US may send auditors to war zone in Ukraine
Military assistance to Ukraine (Photo:Air Force Staff Sgt. Marco A. Gomez / US Department of Defense)
As the scope and pace of Western military aid to Ukraine grows, the United States is exploring sending auditors to monitor its utilization across the battlefield, the Pentagon, U.S. State Department, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) told The Wall Street Journal on Feb. 17.
The Pentagon inspectors said they had previously successfully carried out their tasks remotely with the help of personnel in Washington, Poland, and Germany. After taking a trip to Kyiv in late January, they said they would insist on sending some of the 177 auditors and investigators who oversee aid to Kyiv.
Acting USAID Deputy Inspector General Nicole Angarella said that “really comprehensive and reliable monitoring” cannot be done remotely.
“I think we have been as creative and you know, out of the box, forward-leaning with the oversight we’ve been able to accomplish so far,” said the acting USAID Deputy Inspector General Nicole Angarella.
“But for real comprehensive, robust oversight, it can’t be done remotely. The closer we are, the more comprehensive oversight will be.”
According to the WSJ, inspectors are responsible for ensuring that aid programs work properly, as well as preventing the smuggling of weapons and theft of U.S. funds. U.S. officials have said they have received no reports of major fraud or illegal activity related to U.S. aid to Ukraine.
Inspectors say the sheer size of the U.S. aid package and the speed with which Congress is providing it to Ukraine creates problems. According to official figures, in 2022 Congress allocated more than $113 billion in aid to Ukraine.
On Jan. 31, the U.S. Treasury Department said they see no signs of misuse of U.S. funds in Ukraine, after auditors from Washington came to Kyiv to check the use of international assistance.
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