As the GOP prepares to take over the House in the coming months, Republican leaders have warned the Biden administration that there will be more extensive restrictions, oversight, and tracking of all weapons and financial aid provided to Ukraine for use in its war against Russia.
While the new Congress will not take effect until January, some measures are already being taken to ensure better oversight of the aid that has already been sent to Ukraine. Reportedly, a U.S. Defense attache and a U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation team based in Kyiv have been performing “inspections” of U.S. weapon caches on the ground in the country but at locations well away from the frontline of the war.
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With recent documented incidents of U.S. weaponry coming into the possession of Russian forces, with some arms provided by the West even ending up on the black market or in the hands of gangs in other countries, like Finland, some Democrats are becoming as skeptical as many Republicans are of where America’s aid is actually going. Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) said, “The taxpayers deserve to know that investment is going where it’s intended to go.” Rep. Crow went on to say, “We’re not playing a mission of perfection here. This is a brutal, large-scale land war – house to house, street to street, trench to trench. There will be things lost.” Rep. Crow concluded his statement by saying, “We’re not trying to prevent every single piece from falling into the hands of the Russians, but we want to make sure it’s not happening at a large scale.”
The growing skepticism comes not only amid reports that U.S. arms have fallen into Russian hands but also that much of the financial aid intended for Ukraine has been laundered back to Democrats to fund campaigns through the now-defunct crypto firm FTX. One thing is certain; Republicans will have their hands full implementing oversight and tracking measures come January.