aid to Kiev, but Congress shut it down last year.
One of the most corrupt nations in Europe is Ukraine, according to various surveys. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky fired a number of top officials earlier this year for profiteering. According to a CBS News report from August 2022, corruption and waste prevented about 30% of the Western weapons sent to Kiev from reaching the front lines.
Biden Admin Says No To Independent Inspector for Ukraine Aid Oversight |
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