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US Department of Defense to Deploy Team in Ukraine for Aid Oversight

15 Sep 2023 06:44

Islam Times - The US Department of Defense is set to establish a dedicated team in Ukraine to oversee American aid provided to Kiev, CNN reported.

This development comes amid increasing calls by Republican lawmakers in the United States for enhanced scrutiny of aid distribution.

According to the Department of Defense inspector general, senior US officials initiated their work in Ukraine at the end of last month. Additional personnel are anticipated to join them by the conclusion of September, with the oversight team operating from the US embassy in Kiev. Notably, this marks the first instance of the inspector general deploying personnel on the ground since the onset of the conflict in February.

The Biden administration's recent request to Congress for an additional $24 billion in aid for Ukraine has triggered a growing demand among GOP lawmakers for stricter control over how these funds are utilized. In February 2023, the Republican-led House Oversight and Accountability committee cautioned against potential "waste, fraud, and abuse" of US aid. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had previously emphasized his reluctance to provide Ukraine with an unrestricted financial allocation.

Citing a Department of Defense inspector general report from October 2022, CNN disclosed that the United States had been unable to perform required end-use monitoring of military equipment supplied to Ukraine during the initial six months of the conflict due to limited on-ground presence. The report outlined instances of criminals, volunteer fighters, and arms traffickers attempting to pilfer Western-provided weapons and equipment.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, a staunch supporter of Ukraine, recently expressed concern that corruption scandals within Ukraine were severely undermining its international reputation and defense capabilities. Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergey Marchenko acknowledged existing issues in August but noted the willingness of Western supporters to accept the challenge of addressing corruption.

During the same period, The Washington Post estimated that US aid to Ukraine constituted the largest of its kind since World War II.

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